7 Best Things to Do in Gloucestershire
From castles and enchanted forests to a tiny Taj Mahal and river surfing, these are some of the best things to do in Gloucestershire
The county of Gloucestershire is home to some of the UK’s most beautiful landscapes and quaint villages. Here at Plum Guide, we’re here to tell you about some of the best places to visit and things to do in this historic part of the UK, and with expert knowledge like ours, your trip is guaranteed to be a success. It’s safe to say that Gloucestershire is just as appealing for families as it is for couples looking for a romantic getaway. Make sure to pack a good pair of walking shoes, as one of the best things to do in Gloucestershire is to explore the English countryside and enjoy the great outdoors.
Explore the Clearwell Caves
Hidden beneath the Forest of Dean, Clearwell Caves is a network of natural caves over 4,500 years old. If the caves look familiar, that’s because they’ve been used as the location for small screen classics like His Dark Materials, Dr Who, and The Chronicles of Narnia. Adrenaline seekers can take longer guided tours through the deeper labyrinths of natural and mined caves some 200 ft (62m) below the surface.
Wander the picturesque Puzzlewood
Trees and shrubbery in The Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, England, UK
If healthcare professionals recommend forest bathing to treat stress, then Puzzlewood is the arboreal equivalent of a roll top tub with bubbles. This enchanted woodland within the ancient Forest of Dean is famous for its rock formations and fauna carpets which cover every surface in a green blanket. Its also home to a hodgepodge of cute woodland creatures, and is the perfect place to reconnect with nature.
Take a trip to Sezincote Estate
This is definitely one of the more unique things to do in Gloucestershire. On a visit to Sezincote, you’d be forgiven for thinking that you’d left Gloucestershire and been transported to India. The Mogul Indian palace in the Cotswolds was heavily influenced by Hindu and Muslim architecture, and is credited with influencing the design of the Brighton pavilion after a visit by The Prince Regent in 1807. Take high tea overlooking the garden with its temples, grottoes, waterfalls and canals reminiscent of the Taj Mahal.
While Sezincote Estate is open to the public, its bedrooms aren’t. Luckily, those looking for accommodation near this picture-perfect home won’t be disappointed. A night’s stay in nearby Moreton-in-Marsh doesn’t come any better than at Siskin’s Wing. This two-bedroom home, which sleeps up to four guests, is close to some cute cafes and antique shops, and makes for a luxurious base from which to see some of the best things Gloucestershire has to offer.
Spend a day at Westonbirt, The National Arboretum
We continue with the nature theme at Westonbirt, The National Arboretum. What’s an arboretum we hear you ask? It’s a botanical garden specialising in conifers. This beautifully maintained reserve is well worth a visit, not least for the family-friendly walking and cycling trails.
Visit the historic Sudeley Castle
Barn Ruins, Sudeley Castle, Gloucestershire, England | Image courtesy of Wiki Commons/ Bob&Anne Powell
Bragging rights in the Cotswolds goes to whichever village has the oldest building, and they don’t come more historic than Sudeley Castle near Winchcombe. The castle has been called home by kings and queens for nearly 1,000 years and has plenty of stories to share with all those who visit. Wander through the castle’s gardens and don't miss the pheasantry. Sudeley Castle is home to one of the largest public collections of rare and endangered species of pheasants from around the world.
Tackle the Severn Bore
Not only is the River Severn the longest in the UK, winding its way 220 miles across the West of England, it’s also home to one the most unusual natural phenomena on these isles. Rising tides move into the funnel-shaped Bristol Channel and Severn Estuary, forcing their way upstream in a series of waves as far as Gloucester and beyond. Surfers come from across the UK to ride the river waves, which you can watch from the comfort of a cosy riverside inn. Your best chance of catching the bore is between February to April and August to October.
Marvel at Gloucester Cathedral
Gloucester Cathedral, England
Gloucester Cathedral is one of the oldest in the UK and a must-visit for architecture buffs. Re-enact scenes from the Harry Potter films beneath the vaulted ceilings which were often used as locations for the movies, listen to the acclaimed choir, explore the underground crypt, and climb the tower with views over Gloucester. Just a stone’s throw from the cathedral you’ll find the National Waterways Museum, and for the more adventurous, the Warehouse Climbing and Caving Centre. Hopefully now our list of things to do in Gloucestershire has inspired you to seek out special stays in lesser-known destinations.