The way to 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!

On the lookout for a getaway in England that provides 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 perfect!

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

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

Each are proper on the sting of The Cotswolds, probably the most idyllic areas of England identified for its rolling countryside and quaint villages. So you’ll be able to simply mix city and countryside on a vacation right here.

In reality, among the best methods to benefit from the space is to e book a resort on the sting of the Cotswolds AONB, between each cities. Ideally a resort with a spa! That approach, you’ll be able to get up to recent nation air and views of rolling inexperienced hills, then head into both Gloucester or Cheltenham for a day of sightseeing, procuring, eating, historical past, and tradition! One of the best 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 in case you ought to go to Gloucester or Cheltenham? The straightforward reply is: each! The 2 cities are shut collectively and may simply be visited for a day every over one weekend.

When you actually wish to slender it down, the query of whether or not to go to Cheltenham or Gloucester is dependent upon what you’re on the lookout for!

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 city filled with grand Regency-era structure, in addition to numerous parks and inexperienced areas. It’s generally known as a little bit of a procuring vacation spot, and likewise has numerous fab bars and eating places to take pleasure in. And, in fact, being a spa city makes Cheltenham an ideal vacation spot for a spa weekend.

Gloucester, however, has extra points of interest and historic sights, most notably its unbelievable cathedral. The town’s Historic Docks had a redevelopment lately, creating a gorgeous riverside space the place the red-brick warehouse buildings now comprise trendy 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

Some of the well-known points of interest in Gloucester and Cheltenham is the beautiful 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 reality, 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 slightly extra in regards to the cathedral’s historical past and discover out a number of the extra intriguing particulars of its structure and stained glass home windows. Excursions are simply £5.50 for adults and £2 for youngsters, so that they’re very inexpensive – and genuinely very attention-grabbing.

Even in case you skip the tour, don’t miss the gorgeous cloisters of the cathedral. Particularly in case you’re a Harry Potter fan. A number of scenes from the flicks 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 unbelievable, 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 matter.

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 count on to be doing on my weekend in Gloucester and Cheltenham was visiting a jail. Nor did I count on to take pleasure in it a lot!

Gloucester Jail run common guided excursions by way of 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 Purpose and Penitentiary was opened in 1791, and was rebuilt and expanded a number of instances over the centuries, till it was closed in 2013. Over time, it’s hosted public executions and hangings, so there are fairly a number of ugly 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 number 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 form of issues sounds up your avenue!

Impartial Retailers to Discover in Gloucester

I beloved exploring the unbiased retailers dotted across the streets close to the Cathedral – and past. Listed below are a number 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 primary areas to discover in Gloucester is the historic Gloucester Docks. Essentially 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.

Right this moment, it’s had a serious redevelopment to create a classy house that’s filled with eateries, bars, and retailers. The outdated red-brick warehouses have been became trendy residences, and there’s a terrific buzz to the world, particularly on sunny days.

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

Consumers may also 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

On the lookout for some night actions in Gloucester? Examine what’s on at Gloucester Guildhall throughout your go to.

Proper within the coronary heart of town centre, this charming constructing dates from 1890, and as soon as housed numerous council workplaces, the mayor’s parlour, and a public corridor. Right this moment, it’s a serious arts centre, and varieties Gloucester’s cultural hub.

From reside music and theatre in the primary 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 gorgeous Regency city of Cheltenham. It’s an enthralling city with numerous parks and gardens, so among the best 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 city. They actually have a cellular app which accommodates detailed route guides with maps. I beloved biking alongside the Honeybourne Line, an outdated railway monitor transformed into a motorbike path, dotted with avenue artwork and murals leftover from the Cheltenham Paint Pageant. This competition is an annual occasion, so the murals you see will change yearly.

In case you have a bit extra time in your arms, you can rent some electrical bikes and cycle the nation lanes into the close by Cotswolds.

Uncover What’s On in The Pageant 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 Pageant 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.

Essentially the most well-known, in fact, is The Pageant (aka Cheltenham Pageant) – 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 Pageant.

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

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

Each had been unbelievable occasions, held in two of Cheltenham’s quite a few parks, with a terrific ambiance and many reside leisure. And each will probably be again subsequent yr, so make sure you examine them out!

Examine Go to Cheltenham’s What’s On Listings to see what’s occurring if you go to, or plan your journey to coincide with one of many larger festivals for a unbelievable atmosphere whilst 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 through the Georgian interval, when the aristocracy started flocking to spa cities like Bathtub and Tunbridge Wells to spend a season “taking the waters”.

That recognition led to a growth in guests and a speedy 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 right 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 Lodge, a shocking Victorian resort in-built the identical yr 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! For one thing a bit particular, you’ll be able to e book an afternoon tea within the Dukes Tea Room on the resort.

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 Lodge has an indoor and outside pool (each heated)

You’ll be able to’t go to a spa city like Cheltenham and never go to a spa! In reality, I like to recommend reserving a spa resort in between Gloucester and Cheltenham in an effort to simply discover each cities. That approach, you’ll be able to benefit from the spa after a protracted day’s sightseeing!

I stayed at Cowley Manor, on the sting of the Cotswolds, which has an exquisite spa. I’d extremely suggest this beautiful resort for a spa weekend in Cheltenham and Gloucester. However in case you favor to remain within the city centre, there are a number of day spas you’ll be able to go to – I’ve really useful a number of within the subsequent part.

Weekend Itinerary for Gloucester and Cheltenham (Quick 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, plus a day at a spa.

You don’t need to observe this precisely, however the under ought to offer you an thought of methods to take advantage of your time within the two cities.

Gloucester Docks at dusk a cloudy day
Gloucester Docks at night time

Day One: Exploring Gloucester

  • Arrive in Gloucester – head for the Cathedral and take a tour.
  • Browse the unbiased retailers across the cathedral and historic metropolis centre.
  • Head right 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: modern restaurant with pretty dockside views, serving up hearty Greek and Mediterranean dishes made utilizing solely native components.
  • 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 city – 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 virtually each weekend!
  • Take in the Regency structure and grand outdated homes round Cheltenham.
  • Dinner suggestion: Victoria restaurant on the beautiful Queen’s Lodge.
  • After dinner: discover the Brewery Quarter for drinks, or go to Gin & Juice at No131, which was named ‘The Finest Lodge Gin Bar’ on this planet by Gin Journal.

Day Three: Spa Day

When you’ve booked a resort with a spa, just like the beautiful Cowley Manor close to Cheltenham, you’ll positively wish to spend a minimum of half a day having fun with it earlier than you head house. If not, e book into one of many following day spas in Cheltenham to unwind…

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

The place to Keep close to Cheltenham and Gloucester

Cowley Manor

When you’re on the lookout for a spa resort that offers you quick access to Cheltenham, Gloucester, and the countryside of the Cotswolds, Cowley Manor Lodge & 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 night time right here and it’s among the best resort experiences I’ve had shortly!

Set inside a historic nation manor with a grand Italianate exterior and sweeping landscaped grounds, this lovely boutique resort looks like one thing out of a interval drama. The interiors are attractive too; an ideal mix of conventional and modern, with numerous vivid colors.

However it’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 gymnasium, and a terrific menu of therapies. It’s housed in a brand new complicated 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 Lodge. I additionally spent an evening at this pretty nation home resort and it’s a terrific place to remain if you wish to mix countryside and metropolis in your vacation.

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

When you’re on the lookout for 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.

The way to Get from Gloucester to Cheltenham (and Vice Versa)

Gloucester and Cheltenham are just a few miles aside, so getting from one to the opposite is extremely simple. In reality, you can virtually 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 Automobile: It takes round 20 minutes to drive from one metropolis centre to the opposite. After all, the precise driving time is dependent upon your departure and arrival factors.

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

By Prepare: On common, it takes about 10 minutes to journey from Gloucester to Cheltenham or vice versa by practice. In keeping with, 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 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’ll be able to rent bikes from The Bicycle Hub proper subsequent door to the practice station. You may as well hire electrical scooters from the practice station through Zwings.

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

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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