Things to do and see in Gloucester in a day: A Complete Guide

Gloucester is the largest city in the English county of Gloucestershire. It is located 180 km from the British capital and is part of one of the most beautiful areas of England: the English countryside or Cotswolds. Find out what to see and do in Gloucester in a day.

🚗 How to get to Gloucester from London

🚂 By train

This is the quickest and most convenient way to get to Gloucester from London. Trains depart from Paddington station quite frequently. As a general rule, there is usually one every hour.

The price is usually around 26 pounds each way. Check the  Trainline website for up to date timetables and prices.

🚌 By bus

This is the cheapest way to travel to Gloucester. Tickets cost £9 each way. However, the frequency of buses is low (maybe because of the Covid issue). Please check the National Express and Megabus websites for up to date timetables and prices.

🏨 Hotels to stay in Gloucester

In the heart of the city centre:

Further afield (ideal if you have a car):

🚗 Parking in Gloucester

We parked our car at Hare Lane South Car Park. It is located right next to Gloucester Cathedral and the price (at the time) was £4.20 for 4 hours.

🗺 Things to do and see in Gloucester in a day

If you’re a Harry Potter fan, you’ll already have this city on your itinerary. Or rather, its cathedral.

England has been the setting for the inspiration and filming of one of the most famous sagas in history. This intrepid wizard has captured the attention of the whole world and has become a favourite character for many of us.

London is home to many Harry Potter locations and even the Harry Potter Studios. However, the English capital is not the only place where the famed wizard is present. Lacock Abbey, Christ Church and Gloucester Cathedral are other places that have been used as locations for the Harry Potter films.

📍 Gloucester Cathedral

Gloucester Cathedral is a building more than 1,300 years old. I’d go as far as to say it’s one of the most beautiful cathedrals I’ve ever seen inside. Its cloisters have an architecture that borders on perfection.

This Cathedral was used as a set in 3 of the Harry Potter films: Philosopher’s Stone, Chamber of Secrets and The Half-Blood Prince.

In Philosopher’s Stone, the cloisters appear during Harry Potter, Ron and Hermione’s battle against the troll. And in Chamber of Secrets, the phrase “The chamber of secrets has been opened” is written in blood on one of the cloister walls.

There are several tours of the Cathedral available which you can book on their website and you can even take a virtual tour through this link.

📍 Beatrix Potter Museum

Gloucester is home to this museum-shop dedicated to Beatrix Potter, an English writer known throughout the country for her children’s stories. Admission is free, and the museum is run by volunteers – a common sight in the UK.

One of her most beloved characters is the Tailor of Gloucester. As such, this unique museum is housed in the building that inspired the creation of his story. In addition, visitors can visit the tailor’s kitchen, where the whole story of this curious character is woven.

📍 The Docks

The docks are located very close to the Cathedral and are one of the must-see places in Gloucester. Whenever I see docks and harbours I remember Hamburg -a city I highly recommend if you haven’t been there yet-.

The area is home to the National Waterways Museum, Gloucestershire Soldiers’ Museum and Gloucester Quays Outlet, a must-see for shopaholics.

📍 Robinswood Hill Country Park

Although I didn’t get to visit it, I wanted to include it in the article because I think it’s an interesting place to end a visit to Gloucester. It is a huge park with trails and beautiful views of the city. If you’re lucky, you might even see some foxes wandering around.

Places to see near Gloucester

📍 Painswick Rococo Gardens 

Painswick is a small town very close to Gloucester and is home to one of the most beautiful gardens in the Cotswolds.

Its rococo garden is open most of the year – with the exception of December – and admission costs £9.

📍 Cheltenham

Cheltenham is a small town that can easily be visited in half a day or a full day. I didn’t have high hopes for the town, but I found it to be a nice and pretty town. 

📍 Bibury

Bibury is considered one of the prettiest towns in England. And it is located half an hour from Gloucester.

📍 Cirencester

Cirencester is a must-see in the English countryside. It was a town that really surprised me. It is welcoming, beautiful and quiet. Its buildings are full of history and its streets are full of life.

TOURS

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