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Top 10 things to do in Gloucestershire

There are so many things to do in Gloucestershire, but here are the top 10. 

1. Blow the whistle

Gloucestershire has three heritage steam railways, the Gloucestershire Warwickshire (GWSR), Perrygrove and Dean Forest railways. Events include Thomas the Tank Engine days and mince pie specials at Christmas. The views of hills and vales are unbeatable all year round.

Take a ride on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway

Take a ride on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway

2. Discover our heritage

An annual pass allows you to visit Gloucester’s museums; the National Waterways Museum, Gloucester Life Museum, the Soldiers of Gloucestershire and City Museums, which are all within convenient walking distance of each other. Enjoy exploring exhibits and participating in activities over a 12-month period.

3. Catch the bubbles

Gloucestershire artist Kit Williams created the magical Wishing Fish Clock, in Cheltenham’s Regent Arcade shopping centre. A goose lays golden eggs, and every hour some cheeky little mice pop out, a tune plays and a fish blows bubbles that are popped by the small children waiting below.

4. Visit the animals

The Cotswold Farm Park helps preserve rare breeds of farm animals, like the Gloucester Old Spot pig. It’s a fantastic family day out and dog-friendly. There’s a safari to enjoy, while bush craft and foraging activities can be booked in advance. In spring, help bottle feed the young animals.

5. Try clowning around

The magical Giffords Circus travels around Gloucestershire’s village greens during the summer. Acrobats, horses, dogs and the hilarious Tweedy the Clown will make you gasp and roar with laughter. Eat in showman’s wagons at the Circus Sauce restaurant after the evening performance.

6. Take the waters

Legend has it that pigeons, pecking at salt on the ground, discovered Cheltenham’s spa waters, bringing prosperity to the town as George III and the well-to-do in Regency society would come to ‘take the waters’. Take a sip from the brass tap in Pittville Pump Rooms, if you dare!

7. Cycle Gloucestershire

Hire mountain bikes in the Forest of Dean, take up the challenge of Cleeve Hill or boost your adrenaline at the Fly Up 417 bike park. Alternatively, pedal sedately along the county’s canals or check out the national cycle trails in the county.

8. Count Painswick’s trees

Can you count 99 neat, topiary yew trees in Painswick churchyard? Legend says that when the 100th is planted, one dies. Look out for the old stocks, then visit the Rococo Gardens and the Woolpack in the Slad valley, local pub of author Laurie Lee, who wrote Cider with Rosie.

Count the famous yew trees in Painswick churchyard

Count the famous yew trees in Painswick churchyard

9. Witness the Severn Bore

The Severn Bore occurs when the incoming tide is funnelled upstream by the narrowing of the River Severn, forming a wave of up to 15 metres. Watch it, photograph it or attempt to surf on it – it’s an impressive sight. Check tide tables for the best days to view.

10. Watch cheesemaking

On Tuesdays and Thursdays by appointment, you can visit Old Ley Farm near Huntley and watch traditional cheesemaking using milk from named cows on the farm. You can also buy cheese, or bacon and sausages from their Gloucester Old Spot pigs, at many farmers’ markets.

Discover more of Gloucestershire…

Gloucestershire attractions

Gloucestershire restaurants and cafes

Gloucestershire shopping

Gloucestershire nightlife venues

Gloucestershire cultural attractions

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Image credits: ©Chris Rose/; Cotswold Farm Park; Mark Lord/Giffords Circus

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