Self-catering holiday cottages in and around Gloucester
We all recognise Gloucester as the town from the nursery rhyme ... Dr. Foster went to Gloucester... and realise from the name that there is a Roman heritage, but otherwise what do we know about this city?
Gloucester is situated just north of the Bristol Channel, close to the Welsh border. It possesses an truly magnificent cathedral which featured in certain scenes of 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone'. It's an enormous vaulted building, with wonderful 14th century fan vaulted cloisters which in themselves impart a sense of the spiritual and heavenly. There's a welcome in Gloucester Cathedral that many other cathedrals seem to lack. People walk around and enjoy the historical and religious aspects, the art work. Guides are willing to provide an informal and free tour of the Cathedral so that visitors are able to appreciate it fully.
This is a vast building, there are a number of areas where several church services could be held simultaneously. Like many other cathedrals, it contains tombs of important clerics and the wealthy, including the much admired effigy of Robert, Duke of Normandy which dates from circa 1260.
There are the tombs of the two daughters of Bishop Miles Smith, both of whom died in childbirth in successive years. The poignant effigy of an infant lies beside its mother and sadly reminds us of the former dangers of childbirth.
But Gloucester Cathedral is not entirely a house of the dead, there is inspirational modern stained glass in heavenly shades of blue, in a side chapel to the south of the Cathedral. Another modern panel reminds us that this Cathedral continues to live in the present as well as remember the past. A display of paintings and art work by a contemporary artist in residence adorn the walls and engage the soul as well as the body.
We were intrigued by the Biblical images set into the floor of the Lady Chapel and spent several minutes trying to identify which Biblical event each depicted.
An ancient 11th century Norman fort is still used for baptisms. There are plenty of other features to satisfy the artist, architect, historian and philosopher. Above all, this cathedral reminds us that it is primarily a place for Christian worship. Do stop for a visit, even if it's the only place that you ever visit in Gloucester.
The area around the docks and the River Severn has been redeveloped in recent years to create a shopping and entertainment complex. Fifteen large Victorian warehouses have been converted to accommodate the National Waterways Museum (Tel: 01452 318 054) , Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum, an Antiques Centre (01452 422 900), shops, restaurants, cafes and pubs. There are guided walks and boat tours during the summer months.
A tourist information stand in the shopping centre has leaflets about Gloucester which offer '2 tickets for the price of one' to many of the tourist attractions.
A special mention must be given to the tiny sweet shop in the shopping centre that stocks numerous jars of old-fashioned sweets that it serves by the quarter in small twisted paper bags, and the wonderful hand-made truffles.
Just two miles north of Gloucester is 'Nature in Art' which is the world's first museum dedicated to art inspired by nature. A David Shepherd painting and a sketch by Picasso are on display among many other fine works. There is an artist in residence, a coffee shop, well stocked gift shop, and good free parking. A small entrance fee is charged.
If you're interested in arty things, then you may also wish to pay a visit to the Gloucester City Museum and Art Gallery, Tel: 01452 396 131, Open Tues-Sat. 10am - 5pm.
Gloucester City Walks
Explore historic Gloucester under the guidance of a qualified Civic Trust Guide. Discover its Roman past and development to the present day. Telephone: 01452 396 572 .
Self-catering holiday cottages within easy travelling distance of Gloucester
For a cottage holiday in the lovely Gloucestershire countryside on a working farm, just a short easy drive from Gloucester, take a look at the Stable. With 2 bedrooms, this barn conversion comfortably accommodates up to 5 people and is situated down a tranquil country lane, just 20 minutes’ drive from the city of Gloucester.
Telephone Ashley on 01452-740969 or click on cottage photograph to find about more about self-catering near Gloucester.
|Granary Cottage, sleeps 2-3, in Elton, near Gloucester
A stay at Granary Cottage could be perfect for those looking to enjoy a rural retreat break with easy access to the city of Gloucester for days or nights out. Situated in the farming hamlet of Elton by the lush greenery of the Forest of Dean, this 1 bedroom cottage allows guests to enjoy a tranquil relaxed location yet is just conveniently half an hour’s drive from Gloucester.
Telephone 01452 760243 for availability and bookings.
Orchard Barn within driving distance of Gloucester - sleeps 7
Orchard Barn is a fine place to stay. This Grade II listed barn conversion is located close to Newnham on Severn which is around 12 miles from the city of Gloucester. Although close to the city, this rural location really is a world away. With 3 bedrooms this barn can accommodate up to 7 people. With views of the surrounding countryside, there is plenty to recommend it. Take a look at the photos to get a real feel for the quality of accommodation on offer here.
Harmony Cottage in Lydney, on the train from Gloucester. Cottage sleeps 9.
Click on the photograph of the cottage for details of self-catering in the Forest of Dean.