15 Best Things To Do In Gloucester, England

15 Best Things To Do In Gloucester, England

By will

Gloucester, England is an amazing city with a rich history and plenty of fun activities to enjoy. From visiting the beautiful Gloucester Cathedral to exploring the National Waterways Museum and discovering the history of Gloucester Docks, there’s something for everyone.

I’m here to give you a rundown of the 15 best things to do in Gloucester, so you can get the most out of your trip! Whether you’re after a relaxing day in the park or an exciting boat trip along the River Severn, you won’t be disappointed.

So come with me and let’s explore all that Gloucester has to offer!

Visit Gloucester Cathedral

Gloucester Cathedral
Photo by Philip Halling

Visiting Gloucester Cathedral is an absolute must while you’re in Gloucester – you won’t regret it!

This magnificent building stands as a testament to over a thousand years of history, having been built in the late 11th century. It’s a stunning example of architecture, with its iconic Norman towers rising high up above the city.

Inside, the cathedral is just as impressive, with intricate stained glass windows, beautiful sculptures, and the impressive tombs of Edward II and Robert Curthose.

The cathedral also offers a range of organ recitals and concerts throughout the year, making it a great place to experience a unique cultural event.

Even if you’re not religious, Gloucester Cathedral is a must-see while you’re in the area – its beauty and history will take your breath away.

Explore the National Waterways Museum

National Waterways Museum
Photo by Des Blenkinsopp

Exploring the National Waterways Museum in Gloucester offers a captivating journey through England’s maritime history. From the moment you enter, the museum transports you to a time when the nation’s waterways were the lifeblood of its industry.

Everywhere you look, there are artifacts, photographs, and interactive displays that tell the story of England’s canals, rivers, and docks. Discover the stories of the country’s navigators, engineers, and laborers, and learn how the nation’s waterways were developed and used.

The museum even features a full-sized narrowboat, so you can get an up-close look at how people lived and worked on the canals. Take part in educational activities, such as learning to tie a knot or operating a lock, or just stroll through the museum and take in the sights and sounds of England’s maritime history.

Discover the History of Gloucester Docks

Gloucester Docks
Photo by Jeff Buck

Immerse yourself in the rich history of Gloucester Docks, where the bustling river traffic of centuries past still echoes through the streets.

Located in the heart of the city, the dockyard dates back to the 18th century and is a major part of Gloucester’s maritime history. It was a busy port for the coal and grain trade, and later became an important industrial center with the construction of the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal in 1827.

Today, the dock is home to a vibrant community of businesses and organizations, and is a popular spot for visitors to explore. The Gloucester Docks Heritage Centre offers a range of interactive exhibits, telling the story of the area’s history, with a focus on its maritime and industrial past. Visitors can see a variety of boats, including barges, ferries, and tugs, as well as the remains of a wrecked steamboat.

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The docks are also home to a number of independent shops and restaurants, and offer stunning views of the surrounding area. Whether you’re interested in learning about the area’s past or just want to take in the sights, Gloucester Docks is the perfect place to visit.

Take a Boat Trip Along the River Severn

Experience the beauty of the River Severn from the comfort of a boat trip, taking in majestic views of the English countryside as you go.

As you sail along the winding river, you’ll pass by iconic landmarks and villages, as well as the stunning Gloucester Cathedral.

The boat trip is a great way to explore the local wildlife, including swans, herons, and kingfishers, while admiring the stunning river views, with the Cotswold Hills in the distance.

You’ll also have the chance to pass through the Gloucester Docks, a great reminder of the city’s industrial heritage.

As you make your way through the locks, you’ll pass by the unique architecture of the Victorian warehouses, providing a beautiful contrast with the natural beauty of the River Severn.

With knowledgeable guides on board, you’ll learn all about the area’s history, while enjoying a relaxing boat ride.

Check Out the Edward Jenner Museum

Discover the fascinating history of Edward Jenner, the discoverer of the smallpox vaccine, at the Edward Jenner Museum in Gloucester, England. Located within the village of Berkeley, the museum is set in a house that was once the home of Jenner and his family.

As you explore the museum, you’ll learn about Jenner’s fascinating life, his groundbreaking work, and the impact of his discoveries. I was particularly impressed by the special exhibitions that often feature scientific discoveries by Jenner and other prominent figures in the field of medicine.

The museum also includes interactive activities that make learning about Jenner’s discoveries fun and engaging for visitors of all ages. For example, I enjoyed trying out the interactive microscope and looking at the different slides they provided.

On the museum grounds, there is also a lovely garden that is perfect for a leisurely stroll, complete with a summer house and a pond.

I highly recommend a visit to the Edward Jenner Museum for anyone interested in the history of medicine.

Visit the Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum

Head to the Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum to explore the history of the Gloucestershire Regiment, a military unit that’s served in numerous conflicts since its formation in 1694.

Dating back to the War of the Spanish Succession in 1702, the regiment has a long and proud history.

At the museum, visitors can explore the museum’s impressive collection of artifacts, including uniforms, medals, weapons, and other objects from the regiment’s past.

The museum also has a variety of interactive exhibits, allowing visitors to gain a better understanding of the regiment and its history.

From artifacts of battles fought to stories of Soldiers’ bravery, the Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum is a great way to learn about the Gloucestershire Regiment and its significant role in Britain’s military history.

Wander Through the King’s Walk Shopping Center

After learning about the history of Gloucestershire in the Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum, it’s time to take a break and enjoy some shopping.

King’s Walk Shopping Center offers an array of shops to explore. Located in the heart of Gloucester, it is the perfect place to spend an afternoon.

This vibrant shopping center is comprised of two floors of stores ranging from high-end fashion to budget-friendly fashion. There are also plenty of places to kick back and relax in between stores.

For those looking for a bite to eat, there are numerous restaurants and cafes to choose from. From traditional English fare, to more exotic cuisines, there is something for everyone.

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Additionally, the shopping center boasts a great selection of beauty and health stores, perfect for those looking for the latest beauty trends. Plus, there are plenty of entertainment options, including a cinema, bowling alley, and arcade.

King’s Walk Shopping Center is the perfect place to spend a day in Gloucester.

Enjoy the Scenic Views at Robinswood Hill Country Park

Nestled on the outskirts of Gloucester, Robinswood Hill Country Park offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

Whether I’m looking for a short stroll or a longer hike, this park has something for everyone.

I can take in breathtaking views of the Cotswolds, the Malverns, the Severn Estuary, and the Forest of Dean.

The park is also home to a variety of wildlife, so I’m sure to spot some local birds, insects, and other animals.

Robinswood Hill Country Park also features four waymarked trails, so I can explore at my own pace.

There are plenty of picnic areas, so I can enjoy a delicious lunch while admiring the views.

I can also take part in a range of activities like orienteering, archery, and cycling.

The park is also home to a Visitor Centre, where I can learn more about the history and wildlife of the area.

Explore the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust

Surrounded by lush wetlands, the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust is a haven for wildlife lovers.

Located in the historic city of Gloucester, the Trust is dedicated to protecting and restoring wetlands, safeguarding vulnerable bird species, and helping people to connect with nature.

It offers guided tours, bird watching sessions, and educational activities, as well as a variety of events throughout the year.

Visitors can view the majestic birds up close and be immersed in the beauty of the natural surroundings.

The Trust is home to a variety of species, including ducks, geese, swans, herons, and other rare birds.

The knowledgeable guides provide an in-depth look into the wetlands and the wildlife that inhabits them.

Whether you’re a bird enthusiast or simply looking for a peaceful place to relax, the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust is an excellent place to explore.

Spend a Day at Gloucester Ski and Snowboard Centre

Experience the thrill and excitement of winter sports at Gloucester Ski and Snowboard Centre – the perfect place to enjoy the slopes all year round!

Whether you’re an experienced skier or snowboarder, or a beginner looking to learn the ropes, the centre has something for everyone.

They offer tuition on the slopes, with experienced instructors helping you perfect your technique, as well as taster sessions for those who want to try skiing or snowboarding for the first time.

The centre also offers a range of packages for groups, so you can take advantage of the fantastic facilities with your friends.

With state-of-the-art equipment, modern facilities and dedicated staff, you can be sure that your day at Gloucester Ski and Snowboard Centre will be an unforgettable experience.

Learn About Gloucester’s Aviation Heritage at The Jet Age Museum

Discover the unique history of aviation in Gloucester at the Jet Age Museum – a one-of-a-kind destination for aviation enthusiasts!

Here, you’ll get to explore the amazing history of aviation and its impact on Gloucester and the surrounding area.

From vintage aircraft to artifacts from the past, the Jet Age Museum is a great place to learn about the history of aviation in the area.

You’ll get to explore the development of aircrafts, the evolution of aviation technology, and the amazing stories behind the pioneers.

You’ll also get to see firsthand the impact that aviation has had on the local economy and the wider area.

There’s also a wide variety of interactive exhibits and activities to keep the whole family entertained.

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Whether you’re an aviation enthusiast or just looking for something fun to do, the Jet Age Museum is the perfect destination.

Take a Tour of the Historic Blackfriars Priory

After learning about the fascinating aviation heritage of Gloucester at the Jet Age Museum, it’s time to explore one of the city’s oldest buildings – the Blackfriars Priory.

This historic priory has stood for over 800 years and is a great example of a medieval monastery.

The Priory is one of the best-preserved monastic sites in England, with a great deal of its original features still intact. Visitors to the site can take a guided tour to learn more about its history and admire its architecture.

The Priory is also home to a beautiful garden, where visitors can take a stroll and enjoy some peace and quiet.

As one of the oldest surviving buildings in Gloucester, the Blackfriars Priory is a must-see for anyone visiting the city.

Relax at Pittville Park

Take a break from sightseeing and relax in the stunning Pittville Park. With its lush green lawns, picturesque lake, and abundance of wildlife, it’s the perfect spot to while away an afternoon.

Once you enter the park gates, you’ll find a variety of activities, such as walking and cycling trails, a playground, and a skate park. You can also enjoy a picnic with friends or family, or just take in the beautiful views of the lake and surrounding countryside.

You can even take a boat trip on the lake, or just enjoy a leisurely stroll. Regardless of what you choose to do, Pittville Park is the perfect place to relax and unwind after a long day of exploring Gloucester.

Visit the Gloucester Antiques Centre

Unearth hidden gems and explore the charming Gloucester Antiques Centre! Situated in the heart of Gloucester, this charming centre holds countless treasures just waiting to be discovered.

From vintage jewellery to antique furniture, you’ll find a wide range of items from different eras. Whether you want to find a unique item to add to your collection or just want to browse, the Gloucester Antiques Centre is the perfect place to explore.

The centre is made up of a variety of independent antique dealers, all offering something different in their own unique style. Each dealer has their own speciality so you can be sure to find exactly what you’re looking for.

The team of friendly staff are always willing to help and offer advice, so you can be sure to get the best possible experience when visiting the centre.

With its wide range of items, the Gloucester Antiques Centre is the perfect place to spend a day exploring the past.

See the Historic Houses at The Holst Birthplace Museum

Immense yourself in the unique history of England and explore the historic houses of The Holst Birthplace Museum!

This museum is an interesting and exciting place to learn about the life and music of composer Gustav Holst.

The museum is a collection of three historic houses, which were the birthplace of Gustav Holst, his family home, and the first home he shared with his wife.

The museum contains many of Holst’s personal belongings, photographs, and musical scores.

Visitors can also take part in interactive tours, which take visitors through the history and life of Holst and his family.

During the tour, visitors will learn about Holst’s musical composition and early life.

The museum also features a library, which contains many of Holst’s musical works and a collection of rare books.

The museum also includes a cafe for visitors to enjoy refreshments before or after their tour.

The Holst Birthplace Museum is an interesting and educational place to learn about the life and music of one of England’s most famous composers.

Conclusion

I’ve had a great time exploring all that Gloucester has to offer.
From the impressive Gloucester Cathedral, to the historic Blackfriars Priory, to the lovely Pittville Park, there’s something here for everyone.
I’ve especially enjoyed learning about the history of the city at the Edward Jenner Museum and the Waterways Museum.
All in all, Gloucester is a great place to visit if you want to take in some culture, history, and nature.
I highly recommend adding it to your list of must-see destinations!

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About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.

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