Gloucester is the Cathedral city of the Cotswolds, close to the Forest of Dean and the Malvern Hills. The elegant town centre still retains much of its historic character and charm, and is a delightful place to visit to discover over 1000 years of history, to browse shops and markets, or simply to relax and enjoy the warm and friendly hospitality of this fascinating, ancient English city.
A good place to start exploring the city of Gloucester is with a visit to the historic docks, which has some of the best preserved 19th Century warehousing in the country and is now a colourful, vibrant area, full of shops, cafes, museums and even a microbrewery. Visitors can wander around the docks and admire the many yachts and boats that make use of this busy working port.
For shoppers, nearby Gloucester Quays is a designer outlet with an annual Victorian Christmas market with over 250 stalls selling food, drink, crafts and gifts. The Gloucester Waterways museum is located at the docks and details the fascinating history of the local rivers and canals, with plenty of hands on activities for kids, as well as boat rides around the docks.
Towards the North of Gloucester, near the river, stands the medieval Cathedral. The magnificent fan vaulted roofs and soaring architecture including the famous East Window have made this a popular choice for film locations, and can be seen in many of the Harry Potter films. There are daily guided tours available, taking visitors down into the crypts and up to the top of the tower. May of the tours are family friendly and include children’s trails.
In the centre of Gloucester, there is plenty to see and do, including Beatrix Potter’s House of the Tailor of Gloucester. This free to enter museum and shop recreates scenes from the well loved story, including the Tailor’s kitchen. Or visit Blackfriars, one of the best preserved medieval priories in England. This is a wonderful place to spend a tranquil couple of hours, just wandering and exploring the beautiful courtyard garden and medieval library.
Shoppers in Gloucester can enjoy the relaxed charm of the older parts of the city, exploring the shops and boutiques, or taking a breather in a pavement cafe and enjoying street theatre with a backdrop of Tudor, Georgian and Victorian elegance. For a different shopping experience, the two main shopping centres at Eastgate and Kings Walk offer all the convenience of modern malls, where all of the big high street stores are located along with cafes, and restaurants.
For dining options in Gloucester, visitors will be spoilt for choice. As well as award winning Michelin quality fine dining, there is a tantalising choice of international cuisine including Portugese, Greek, African and Japanese. Whether out shopping during the day, or unwinding in the evening, there are pubs and restaurants to suit all tastes and budgets from smart gastropubs to historic inns, such as the atmospheric Robert Raikes House, all serving the best in locally sourced produce and locally brewed real ale.
Gloucester welcomes visitors with a range of accommodation styles. Choose from well known chains or smart boutique hotels, or friendly guest houses and bed and breakfasts, all in the heart of the city and within walking distance of the main attractions.
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