All hail the home of cheese and er… spotted pigs. There is a bit more to the county than that, though; there are many places to visit in Gloucestershire and they’re all guaranteed to come with a healthy dose of English countryside charm. Visit Gloucestershire for impressive architecture in the city of Gloucester, rural enchantment on the Cotswolds Way, and scenic waterways in Symonds Yat. And cheese of course. What's more, our mighty Plum Guide Home Critics have tested out all the pillows in the area to see if they are comfy enough for you., because we can't bear the thought of a poor night's sleep. In fact, we’re thinking of renaming them Pillow-Testers.
Small homes at the end of a stone patch in Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, UK
The streets of Chipping Camden are awash with tourists licking ice creams feverishly whilst saying ‘imagine the house prices around here’. It doesn’t get much more picture-perfect than this jewel in the Cotswold crown. The 14th-century high street boasts pretty little shops encased in the classic Cotswolds honey-coloured stone. Spend all your money on local cider and fudge, you’ll never be able to afford a house around here anyway (though you can always book a Plum Guide place to stay in the Cotswolds and pretend you're rich). In May the annual Olimpick Games is held on Dover’s Hill, giving you the chance to partake in the local sport of shin-kicking.
Forest of Dean
Trees and shrubbery in The Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, England, UK
You’re forgiven for thinking this is just one big forest. To be honest, it pretty much is and taking part in arboreal meditation is the best thing to do in the area. The sprawling woodlands of Puzzlewood have been inspiring writers and poets for centuries, so make sure you take a pen so you can write your own haiku. Take a visit to Clearwell Caves and pretend you’re an intrepid explorer - or at least an extra in His Dark Materials or Chronicles of Narnia; both were filmed here.
A key player in the industrial revolution and the textile industry; the creativity in Stroud is still going strong. This is proven by locals wearing home-spun garms and the amount of
average art on cafe walls. The little town boasts one of the best farmers markets in the country so you’ll be able to stock up on more chutney for the back of the fridge, as well as ceramic Christmas presents for your aunt. As to be expected, walks surrounding the area are delightful. After a ramble, putting your feet up in a Plum home is just the ticket, and makes this one of the best places to visit in Gloucestershire.
Affectionately named Venice of the Cotswolds because of the bridges across the River Windrush throughout the village. So from this logic, we proclaim Birmingham; Venice of the Midlands. More canals there anyway. Bourton-on-the-Water is as charming as it gets with quaint limestone buildings, independent shops filled with things you must buy and charming countryside awaiting hikes. Our favourite walk is the 1.3 miler to Lower Slaughter. Lower Slaughter, yes you read that right.
The Cotswold Way
Got a spare week and some really good hiking boots? (Don’t we all!) The Cotswold Way is for you. Starting from Chipping Camden and ending at Bath Abbey, the 102-mile stretch takes in picturesque village after cute market town after charming countryside scene. To rest your weary soles the one of a kind, you'll the perfect place to hole up for the night in your luxury home. Makes all that walking worth it, right?
Who cares if the
fun police authorities called time on the official event citing health and safety concerns? Locals flock to Gloucestershire’s Coopers Hill for the world-famous cheese rolling every year anyway. After a mighty 8lb Double Gloucestershire is tipped over the edge, participants throw themselves after it in earnest. We recommend witnessing the event only; participants are very likely to visit A&E after failing to even reach the bottom of the hill. Maybe the authorities have a point. Definitely one of the more unique things to do in Gloucestershire, this one.
View of green trees and field by a river from above Symonds Yat, River Wye, Gloucestershire, England, UK
If you love cumbersome headwear and inflatable clothing (who doesn’t?) then a day kayaking the River Wye is just the ticket. Find glorious scenery and calm waters at Symonds Yat. Rental companies are dotted along the riverside with suggested routes depending on your abilities. It is entirely okay if your abilities are zero; you may have safety gear up to your ears but most of the river water won’t pass your knees. All you really need is a delicious picnic and a bottle of your fave. Our kind of sport.
Oh so lovely and oh so grand (just like most of our Home Critics), Gloucestershire Cathedral tops the list of places to visit in Gloucestershire for architecture aficionados. Exquisite craftsmanship leaves you wondering how the hell they made this astonishing feat so many years ago. Actually how? Answers on a postcard, please. Climb the tower, visit the famous Whispering Gallery and pretend you're Harry Potter (they filmed the movies here).