Throughout Gloucestershire you’ll stumble upon honey-stone villages and quaint towns – like Bourton-on-the-Water and Moreton-in-Marsh – with antique shops and snug pubs to while away the hours in. There are gems in the cities too, from the Regency architecture in Cheltenham to landmarks like Gloucester Cathedral. Or, if an escape to the country is on the cards, kick up the leaves on a walk through the spectacular Westonbirt Arboretum. A luxury getaway here blends city break elegance with rural charm.
Majestic manors and market towns, rolling hills and village greens.
Things to do
Make time for an afternoon in Stow-on-the-Wold – a little market town that played a big part in national history. Sit on the market cross where Sir Jacob Astley perched to surrender to the Parliamentarians in 1646 – ending the English Civil War. Look out for the 19th-century stocks here, too. To take home your own piece of history, the antique shops in Stow and the surrounding Gloucestershire villages are filled with collectibles and curios.
No matter the time of year, escape to Westonbirt Arboretum. With 17 miles of paths through 2,500 different types of tree, each with their own seasonal colours, no two visits are the same. Stroll along Victorian avenues, explore the ancient Silk Wood, or plan a visit to coincide with one of the outdoor musical events.
From palaces to parkland, Gloucestershire is filled with spellbinding sites. Wander the corridors of Sudeley Castle – the final resting place of Katherine Parr – or saunter through the landscaped gardens. Picnic, fish or simply relax in Pitville Park next to Cheltenham’s elegant Pump Rooms. Then make your way to Gloucester, where the Norman cathedral sits right beside the newly regenerated Docks.
Walk through the Slad Valley to admire the countryside that inspired Laurie Lee’s Cider with Rosie – and look out for lines of literature on ‘poetry posts’ dotted throughout the nature reserves here.
Top Tip from SLH