Westonbirt Arboretum - Gloucestershire County Council
hidden gems and
There is even a dedicated dog swimming beach!
For more information visit,
Activities include: swimming, camping, restaurants and
cafes, day fishing, sailing, paintballing, aerial adventure
to mention a few.
ow? Frampton on Seve
140 lakes spread over 40 square miles of countryside
and something for everyone. The water park can also boast
that 74 of the lakes can be fished with 150km of cycleway
and bridle path surrounding them.
All the places listed have been suggested
by Gloucestershire residents and will
hopefully encourage you to get out and
about. Discover the wide range of
unique cultural activity and history
on your doorstep, it could be free
and just shouldn’t be missed.
land and is about
Cotswold Water Park
Built in 1935 from a
government loan to get the
nation fit during a recession,
Sandford Parks Lido retains all
its original features, including
a 50m heated outdoor pool,
children’s pool, playground,
and poolside café. If you have
an image of a traditional Lido
in your head then this is it…
but for real.
5. Cam Circular Walk, Dursley
Easy walk with good access. Two miles, 8 new stiles and
regraded slopes and steps for increased safety.
walkers the opportunity to see this stunning part of the county.
6. The Cheltenham Gold Cup. 230,000 people descend on
Cheltenham every year for The Festival. The four-day event
sees hats galore and almost £600 million being waged on the
world’s finest race horses. Book accommodation early.
Spread over 2 weeks, including more than 30 walks with
events ranging from mile-long strolls for young families,
to a 22-mile hike to Miserden and back.
7. Clearwell Caves in Forest of Dean, impressively lit
caverns that just should not be missed during the Christmas
period (and Doctor Who has been filmed there!).
Join 15,000 visitors and witness the world-famous
onion eating competition through your very own
The Royal International Air Tattoo staged annually
at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire is the world’s largest
military airshow and has gained a well-earned reputation
as one of the UK’s top outdoor family events.
River Windrush Football Match
Annually on August Bank Holiday a match of 2 teams
from Bourton Rovers literally play football in the river!
Braving the chilly knee-high flowing waters
the two six-a-side teams undoubtedly give the
crowds plenty to cheer at - and scream about.
But be warned, wear waterproofs if you plan
on getting very close to the action, as splashing
is all part of the fun and frontline spectators
will certainly get wet.
As the world’s only event of its kind dedicated to the
onion family, visitors can expect a fun-filled day of
music, entertainment, rides, street stalls and shows
for the young and old.
In 2010 the Royal International Air Tattoo takes place on
17-18 July and will feature over 200 aircraft on flying and static
display as well as a wide range of activities and attractions
for all the family to enjoy. With an under 16s go free policy
the Royal International Air Tattoo offers value for money.
The event is annually attended by over 160,000 visitors
who travel from all over the world for this festival of aviation.
It began with the coronation of Edward VII
in 1902 and is certainly a five-a-side football
match with a difference!
Find out more information at,
9. Visitors from across Gloucestershire, the UK and beyond
descend on Dymock for its stunning wild daffodils.
11. New Brewery Arts, Cirencester
Exhibitions, children and adults arts workshops, live music
and performance all year round.
Three Ways Hotel, Mickleton
The Pudding Club was founded at the Three Ways House Hotel in 1985 to prevent
the demise of the traditional Great British Pudding. The Club now has an enthusiastic
following throughout the country and beyond.
A pudding club meeting features a light main meal followed by 7 tempting puddings
that are paraded around the dining room and cheered by the diners. Each guest
is then encouraged to dig in and try all 7 puddings, then relax and discuss which
was their favourite. Following this feast you can even stay over at the hotel in one
of the themed pudding bedrooms!
It is claimed that
this is the largest
rose in England,
and when it was
last measured it
was 80 ft x 90 ft
x 50 ft high and
The Opera House in Longborough seats almost 500 and
has an orchestra pit accommodating 65 musicians. It is built
in the grounds of a privately owned house on the edge of
the Cotswold village of Longborough with views across the
It started life in 1991 as Banks Fee Opera, then after a series
of chamber music concerts in a drawing room it progressed
to incorporate Travelling Opera. The Festival Opera as we
know it today was founded after a house move where a
barn in the grounds was converted into a theatre, using seats
from the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, which were
being discarded during the process of its recent refurbishment.
The National Arboretum at Westonbirt (near Tetbury) began life in 1829
and is one of the most spectacular tree gardens in the world. It houses
an historic collection of over 3000 different trees and shrub species many
of which are rare or endangered in their native lands.
Covering 600 acres, the arboretum is an inspiring place to relax, get
back to nature and indulge your senses. They also host outdoor events,
concerts and weddings. You will want to return to explore time and
Westonbirt was voted one of the absolute must-sees by Gloucestershire
residents who contributed to this list.
As an extra visitor attraction, there is also Gloucester City’s first Birds of Prey Centre where you can
experience daily flying displays, see a variety of Owls, Hawks, Buzzards plus the majestic Golden Eagle.
If you are really taken with the birds and fancy a close up photography session with them in their
natural habitat that can be arranged too! To find out more information visit, www.barnowl.co.uk
Barn Owl Centre
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of this booklet please email:
[email protected] or write to:
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Room 132, Shire Hall,
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Discover Gloucestershire... 101 times
C o t sw
r P ar k
19. Cheltenham Festivals, Cheltenham
The festivals have an international following. Wallow in Jazz
in the Spring, science in the early Summer, music in the peak
season and literature in the Autumn.
21. Puzzle Wood, Clearwell
14 acres of weird and spectacular scenery, one mile
of pathways that form and unusual maze through ancient
woodland. Reputedly the inspiration for ‘The Lord of the
Rings’ trilogy and part of the 5th Series of Doctor Who was
filmed here .
22. Forest of Dean
Visit the ancient woodlands of the Royal Forest of Dean, but
have you got your Fern Ticket? Local tradition has it that
a fern ticket was the passport into the Forest when young
couples ‘needed privacy’. Photos provided by Westonbirt Arboretum & Mark Freshney
18. Tewkesbury Food and Drink Festival
Annually in May, food, drink, history and crafts. A traditional
market town crammed full of half-timbered buildings celebrating
local produce and the limitless options of how to use it.
Spirits are said to haunt its streets, the most famous being the
Black Abbot, who is seen in the churchyard, especially
at Christmas and Easter. Maintaining the same route every
year, this ghost materialises in the church before crossing
the churchyard and disappearing into the High Street.
2009 saw the first stages of the new Owl Conservation Centre with a Nature Reserve spread over 12½ acres.
15. ‘Fire Sculpture’, Taurus
Crafts, Forest of Dean
End of August sees the
annual igniting of the giant
wooden sculpture at the
front of the site. Watching
the sculpture burn is free
and attracts large numbers.
26. Haunted Village - Prestbury is said to be one of the most
haunted places in Gloucestershire.
Birds of Prey & Barn Owl Centre, Gloucester
13. Above the town of Painswick is Painswick Beacon, 250
acres of common land, which offers some excellent views
across the Severn Valley. On the top of the beacon the
outlines of a large Iron Age hill fort can be seen.
23. Bluebells in the Forest of Dean
The very best place to see carpets of bluebells in the Forest of
Dean is the drive from the Speech House Hotel in Coleford to
Moseley Green - with the surrounding woodland playing home
to thousands of bluebells.
For more information visit, www.lfo.org.uk
12. Cotswold Country Park and Beach, Cirencester
Boasting Britain’s largest inland beach, boat hire, secure
toddlers paddling and play area, an aerial adventure centre,
stunning views along lakeside walks and a fossil trail, this
has to beat driving to the coast!
The sunsets at this point are spectacular and have been
photographed by many.
Photo by Stephen Wright
But what prize makes it worth it?
1st Prize - the cheese
2nd Prize - £10
3rd prize - £5
10. Tewkesbury has one of the most extensive medieval
streetscapes in England and a magnificent Abbey, boxed in
by the rivers Avon and Severn. The medieval town grew into
a web of alleyways running between half-timbered houses.
Of the original 90 alleys, 30 still remain.
8. Coopers Hill Cheese Rolling, Gloucester - Dating back
to the 1800’s the May event sees competitors chasing an 8lb
Double Gloucester cheese down a death-defyingly steep hill!
Guided walks are led by volunteers, taking in places
of interest including the Daffodil Way footpath, Betty Daws
Wood, Gwen & Vera’s Fields, Nature Reserve and the former
Daffodil Line Railway.
“All the thrills, excitement and noise of a Grand Prix –
but in the air” Jenson Button
...3. ‘Telstar’… heard the record, seen the film, now see
where Newent born Joe Meek lived. His house (now privately
owned) can be seen in the centre of Newent.
4. Stratford Park, Stroud
56 Acres of Green Flag standard park including a miniature
railway and museum in the original Mansion house.
no.17 Stroud Walking Festival offers seasoned and aspiring
Ale Trail is organised
by the Gloucestershire
Craft Brewers. With
around 40 establishments
involved in the trail
it sure makes for a
memorable pub crawl!
Whilst Gloucestershire County Council has made every reasonable effort to ensure that the
information contained in this booklet was accurate at the time of publication, Gloucestershire
County Council does not warrant its accuracy and disclaims any liability to the maximum extent
permitted by law to any third party anywhere in the world (except for death or personal injury arising
from the negligence of Gloucestershire County Council) for any injury, damage, direct or indirect loss,
consequential or economic loss or any other loss suffered howsoever as a result of the use
of or reliance upon the information contained in this booklet.
Hypertext links to third party websites are provided for convenience only and Gloucestershire
County Council is unable to provide any warranty concerning the accuracy or completeness of
any information held thereon. Gloucestershire County Council in no way endorses the views or
information held on such sites and is unable to grant permission to use material found on such sites.
© Gloucestershire County Council, 2010
reasons to move from
the sofa. DISCOVER
Belle Vue Road Cinderford
Built in 1910 the cinema is one of the oldest purpose built
cinemas in the country.
The cinema closed in 1966 but was restored in March 2001
and a second screen was added in December 2004.
Tall Ships Festival
Tall Ships Festival - getting bigger every year! Visit Gloucester on festival
weekend and you‘ll witness battle re-enactments on water and land, pirates, ship
tours and more. Full size replicas of The Kaskelot, The Matthew, Johanna Lucretia
have all been on display. (Festivals usually May 2010).
Did you know that
the highest point in
the top of Cleeve
Hill? You might
have done… but
did you also know
that there is a golf
course sited there.
The Warehouse Climbing Centre in Gloucester spreads over five floors. It offers a wide range
of climbing experiences, suited to all ages. Whether an experienced climber, a complete novice
or you just want to try the digital climbing wall you’ll be sure of a memorable experience.
To find out more visit, www.the-warehouse.co.uk
Slimbridge can boast a purpose built hide so that families
can get right up close to the wildlife and the little ones can
see out as well.
Winter is a magical time at the centre. Witness the spectacle of
thousands of wild birds and Bewick swans wintering on Swan
Lake in floodlight. Listen to the warden’s commentary
from the heated comfort of the observatory and discover how
individual Bewick swans are identified.
Cricket enthusiast J.M. Barrie
(author of Peter Pan) decided to get
together his own team including
well known literary figures, such
as H.G.Wells and Sir Arthur
Conan Doyle! Barrie had a
thatched cricket pavilion
constructed - still to
be seen to this day.
34. Chalford Donkey, Stroud
Teddy the donkey can be seen at weekends carrying the
shopping of the 30 or so families living along the formidably
steep hill that runs up through the village of Chalford. Teddy
is prepared to go where no delivery van will venture. 35. The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway, Toddington
Gloucestershire’s only ex-mainline heritage railway. The
Toddington site offers steam train based entertainment
for all ages, you can even take a train journey straight into
the station at Cheltenham Racecourse! 39. The view from North Nibley’s Tyndale Monument
It’s an effort to climb there but the reward is stunning!
Adjoining Westridge woods are also a true delight.
41. The Woolpack Inn, Slad will be
ever associated with the late author
Laurie Lee, who was a regular at the
pub. The village and the countryside
around inspired his most famous
book ‘Cider with Rosie’.
42. Situated outside the
town of Painswick,
and famous for its
snowdrop display, the
Rococo Garden is a
fascinating step back
to a flamboyant and
sensual period of
English garden design.
43. Portrait of Elmbury by
John Moore - a book about life
in an English country town
(Tewkesbury) between the wars.
46. The Blaize Bailey viewpoint was constructed using stone
from a disused railway bridge from Fetter Hill in the Forest.
It looks over a horseshoe bend in the River Severn and on
a fine day you can see Gloucester Cathedral, Newnham and
the Cotswold Hills.
47. Cotswold Treasure
The Chief Executive of Cotswold Archaeology selects his top
five archaeological sites in the county...
• Poulton Gold
• Spoonley wood
• Tar barrows
• Gloucester Glass Bottle
48. Westbury on Severn Water gardens are the only
restored Dutch water gardens in the country.
49. Carnival of Transport, Coleford
During Easter the town centre hosts vehicles of all types and
periods displayed side by side. Classes of vehicles include
vintage cars, classic cars, custom & streetrods, military,
commercial and motorcycles.
50. Three Choirs Vineyards, Newent
England’s leading, and most awarded, single estate vineyard.
Visit, dine or stay overnight. Even adopt your own vine!
61. Crickley Hill Country Park
Open space, the views are fantastic, and there are marked
walks suitable for the tiniest of legs - canine and human! www.nwm.org.uk/gloucester
Photo by Nick Turner
Marketing Gloucester LTD
Elton, Forest of Dean
Loved skateboarding as a child? Love skateboarding now?
Get out on those wheels at a dedicated course and
experience the thrill again.
63. Frampton Court tour
For groups of 10 you can have a private guided tour of the
house and gardens and other buildings or any combination
of. The Court was built between 1730 and 1733 and sits in
the heart of Frampton Village.
64. Cranham holds an annual feast on the common with an
ox or deer being roasted to symbolise the village’s retention
of ancient commoners’ rights in the equally ancient
woodlands that ring the settlement.
65. Soudley Ponds is a haven of tranquility within the Forest
of Dean. The Ponds home many wild birds and dragonflies.
The surrounding paths are suitable for pushchairs and
66. Lavender Farm - on the edge of the cotswolds.
This plant loves free draining limestone soils 1,000 feet above
sea level giving the best growing conditions for the highest
quality English Lavender essential oil. A walk past the fields
is a sight to behold.
68. The Minotaur and the Hare is a bronze sculpture created
by Sophie Ryder in 1995. It can be found on The Promenade
54. Cirencester - Corinium Museum
Home to one of the largest collections of Romano-British
antiquities in the country. Corinium, Roman Cirencester, was
the second largest town in Roman Britain.
56. Severn Bore - a natural phenomena that has a timetable!
A large surge wave that can be seen in the estuary of the
River Severn, where the tidal range is the 2nd highest in the
world, being as much as 50 feet (approx. 15.4m).
All Saints Church, Selsley has stained glass designed and produced by William
Morris & Co. and his partners Rossetti, Webb, Ford Madox Brown and
Morris was key to the Arts and Crafts movement, and was in part responsible
for a number of important craft workshops established in the Cotswolds.
(Yes… the Desperate Romantics drama on television was based on real artists
whose work can be seen in Gloucestershire).
All Saints Church is particularly noteworthy for its Saddleback Roof.
You too can be a part of this significant church by sponsoring a roof tile!
Examples of the work of Morris & Co. can be found throughout the Cotswolds
and there is a collection of Arts and Crafts furniture in the Cheltenham
Museum and Art Gallery.
William Morris owned a country house ‘Kelmscott Manor’ near the village
For more information visit, www.allsaintsselsley.org.uk
Railway Inn was
voted best cider pub
It’s a crazy fact...
At Littledean Church 11 o’clock never happens!
The stuff dreams are made of!
The church clock face was mistakenly given
two “IX” on the dial, and to this day has never
10 years ago a couple decided to start their own
circus, they bought a tent, childrens roundabout
and a derelict showmans wagon and set to work...
69. Pangolin Studios,
Chalford is one of Britain’s
leading sculpting foundries with an
international clientele. If you want to
take in a bit of contemporary sculpture
they also have a gallery. 70. Paragliding, Selsey Common
The ridge on the common is one
of the best take off points in the county!
72. There’s miniature magic at the Forest of Dean
Model Village - visitors get an insight into the Forest
of Dean, both past and present where stories
of the myth and magic of the forest are recounted.
45. The Purton Hulks - Purton on the River Severn
in Gloucestershire is Britain’s largest maritime graveyard.
58. J.M. Barrie, author of Peter Pan written in 1904, (a fantasy
tale adventure about the little boy who never grew up) got his
inspiration for the story while staying at Stanway House
in the village of Stanway in the north Cotswolds.
73. Dating from around 4000 years ago, Hetty Pegler’s
Tump measures 120 feet by 80 feet and is a fine
example of a neolithic Cotswold chambered tomb
and unusually, the mound is still intact.
Between 1909 and 1963, at least 80 old and unwanted
vessels were deliberately beached at Purton to save the
embankment between the river and the parallel Sharpness
to Gloucester canal.
60. Guildhall, Gloucester
Live gigs, comedy, galleries, cinema or a relaxing meal in
the vegetarian café, the Guildhall in the centre of Gloucester
is a great cultural asset!
74. Tewkesbury offers some fantastic waterside
settings to relax by. Visit the BBC’s website for
some stunning 360 degree images that will make
you want to see them for real.
Now based in the Cotswolds with tour dates all
around the country at the most scenic locations
every year this circus will not disappoint. With
a brand new show on the horizon for 2010 the show is called “Yasmine - a musical”. It is a
musical circus about the life of legendary female
horse trainer Yasmine Smart. Yasmine will be
appearing in the show playing herself, and will
be training the seven new horses bought for
It is quite simply unique!
75. May Day on May Hill
Join the Morris Dancers at 5am to bring in the new dawn.
76. One of Tewkesbury’s key industries in the 19th Century
was knitted stockings. St Mary’s Lane was a particularly
78. Chavenage House, near Tetbury has to be one of the
must used locations in the county for filming. It has been used
at least 26 times since 1975.
79. Scattering of daisies by Susan Sallis. Fancy a fictional
family saga set in Gloucester? Give this a go, it is free
at the library.
80. Newent Arboretum
This inspired project to populate one of Newent’s largest open
spaces with 1000 new trees was undertaken by the town’s
81. Butterflies - The 1970s comedy series filmed in and
around Cheltenham. The park scenes all took place
at Hatherley Park.
82. Winchcombe Pottery was established in 1926 on the site
of a pottery dating back to the early 1800s making it one of
the longest running craft potteries in the country.
83. Gloucester Docks - Amazing Grace, the 2005 film about
William Wilberforce was filmed in the historic docks which
has recently undergone a multi million pound regeneration
scheme, including a designer shopping outlet.
84. A visit to the Daneway, Sapperton will provide a scenic
walk, as well as an opportunity to see the historic tunnel.
87. Cirencester open air pool
Open air swimming on the edge of a parkland, does it get
88. Batsford Arboretum
One of the largest private collections of trees and shrubs in
the country. Also view nearby Batsford House - home of the
famous Mitford sisters.
Photography provided by www.douglasfolio.co.uk
51. Tetbury market building is a fine building right in the
heart of Tetbury. Various markets still take place under
its grand pillars.
52. Aviator Pub/Restaurant - Staverton airport
It’s quirky, full of intriguing plane-related memorabilia but
most of all offers fantastic views of the planes and helicopters
coming in to land.
53. Gigg Mill is a small mill that houses a collection of
industrial handlooms and where demonstrations of weaving
can be seen as well as the running of a power loom of 19th
Century design, last seen in Nailsworth in the 1880s.
All Saints Church,
Enjoy the facilities as
a family and go just a little
way to extreme!
Photography provided by www.atbshop.co.uk
57. The Turner water colours at Gloucester City Museum
are tucked under a blanket to preserve them and are easily
missed as the museum is filled with wonderful things
to see and do. Speak to staff for possible viewings.
44. See the shop that inspired Beatrix
Potter to write the Tailor of Gloucester,
just off the city’s Westgate Street.
warehouses, the museum tells the story of Britain’s 2000 miles of waterways
and captures life in a working dock. Displays cover engineering, life on board
a narrowboat, canal wildlife and varied waterways crafts.
Redhillextreme offers freestyle dirt jumps and park
features such as boxes, rails and ramps and private
tuition is available. The grounds are also great
for mountain biking (riders have to bring
their own bikes).
Find out more at, www.wwt.org.uk/slimbridge
33. Woodchester Mansion is an unfinished, Gothic
revival mansion house located in Woodchester Park near
Nympsfield in Woodchester. It was abandoned in the middle
of construction, leaving behind a building that appears
complete from the outside, but with floors, plaster and whole
rooms missing inside. It has remained in this state since
no 77. Waterways Museum - housed in one of Gloucester’s Grade II listed
& Wetlands Trust
29. Nature in Art, Twigworth
A museum for nature inspired art created through the ages.
Offering programmes and touring exhibitions housed in
a unique setting.
31. Barnwood Bunnies, Gloucester
It started as a few rabbits on a roundabout. Bunnies did
what bunnies do and now there are a lot of bunnies on
the roundabout - but who thought they would become an
attraction with artwork commissioned in honour of them!
It offers ‘tea matinees’ for those who don’t want to venture
out on a dark evening and there are special showings where
the lights are left dimmed and the sound a little quieter so
you can take your baby and let it doze while you enjoy the
So if you yearn for a traditional cinematic experience
in the heart of a Royal Forest this is the place for you.
89. One of the most complete surviving Saxon churches
in England, is Odda’s Chapel built in 1056 by Earl Odda.
It was rediscovered in 1865 and built into a farmhouse. 90. Forest Bookshop
The UK’s leading resource for Books, DVDs, CDs & other
learning material relating to deafness and deaf issues.
91. The Roman Amphitheatre in Cirencester is one of the
best preserved amphitheatres in Britain and consists of a
large oval arena with steep sloping banked sides. It is open
all year and is free!
92. St Lucy’s Garden, Gloucester
A church spire at ground level! Is there a church buried below?
93. Go Ape - Forest of Dean
Described as a high-wire forest adventure, it is topped
off with one of the country’s best zip lines.
94. Lydney Docks
Venue for the award winning River Severn
Project, the historic docks are tucked away
and provide opportunity for a quiet time
by the water. Disabled access is also good.
Photo: Art installation at Lydney Docks
Three popular commons are in Minchinhampton,
Rodborough and Selsley. Vast open spaces
steeped in history, but with an historic ice cream
factory situated on Rodborough Common.
The Commons are a mecca for serious kite flyers
and terrific dog walks.
(Residents all over the county suggested this item)…
it would seem eating ice cream from Winstones
on top of the common is just the done thing when
95. Poulton International Conker Tournament
Revived in 2009 this tournament is a serious business
with judges being ready to move in and remove any
performance enhanced conkers!
96. Llama trekking in the Forest of Dean
Hire a Llama to carry your walking party’s picnic for the day.
98. Pitville Park
Imagine a park that combines Regency, Victorian and
Edwardian attractions all in one stunning setting bandstands, boating lakes, refreshments, aviaries and
bridges, it’s all there for your enjoyment.
99. Lechlade has a Christmas Shop that is open all year round.
100. The Doctor Who Christmas Special 2008 was filmed
with David Tennant at a snow covered Gloucester Cathedral.
So go on... go on... go on... go on...
have a read, mountain board, visit a film location, mess
about on the river or have an ice cream. Whatever you
do… do it in Gloucestershire. Support the Rural Capital
of Culture, and have a great time to boot.