Centred around the cathedral city of Gloucester, Gloucestershire encompasses the Severn Vale, the Royal Forest of Dean and part of the Cotswold Hills. It was first mentioned in the 10th-century “Anglo Saxon Chronicle” and is now dotted with bustling market towns and charming hamlets.
Things to do in Gloucestershire
Centuries-old churches, nationally-renowned gardens and a heritage railway - Gloucestershire offers a diversity of attractions on London’s doorstep.
Sightsee in Gloucester. Serving as the county town is Gloucester, which boasts a magnificent cathedral dating back to the 11th century. Marvel at its Romanesque and Gothic architecture before exploring the museums occupying the historic warehouses of the Gloucester Docks. A highlight is the Gloucester Waterways Museum, which features an impressive collection of narrowboats and river barges.
Ride the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway. Railway enthusiasts shouldn’t miss a ride on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway, a volunteer-operated heritage railway that follows part of the former Great Western Railway from Birmingham to Cheltenham. It takes in some of the Cotswolds’ most spectacular scenery, as well as picturesque hamlets and villages offering views of the Malvern Hills.
Visit the Westonbirt Arboretum. Considered the most important arboretum in the United Kingdom, Westonbirt was established in 1829 by gardening and landscaping enthusiast Robert Stayner Holford. It’s now home to around 2,500 different tree species from around the globe, which can be admired on its 27 kilometres of marked walking trails. Explore the stately avenues of the Old Arboretum and discover the 13th-century working woodland of the Silk Wood.
Explore the Snowshill Manor. Nestled in the village of Snowshill, this National Trust property encompasses a 16th-century country house once owned by the artist-craftsman Charles Paget Wade. It houses his eclectic collection of objects that include musical instruments, vintage toys and centuries-old Japanese samurai armour.
Getting around Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire is around two hours’ drive from the centre of London and 1.5 hours from London Heathrow Airport. Regular trains connect from the English capital to the Gloucester railway station and travel throughout the county. Buses serve most of Gloucestershire’s urban areas.