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Gloucester Cathedral

Gloucester (pronounced "gloster") is the county town of Gloucestershire in England's West Country. A major attraction of the city is Gloucester Cathedral, which is the burial place of King Edward II. Other features of interest include the museum and school of art and science, the former county jail (on the site of a Saxon and Norman castle), the Shire Hall (now headquarters of the County Council) and the Whitefield memorial church. A park in the south of the city contains a spa, a chalybeate spring having been discovered in 1814.


The city of Gloucester is the furthest inland port in the UK, situated beside the River Severn. It inspired the old English nursery rhyme:

"Dr Foster went to Gloucester in a shower of rain.
He stepped in a puddle,
Right up to his middle,
And never went back again."

'Dick Whittington', born around 1350, a well-known character through the pantomime story, has connections with Gloucester. The story is based on the real-life Richard Whittington, who, unlike his pantomime character, was not poor, being the third son of Sir William Whittington of Gloucester. The traditional tale has a 'poor' Dick going to London to seek his fortune, but he eventually becomes Lord Mayor of London.

A traditional rhyme is associated with this episode, as follows:

"Turn again, Whittington, Once Mayor of London, Turn again, Whittington, Twice Mayor of London, Turn again, Whittington, Thrice Mayor of London!"

The city is also known for 'The Tailor of Gloucester', a children's novel by Beatrix Potter that was first published in 1903. It is traditionally read to children on Christmas Eve, just before bedtime.

It was a main Roman city, Glevum—Roman tunnels and fortifications exist underneath the city centre and can be visited through the museum.


As a provincial British town, you will almost certainly need to be able to speak English to get around in Gloucester. There is a sizable immigrant population in Gloucester from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Poland and the Czech Republic so you may have more luck with these people should you speak one of their languages. Gloucester also has a large (for the region) black (mainly of Caribbean origin) community.

The Tourist Information Office has literature in most major languages, including Japanese.

Generally, the Gloucester accent is clear to understand and isn't peppered with dialect terms. However, understandably for the area, there is a West Country 'burr' and tourists whose experience of English accents is limited to either Cockney or Queen's English (Received Pronunciation) may notice this. The 'burr' becomes more pronounced more westerly, in the nearby Forest of Dean.

Local information[edit]

Get in[edit]

The Cloisters at Gloucester Cathedral

By car[edit]

Gloucester is well served by the motorway system and can easily be accessed by junctions 11, 11a and 12 on the M5. It also lies on the A38 and is easily accessible from Wales (Gloucester is the most southerly point on the River Severn with a bridge—apart from the motorway Severn Bridges near Bristol and Newport). Because Gloucester was a major Roman city, it has very good A road connections throughout Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds.

By train[edit]

Wikivoyage has a guide to Rail travel in Great Britain
  • 1 Gloucester station. Has good railway connections and has daily direct connections to London Paddington, Cardiff, Bristol and Birmingham. Nearby Cheltenham has more stopping trains, so it may be necessary to get a train to Cheltenham and change trains for Gloucester. Trains between Cheltenham and Gloucester operate every half hour and take around 10 minutes. Gloucester railway station (Q2499557) on Wikidata Gloucester railway station on Wikipedia

By bus[edit]

Gloucester is a large hub for buses and coaches. There is also a park and ride service available, see the National Park and Ride Directory.

  • 2 Gloucester Transport Hub (Gloucester bus station). Has many regular coaches (mainly operated by National Express) to all major airports and cities (there are several coaches to and from London daily) in the UK. National Express Bus 444 goes from London Victoria via Heathrow Airport. A Megabus service to and from London also operates from outside the bus station. Gloucester Transport Hub (Q57832799) on Wikidata Gloucester Transport Hub on Wikipedia

By boat[edit]

Gloucester was built up around the River Severn. It has a sailing heritage. It is possible to visit Gloucester via river or the Gloucester Sharpness Canal via boat.

By plane[edit]

  • 3 Gloucestershire Airport (GLO  IATA). In nearby Staverton. However, it has had no regular passenger flights since 2017. But, there are aircraft available to charter. Gloucestershire Airport (Q2475512) on Wikidata Gloucestershire Airport on Wikipedia

Birmingham Airport (BHX IATA) and Bristol Airport (BRS IATA) are each only a couple of hours' drive (north and south respectively) and are served by a wide range of flights from across Europe and beyond.

It can take several hours to drive from the London airports, Heathrow (LHR IATA), Gatwick (LGW IATA), Luton (LTN IATA) and Stansted (STN IATA).

Get around[edit]

Map of Gloucester (England)

By bus[edit]

Stagecoach operates most of the local bus services and between Gloucester and Cheltenham. There are many bus services to the Forest of Dean, South Wales, Gloucestershire, the South West and the Midlands.

By bicycle[edit]

There are several cycle routes around Gloucester and it is possible to have a fairly stress-free cycle ride around the city and its suburbs. There are also cycle routes to Cheltenham and to Bristol.

By foot[edit]

The centre of Gloucester is quite compact and flat so you can easily walk around it.

By car[edit]

The best way to get to the countryside around Gloucester is by car.


Gloucester Docks
  • 1 Gloucester Cathedral (Cathedral Church of St Peter and the Holy and Indivisible Trinity), 12 College Green, GL1 2LX, +44 1452 528095, . The city's cathedral and an important landmark. Completed in 1499, this Gothic building has a beautiful design and heritage. In popular culture, the cathedral is well-known for being used for filming in several of the Harry Potter movies. Free. Gloucester Cathedral (Q262500) on Wikidata Gloucester Cathedral on Wikipedia
  • 2 Gloucester Docks. 18th-century, a popular tourist attraction, with numerous museums and shops/pubs. National Waterways Museum, Gloucester (Q6979363) on Wikidata Gloucester Waterways Museum on Wikipedia
  • 3 Baker's Jewellers (Baker G A & Son), 5 Southgate St, GL1 1TG, +44 1452 522926. One of the most unusual 'action' time clocks you are likely to see in a city centre. It dates back to Edwardian times and has five figures which represent England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Olde Father Time.
  • 4 Prinknash Abbey, Cranham, GL4 8EX. With its monastery, bird park and Roman Mosaic. This latter is a full-size copy of the original mosaic on the floor of a Roman villa at nearby Woodchester, now in a churchyard. The original is thought to have been created in c.325 AD. It has been unearthed periodically several times, but the last time it was on view to the public, in 1973, it produced so much interest and traffic congestion in the town that it was decided never to unearth it again. Devastated by the possibility that no-one else would see it ever again, two local builders spent ten years working on the reconstruction. Prinknash Abbey (Q7245226) on Wikidata Prinknash Abbey on Wikipedia
  • 5 [dead link] Eastgate Viewing Chamber. The Eastgate Viewing Chamber is the remains of the Roman settlement. While it can be viewed at street level from outside of Boots, there are also tours from Museum of Gloucester that can be booked.
  • 6 The Severn Bore. Probably one of the most famous tidal bores. It is of particular interest to surfers. Severn bore (Q7457961) on Wikidata Severn bore on Wikipedia
  • College Court.

Museums & galleries[edit]

  • 7 Gloucester Life (formerly The Folk Museum), 99 -103 Westgate St, GL1 2PG, +44 1452 396868. Tu-Sa 10AM-5PM. Situated in characterful buildings on Westgate Street, the Gloucester Folk Museum is home to many exhibits including local crafts and a reconstructed Victorian classroom. Gloucester Life (Q5572049) on Wikidata Gloucester Life on Wikipedia
  • 8 The City Museum & Art Gallery, Brunswick Road, G=GL1 1TH, +44 1452 396131, . Worth a visit for the Roman artefacts, Roman kitchen and medieval street. Museum of Gloucester (Q5572022) on Wikidata The Museum of Gloucester on Wikipedia
  • 9 National Waterways Museum, Llanthony Warehouse, The Docks, GL1 2EH, +44 1452 318200. Explore the rich heritage of canals and rivers in this country. Investigate historic craft and explore Llanthony Yard. National Waterways Museum, Gloucester (Q6979363) on Wikidata National Waterways Museum on Wikipedia
  • 10 Beatrix Potter Museum and Shop, 9 College Court, GL1 2NJ, +44 1452 422856, . M–Sa 10AM-4:30PM, Su noon-4PM. Don't pass up the opportunity to visit the tailor's house from Beatrix Potter's 1903 story "The Tailor of Gloucester". Situated a stone's throw from Gloucester Cathedral down a narrow alleyway.
  • 11 Soldiers of Gloucestershire Military Museum, Custom House the Docks, 31 Commercial Rd, GL1 2HE, +44 1452 522682. Daily 10AM-5PM. This museum tells the story of two famous county regiments, the Glorious Glosters and the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars. Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum (Q15278439) on Wikidata Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum on Wikipedia
  • 12 Nature in Art, Wallsworth Hall, Twigworth, GL2 9PA (2 miles north of Gloucester in Twigworth), +44 1452 731422. M closed, Tu-Su 10AM-5PM. Set in a late 1700 manor house, is the Nature in Art museum. A gallery mostly dedicated to modern natural paintings, vases, sculptures and tapestries. A notable exception however are the ancient Persian bowl and plates on display. There are also exhibitions that take place at the gallery throughout the year. Adult £5.25, concessions (under 16s and over 60s) £4.75, under 8 free, family (2 adults, 2 children) £15. Nature in Art (Q6980966) on Wikidata Nature in Art on Wikipedia
  • 13 Jet Age Museum, Meteor Business Park, Cheltenham Road East, Staverton, GL2 9QL, +44 1452 260078. Located at the Gloucestershire Airport, this museum celebrates the county's importance in aviation history. Jet Age Museum (Q15961587) on Wikidata Jet Age Museum on Wikipedia


Gloucester Rugby

Take a look around the absolutely stunning cathedral. Various parts of the cathedral were used as Hogwarts Castle in the Harry Potter films.

The docks is also worth a look; boat journeys down the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal are available every other hour in summer time

  • 1 Gloucester Rugby, Kingsholm Stadium GL1 3AX (half a mile north of town centre), +44 1452 872269. Gloucester play Rugby Union in the Premiership, the game's top tier. The stadium, sometimes dubbed Castle Grim, has a capacity of 16,000. Gloucester Rugby (Q745758) on Wikidata Gloucester Rugby on Wikipedia
  • Hartpury University RFC play in the Championship, the second tier. Their campus and grounds are five miles north of town.
  • 2 GL1 Leisure Centre, Bruton Way, GL1 1DT, +44 1452 396666.
  • 3 Gloucester Guildhall, 23 Eastgate St, GL1 1NS, +44 1452 503050.
  • 4 Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake. A world-famous annual event, where a circular cheese is rolled down a hill - chased by numerous people. Obviously, you may gain some injuries while taking part of the chase. Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake (Q240682) on Wikidata Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake on Wikipedia
  • The beautiful countryside — get out walking!


  • 1 Gloucestershire College (formerly Gloscat), Llanthony Rd, GL2 5JQ, +44 345 155 2020, . Gloucester's campus is larger and perhaps more organised than Cheltenham's (though with plenty of narrow corridors) and are plenty of courses that can be taken. The other campus is in Coleford (the Forest of Dean). Gloucestershire College (Q5572096) on Wikidata Gloucestershire College on Wikipedia


Gloucester Quays Designer Outlet
Gloucester Services Southbound

Shopping is easy in this compact centre, with four streets, named below, radiating from the focal point The Cross, with its adjacent church tower.

  • 1 The Cross.

Gloucester has a variety of generic high-street chain stores, and more bespoke or individual retail locations. Eastgate Street is the primary shopping area, with most of the banks, the Kings Walk Shopping Arcade and the Eastgate Shopping Centre.

  • 2 Kings Walk Shopping Centre, 43 Clarence St, GL1 1EA, +44 1452 304953. More of an indoor shopping promenade than a shopping centre, has a few chain shops. Kings Walk Shopping Centre, Gloucester (Q28913877) on Wikidata Kings Walk Shopping Centre, Gloucester on Wikipedia
  • 3 Eastgate Shopping Centre, 22 Eastgate St, GL1 1PA, +44 1452 520023, . Main shopping centre in city centre, providing many large chain stores such as H&M, Burger King and Poundland, and access to the large Marks & Spencer supermarket. The shopping centre also has a small indoor market area towards the back, which sells various goods for considerably cheaper than the main stores. Eastgate Shopping Centre (Q26538311) on Wikidata Eastgate Shopping Centre, Gloucester on Wikipedia

Westgate Street is more 'bohemian' and has many sole traders and cafes. If you're looking for something a little more unique, the Westgate area is your best bet, especially in the small streets leading away to the Cathedral.

Northgate is the 'budget' end of town—if you're looking for groceries, then the Sainsbury's and Wilkinsons stores are good options.

On Fridays, Northgate Street and Southgate Street play host to the local farmers' market.

Outside of the city centre is the Gloucester Docks, which is home to the Gloucester Quays Designer Outlet shopping centre.

  • 4 Gloucester Quays Outlet, St Ann Way, GL1 5SH, +44 1452 338933. Outlet shopping centre home to big designer brands such as Calvin Klein, Bench and Levi's trying to offload last year's fashion trends at less inflated prices. There are also Cadbury's and Lindt chocolate stores, selling all kinds of treats all year round. Gloucester Quays (Q45913035) on Wikidata Gloucester Quays on Wikipedia

If you are travelling on the M5, the nearby Gloucester Services Southbound is rather unusual, built into a hill with grass on the top and sells locally-sourced homemade food comparable to the Ludlow Food Centre.

  • 5 Gloucester Services Northbound, M5, Brookthorpe, GL4 0DN.
  • 6 Gloucester Services Southbound, M5, Brookthorpe, GL4 0DN.


The Regal
  • 1 The White Horse, Sandhurst Lane, GL2 9NG. If you're looking for something more filling there is a Chinese restaurant by the river just a mile or so outside Gloucester.
  • Yummy Yummy. Chinese takeaway.
  • 2 The Regal, 33 St Aldate St, Kings Square, GL1 1RP, +44 1452 332344. Former cinema and picture palace that ceased operations in 1988, famous for hosting the only live performance in Gloucester for The Beatles' 1963 tour. Now a Wetherspoon's pub with food and drink.
  • If you want a quick snack there is a gorgeous sandwich place which makes sandwiches to order opposite the church on Northgate Street, opposite Number 45 hairdressers and J Sainsburys.

There is also a usual range of fast-food outlets throughout the city centre, including McDonald's, KFC and Subway. However, Gloucester has a great range of restaurants in the city centre and on the outskirts. A complete dining out guide is available from the Tourist Information Centre on Southgate Street.


There are several brilliant pubs worth a visit in the town centre, most notably of which the

  • 1 Café René, Greyfriars, 31 Southgate St, GL1 1TP (down an alley off Southgate Street. Next door to St. Mary Crypt Church), +44 1452 309340. It is apparently haunted by monks who once had a monastery on the site. To make it even better, it has a well and fountain in the middle of the main bar area, and the food is gorgeous too.

The following city centre pubs have been awarded places in the Good Beer Guide by Camra.

  • 2 Robert Raike's House, 36-38 Southgate St, GL1 2DR, +44 1452 526 685. The 16th century timber-framed house of the Raike family. Robert Raike helped popularise the Sunday school concept, starting with the Mary DeCrypt church opposite. The pub is owned by and serves Samuel Smith's beer. Robert Raikes' House (Q46996429) on Wikidata Robert Raikes' House on Wikipedia
  • 3 The Lower George Inn (formerly Pig Inn the City), Westgate St, GL1 2JX (beyond Shire Hall). 6PM-3AM.
  • 4 The Linden Tree, 73-75 Bristol Rd, GL1 5SN, +44 1452 527869.

For a more conventional modern British night out, Lower Eastgate Street is home to the majority of the bars and clubs within the city. These vary in quality of both facilities and clientele—use your own discretion in deciding where you want to drink. The far end of Eastgate Street is home to the two biggest clubs in Gloucester—Liquid/Diva and The Registry. 'Liquid' is typically the biggest, and can have large queues for entry, but it is also the largest club and has a range of special nights. The Registry offers free entry, and occasional live events. Other options include, The Regal and Butlers as bars with music and late-licences.


There are several hotels in Gloucester. Many of the pubs offer B&B. There are a few campsites dotted around, and, in the countryside, there are many, many good hotels and pubs, some of which are luxury ones.

There are also Premier Inns around the suburbs.


As of May 2022, Gloucester has 4G with EE and O2, and 5G with Three and Vodafone.

Go next[edit]

Map of places with Wikivoyage articles nearby

  • The Cotswolds – a range of rolling hills which are to the east of Gloucester
  • The Malvern Hills rise in the north
  • The Forest of Dean – the "Queen of forests"—one of England's few remaining ancient forests—lies to the west
  • Cheltenham is nearby and worth a visit
  • Swindon – The heart of the Great Western Railway, only half an hour on the train (or an hour by car on the A417/A419 dual carriageway)
  • Just south of Gloucester lies Painswick, the "Queen of the Cotswolds", a superb example of a Gloucestershire village, which has a number of fine houses and a church which reflect the prosperous era when it was the centre of the thriving wool trade.
  • Ross-on-Wye
  • Tewkesbury
Routes through Gloucester
BristolStroud  SW  N  TewkesburyBirmingham
ThornburyBerkeley  SW  N  Tewkesbury
MonmouthRoss-on-Wye  W  E  CheltenhamOxford
ChepstowLydney  SW  NE  merges with

This city travel guide to Gloucester is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.