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How you can Spend a Weekend in Gloucester and Cheltenham


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Dramatic aerial view of idyllic rolling patchwork farmland and houses with pretty wooded boundaries, lit in warm early evening sunshine in the heart of the Cotswolds, England - Weekend Itinerary for Gloucester and Cheltenham

Escape the On a regular basis with a weekend away in Gloucester and Cheltenham this summer time!

In search of a getaway in England that gives a wider vary of issues to do? One with tradition, historical past, countryside, and tons of enjoyable actions to attempt?

Then a weekend away exploring the neighbouring cities of Gloucester and Cheltenham may very well be preferrred!

Benefit from the Regency-era grandeur of Cheltenham, with its large parks and packed schedule of occasions. There’s a cause they name this “The Competition City”!

Over in historic Gloucester, uncover centuries of historical past within the Cathedral, alongside the redeveloped Dockside, and within the now-abandoned Jail.

Each cities are proper on the sting of The Cotswolds, one of the vital idyllic areas of England identified for its rolling countryside and quaint villages. So you may simply mix each countryside and metropolis on a vacation right here.

In truth, among the finest methods to benefit from the space is to ebook a lodge on the sting of the Cotswolds AONB, between each cities. Ideally a lodge with a spa! That means, you may get up to recent nation air and views of rolling inexperienced hills, then head into both metropolis for a day of sightseeing, buying, eating, historical past, and tradition! The most effective of each worlds.

My journey to Gloucester and Cheltenham was run in collaboration with Go to Cheltenham and Go to Gloucester as a part of Go to England’s Escape the On a regular basis marketing campaign. All phrases and opinions are my very own.

Gloucester or Cheltenham?

Questioning if you happen to ought to go to Gloucester or Cheltenham? The simple reply is: each! The 2 cities are shut collectively and may simply be visited for a day every over one weekend.

If you happen to actually wish to slender it down, the query of whether or not to go to Cheltenham or Gloucester is dependent upon what you’re in search of!

looking down a street with a white tudor style building on the left and red brick buildigns on the right, both containing shops, with part of a cathedral visible at the end of the street
Gloucester Metropolis Centre
a fountain in front of a gold statue of nelson in front of a white collonaded building in cheltenham city centre
Neptune fountain in Cheltenham

Cheltenham is a spa metropolis stuffed with grand Regency-era structure, in addition to a lot of parks and inexperienced areas. It’s referred to as a little bit of a buying vacation spot, and likewise has a lot of fab bars and eating places to get pleasure from. And, after all, being a spa metropolis makes Cheltenham an ideal vacation spot for a spa weekend.

Gloucester, alternatively, has extra points of interest and historic sights, most notably its unbelievable cathedral. Town’s Historic Docks had a redevelopment lately, creating a gorgeous riverside space the place the red-brick warehouse buildings now include fashionable flats. This space additionally has many bars, eating places, in addition to the favored Gloucester Quays outlet shopping center.

Issues to do in Cheltenham and Gloucester

Gloucester Cathedral

One of the vital well-known points of interest in Gloucester and Cheltenham is the gorgeous Gloucester Cathedral, initially based as an Abbey in 1089.

looking down an empty cloister in Gloucester Cathedral with a carved arched cieling built from beige stone and sunlight streaming thorugh stained glass windows. gloucester and cheltenham weekend guide.
The cloisters had been a Harry Potter filming location.

The unbelievable structure of the constructing oozes historical past, a lot of it tying in with a number of huge occasions in England’s historical past. In truth, the cathedral is even house to the tomb of King Edward II.

I extremely suggest taking the guided tour (round 50 minutes) to be taught a bit of extra concerning the cathedral’s historical past and discover out a few of the extra intriguing particulars of its structure and stained glass home windows. Excursions are simply £5.50 for adults and £2 for kids, in order that they’re very reasonably priced – and genuinely very attention-grabbing.

Even if you happen to skip the tour, don’t miss the attractive cloisters of the cathedral. Particularly if you happen to’re a Harry Potter fan. A number of scenes from the films had been filmed inside these exquisitely carved walkways.

close up of a very old open book with thick pages made from skin and saxon writing in black ink
A hand-written manuscript courting from 1390 housed inside Gloucester Cathedral library

TOP TIP: Attempt to time your go to with one of many uncommon, however incredible, library open days. Relationship from the early 1400s, this unbelievable house is house to over 6,000 books and manuscripts. They host particular guided excursions roughly each two months, all the time themed round a unique subject.

Tour of Gloucester Jail

looking down the centre of an abandoned prison with white walls and blue cell doors in rows

One factor I didn’t anticipate to be doing on my weekend in Gloucester and Cheltenham was visiting a jail. Nor did I anticipate to get pleasure from it a lot!

Gloucester Jail run common guided excursions by the now-empty penetentiary, to study its fascinating (and at instances considerably grizzly) historical past.

Constructed on the positioning of an earlier Norman fort, the Gloucester County Objective and Penitentiary was opened in 1791, and was rebuilt and expanded a number of instances over the centuries, till it was closed in 2013. Through the years, it’s hosted public executions and hangings, so there are fairly a couple of grotesque tales to listen to as you discover the eery, deserted house.

emily looking out of an opening in a blue painted cell door in gloucester prison. you can only see the top half of her face.

You’ll additionally hear a couple of ghost tales. Our information appeared fairly real in telling us the unexplainable issues he’s seen and heard, and a Most Haunted Christmas particular was filmed right here. You’ll get extra of those particulars on the extra grownup 5:30pm tour, so select that one if that sort of issues sounds up your avenue!

Impartial Retailers to Discover in Gloucester

I liked exploring the unbiased outlets dotted across the streets close to the Cathedral – and past. Listed here are a couple of you shouldn’t miss…

Historic Docks and Gloucester Quays

the edges of two canal boats against a walkway with a brown river behind them lined with large red brick warehouses - gloucester docks

One of many essential areas to discover in Gloucester is the historic Gloucester Docks. Probably the most inland port within the nation, this was as soon as a bustling trades space that’s been in use for hundreds of years.

As we speak, it’s had a significant redevelopment to create a stylish house that’s stuffed with eateries, bars, and outlets. The outdated red-brick warehouses have been become fashionable flats, and there’s an incredible buzz to the realm, particularly on sunny days.

Head to the Nationwide Waterways Museum to be taught extra concerning the historical past of the docks and canal, or just wander the dockside, searching for picturesque canal boats.

Buyers may even love the Gloucester Quays designer outlet shopping center – the right place to cut price hunt!

DON’T MISS: Gloucester Brewery for craft beers, artisan gins, and a cute dockside beer backyard!

couple walking hand in hand towards a red brick shopping centre labelled Gloucester Quays
National Waterways Musuem by the docks in Gloucester - a large red brick warehouse building under a blue sky. Gloucester and Cheltenham weekend itinerary.

Gloucester Guildhall

In search of some night actions in Gloucester? Test what’s on at Gloucester Guildhall throughout your go to.

Proper within the coronary heart of the town centre, this charming constructing dates from 1890, and as soon as housed numerous council places of work, the mayor’s parlour, and a public corridor. As we speak, it’s a significant arts centre, and types Gloucester’s cultural hub.

From dwell music and theatre in the principle corridor, to movie screenings in the small however lovely cinema, to exhibitions, occasions and lessons… there’s all the time one thing enjoyable happening on the Guildhall . Good so as to add a novel twist to your weekend in Gloucester and Cheltenham.

Rent Bikes to Discover Cheltenham

Emily wearing a denim jacket cycling a bike along a paved track towards a white bridge under a blue sky - cheltenham and gloucester weekend
Biking the Honeybourne Line

Subsequent up: the attractive Regency metropolis of Cheltenham. It’s a small metropolis with a lot of parks and gardens, so among the finest methods to get round is by bike.

Rent a set of wheels from The Bicycle Hub and set off to find the grand Georgian structure of the town. They also have a cellular app which incorporates detailed route guides with maps. I liked biking alongside the Honeybourne Line, an outdated railway monitor transformed into a motorcycle path, dotted with avenue artwork and murals leftover from the 2017 Cheltenham Paint Competition.

When you’ve got a bit extra time in your fingers, you can rent some electrical bikes and cycle the nation lanes into the close by Cotswolds.

Uncover What’s On in The Competition City

people dnacing in front of an outdoor stage in front of a large classical building with lots of columns

Do you know that Cheltenham is nicknamed The Competition City? Regardless of its comparatively small measurement, the city performs host to an enormous calendar of festivals and occasions all year long, lots of them world-leading.

Probably the most well-known, after all, is The Competition (aka Cheltenham Competition) – a four-day horse racing occasion held in March at Cheltenham Racecourse.

However there’s SO rather more past horse racing. Cheltenham hosts quite a few arts, music, and cultural festivals, together with the world’s oldest Literature Competition.

a pink and white classic american car with the us flag on the bonnet
Retro Americana Competition
a food stall selling Severn Cider at a festival in a park in Cheltenham
Cheltenham Meals and Drink Competition

Plus there are tons of smaller festivals and occasions. Once I visited, each the Cheltenham Meals and Drink Competition and the brand-new Retro Americana Competition at Pittville Pump Rooms had been happening.

Each had been incredible occasions, held in two of Cheltenham’s quite a few parks, with an incredible ambiance and many dwell leisure. And each might be again subsequent 12 months, so you should definitely test them out!

Test Go to Cheltenham’s What’s On Listings to see what’s occurring whenever you go to, or plan your journey to coincide with one of many larger festivals for a incredible atmosphere when you’re exploring the city.

Discover Cheltenham’s Historic Regency Buildings

esterior of a row of beige coloured recengy houses - things to do in cheltenham and gloucester
The Royal Mews Georgian homes in Suffolk Sq.

Cheltenham rose to prominence as a spa city in the course of the Georgian interval, when the aristocracy started flocking to spa cities like Tub and Tunbridge Wells to spend a season “taking the waters”.

That recognition led to a increase in guests and a fast enlargement, with a lot of the city centre rebuilt within the classical Regency architectural type.

Head to the grand Pittville Pump Room, set inside a reasonably park with lawns main all the way down to a lake. Or you can go to the Holst Birthplace Museum to see a wonderfully preserved Regency front room.

Though it’s not Georgian, you additionally shouldn’t miss The Queens Resort, a shocking Victorian lodge inbuilt the identical 12 months as Queen Victoria’s coronation. The primary staircase nonetheless options the unique wallpaper from 1838 – which simply so occurs to be the identical because the wallpaper used within the Homes of Parliament in Westminster!

Unwind at a Spa

empty pool in a spa with a window at the far end looking out onto green trees
The Spa at Cowley Manor Resort has an indoor and outside pool (each heated)

You may’t go to a spa city like Cheltenham and never go to a spa! In truth, I like to recommend reserving a spa lodge in between Gloucester and Cheltenham to be able to simply discover each cities. That means, you may benefit from the spa after an extended day’s sightseeing!

I stayed at Cowley Manor, on the sting of the Cotswolds, which has a good looking spa. I’d extremely suggest this gorgeous lodge for a spa weekend in Cheltenham and Gloucester. However if you happen to choose to remain within the metropolis centre, there are a number of day spas you may go to – I’ve really helpful a couple of within the subsequent part.

Weekend Itinerary for Gloucester and Cheltenham (Brief Model)

To make issues simpler, I’ve damaged down the next Gloucester and Cheltenham weekend itinerary into three days, permitting for a full day in every metropolis, plus a day at a spa.

You don’t need to observe this precisely, however the beneath ought to provide you with an concept of how you can benefit from your time within the two cities.

Gloucester Docks at dusk a cloudy day
Gloucester Docks at evening

Day One: Exploring Gloucester

  • Arrive in Gloucester – head for the Cathedral and take a tour.
  • Browse the unbiased outlets across the cathedral and historic metropolis centre.
  • Head all the way down to the Historic Docks for a wander – go to the Nationwide Waterways Museum, store and dine at Gloucester Quays, or swing by Gloucester Brewery for a pint of craft beer.
  • Take a tour of Gloucester Jail – the 5pm one
  • After dinner – see what’s on on the Grade-II-listed Gloucester Guildhall.

Meals suggestions

  • Vietyummy: informal eatery with genuine Vietnamese meals.
  • Greek on the Docks: up to date restaurant with beautiful dockside views, serving up hearty Greek and Mediterranean dishes made utilizing solely native substances.
  • Hubble Bubble Espresso Home: quirky, family-run espresso store and cafe.

Day Two: Exploring Cheltenham

a large green lawn surroudned by trees with a beige coloured classic style building in the centre with many columns along the ground floor - weekend in gloucester and cheltenham
The well-known Pump Rooms in Pittville Park, Cheltenham
  • Rent bikes to discover the town – take the Honeybourne Line to Pittville Park and go to the Pittville Pump Rooms.
  • Head to a competition or occasion in Cheltenham – there’s one thing on nearly each weekend!
  • Absorb the Regency structure and grand outdated homes round Cheltenham.
  • Dinner suggestion: Victoria restaurant on the gorgeous Queen’s Resort.
  • After dinner: discover the Brewery Quarter for drinks, or go to Gin & Juice at No131, which was named ‘The Greatest Resort Gin Bar’ on the earth by Gin Journal.

Day Three: Spa Day

If you happen to’ve booked a lodge with a spa, just like the gorgeous Cowley Manor close to Cheltenham, you’ll positively wish to spend at the very least half a day having fun with it earlier than you head house. If not, ebook into one of many following day spas in Cheltenham to unwind…

  • Chapel Spa
  • Hatherley Manor
  • Ellenborough Park
  • Margaret Dabbs London (therapy clinic – no moist spa)

The place to Keep close to Cheltenham and Gloucester

Cowley Manor

If you happen to’re in search of a spa lodge that offers you quick access to Cheltenham, Gloucester, and the countryside of the Cotswolds, Cowley Manor Resort & Spa is ideal.

Looking across a lake and a green lawn surrounded by trees towards Cowley Manor Hotel - where to stay near Cheltenham and Gloucester

I spent one evening right here and it’s among the finest lodge experiences I’ve had shortly!

Set inside a historic nation manor with a grand Italianate exterior and sweeping landscaped grounds, this lovely boutique lodge seems like one thing out of a interval drama. The interiors are attractive too; an ideal mix of conventional and up to date, with a lot of vibrant colors.

But it surely’s the spa that steals the present. There’s each an indoor pool and heated outside pool, in addition to sauna and steam room, a health club, and an incredible menu of remedies. It’s housed in a brand new advanced reverse the manor, surrounded by bushes, so it feels extremely tranquil – you’ll battle to tear your self away!

Hatton Courtroom

large country house built from grey stone covered in green ivy with a dark grey tiled rook - hatton court hotel gloucestershire

Simply on the sting of Gloucester, the place the Cotswolds AONB begins, lies the charming, ivy-clad Hatton Courtroom Resort. I additionally spent an evening at this beautiful nation home lodge and it’s an incredible place to remain if you wish to mix countryside and metropolis in your vacation.

The views from this picturesque lodge are gorgeous – particularly from the eating room. Consuming breakfast while having fun with the views of rolling countryside is a beautiful solution to begin the day.

If you happen to’re in search of a snug place to stick with ultra-friendly service and cosy, country-house vibes, this may very well be good in your journey to Gloucester and Cheltenham.

How you can Get from Gloucester to Cheltenham (and Vice Versa)

Gloucester and Cheltenham are only some miles aside, so getting from one metropolis to the opposite is extremely straightforward. In truth, you can nearly stroll it (although I don’t suggest it!).

Emily wearing a black t shirt and leopard print skirt sitting in an old broken blue helicopter in Gloucester Prison
Helicopter at Gloucester Jail

By Automotive: It takes round 20 minutes to drive from one metropolis centre to the opposite. In fact, the precise driving time is dependent upon your departure and arrival factors.

In Gloucester, St Michael’s Sq. Automotive Park is close to the city centre, whereas Gloucester Quays is in one of the best location for visiting the Docks. Cheltenham’s City Centre Automotive Park and the Regent Arcade shopping center’s automotive park are each near the excessive avenue and buying space.

By Practice: On common, it takes about 10 minutes to journey from Gloucester to Cheltenham or vice versa by practice. In line with thetrainline.com, there are usually 59 trains a day, and the journey begins from simply £3.80.

The draw back is that neither practice station is bang within the metropolis centre. Gloucester Station is a few 10-minute stroll from the centre, whereas Cheltenham Spa Station is round 15-25 minutes stroll from the city centre. Alternatively, you may rent bikes from The Bicycle Hub proper subsequent door to the practice station!

By Bus: Stagecoach Buses run from Gloucester to Cheltenham and again pretty commonly, and take round 25 minutes. See Stagecoach for timetables and extra information.

I hope you’ve discovered this weekend itinerary and information for Gloucester and Cheltenham useful! Scroll down to depart a remark when you have any questions!

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