Hotels in Gloucester | Find the Best Budget City Centre Rooms in Gloucester, United Kingdom | IHG
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Gloucester Hotels

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Featured Gloucester Hotels

Visiting Gloucester – A City Guide

Gloucester is a small cathedral city in southwest England, known for its wealth of historic buildings and surrounding countryside. It started out as a Roman garrison and still contains fine architecture from a range of periods, including medieval churches, half-timbered Tudor houses and 19th-century canalside warehouses.

Gloucester: city layout

Gloucester city centre is compact and easy to explore on foot. The four ‘Gate Streets’ – Westgate, Eastgate, Northgate and Southgate, now largely pedestrianised – mark the historic core of the city. This is also the main shopping district, and where you’ll find many museums and attractions, including Gloucester Cathedral, a gothic masterpiece.

Beyond the city, the honey-coloured stone villages and rolling hills of the Cotswolds spread to the east, while the Forest of Dean lies to the west and the Malvern Hills to the north.

Top attractions in Gloucester

The soaring columns, stained glass and fan vaulting of Gloucester Cathedral attract admirers of ecclesiastical architecture, while its use as a film location draws Harry Potter fans from across the world.

A short stroll away are the regenerated Gloucester Docks, a reminder that the city was once England’s farthest inland port. The Victorian storehouses now contain apartments, a museum, some of the city’s liveliest bars and restaurants and an outlet shopping mall.

It’s ten minutes by rail from Gloucester Train Station to Cheltenham Spa, England’s most complete Regency town, where cultural and shopping opportunities abound.

The concierge recommends…

  • Exploring Gloucester Folk Museum, housed in Tudor buildings on Westgate Street and full of quirky collections dating back 500 years.
  • Hearing choral evensong at Gloucester Cathedral, a glorious way to experience the beauty and serenity of this historic building.
  • Watching the city’s Rugby Union team, one of the top clubs in the country, play at home in Kingsholm Stadium.
  • Visiting the bird-packed wetlands of WWT Slimbridge on the River Severn, a half an hour’s drive south of the city.

Hotels in Gloucester

Gloucester accommodations range from old-fashioned inns in the city centre to modern, business-friendly hotels near the motorway. Countryside retreats include historic manor houses with manicured grounds and purpose-built spa hotels.

Business travellers and visitors keen to explore the Cotswolds tend to position themselves on the outskirts of Gloucester, in Barnwood or Quedgeley. They’re handy for both the city and the M5 motorway, and some major companies have offices in the vicinity.

An even wider choice of rooms is available in nearby Cheltenham, ideal for guests attending a wedding at the Pittville Pump Room or horse-racing fans heading to Cheltenham Racecourse. Amid the town’s leafy Regency squares, you’ll find the latest in chic boutique hotels as well as luxury suites, cosy B&Bs and self-catering apartments.

Eating Out in Gloucester

Dining options in Gloucester tend to be traditional rather than trendy. Historic pubs serving fish ‘n’ chips, health-conscious wholefood cafés and child-friendly pizza parlours are the norm, with a smattering of ethnic alternatives for spice-lovers.

You’ll find the greatest number of cafés, restaurants and pubs in the city centre. Globe-trotting favourites include C&W African Experience, Tiger’s Eye and So Thai for pan-African, Asian fusion and Thai cooking, respectively. Lily’s near the cathedral is a cute choice for a very English cream tea.

Gloucester Quays has become a buzzing destination for casual and family dining, with reliable chain restaurants serving pizza, Italian and Mexican food. More bucolic waterside dining is available beside Over Canal Basin, where the Wharf House serves top-notch Modern European fare made from local, seasonal ingredients like self-harvested honey and River Severn smoked salmon.

The chef recommends...

  • Gloucester Old Spot pork: This rare-breed pig is much loved by chefs for its high-quality, full-flavoured meat. Look out for dishes featuring belly, chops or sausages, or go the whole hog with a succulent roast dinner.
  • Stinking Bishop cheese: A dense, pungent cheese made on just one Gloucestershire farm, and washed in a perry made from the juice of the Stinking Bishop pear (hence the name).
  • Gloucester elvers: These baby eels from the River Severn were once a common local delicacy, but are now very rare due declining eel populations. They’re traditionally cooked in bacon fat with eggs, yielding something akin to a fishy omelette.

Shopping in Gloucester

The main shopping area, centred on the pedestrianised Gate Streets in the city centre, incorporates two high-street malls. Nearby are a traditional covered market and an outdoor market, selling everything from curtains to cauliflower. There’s also a weekly farmers’ market.

If you’re looking for a bargain, visit the Gloucester Quays Outlet Centre at Gloucester Docks, where discounts are as high as 70% off brands such as Bench, Nike, Gap and Osprey.

Unsurprisingly, antiques are something of a speciality in this historic city. You can poke through the myriad offerings at the Gloucester Antiques Centre, recently moved to a lovely old building on Westgate Street, or browse for vintage finds at Upstairs Downstairs, a spacious warehouse on Severn Road near the Docks.

Discerning shoppers travel the few miles to Cheltenham for its larger malls and independent retail scene, especially in womenswear, beauty, interiors and books.

Best gift shops in Gloucester

  • The World of Beatrix Potter: The characters from Beatrix Potter’s much-loved tales, including “The Tailor of Gloucester”, come in stuffed toy, china or book form at this small gift shop and museum near the cathedral.
  • Gloucestershire Arts & Crafts Centre: Offering handcrafted items at good prices, including jewellery, textiles, paintings by local county artists, this centre is tucked into an alley opposite the Beatrix Potter shop.
  • Fab & Faded: Bric-a-brac and retro delights, from crockery to clothing, are crammed into two floors in this shop on Southgate Street.

Culture & Nightlife in Gloucester

The city’s main entertainment venue is the multipurpose Gloucester Guildhall, on Eastgate Street. Here you can catch indie, rock and folk bands, enjoy stand-up comedy, view an exhibition or watch art house and mainstream films.

The Docks quarter has some popular late-night bars and a buzzing, studenty vibe, while traditional real ale pubs are the order of the day in the centre of town.

Gloucester’s music scene is nicely varied, from rock and punk bands playing intimate gigs in pubs to chamber and choral concerts at Gloucester Cathedral. There’s no lack of well-established annual music festivals, including the Cajun & Zydeco Festival, the Rhythm & Blues Festival and the Three Choirs Festival, which rotates among the cathedral towns of Gloucester, Hereford and Worcester.

Local theatre lovers head to the Everyman Theatre in Cheltenham, which stages everything from opera to a much-loved annual panto in its ornate Victorian auditorium.

Gloucester’s best pubs

  • Café Rene: A cosy venue off Southgate Street, with a jam-packed terrace and hundreds of old wine bottles on the ceiling. Bands and DJs play three nights a week.
  • New Inn: New in the 15th century, but distinctly venerable these days, this black-and-white galleried coaching inn on Northgate Street is where Lady Jane Grey announced her succession to the English throne in 1553.
  • Tank: Down at the Docks, this craft beer specialist is an offshoot of the award-winning Gloucester Brewery across the water. The bare-brick interior gives off a funky, industrial edge.

Visiting Gloucester with a Family

Gloucester’s museums cater well for children, with exhibitions, trails and workshops specially designed to interest young visitors. Indoor activities range from climbing to go-karting, and in summer you can explore the city’s canals by boat.

The medieval cloisters at Gloucester Cathedral appeal to wannabe wizards: they stood in for the corridors of Hogwarts School in three Harry Potter movies. The occasional Potter-themed guided tours sell out fast.

Also in the city centre, the Gloucester City Museum & Art Gallery has dinosaur skeletons and Roman remains, while the Docks offer boatloads of fun at the revamped Gloucester Waterways Museum.

‘Flying experiences’ with owls, buzzards and hawks are available at the Barn Owl Centre, near Quedgeley. In Cheltenham, expansive Pittville Park is a perennial favourite thanks to its play areas, birds and bunny rabbits, as well as two lakes for boating and fishing.

Gloucester’s best waterside attractions

  • Tall Ships: This swashbuckling festival brings high-masted sailing ships, pirate battles and family entertainments galore to Gloucester Docks. It takes place every odd-numbered year, in May.
  • Sandford Parks Lido: Make a splash at this open-air paradise in Cheltenham, which has a 50-metre main pool, a paddling pool and a kids’ pool. The water is heated and there’s plenty of grass for sunbathing.
  • Prinknash Bird & Deer Park: A half an hour’s drive east of Gloucester, this landscaped lakeside park is home to white peacocks, tame fallow deer and several charming, painted wooden houses.

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Latest Gloucester Hotel Reviews

our stay
By jon332337
staff very very good and very helpful room was clean and tidy breakfasts were good only bad point was no air-con in room although a fan is in the room [Less]
By Locrispen
Good service, friendly staff and helpful,clean and comfortable rooms [Less]
Overnight stay
By Mojon
Clean tidy, pleasant staff, Breakfast acceptable. Parking Area convenient to building. [Less]
Pleasant over night stay
By UK55449
Stayed here with the family whilst visiting RIAT, great friendly welcome, clean rooms and a good breakfast. Certainly worth the HI Express badge. [Less]
Great and friendly service
By Smiles
Professional and friendly front desk personnel, made to feel welcome. Hotel spotlessly clean throughout the hotel. Excellent choice of breakfast, cereal, fruit, hot cooked breakfast, toast and [More] muffins. Definitely would recommend this hotel for location for centre of Cheltenham and bus service nearby. Keep up the excellent service we received and we definitely will be back. [Less]
Great nights sleep
By Maud
Good value, close to cinema, shops and lots of places to choose for good food [Less]
Nice Stay
By Dan73
Good room, quiet, modern facilities. Overall good value for money. [Less]
Comfortable bed and great service
By frankdix
My overview of this hotel is good to excellent and I would return again. [Less]
Another decent night at a Holiday Inn Hotel
Comfortable bed, large lobby, bar/restaurant area and all important access to a gym/pool. Free wifi pretty good too. Breakfast average but otherwise another decent night at a Holiday Inn Hotel [Less]

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