Some posts on this website comprise affiliate hyperlinks. In case you e-book or purchase one thing by way of these hyperlinks, I earn a small fee (at no additional 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 season!
Searching 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 could possibly be very best!
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 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 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 may simply mix city and countryside on a vacation right here.
The truth is, 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 manner, you may get up to contemporary nation air and views of rolling inexperienced hills, then head into both Gloucester or Cheltenham for a day of sightseeing, purchasing, 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 in the event 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.
In case you 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 city filled with grand Regency-era structure, in addition to a number of parks and inexperienced areas. It’s often called a little bit of a purchasing vacation spot, and in addition has a number of fab bars and eating places to take pleasure in. And, after all, being a spa city makes Cheltenham an ideal vacation spot for a spa weekend.
Gloucester, then again, has extra points of interest and historic sights, most notably its unimaginable cathedral. 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
Some of the well-known points of interest in Gloucester and Cheltenham is the gorgeous 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 massive occasions in England’s historical past. The truth is, 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 little bit 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, so that they’re very inexpensive – and genuinely very attention-grabbing.
Even in the event you skip the tour, don’t miss the attractive cloisters of the cathedral. Particularly in the event you’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. Relationship from the early 1400s, this unimaginable house is house to over 6,000 books and manuscripts. They host particular guided excursions roughly each two months, at all times themed round a distinct subject.
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 location of an earlier Norman fort, the Gloucester County Objective and Penitentiary was opened in 1791, and was rebuilt and expanded a number of occasions over the centuries, till it was closed in 2013. Through the years, 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 house.
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!
Unbiased Retailers to Discover in Gloucester
I cherished 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 major 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.
Immediately, it’s had a serious redevelopment to create a classy house that’s filled with eateries, bars, and retailers. The previous red-brick warehouses have been become trendy residences, and there’s an incredible buzz to the world, 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.
Consumers may also love the Gloucester Quays designer outlet shopping center – the right place to discount hunt!
DON’T MISS: Gloucester Brewery for craft beers, artisan gins, and a cute dockside beer backyard!
Searching for some night actions in Gloucester? Examine 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 serious arts centre, and kinds Gloucester’s cultural hub.
From stay music and theatre in the principle corridor, to movie screenings in the small however lovely cinema, to exhibitions, occasions and lessons… there’s at all times one thing enjoyable occurring 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 city of Cheltenham. It’s a captivating city with a number 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 city. They also have a cellular app which comprises detailed route guides with maps. I cherished biking alongside the Honeybourne Line, an previous railway observe transformed into a motorbike path, dotted with avenue artwork and murals leftover from the Cheltenham Paint Competition. This pageant is an annual occasion, so the murals you see will change yearly.
If in case you have a bit extra time in your fingers, you might rent some electrical bikes and cycle the nation lanes into the close by Cotswolds.
Uncover What’s On in The Competition City
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, a lot of them world-leading.
Essentially 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 way more past horse racing. Cheltenham hosts quite a few arts, music, and cultural festivals, together with the world’s oldest Literature Competition.
Plus there are tons of smaller festivals and occasions. After I visited, each the Cheltenham Meals and Drink Competition and the brand-new Retro Americana Competition at Pittville Pump Rooms have been going down.
Each have been unbelievable occasions, held in two of Cheltenham’s quite a few parks, with an incredible environment and many stay leisure. And each will probably be again subsequent yr, so remember to examine them out!
Examine 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 greater 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 throughout the Georgian interval, when the aristocracy started flocking to spa cities like Tub and Tunbridge Wells to spend a season “taking the waters”.
That reputation led to a growth in guests and a fast 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 reasonably park with lawns main right down to a lake. Or you might go to the Holst Birthplace Museum to see a wonderfully preserved Regency lounge.
Though it’s not Georgian, you additionally shouldn’t miss The Queens Resort, 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 may e-book an afternoon tea within the Dukes Tea Room on the resort.
Unwind at a Spa
You may’t go to a spa city like Cheltenham and never go to a spa! The truth is, I like to recommend reserving a spa resort in between Gloucester and Cheltenham in an effort to simply discover each cities. That manner, 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 phenomenal spa. I’d extremely suggest this gorgeous resort for a spa weekend in Cheltenham and Gloucester. However in the event you favor to remain within the city centre, there are a number of day spas you may go to – I’ve really useful 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, plus a day at a spa.
You don’t must observe this precisely, however the beneath ought to offer you an thought of find out how to benefit 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 substances.
- Hubble Bubble Espresso Home: quirky, family-run espresso store and cafe.
Day Two: Exploring Cheltenham
- Rent bikes to discover the city – take the Honeybourne Line to Pittville Park and go to the Pittville Pump Rooms.
- Head to a pageant or occasion in Cheltenham – there’s one thing on virtually each weekend!
- Absorb the Regency structure and grand previous 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 planet by Gin Journal.
Day Three: Spa Day
In case you’ve booked a resort 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, 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
In case you’re in search of a spa resort that offers 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 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 number of vivid 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 fitness center, and an incredible menu of therapies. It’s housed in a brand new advanced reverse the manor, surrounded by timber, so it feels extremely tranquil – you’ll battle to tear your self away!
Hatton Court docket
Simply on the sting of Gloucester, the place the Cotswolds AONB begins, lies the charming, ivy-clad Hatton Court docket Resort. I additionally spent an evening at this pretty nation home resort and it’s an incredible place to remain if you wish to mix countryside and metropolis in your vacation.
The views from this picturesque resort 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.
In case you’re in search of a cushty place to stick with ultra-friendly service and cosy, country-house vibes, this could possibly be excellent on your journey to Gloucester and Cheltenham.
The right 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 straightforward. The truth is, you might virtually stroll it (although I don’t suggest it!).
By Automotive: It takes round 20 minutes to drive from one metropolis centre to the opposite. After all, the precise driving time relies on your departure and arrival factors.
In Gloucester, St Michael’s Sq. Automotive Park is close to the city centre, whereas Gloucester Quays is in the most effective location for visiting the Docks. Cheltenham’s City Centre Automotive Park and the Regent Arcade shopping center’s automobile park are each near the excessive avenue and purchasing space.
By Practice: 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 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. You may also lease electrical scooters from the practice station through Zwings.
By Bus: Stagecoach Buses run from Gloucester to Cheltenham and again pretty repeatedly, 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 you probably have any questions!
Greatest Locations to Go to within the South of England