Gloucester, the county town of Gloucestershire, is one of the largest cities in the Cotswolds with a population of more than 123,000. The city is close to Wales and sits next to the River Severn below the Cotswold Hills which rise to the east. The Forest of Dean lies to the west and to the north are the lovely Malvern Hills.
This port city is very ancient, originally settled by the Romans in AD 96. Old Roman artifacts and remains are still being discovered throughout the city and its environs. The city passed briefly through Saxon hands before changing hands again during the Norman Conquest. It was granted its first charter in 1155 by King Henry II. During the Middle Ages, citizens of Gloucester enjoyed great privilege. The city was an important exporter of wool, leather, iron and fish products. A massive fire in the 13th century led to the banning of thatched roofs. In the Tudor and Stuart eras the city was chartered a number more times. In 1643, it was the site of the Siege of Gloucester, a battle won by the parliamentarians.
There is much to see and do in this bustling city. Certainly its most iconic landmark is the Gloucester Cathedral. The Cathedral’s origins can be traced back to 678 AD when an abbey was founded in the name of Saint Peter. The grounds for the Cathedral itself were placed in the 11th century by Abbot Serlo. The basis for the construction is Norman but the details are all characteristically Gothic. You may have seen Gloucester Cathedral before since it was featured in the wildly popular Harry Potter films as well as a in Doctor Who Christmas Special.
Also in Gloucester are a number of other medieval and Tudor buildings and beautiful churches. Some churches that may interest visitors include St. Mary de Lode, St. Mary de Crypt, St. Michael Church and St. Nicholas Church.
Gloucester features a number of shopping centres for visitors in search of souvenirs, and of course there are numerous hotels in which you can stay during your visit. There is a lot to see in Gloucester, so be sure to set some time aside for this beautiful English port city!