Take a Trip Around Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire, in the South West of England is a county that encompasses a large area, including the Severn Valley, the Forest of Dean and the Cotswold Hills. As you can see it is a popular place for those who enjoy the great outdoors – there are many walking routes and more high adrenaline outdoor activities in the county – but where are the best places to visit for those coming to Gloucestershire for the first time?
Gloucester – The city of Gloucester is home to a grand Norman Cathedral dating back to approximately the year 678. Visitors may well recognise parts of the building from the Harry Potter films! It is also the burial place of King Edward II. The city of Gloucester dates back to Roman times, when it was known as Glevum. There are still parts of the via sacra, the Roman wall around the city, that can be visited. The New Inn is a great place to have a refreshing drink and bite to eat whilst touring the city and dates back to the 15th Century. For literature lovers, the Beatrix Potter museum and shop is the perfect place to explore the famous books (including the Tailor of Gloucester of course!) and shoppers will enjoy the modern designer outlet at Gloucester Quays. Whilst there, have a wander around the Victorian era docks which have been restored to their former glory and boast a wide range of waterfront restaurants.
Cheltenham – The charming spa town of Cheltenham attracts many visitors nowadays for its festivals – the Literature festival and the Science Festival are just two of them. Not forgetting Gold Cup week – head to Cheltenham in March and you will discover the town has a real party atmosphere as people flock in from afar to see which horses and jockeys will make history! Cheltenham Spa became hugely popular from the 17th Century, when it was discovered that the town had a spring supplying underground water to the town. This was believed to be able to cure ailments and the population grew rapidly. Today you can walk around the town and take in the grand regency buildings, home to many businesses in the town centre of Cheltenham PR agents, estate agents and quirky shops all make up part of the rich tapestry of the town. Inside the Regency arcade see if you are lucky enough to catch a bubble form the magical wishing fish clock and make a wish!
The Forest of Dean – The Forest of Dean covers 42 square miles of woodland in the west of the county and is a perfect place for lovers of the great outdoors! The forest of dean was populated by iron and coal miners who lived in the towns and villages of the region such as Cinderford, Drybrook and Lydney. Nowadays the forest is a tranquil haven full of numerous picnic spots and walking routes – visit the intriguing Puzzle wood for a wander through woodlands that are believed to have inspired Tolkien when writing ‘the Hobbit’ or head underground to Clearwell caves to see a part of the mining history of the forest and these ancient caves. For bird watchers, Symonds Yat will impress as it is home to Peregrine Falcons who live on the cliffs there.