Gloucester: What To See And Do In Gloucester, Gloucestershire

by : Arthur Townlands

County town of Gloucestershire, the city of Gloucester has plenty to see and do when you visit this historic city.

Harry Potter fans have long known about Gloucester: the impressive cathedral has featured in scenes in several of the movies of the book. So you may well be able to spot the places where some of your favourite parts of the films were shot. The cathedral itself dates back to around 678AD, when it was an Abbey. The current building was started a bit later, at around the start of the 12th century and has been added to over the years since.

Gloucester Cathedral is also home in certain years to the annual Three Choirs Festival, which takes place during a week in August. The festival always features an impressive range of artists including the Festival Chorus, international soloists and other choirs.

When you are shopping in the city centre, you're bound to notice some of the ancient gabled and half timbered buildings that are a regular feature. The historic New Inn in Northgate Street is a good example of these and dates back to the time of the pilgrims in 1450.

Rugby fans will want to time their visit to Gloucester so that Gloucester RFC are playing at their Kingsholm ground. If your stay is during the summer than you may want to take in the Gloucester Cricket Festival instead.

If your musical taste prefers something more modern than the choir festival then check out the program of bands who visit the Guildhall. Located in Eastgate Street, this claims to be the county's liveliest venue. You can use the coffee bar to take a rest from shopping, see a movie at one of its two cinema screens or take in a concert.

Other musical tastes are catered for in the annual Gloucester International Rhythm and Blues Festival, held during the early part of the summer. There is also a Cajun and Zydeco Festival held over a weekend each January.

Reflecting its historic roots, Gloucester also hosts a Medieval Fayre each summer. This will keep adults and children occupied with its period themes.

Gloucester was once an important port but nowadays the dockside buildings have been converted into waterside apartments, shops and bars. They are also home to one of the three locations of the National Waterways Museum, which gives you an opportunity to see a large collection of narrowboats and other canal and river boats. Afterwards, you can keep up a canal boat tradition by visiting one of the many pubs nearby.

There are lots of places you can choose to stay when you visit Gloucester. Whether you want to choose a hotel close to the city centre or in one of the suburbs or nearby Cotswold villages, you should easily be able to find accommodation, although if your visit is during the Cheltenham Race Week then you will need to book your hotel room further in advance as the influx of people for the horse racing means that accommodation places are in short supply during that period, even in Gloucester.