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A snapshot guide to Gloucester & Cheltenham

Gloucester & Cheltenham

Doctor Foster went to Gloucester,
In a shower of rain;
He stepped in a puddle,
Right up to his middle,
And never went there again.

The origins of this nursery rhyme reputedly lie in English history dating back to when Kind Edward I was thought to have visited Gloucester and fell from his horse in a large, muddy puddle. He is said to have been so humiliated by the experience that he refused to ever visit Gloucester again!

He doesn’t know what he’s missing! Gloucester is an enchanting city with lots of attractions to keep visitors amused, as well as the history seekers and culture vultures among us. Gloucester Cathedral in the north of the city originates in the foundation of an abbey dedicated to Saint Peter in 681. It was used for many of the corridor scenes in the Harry Potter films. There are also a good number of examples of medieval, Tudor and half-timbered houses, so a stroll around the city will not disappoint! Kings Square is perhaps the heart of the city centre. Here, you’ll find shops and cafés serving afternoon tea. Or, if you’d prefer to venture a little further out of the city centre, you’ll be sure to enjoy a stroll around the canal and dock areas. Be inspired to stop off at the Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum when exploring the city’s docks.

Gloucester is only a stone’s throw from the gorgeous countryside of The Cotswolds – if you haven’t been to this pretty corner of England, it’s well-worth a look. What’s more, wine connoisseurs will appreciate a stop at Three Choirs Vineyard, one of England’s oldest wine producers. You can try the award-winning English wines and even take home a bottle or two!

Economically, the city has been dominated by the service industries, and was once prominent in the aerospace industry. Today, it has a strong financial and business scene. The large insurer, Ecclesiastical Insurance, is based in the city, together with Lloyds Banking Group and TSB Bank, which each have an office in Barnwood. Gloucester Business Park on the outskirts of the city is also home to a number of big brands including BAE Systems Applied Intelligence.

Gloucester is served by the M5 motorway, which runs to the east of the city, while the A38 runs north-south through Gloucester, connecting the city with Tewskesbury and Bristol. Plus, there’s also the A40, A46, A4173 and A417 in close proximity. Gloucester railway station has frequent trains to London Paddington, Reading, Bristol, Cardiff Central, Nottingham and Birmingham, while local buses are run by Stagecoach West, operating from its depot on London Road. The nearest commercial airport with scheduled services is Bristol Airport, around 50 miles to the south of the city, as Gloucestershire Airport currently offers no scheduled flights.

Independent schools include The King’s School (refounded by King Henry VIII as part of the cathedral establishment); The Crypt School, Gloucester; Sir Thomas Rich’s School; The High School for Girls; and Ribston Hall High School for Girls. There are also a number of comprehensive establishments including Millbrook Academy, Beaufort Co-operative Academy, St Peter’s High School, Chosen Hill School, Severn Vale School, Gloucester Academy, Barnwood Park Arts College and Churchdown School Academy. The city is home to Gloucestershire College of Arts and Technology, as well as one of the campuses of the University of the West of England.

The average property price for Gloucester stands at around £217,615. Terraced properties have an average selling price of £157,498, while flats average at £119,863. Any visit to Gloucester would not be complete without setting foot inside the Tailor of Gloucester House, which is situated near the cathedral. Dedicated to author Beatrix Potter, who wrote the famous children’s book, the museum is free to enter. What’s more, if you plan your trip for March, horseracing fans will also be able to take in the Cheltenham Festival! 


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