Home #WHERETONEXT UK A Travel Guide to Gloucestershire

A Travel Guide to Gloucestershire

Gloucestershire, nestled in the heart of England, is a large county known for its stunning countryside, covering a section of the Cotswolds, the River Severn Valley and the Forest of Dean. Spanning a fair 1220 square miles, it is certainly not lacking in size and provides a perfect road trip or setting for vacation. It’s definitely a bright idea to plan your trip in advance, however, you may find yourself wondering, where to stay, what to explore, and naturally how to get around the area. Worry not, this guide will assist you through your visit. So, where does your adventure begin?

Getting To and Around Gloucestershire

Once you’ve determined your desired destinations, the next step is to figure out how to get there. Hiring a car is a convenient (and probably the fastest) method. However, if this isn’t possible for you, Gloucestershire offers plenty of railway stations scattered throughout the towns, and even some small villages, many offer direct lines from London. Additionally, there are frequent public bus services. If you prefer a more leisurely approach, there are guided tours of Gloucestershire, allowing you to sit back and leave the logistics to someone else. Alternatively, kill two birds with one stone, and hire a campervan. This not only gives you somewhere to stay while getting around the county, but it’s also a cheaper option – if you don’t mind limited space.

Where to Stay?

If a campervan doesn’t cut it for you, the next question is, where to recharge? The choice largely depends on the vibe you’re going for. You can opt for a lakeside cottage in a rural setting, or go for a more indulgent ‘wow factor’ with a holiday village. For instance, The Reserve in Fairford offers 5-bedroom houses with private hot tubs looking onto the lakeside. Guests here have access to a range of luxurious facilities, including an indoor swimming pool, a spa, and a fitness suite. You can also find seaside houses or charming beach huts on platforms like Airbnb or Booking.com, a perfect option for the summer months. On the other hand, if you’re an adventurous soul, seeking to be in touch with nature, then consider sleeping in a tent, at various campsites such as Buckshead Farm or Elmwicke Campsite. Whether it is a bed and breakfast, cosy guest home, self-catering, wilding it camping – or a mix of them all, Gloucestershire certainly has it all.

What to Do?

The next question is, what is there to do? The attractions in Gloucestershire are bursting with history, nature, and character. If you enjoy exercise and fresh air, then hiking or cycling the Symonds Yat Rock is a recommendation. The track winds through the woodlands for approximately 3.2 miles, it takes around 1.5 hours to walk, or a short 25-minute cycle. If you don’t feel like walking or cycling, take a guided tour of Dyrham Park, a baroque 17th-century English Country house located in an ancient deer park. If you’re a history nerd, a visit to the town called Chedworth will not disappoint. Here you can find the Chedworth Roman Villa, it is a scheduled monument, and Britain’s most elaborate Roman villas. Here, you can solve Roman puzzles, complete seasonal trails or delve into an archaeological activity.

Exploring Events

Before finalising your travel plans, make sure to check the events Gloucestershire has to offer. One notable event is the Folk Trail, a celebration of folk musicians, artists, and poets from around England. Alternatively, for sports fans, particularly those passionate about horse racing, Cheltenham Racecourse at Prestbury Park offers a 4-day long event of world-class racing. This year the Cheltenham competition is held from the 12th to the 15th of March, the event draws crowds of thousands each year, showcasing the finest horses, trainers and jockeys. If the Cheltenham dates don’t align with your trip, Gloucestershire offers many other equestrian options, such as horseback riding tours through the countryside or riding centres for those requiring professional training.


Now you have a glimpse into Gloucestershire offerings, it’s all down to you. Tailor your trip to your preferences, and perhaps even create an itinerary. Don’t forget, you’re in the UK, so be prepared and pack for the rain!