City Guide

Things to Do in Gloucester

Ben Maples  · Nov 30th 2021

Gloucester is one of the oldest cities in the UK and is home to some of the UK’s most important historical monuments and moments.

Things to do in Gloucester


Gloucester is located in the Southwest of England and is between the Forest of Dean and the Cotswolds and was discovered in AD 97! Gloucester has a rough population of 125,694 according to most recent figures and also serves as one of the UK’s most popular university cities.


The first place for students to visit in Gloucester, is ATIK. ATIK is open on Fridays and Saturdays and has DJ sets, VIP events and even allows for birthday parties and hen or stag dos. The club has also been known to hold live music and screenings from time to time too.

Those looking for a more relaxed atmosphere should consider Bar Fever. The bar is set up specifically with different rooms in mind. These are specialised rooms for you and your friends to hang out in. There is the Fever Room, which you comes with a dancefloor and DJ and there is the Boutique Room, which has a classy and more relaxed vibe.

Another interesting place to look at is One Eyed Jacks (no relation to the bar from Twin Peaks). The pub offers everything from drinks to food and shos live sport regularly. The pub even has an informal Skittles league and knockout tournament.

The city also has a number of museums that give you a glimpse into the city’s history such as the Museum of Gloucester. If you’re looking for films to watch, then the city has a highly-rated Cineworld (which has tiered seating) and Sherborne Cinema.

In January, Gloucester starts off with the Gloucester Cajun and Zydeco Festival, the largest event of its kind in the UK, which has art exhibitions, films screenings, live music and theatre shows. The Gloucester Tall Ships and Gloucester Rhythm and Blues Festival attracts national and international acts in R&B.


Gloucester Railway Station has a number of frequent trains to Birmingham, Cardiff, London, Nottingham and Reading. Though it is the only train station in the city, there are a number of different routes that travel to other parts of the county as well.

There are local buses that are provided by Stagecoach West as well. National Express also operate in the city as a cheaper alternative to reach other major cities, they also travel to a number of local and national airports.

Gloucester’s main airport is the Gloucestershire Airport, although it does not fly internationally and is mainly used for private flights. For those looking to travel internationally will need to head to Bristol, Cardiff and London.

Things to do with kids in Gloucester

Universities in the City

There are two university campuses in the city, although there aren’t any universities based in the city overall.

The University of the West of England, Bristol (UWE Bristol) and the University of Gloucestershire are both based in different cities and different parts of the county, however, they do both have prominent campuses in the city.

University of the West of England, Bristol (UWE Bristol) is one of the oldest established education providers in the UK, as it was established in 1595 as the Merchant Venturers Navigation School, however, after several rebrands over the course of the centuries, it did not officially become a university until 1992. The university is also part of the prestigious University Alliance group.

The student body of the university is represented by the Students’ Union at (SUUWE) (formerly known as the UWE Students’ Union (UWESU)) and was established in 1971. The union runs a number of clubs and societies for students as well as the Students’ Union Bar, they also run a student radio station, called Hub Radio.

The University Gloucestershire was established as part of the Cheltenham Mechanics' Institute in 1834, though it rebranded as a university, after receiving university status in October 2001. The student body is represented in University of Gloucestershire's Students' Union (UGSU). The union represents a number of clubs and societies, they also run a number of things such as an annual summer ball. The union also runs the official student radio, Tone Radio, which was established in 2006.

The university also competes in a number of different varsity tournaments, but they are mainly known for playing against the University of Worcester, in fact, they were undefeated against the university for ten years, until that run came to an end in 2015.


The area of Gloucester dates back as far as the Anglo-Saxon wards, and the bloody battle for the Kingdom of Wessex. Just before the Normans conquered England, Gloucester was a small borough that was governed by a portreeve (basically a Sheriff). The settlement also had a castle, which was frequently used as a royal residence, which led to a sustained period of popularity in the city.

In 1155, the city was granted its first character, by Henry II of England, which gave the burgesses if the city the same liberties as those from London and Winchester and were also given the freedom of passage on the River Severn as part of a second charter. With King Henry III (aged 10) was crowned in the Gloucester Cathedral in 1216.

The settlement was very significant in the Middle Ages, owing largely to its vast number of monastic establishments and other religious settlements, including churches. The main export in the area was wool, which also brought a lot of money in and saw the settlement establish more and more, although a massive fire 1222 destroyed a part of the city.

Gloucester was made a county in 1483 by King Richard III and the city was granted city status in 1605.

The city was part of various elements of the industrial revolution, but the city never really took off in the same way as cities like London or Birmingham, however, the city was still considered to be a prominent feature of a new-look UK.

The city was made one of the primary petroleum storage and refuelling stations during World War II, after two petroleum storage depots were constructed in the city.

Things to do with family in Gloucester


There is a lot of sport in the city. Though there aren’t many different sports clubs in the city necessarily, but there are a number of sporting venues and cultural sporting places to take part in various activities.

Gloucester was one of the hosts for the Rugby World Cup in 1991, and again in 2015. In fact, the city is the home of Gloucester Rugby, having been founded in 1873 and is one of the top Rugby Union jokes in Europe. The club plays in the AVIVA Premiership.

There is only one Rugby League club in the city, the Gloucestershire Warriors, who were founded 1997, that play in the Conference League South, and play at the Oxstalls Sports Park.

The city’s main Association Football club is Gloucester City AFC, who were founded in 1883 in the National League South. The club plays its matches at Evesham United, just outside of the city limits, owing to flooding, which forced the club to relocate from its former home, Meadow Park.

Who’s from Gloucester?

There are plenty of people from Gloucester including; Alastair Cook, Simon Pegg, Nathan Sykes and Mary-Jess Leaverland.

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