Gloucester - the perfect short break destination

Thursday, 15 March 2012 9:00 AM

A city break is a great way to enjoy a few days away, and in visiting Gloucester, you'll have a truly wonderful getaway. Easily accessible from holiday homes in the Cotswolds, here you can explore a wealth of fantastic attractions and participate in great activities.

Founded by the Romans some 2,000 years ago, the city has a rich past that is just waiting for you to uncover it; and one place where you can certainly do this is the beautiful Gloucester Cathedral.

There are many reasons why this building stands out as a must-visit attraction, although you will be most interested to know it is the only site where an English monarch - Henry III - has been crowned outside of Westminster.

While the building you see today dates back to 1089, the site had been used as a place of worship for several centuries before that. Given its long history, it should be of little surprise the cathedral has been substantially developed and expanded over the years, and in visiting it during your short break, you'll spot a range of architectural styles, such as Norman and Perpendicular, among others.

There's a lot to see inside - including 18th-century sculptures and stained glass windows - although Harry Potter fans will jump at the chance to look at parts of the cathedral that featured in several of the films.

Literature lovers visiting for the day while staying in self-catering accommodation in the Cotswolds will no doubt be fascinated by The Tailor of Gloucester Beatrix Potter Museum. Situated on College Court, this charming museum has a number of displays concentrating on the life and work of the children's author, as well as The Tailor of Gloucester book, which she was inspired to write after spending time in the city.

Incorporate a trip to the Gloucester Folk Museum during your short break and you'll gain a wonderful insight into social history. Indeed, it is one of the oldest museums in the world to be dedicated to the subject and you will see everything from 1960s' homewares to 16th-century maces, all of which are housed within a Tudor timber-framed complex of buildings.

To get a deeper insight into the area's past, head to the historic docks. As the city is home to Britain's most inland port - it was granted port status in 1580 by Elizabeth I - and Charles Dickens once described the docks as "extraordinary", you can take it on good faith there's plenty to captivate you. Visit the 13th-century Blackfriars Priory, which is the most complete collection of medieval Dominican buildings in England, before watching ships being built using centuries-old traditions.

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