Reading my previous post you may know that my first moment in Gloucester wasn`t the best. When I saw all that suspicious surroundings and dirt around me I felt that I wanted to go back home immediately. Giving my stomach some food made me happier and gave me the kick to explore Gloucester anyway. After all I could say my trip was pretty great ^^
Gloucester is not the most tourist and desired place to visit. We can`t compare it to London or Liverpool however it has definitely something to offer. If you go there one day that`s the list which could be helpful:
Gloucester is normally associated with its Cathedral. Taking your first steps inside this beautiful building will take your breath away. No wonder it`s a very popular place and number 1 to see in Gloucester.
Very important information which probably make a wide smile on your face: entrance is FREEEEEEE! I think everyone likes that word. Some Cathedrals in England which are well known and popular among tourists may charge a lot for the entrance. Luckily not this one. However there are some things which you have to pay while you are sightseeing. Make sure you will buy a photo permission (if you want to take any shots of Cathedral inside). If you don`t that`s ok but the building is so beautiful so the money is really well spent. Only £3 but photographs are unique.
I booked a tour which let me to climb all the way to the top of the tower. The view is amazing and you can see great panorama of the city. It`s really high so if you are fit enough (269 steps one way!) and you are not scared of heights that`s the best thing you can do. The guide was really friendly and happy to answer all the questions and his knowledge was quite impressive. I really enjoyed that a lot.
Cathedral has been really popular place for movie productions recently. I am sure most of you recognise the Cloisters from the famous Harry Potter movie for example the Troll scene in the 1st part or the entrance to the Common Room with the talking Lady in the painting.
If you are a real Harry Potter fan you will find many more 🙂
I think every place which includes water is amazing. I love the peaceful sound of it and relaxing surroundings. When you have some food with you just sit there and enjoy the views.
The reflection of the sun looks really beautiful so make sure you will reserve some time to stay. Perfect option after a long walk which helps you re-energize your batteries and have a nice rest in a beautiful place.
When you wander around you will see many warehouses which are used for different reasons nowadays ex. Museums, Brewery. You can also book a boat tour which lasts around 45 min and takes you along the canal. If 45min is not enough you can consider hiring one of the narrowboats they have. It can fit up to 10 people and you can enjoy tea and coffee on the board as well. 8 hours full of fun however you want. If you have much more time they offer holiday hires as well. Gloucester Docks are quite attractive place worth spending extra time. They include:
National Waterways Museum
Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum
Gloucester Quays Designer Outlet Centre
Nice restaurants to dine in and really good looking coffee shops. Honestly Gloucester Docks were perfect place for me.
I am not a great fan of museums unless is something really interesting to see. I decided to skip them because I thought they are not that attractive to me. I am sure the exhibitions have lots to offer so if you have time to see any please do. I don`t think you would regret. Maybe if I would have had more time to stay I would visit some of them. There are 4 museums in Gloucester and a great thing you can do is buying 1 ticket for all of them paying only £10. It`s valid for the entire year so if you visit the city quite often you have unlimited free entrance throughout the year. Museums:
The Museum of Gloucester,
The Life Museum,
Waterways Museum and
The Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum.
I can`t really say much about any of them because I didn`t go there. I checked pictures in the Internet and I can say the exhibitions look nice. Obviously depending on what you like and what you are interested in.
Boatmen and seamen had not the best reputation back in time. The idea of building a church was probably a reason of their neglecting behaviour. From the year 1831 the idea of creating a church for mariners struggled a lot. Nothing had really happened until the day when William Wingate started the construction in 1848. It took a year to complete the project and the chapel stays there until these days. Time ago Sunday schools were very popular. Boatmen could also send their children to attend Sunday classes where they were taught how to read and write.
The church is not big in size and has very simple structure. The entrance is free so everyone can look inside. Nowadays the church is very active trying to implement vision of re-evangelisation of people in Gloucester. The community grows in numbers rapidly which are great news for the parisioners.
If you are a shopaholic I think that could be the place for you. The location couldn`t be any better and the prices too. Because Gloucester Quays is an outlet you`ll be really surprised and delighted with the offers they have. Worth looking around and finding great bargains. Located just a stone`s throw away from the Gloucester Docks gives you an enjoyable experience. Lots of restaurants and cafes around where you could chill and give your legs nice rest drinking favourite coffee.
Worth checking out. If you don`t know where to start your sightseeing start from this place. You will find there lots of leaflets and maps with recommendation of places to visit. You can also ask the staff who is happy to answer the questions or recommend something from their own experience. Very helpful.
ST MARY DE CRYPT CHURCH
The Anglican Church located on Southgate Street. The church looks really nice both from outside and inside. Its not big in its size but I would recommend walking around. Lovely Lady who sits by the door is happy to share her knowledge about the church. Thanks to her I got to know that Sunday Schools have their beginnings right in there. Robert Raikes the founder of these schools was buried in St. Mary de Crypt. Although the schools are not that popular or I would even say they don`t really exist now Robert Raikes is an important figure linked with the church.
It`s a medieval Priory building which goes back to 13th century. Unfortunately there is not much left now and most of the building is a ruin however I would suggest going around to check its very old site.
Nowadays the renovated part is used for different purposes. People organise there their wedding parties or exhibitions. I wasn`t lucky to get inside because the place was hired for the photo shot so I couldn`t see anything however I was able to check the building from outside which is also impressive. Maybe you will be more lucky to see both at the same time.
ST MICHAEL`S TOWER
The Tower was built in 1465 and it has really great location in the city. It stands right in the middle where four of the main streets in Gloucester meet. Nowadays it doesn`t have any important function and in 2009 became a part of Gloucester Civic Trust. Going up the Tower is not permitted which is a shame because the view would be really stunning. Once you are inside the Tower you may read lots of useful information about the history and the past of the city as well as the Tower. There are many talks and events organised in there so if you have time you may join in. Volunteers in there are really helpful and if you have any questions they will answer them for sure.
My best experience in there was ringing a bell. Yes! Ringing a bell-a real one in the Tower 😛 That was really cool and I had so much fun. Don`t worry they won`t charge any money for doing so. It`s free and so amazing. I `ve never been able to ring an actual bell in the city which makes loooots of noise. You must try it too.
ST OSWALD`S PRIORY
At the beginning St Peter`s Abbey founded in about 679. Yes! That`s a really old building. Renamed and changed into St Oswald`s Priory in 880s/90s. Unfortunately there is not much left now. As you can see on the picture only ruins remained. You can walk around because the ruins are accessible to everyone.
It feels special to be there thinking how old the ruins are. If you want to see a bit more from there you can visit Gloucester City Museum& Art Gallery which have some of the things from the Priory. You can also read some information about the building which are located in the front on the special panels.
GLOUCESTER IN GENERAL
Main streets of Gloucester are really nice full of people different shops restaurants and cafes. I would not recommend going any further like the suburbs of the city or abandoned streets. Stay in the city centre because I still have the feeling the city is not that safe. Maybe it`s only my opinion but looking around made me come to that conclusion. I saw lots of great coffee shops with really interesting offers and products however I couldn`t really find nice places to have dinner. I would say cafes are much better and more attractive than restaurants in Gloucester. The other thing about the city is: charity shops everywhere. Obviously it is great and I am a big fan of charity shops but I was really surprised with the amount of shops they have especially considering the size of Gloucester which is not the biggest city.
On the way back home I was really happy and my visit in Gloucester was successful after all. Sometimes there are cities where you want to go over and over again. Unfortunately I would not say that about Gloucester. For me being there was great but I won`t be planning my visit in the city again. What I saw what I did it`s done and one visit is enough. The city could be really proud of the Cathedral because it`s stunning and really worth coming there to see it. The rest still fine but not on the top.
I hope you liked the post and it will be helpful for some of you. Let me know if you have anything in your mind to ask or get to know. I am here to answer everything 🙂
Have a good Sunday! Lots of love xx