In the South-West of England, 63 kilometers (39 miles) northeast of Bristol lies the dockside city of Gloucester. The cathedral city has long played a significant role in England’s history, most notably during the Roman time and more recently during the industrial revolution. The Rugby Union is really at the heart of Gloucester. Proudly hosting many of the pool games during the Rugby World Cup 2015 and home to a number of highly successful and influential players of the game you won’t have to stray too far before you meet a friendly face donning the city’s cherry and white strip. Gloucester is home to an array of cultural and historical landmarks, great shopping outlets and fascinating museums; a weekend isn’t long enough to explore the sights and sounds of glorious Gloucester.
1) Gloucester rugby and Kingsholm Stadium
Rugby is seriously regarded as a religion around these parts. If you don’t know your scrum from your line out or your knock on from your forward pass don’t dare venture any nearer! We jest, rugby has the power to unite the masses and Gloucester RFC is no exception. Kingsholm Stadium sees Gloucester play their Premiership matches upon its hallowed turf. Take a seat in the main grandstand or do as the locals and wriggle your way into The Shed and in your finest west-country accent shout your support of ‘Glawwwww-steeerrrr’ as the cherry and whites grace the stage.
Gloucester Rugby is held in high regard for nurturing future international talent and has a number of present players on their books. Scotland’s Greig Laidlaw captains the team while Wales’ Ross Moriarty and England’s Ben Morgan regularly take to the field too. Tickets can be booked online or in person at the Kingsholm Stadium shop.
Gloucester Rugby and Kingsholm Stadium
Address: Kingsholm Stadium, Kingsholm Rd, Gloucester GL1 3AX
Website: Gloucester Rugby Book Tickets
2) Gloucester Cathedral
Gloucester Cathedral is one of the most impressive monuments in the South West of England. Featuring both Romanesque and Gothic architecture Gloucester Cathedral has a warm welcome for all, regardless of faith. Initial construction began in 1089, while maintenance work and preservation measures will roll on eternally the essence of the original structure is still incredibly prevalent. Many a royal and important historical figure has been laid to rest within the grounds of Gloucester Cathedral, namely Osric the King of Hwicce and William the Conquerer’s eldest son, Robert Curthose.
Gloucester Cathedral became a place of interest once more amongst the younger generations when its halls played the backdrop for the Harry Potter films, including The Philosopher’s Stone, The Chamber of Secrets and The Half-Blood Prince The great halls of Gloucester have also featured in television series such as Doctor Who and the BBC’s Sherlock in 2015. The guides of the Cathedral will only be too happy to point out the ‘famous’ backdrops as well as explaining in greater detail the history and significance of Gloucester’s great Cathedral.
Address: College Green, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, GL1 2LX
Website: Gloucester Cathedral
3) Gloucester Waterways Museum
The Gloucester Waterways Museum can be found in the renovated Llanthony Warehouse in Gloucester’s famous docklands. The grade II listed building features exhibits from imposing sailing ships to intricate and integral engines and machinery. Many of the museum’s exhibits are still in full working order which adds to the excitement and educational value of your visit.
From dredging to tunneling, from civil engineering to water management systems, the Gloucester Waterways Museum presents life on the water in a fun, engaging and inspiring way. On weekends and bank holidays, the museum offers visitors canal boat trips along the Sharpness, Gloucester and Severn Canals on either of their two boats; King Arthur and Queen Boadicea II. The 45-minute journey takes you through the docklands and canals accompanied by an informative audio commentary.
Gloucester Waterways Museum
Address: Llanthony Warehouse, Gloucester GL1 2EH
Website: Gloucester Waterways Museum
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4) Gloucester docks
There is a whole host of reasons why you should visit Gloucester Docks. Not only are the renovated and equally run down warehouses and dockyards extremely photogenic but there are a number of fascinating museums and endearing boat trips to join. Gloucester Brewery is a point of interest for many who visit and can be found next to the impossible to miss Alexandra Warehouse. For the more adventurous visitor, Gloucester Docks offers a stand-up paddleboarding experience. A unique and exciting way to explore the historic docklands, weaving between the Tall Ships and moored canal barges.
Stand Up Paddle at Gloucester Docks
Address: Gloucester Docks, Gloucester, UK
Website: Stand Up Paddle
5) Gloucester Quays
In an effort to modernize the aging Dockland area, Gloucester County Council joined with The Peel Group to transform the docklands into a sleek, trendy and fashionable environment to be seen in, thus creating Gloucester Quays. The Gloucester Quays Shopping Outlet features a glittering array of top fashion brand stores, as well as a cinema complex and a number of hugely popular chain restaurants. The state of the art gym is open 24 hours a day offers a range of group classes to fit every fitness ability. The redevelopment proves the perfect back drop for events the year round, whether that be Gloucester Food Festival or the Tall Ships Festival. Gloucester Quays gives every visitor the VIP treatment.
Address: St Ann Way, Gloucester GL1 5SH, UK
Website: Gloucester Quays
6) Prinknash Abbey and Monastery
Peaceful…tranquil…serene…Prinknash Abbey and monastery is one of Gloucester’s best-kept secrets. Home to practicing monks, visitors must respect the rules, rituals and routines of those who have devoted their lives to the spirit of Saint Benedict. Visitors are welcome to stroll around the monasteries immaculate gardens and observe fruits of the monk’s labor.
The garden is maintained in conjunction with the REACH program, designed to encourage young offenders to complete their hours of community service in a safe, secure and most importantly reflective environment. The Prinknash Monastery Bookshop and Cafe is small but well stocked with gift cards, Christian literature and incense. Incense has long played a significant role at Prinknash. It is possible to buy incense that has been handmade on site.
Prinknash Abbey and Monastery
Address: Prinknash Abbey and Monastery, Cranham, Gloucester GL4 8EX
Website: Prinknash Abbey and Monastery
7) Jetage Museum
Open over the weekends the Jetage Museum exhibits over twenty original aircraft from across the eras and is home to Gloucestershire’s largest aviation collection. Both admission and parking are free making the Jet Age Museum one of the best free family activities on offer in the county. The museum displays mint condition aircraft and restoration projects that are considered works in progress. Visitors are invited to get up close and personal with the aircraft and are allowed to explore the cockpits and flight decks of many of the exhibits.
Address: Meteor Business Park, Cheltenham Road East, Gloucester GL2 9QL
Website: Jetage Museum
Great days lie ahead in Gloucester....
From family fun days to designer shopping brands, from stunning religious sanctuaries to top class sporting endeavors, Gloucester is the whole package.With friendly locals on every corner, you’ll feel right at home in glorious Gloucester.
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