Gloucestershire Attractions

Gloucestershire offers visitors a choice of local attractions in the county, visitors have a choice of a number of interesting and charming places to discover. The county includes part of the Cotswolds offering the perfect countryside break along with museums, parks, gardens, a number of historic buildings, theatre, concerts and events. Gloucestershire’s location in south west England means the tranquil English countryside and the great outdoors are all within reach located close to local towns and villages with a range of things to see and do in the county.

We have outlined a number of interesting attractions and places to visit for visitors to Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds, these include:

For fans of history and culture there is Berkeley Castle to visit. The oldest part of the castle is the Keep, which was completed back in 1153, with its trip steps and guard room. There is also a dungeon and holding cell that are part of the Keep. View the King's Gallery, with the cell and dungeon where King Edward II was imprisoned and then murdered.

There are portraits of England's monarchs, along with some of Francis Drake's furniture. The Picture Gallery, displays a collection of predominately Dutch paintings, along with Sporting and hunting subjects, with a painting by George Stubbs as the centrepiece. The Dining Room displays Georgian silverware and family portraits. The Grand Staircase features portraits and Tudor embroidery on woollen cloth covering the walls. The Long Drawing Room contains a series of wall mirrors and a suite of 18th Century gilt furniture embroidered over ten years by the 4 the Earl's wife, Lady Elizabeth Drax. Outside the castle is has terraced gardens that overlook the fields of the Berkeley Vale.

The Cotswolds are not only gentle English countryside where you can relax; there are plenty of opportunities for more energetic pursuits including adrenaline filled activities. The region offers many activities including walking, camping, cycling, horse riding, golf, hiking, motor sport, gliding, ballooning and fishing. Walking has long been a favourite for those visiting the area; walkers can discover the beauty of the countryside first hand. There are organised walks such as those with Talking Walks with knowledgeable walker leaders to add to the experience.

Gloucester Cathedral became a cathedral under Henry VIII. The cathedral boasts a fascinating blend of Romanesque drum piers and perpendicular Gothic tracery. A particular highlight is the east window which commemorates the English victory at Crecy. There is also some of the original stained glass present, while the 15th century cloisters are a great example of fan vaulting. For those wanting to know more there are guided tours available to take you round, the energetic can climb the tower and get to the top where they will be rewarded with some great views, you could see up to forty miles in to the scenic Gloucestershire countryside.

Lodge Park is located on the lovely Sherborne Estate in the Cotswolds. Lodge Park was created in 1634 and was the home of Charles Dutton, 7th Lord Sherborne, up until 1982 when he bequeathed his family's estate to the National Trust. The grandstand has been reconstructed to past glories, while the park was designed by Charles Bridgeman in 1725. The Sherborne Estate is some 4,000 acres of rolling Cotswold countryside that boasts some wonderful views down to the River Windrush. The National Trust also owes most of the village of Sherborne; there are a number of walks for visitors to go on around the estate.

The Slimbridge Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust boasts a visitor centre overlooking nationally and internationally protected wetlands, this famous site is an important wintering area for migrating water birds such as Bewick's Swans and houses the trusts species conservation programme. Slimbridge is located between Bristol and Gloucester. One of a number of wetland centres across the UK, the reserve for water birds is set in over 100 acres and there is also an art gallery, restaurant, cinema and the Hanson Discover Centre. The flamingos are a particular favourite among visitors.

Painswick House is located on the outskirts of the village of Painswick, this impressive manor is set in 6 acres of formal and informal gardens, the Painswick Rococo Garden. The garden has survived the all too brief rococo period in English garden design. They are thought to have been built in around 1740, the gardens unfortunately fell into disrepair, and by the 1970s it situation looked bleak as they were on the verge of being lost. Fortunately an extensive restoration project began back in 1984 and has restored the gardens to their former glory; visitors are presented with surprising vistas, architectural accents and an asymmetric design that provides visitors with unusual surprises. Beyond the formal garden there are woodland walks, where wildflowers grow, the gardens are well known for their great display of snowdrops in the latter part of winter and early spring.

The Forest of Dean is located in the west of Gloucestershire. Covering an area of approx 110 square kilometres, the forest is one of the few remaining ancient forest in England, bordering England and South Wales. The area is well known for its scenic beauty and has provided much inspiration for writers and artists over the years. The forest changes each season with changes in flora and fauna offering different colours in each season. The forest is a haven for walkers, cyclists and adventure seekers including canoeing, kayaking, treetop zip wires and mountain biking. There are a number of charming towns and villages located in the Forest of Dean each with its own character where visitors can see the local sites and enjoy traditional food and drink. There are a number of events and activities that take place during the course of they ear.

Gloucester City Museum & Art gallery is located in the city and includes both a national and international touring programme that runs through the year, offering visitors something new each time they come. Located inside a Grade II Victorian building the museum includes a number of impressive collections from Gloucester’s past including Roman sculpture, ceramics, dinosaur fossils, furniture and fossils. There are also talks, gallery tours and workshops available along with a choice of regular events.

St Mary de Crypt Church is a historic Anglican church dating back to the 12th century. Located in the city centre the impressive church is a Grade I listed building, first built in the 12th century the church has been extended and expended over the centuries and is known for its Norman features along with architecture from the 12th to 17th centuries. The church hosts live music and concerts with guided tours available for visitors.
Address: St Mary de Crypt, Southgate Street, Gloucester, GL1 1TP
Telephone: +44 (0)1452 386908

Gloucester Quays Outlet is located in the historic docks in Gloucester, a short walk from the city centre. There are a wide choice of stores including well known high street names such as Marks & Spencer and Next along with a number of designer brands. There are a choice of cafes, restaurants and eateries serving both hot and cold food and drinks. Close by there is also a Retails Park that includes cinema. With a convenient location, choice of stores, food and drink and entertainment, the outlet and retail park offers visitors plenty of leisure facilities and great shopping.

The Pittville Pump Room is located in Pittville Park approx 2 miles from Cheltenham town centre. Housed inside a Grade I listed Regency building, it is open to the public for viewing. The building is the largest and was the last built of the spa buildings that Cheltenham is famous for. The Spa Well is where visitors can taste the famous Cheltenham spa water for themselves. Rooms inside include the main hall, west room and oval room. The pump room can also be hired for concerts and private functions.

Cheltenham Racecourse is located on the outskirts of Cheltenham, one of the best known racecourses in the UK, it hosts the Cheltenham Festival each March featuring the famous Cheltenham Gold Cup national hunt horse race and Ladies Day. Set in scenic Cotswolds surroundings, the Cheltenham Festival is well known on the social calendar. The complex is host to a number of concerts, exhibitions, gala dinners and conferences.

Fans of the theatre are catered for at the New Olympus Theatre, previously known as Palmers Picturedrome. Originally operating as a cinema back in 1923, in 1984 Gloucester Operatic and Dramatic Society (G.O.D.S) took over the running and turned it in to the theatre it is currently. In recent years the theatre has installed cinema equipment and helped it became a leading venue in Gloucester for cinema and live Theatre. It is a venue for amateur and professional performances in the arts; the facilities now mean that conferences are also held there.
Address: New Olympus Theatre, 162-166 Barton Street, Gloucester GL1 4EU Telephone: +44 (0) 1452 525917.

It is recommended that prior to visiting the Gloucestershire; visitors do their research and ensure any sights and attractions they plan on visiting are actually open on the days you intend on coming. The transport is also worth checking as maintenance and engineering works can mean a restricted service on public transport and the road network.

Gloucestershire with the Cotswolds is among the most popular holiday and breaks destinations in the UK. The area has plenty to offer visitors with a mix of charming historic market towns and villages including plenty of picturesque locations and scenic countryside to enjoy. There is the city of Gloucester and the town of Cheltenham both offering visitors a good base from which to explore the area along with their own city and town attractions. Gloucestershire includes a number of historic attractions, museums, historic houses, gardens and parks with attractions for the entire family. Gloucestershire’s attractions ensure visitors can enjoy a short break, weekend away or a longer stay here.

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