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48 Hours in Gloucestershire by Girl About Gloucestershire

By Maria Butler – 1st July 2020

A weekend in Gloucestershire:

Gloucestershire boasts some of the most beautiful countryside in England, made up of three breathtaking areas – a large portion of The Cotswolds, the Royal Forest of Dean and the Severn Vale. There are plenty of memories to be made here in gorgeous Gloucestershire and spending a weekend here will be jam-packed I promise!

Girl About Gloucestershire

Friday lunchtime in Gloucestershire:

Start your weekend with lunch in Nailsworth. The picture-perfect, artistic market town is nestled in a wooded valley to the east of Stroud, in the south Cotswolds, and boasts lots of great little places to grab a bite. One of my favourites is Clementines, a lovely little coffee-bar serving delicious sandwiches and incredible waffles for those with a sweet tooth. There are also lots of independent shops for gifts, pottery, art and antiques so make some time for a wander to walk off those waffles.

 

Friday afternoon in Gloucestershire:

Kids in tow? Just a 25-minute drive west of Nailsworth is Cattle Country Adventure Farm Park – this is one of the best family attractions in Gloucestershire, it’s really interactive with plenty of farm animals and it will keep you busy all day and will encourage you to get involved with your children as much as possible. There is so much to do whatever the weather. (Check opening times before planning to visit as they vary depending on the season).

Just a 15-minute drive from Nailsworth and another option for today is Westonbirt Arboretum in Tetbury – perhaps the most important and widely known arboretum in the United Kingdom. Westonbirt Arboretum is a fantastic day afternoon out for any age and dogs are welcome too. it’s home to 15,000 trees from all over the globe and unlike other arboretums, the landscape here was laid out aesthetically rather than in a botanical order, known as Westonbirt (you learn something new every day!). Take a journey up into the canopy on the STIHL Tree Top Walkway, go on a guided walk around the arboretum, stop by the café for a tasty treat and hunt out the Gruffalo.

 

Friday Evening in Gloucestershire:

Why not visit a traditional Cotswold Steakhouse! The Falcon Steakhouse is in the picturesque town of Wotton-under-Edge and serves locally sourced produce. Very well known in the area and often hard to find a free table so booking is highly advisable.

Another option is a traditional country inn in Avening; if you’re visiting in winter you will appreciate the roaring open fire of the Queen Matilda. With a lovely pub style menu, and a vegan option, there’s sure to be something to take your fancy!

Saturday morning in Gloucestershire:

Head to the historic city Gloucester to visit one of the finest medieval buildings in the country – the 11th-century Gloucester Cathedral. Several scenes from Harry Potter were filmed here so it’s now a popular stop-off for Hogwarts-loving tourists to the area. If you skipped breakfast this morning or just feeling a bit peckish, then I can’t recommend Yantos Pancake House enough. Stacks of the most divine pancakes and smoothies – the best pancakes in Gloucester and way beyond.

For shopping, head to Gloucester Quays  – there’s a stylish indoor shopping mall with high-street and designer brands offered at discounted prices. Gloucester Quays sits on Gloucester’s Docks, which is one of the UK’s most inland shipping ports and is filled with Victorian history and architecture so take some time to wander around. The Soldier Museum and The Waterways Museum are worth a visit if you want to immerse yourself in more of the city’s history. You can also book a boat trip along the canal here on the docks.

 

Saturday lunch in Gloucestershire:

Before you leave the city, if you’re not still stuffed from those pancakes or swerved them all together, I recommend Hooker & Eight for lunch for amazing pizzas.  Wonderful vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options available and super-friendly service.

If you swerved lunch in Gloucester, then tuck into something tasty in Cheltenham. If you’re wanting something a bit more posh and proper than pizza, I can recommend the perfect place.

Cheltenham is a beautiful spa town just a 20-minute drive from Gloucester. You can also get a train – it takes less than 10 minutes on the train and if you’re staying in Gloucester this is a good call, especially if you fancy a cheeky champagne-cocktail or three at my favourite Cheltenham restaurant.

The Daffodil Restaurant is located on Suffolk Parade and started out as a 1920s cinema. It’s been interior-designed and refurbished by Laurence Llewellyn-Bowen and he certainly doesn’t disappoint when it comes to decadence. The art deco-style restaurant oozes Hollywood glamour and sophistication and boasts a champagne and cocktail bar and a superb fine-dining menu. Afternoon tea is also on the menu. With champagne of course. Take the train 😉

Vinnies eatery is a luxury plant-based restaurant and serves delicious cold press juices if this is more up your street.

 

Saturday afternoon in Gloucestershire:

Check out Cheltenham’s events calendar before you set off – the town hosts some wonderful festivals throughout the year. If you’re visiting in summer and it’s hot enough, pack your swimwear and head to Sandford Parks Lido for a delightful dip in the heated outdoor pools.

Out of season (in fact in any season) I recommend a trip to Pittville Park which has lots on offer to entertaining.  It’s home to the magnificent Pittville Pump Room and lakes and has been divided – the eastern side is well-known, being overlooked by Pittville Pump Room and with a huge children’s play area, including sand and water play area plus several aviaries where you’ll find popular birds and bunnies. Definitely worth a visit for families!

The second section of the park is much larger, here you’ll find the larger ‘lower lake’ where you can fish during fishing season.

There’s a couple of museums that I can also recommend – The Wilson Museum, The Holst Museum and The Jet Age Museum.

 

Saturday evening in Gloucestershire:

For dinner tonight I can highly recommend a fabulous family-run authentic Thai restaurant call Bangkok Kitchen. The food is out of this world (if, like me, you love Thai)  and the staff are superb. Other restaurant recommendations in Cheltenham include Gianni’s for Italian, and Vegetus for vegan and plant-based cuisine.

You’ve probably guessed where I head back to if I want to make a night out it… straight back to The Daffodil’s champagne and cocktail bar (if we ever even made it out of there in the first place!).

I can also recommend Coffee (or a cocktail) at Smokey Joes – a vintage-style retro coffee bar that serves rich organic coffees, fabulous 50s milkshakes, beers & cocktails and they hold regular Jazz nights (check their website for dates).

Cheltenham has an Everyman Theatre which is also another architectural masterpiece, so if you fancy watching a top quality production you won’t regret visiting here. Get there early and enjoy your favourite tipple in their Circle Bar before the show.

Sunday morning in Gloucestershire:

You can’t visit Gloucestershire without a few hours spent meandering around one of the Cotswolds most picture-perfect postcard-worthy villages. Just a 35-minute drive from Gloucester is Bourton-on-the-Water. This charming unspoilt English village is known as the Venice of the Cotswolds and there really is nowhere more perfect for a Sunday morning stroll.

Bourton-on-the-Water is situated on the River Windrush and is well known for its ancient stone bridges straddling mini rivers and traditional stone houses with meticulously manicured gardens. Aside from the village’s cute and quirky shops, attractions include Birdland (complete with a Jurassic journey which is great for children), Cotswold Motoring Museum and the famous Model Village – the only grade II listed model village in the Country.

You can’t visit the Cotswolds without indulging in a cream tea and so a visit to Bakery on the Water makes for the ultimate finale to your weekend here in Gloucestershire. A fantastic artisan bakery – it’s one of the very best. They have an incredible selection of delicious cakes ready to be washed down with a proper pot of tea.

 

 

 

5 of my favourite places to stay in Gloucestershire:

 

  1. Cotswold Grange Hotel – https://www.cotswoldgrangehotel.co.uk/
  2. The Frogmill https://www.thefrogmill.co.uk/
  3. Milton End Farm – https://www.miltonend.co.uk/
  4. Glamping and chalets at The Holford Arms – https://www.theholfordarms.co.uk/#0
  5. Egypt Mill – http://www.egyptmill.com/
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