City spotlight: 24 hours in Gloucester

Discover fascinating museums, impressive architecture and top eateries in the historic city of Gloucester. Book train tickets in advance and you can save on money and stress.

Often overlooked by visitors in favour of the neighbouring spa town Cheltenham, Gloucester has lots to offer day-trippers. We’ve curated the ultimate afternoon experience to help inspire your next visit to this great city.

So, what are you waiting for? With top attractions to see, boats to ride and cake to eat, there’s no time like the present to begin planning your trip to Gloucester.


Arrive at Gloucester Railway Station and walk for half a mile to the magnificent 11th century Gloucester Cathedral, which is famous for being the resting place of King Edward II. There’s a lot to learn and discover while here, so joining a tour is a good option for those looking to see as much as possible.

The ‘Highlights Tour’ runs for approximately 50 minutes and offers a fascinating insight into the world of the monks who used to live here; you’ll also see how architecture has evolved over the last 1,000 years and visit the locations where Harry Potter was filmed. A crypt tour, tower tour and library tour are also available to join.

Less than quarter of a mile from Gloucester Cathedral is St Oswald’s Priory. What exists today of this once important church is worth visiting despite little of the ancient ruins remaining. Founded in 900 AD by Aethelflaed, the daughter of King Alfred the Great, St Oswald’s Priory was once a place of pilgrimage and was at the centre of a large parish before it was dissolved in 1537 and pulled down in 1656.


All that history can only mean one thing: it’s time for elevenses. The Hubble Bubble Coffee House on Westgate Street serves all day brunch and lunch, so whether you’re up for a full-on fry-up, some smashed avocado, a quality sandwich, or a slab of cake, their menu is brimming with great food choices for everyone.

As well as traditional tea and coffee, they also serve super freakshakes. Their double choc brownie shake is the ultimate go-to if you’re in need of a sugar rush.


It’s time to hit the water with a trip to the Gloucester Docks, a popular part of the city and home to the National Waterways Museum, the Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum, a micro-brewery open Tuesday to Saturday, as well as narrowboat day hire and boat tours.

Throughout the spring and summer months boat tour operators including Gloucester Leisure Cruises (April to October) and the Canal River Trust’s Queen Boadicea II boat trip (March to November), offer daily excursions along the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal.

Quick cuppa

There’s nothing like a quick cup of tea or coffee to keep you on track. Grey’s Coffee House on Northgate Street is a charming (and tiny) pit stop full of character. It’s cosy and there’s cake. What more could you need?

Hit the shops

The House of The Tailor of Gloucester is a delightful museum and gift shop that is a fitting tribute to Beatrix Potter’s story The Tailor of Gloucester. The museum and shop building is the same that inspired the tale and is also used in the book’s illustrations. The quaint window display is enough to entice you through the doors and once inside you’ll discover beautiful trinkets and memorabilia for sale.

Shopaholics will also find a number of high street shops in The Eastgate Shopping Centre on Eastgate Street, so if you’re looking to treat yourself (and why not), this is the place.