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Gloucester Local Information: 10 top things to know... more

  • 1. History

    Gloucester, which lies close to the Welsh border on the River Severn, is a city, district and county town of Gloucestershire located in the South West of England. The Romans founded Gloucester in AD 97 under Emperor Nerva as Colonia Glevum Nervensis. King Henry II granted its first charter in 1155.The name Gloucester (Glowancestre, 1282) comes from the Anglo-Saxon for fort (c...Read moreeaster in Old English) which is preceded by the Roman stem Glev- (said as glaiw).Now dominated by the service industries, Gloucester was historically prominent in the aerospace industry. A sculpture that can be found in the city centre celebrates the city’s aviation history and its involvement in the jet engine. The first British jet aircraft was powered by Frank Whittle’s pioneering turbojet engine. This aircraft first flew from the company’s airfield located at Brockworth. This fact is commemorated by ‘The Whittle’ pub at Gloucester Business Park. Read less

  • 2. Now

    Gloucester is a port, which is linked by the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal running from Gloucester’s docks to the Severn Estuary. The docks, wharfs and warehouses fell into disrepair until they were renovated in the 1980s. They now make up a public open space. Some of the warehouses are now home to the National Waterways Museum, while others have been converted into shops...Read more, bars and residential apartments. The Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum can be found in the Custom House. The port is home to the UK’s most inland RNLI lifeboat. Gloucester is home to the Cheltenham & Gloucester headquarters at Barnwood. Read less

  • 3. Events

    Every third year Gloucester plays host to the Three Choirs Festival, which originated in the 18th Century and is one of Europe’s oldest music festivals. The other venues for this festival are Hereford and Worcester. The Guildhall – the city’s main cultural and theatre venue, stages lots of entertainment, including dance sessions, live music, a cinema, café, bar, art ...Read moregallery and more. The Leisure Centre, GL1, hosts lots of concerts. Other well-known events in the city include the annual Gloucester International Rhythm and Blues Festival, which is held at the end of July/early August. Then there is the Gloucester International Cajun and Zydeco Festival that runs for a weekend each January and a Medieval Fayre that takes place in Westgate Street every summer. Read less

  • 4. Attractions

    There are lots of attractions in Gloucester, including Gloucester Cathedral, which is located in the north of the city close to the river. Any visit to the city is not complete without seeing this Norman cathedral, which features stunning fan-vaulted cloisters and a great east window. You may also like to make time to visit Gloucester City Museum & Art Gallery, Gloucester Fol...Read morek Museum, The Tailor of Gloucester Beatrix Potter Museum & Shop, The Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum, Gloucester Waterways Museum, Sula Lightship, Nature In Art or The Barn Owl Centre of Gloucestershire. Read less

  • 5. Things To Do

    There’s no shortage of things to do in Gloucester. This city has much to offer, including narrow cobbled streets, ancient buildings and great shopping. You can also take a trip on a pleasure boat and enjoy a journey through the past – back to a time when Gloucester was a bustling commercial port. Once you have exhausted the museums and attractions in the city itself you ...Read morecan head out of Gloucester and find lots more things to do in the Forest of Dean and the Cotswolds. Read less

  • 6. Business

    The aerospace industry is firmly entrenched in Gloucester’s history. Back in 1926 the Gloucestershire Aircraft Company based at Brockworth renamed itself the Gloster Aircraft Company after its international customers said the name ‘Gloucestershire’ was too hard to spell. Roads at the Gloucester Business Park are named after Gloster aircraft and a statue overlooks the ol...Read mored main runway site. Read less

  • 7. Transport

    The M5 motorway serves Gloucester: this runs to the east of the city. Other roads serving the city include the A38, A40, A46, A4173 and the A417. Gloucester Railway Station offers frequent services to some of the UK’s largest cities, including London, Bristol, Nottingham, Cardiff and Birmingham. The Gloucester and Sharpness Canal links the city to the Severn Estuary. The ...Read moreRiver Avon and Stourport-on-Severn are linked to from the city by the navigable section of the River Stern. The Herefordshire and Gloucestershire Canal, which closed in 1964, is being restored. The restored canal basin which is in the Gloucester suburb of Over is a local attraction. For those wanting to travel by bus or coach, Stagecoach operates public transport in the city while National Express run a number of services to London (444) and to Heathrow and Gatwick airports (222). Read less

  • 8. Entertainment

    Entertainment abounds for sports lovers in Gloucester: the people here are passionate about sport in many forms. The city’s rugby team has a proud and successful history. In football there’s Gloucester City AFC – also known as the Tigers. In the summer you can see Gloucestershire County Cricket Club in action at King’s School in Gloucester. Some of the finest three-...Read moreday evening facilities in the UK can be found at Hartpury College Equine Centre, attracting the top equestrian talent every year when it hosts the annual NAF International Hartpury Horse Trials. The city’s leisure centre, GL1, offers all budding sportspeople the chance to participate in sport. If you are a tennis lover there’s Oxstall’s Indoor Tennis Centre facility and for golfers there’s Gloucester Golf Club in Robinswood Hill and more courses nearby in Churchdown and Highnam. The Warehouse is a great climbing centre, while there is go-karting and darklight laser tag arena JDR Karting, as well as the fabulous Ski and Snowboard Centre which has one of the longest artificial dry ski slopes in the UK. Of course, if you prefer to just walk, then there are lots of green open spaces in and around Gloucester, including Highnam Court and Gardens, Gloucester Park and Robinswood Hill Country Park. For more natural entertainment see the natural phenomenon that is the Severn Bore: this is a surging wave which travels up the River Severn once tidal conditions are right. Read less

  • 9. Famous Landmarks

    Gloucester Cathedral is a stunning landmark located in the north of the city close to the river. It originates in the foundation of an abbey, which was dedicated to Saint Peter in 681. Gloucester Cathedral is the burial place of Walter de Lacy and King Edward II of England. The Cathedral, largely its cloisters, was used in three of the Harry Potter movies for the corridor sc...Read moreenes. These movies were Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Read less

  • 10. Interesting Fact

    Notable residents of Gloucester include Hubert Cecil Booth (1871 to 1955), the inventor of the vacuum cleaner.


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