Some posts on this web site comprise affiliate hyperlinks. For those who e-book or purchase one thing by way of these hyperlinks, I earn a small fee (at no further price to you). Check out my privateness coverage for extra info.
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 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 might be splendid!
Benefit from the Regency-era grandeur of Cheltenham, with its enormous 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 cities are proper on the sting of The Cotswolds, one of the idyllic areas of England identified for its rolling countryside and quaint villages. So you’ll be able to simply mix each countryside and metropolis on a vacation right here.
In actual fact, among the finest 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 contemporary 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 perfect 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 straightforward reply is: each! The 2 cities are shut collectively and might simply be visited for a day every over one weekend.
For those who actually wish to slim it down, the query of whether or not to go to Cheltenham or Gloucester relies on what you’re in search of!
Cheltenham is a spa metropolis filled with grand Regency-era structure, in addition to numerous parks and inexperienced areas. It’s often called a little bit of a buying vacation spot, and in addition has numerous fab bars and eating places to take pleasure in. And, after all, being a spa metropolis makes Cheltenham an ideal vacation spot for a spa weekend.
Gloucester, however, has extra sights and historic sights, most notably its unimaginable cathedral. The town’s Historic Docks had a redevelopment in recent times, creating a beautiful 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
One of the vital well-known sights in Gloucester and Cheltenham is the beautiful Gloucester Cathedral, initially based as an Abbey in 1089.
The unimaginable 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 actual fact, the cathedral is even house to the tomb of King Edward II.
I extremely advocate taking the guided tour (round 50 minutes) to be taught a bit extra concerning the cathedral’s historical past and discover out among the extra intriguing particulars of its structure and stained glass home windows. Excursions are simply £5.50 for adults and £2 for kids, so that they’re very reasonably priced – and genuinely very fascinating.
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 have been filmed inside these exquisitely carved walkways.
TOP TIP: Attempt to time your go to with one of many uncommon, however unbelievable, library open days. Courting from the early 1400s, this unimaginable area is house to over 6,000 books and manuscripts. They host particular guided excursions roughly each two months, all the time themed round a special matter.
Tour of Gloucester Jail
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 occasions 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 occasions over the centuries, till it was closed in 2013. Over time, it’s hosted public executions and hangings, so there are fairly just a few ugly tales to listen to as you discover the eery, deserted area.
You’ll additionally hear just a few 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 liked exploring the unbiased retailers dotted across the streets close to the Cathedral – and past. Listed below are just a few you shouldn’t miss…
Historic Docks and Gloucester Quays
One of many principal 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.
Immediately, it’s had a significant redevelopment to create a stylish area that’s filled with eateries, bars, and retailers. The outdated red-brick warehouses have been became trendy flats, and there’s an awesome 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.
Customers can even love the Gloucester Quays designer outlet shopping center – the proper place to discount hunt!
DON’T MISS: Gloucester Brewery for craft beers, artisan gins, and a cute dockside beer backyard!
On the lookout for some night actions in Gloucester? Verify 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 varied council places of work, the mayor’s parlour, and a public corridor. Immediately, it’s a significant arts centre, and kinds Gloucester’s cultural hub.
From stay music and theatre in the primary corridor, to movie screenings in the small however lovely cinema, to exhibitions, occasions and courses… there’s all the time one thing enjoyable happening on the Guildhall . Excellent so as to add a singular twist to your weekend in Gloucester and Cheltenham.
Rent Bikes to Discover Cheltenham
Subsequent up: the attractive Regency metropolis of Cheltenham. It’s a small metropolis with numerous 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 actually have a cellular app which incorporates detailed route guides with maps. I liked biking alongside the Honeybourne Line, an outdated railway observe transformed into a motorbike path, dotted with avenue artwork and murals leftover from the 2017 Cheltenham Paint Pageant.
You probably have a bit extra time in your fingers, you could possibly rent some electrical bikes and cycle the nation lanes into the close by Cotswolds.
Uncover What’s On in The Pageant City
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.
Probably the most well-known, after all, is The Pageant (aka Cheltenham Pageant) – a four-day horse racing occasion held in March at Cheltenham Racecourse.
However there’s SO way more past horse racing. Cheltenham hosts quite a few arts, music, and cultural festivals, together with the world’s oldest Literature Pageant.
Plus there are tons of smaller festivals and occasions. After I visited, each the Cheltenham Meals and Drink Pageant and the brand-new Retro Americana Pageant at Pittville Pump Rooms have been happening.
Each have been unbelievable occasions, held in two of Cheltenham’s quite a few parks, with an awesome environment and plenty of stay leisure. And each can be again subsequent 12 months, so make sure you test them out!
Verify Go to Cheltenham’s What’s On Listings to see what’s taking place whenever 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
Cheltenham rose to prominence as a spa city in the course of the Georgian interval, when the aristocracy started flocking to spa cities like Bathtub and Tunbridge Wells to spend a season “taking the waters”.
That reputation led to a increase in guests and a speedy enlargement, with a lot of the city centre rebuilt within the classical Regency architectural fashion.
Head to the grand Pittville Pump Room, set inside a fairly park with lawns main right down to a lake. Or you could possibly 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 surprising Victorian resort 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
You’ll be able to’t go to a spa city like Cheltenham and never go to a spa! In actual fact, I like to recommend reserving a spa resort in between Gloucester and Cheltenham with the intention to simply discover each cities. That approach, you’ll be able to benefit from the spa after an extended day’s sightseeing!
I stayed at Cowley Manor, on the sting of the Cotswolds, which has a ravishing spa. I’d extremely advocate this beautiful resort for a spa weekend in Cheltenham and Gloucester. However if you happen to want to remain within the metropolis centre, there are a number of day spas you’ll be able to go to – I’ve really helpful just a few 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 must comply with this precisely, however the under ought to offer you an thought of easy methods to profit from your time within the two cities.
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.
- Vietyummy: informal eatery with genuine Vietnamese meals.
- Greek on the Docks: up to date restaurant with pretty dockside views, serving up hearty Greek and Mediterranean dishes made utilizing solely native elements.
- Hubble Bubble Espresso Home: quirky, family-run espresso store and cafe.
Day Two: Exploring 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 virtually each weekend!
- Take in the Regency structure and grand outdated homes round Cheltenham.
- Dinner suggestion: Victoria restaurant on the beautiful 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
For those who’ve booked a resort with a spa, just like the beautiful Cowley Manor close to Cheltenham, you’ll undoubtedly 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 (therapy clinic – no moist spa)
The place to Keep close to Cheltenham and Gloucester
For those who’re in search of a spa resort that provides you quick access to Cheltenham, Gloucester, and the countryside of the Cotswolds, Cowley Manor Resort & Spa is ideal.
I spent one night time right here and it’s among the finest 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 appears like one thing out of a interval drama. The interiors are attractive too; an ideal mix of conventional and up to date, with numerous vibrant colors.
However it’s the spa that steals the present. There’s each an indoor pool and heated out of doors pool, in addition to sauna and steam room, a health club, and an awesome menu of therapies. 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!
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 pretty nation home resort and it’s an awesome 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.
For those who’re in search of a cushty place to stick with ultra-friendly service and cosy, country-house vibes, this might be excellent on your journey to Gloucester and Cheltenham.
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 simple. In actual fact, you could possibly virtually stroll it (although I don’t advocate it!).
By Automobile: It takes round 20 minutes to drive from one metropolis centre to the opposite. In fact, the precise driving time relies on 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 most effective location for visiting the Docks. Cheltenham’s City Centre Automobile Park and the Regent Arcade shopping center’s automobile park are each near the excessive avenue and buying space.
By Prepare: On common, it takes about 10 minutes to journey from Gloucester to Cheltenham or vice versa by practice. Based on 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 couple of 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!
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 in case you have any questions!
Greatest Locations to Go to within the South of England