Although often overlooked in favour of its neighbour Cheltenham, the city of Gloucester – the county town of Gloucestershire – has its own hugely rich history and lots of points of interest.
Here’s just seven of the facts that make Gloucester an amazing place.
Gloucester Cathedral has seen its fair share of wizards
Harry Potter fans will recognise the cathedral’s interior from the successful film franchise as it doubled as Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
You can see traces of Gloucester’s Roman past
If you stand at the viewing point at Eastgate you can still make our the remains of a Roman tower and a horse bath. Gloucester started life as a Roman town named Glevus and the Romans built a fort in the city in 64AD.
Gloucester is a cool place to be
Gloucester is home to Europe’s biggest ice cream factory – Wall’s and this facility alone made more than 800 million individual ice cream products in 2021.
The town is very fond of dairy products
Gloucester’s Eastgate Indoor Market started back in 1498 and was the place where the world’s first double Gloucester cheese went on sale.
The Tailor of Gloucester wasn’t always a mouse
Beatrix Potter took her inspiration for the story from John Pritchard, a real-life Gloucester tailor who worked at a shop in College Court, near the cathedral. The building is now a popular museum dedicated to the tale.
Gloucester has Britain’s most inland port
Gloucester Docks – now the site of lots of restaurants and other leisure facilities – used to be the site of a busy port. Tall ships would leave the port via the Gloucester and Berkeley canal and head off the exotic parts to pick up grain and other goods.
Gloucester was also a spa town
Just like Cheltenham, Gloucester also had a popular spa. Found in 1814, Gloucester’s spa had lots of visitors until the city’s railway joined up to the docks. The smoke and soot from this development deterred health-seeking tourists and by 1860 the council took over the deserted attraction. The spa’s crumbling buildings finally met the wrecking ball inn 1960.