Gloucester, England's heartland

gloucester map

Gloucester has grown from a Roman town, Glevum, to a busy modern market and manufacturing centre. For two thousand years it was the lowest crossing point on the River Severn, therefore controlled the routes into Wales

There are a number of interesting buildings

And in the immediate area you can visit

Home of the Duke of Beaufort, this Palladian mansion is at the centre of a 15000 acre estate. The three day Badminton Horse Trials are held here annually in April. The estate is home to the Beaufort Hunt, and the house has a fine collection of English, Dutch and Italian paintings, plus carving by Grinling Gibbons.
Berkeley Castle dates from Norman times. The Berkeley family have occupied the castle ever since. You may like to know that Edward II was murdered in its dungeons in 1327. Edward Jenner, discoverer of Smallpox vaccination, was born here, and is buried in the village church. All around are thousands of acres of flatlands bordering the Severn
An old Cotswold wool town, with a massive wool church. The church is best known today for its clipped yew hedges. Some of the trees date back to 1714, and tradition gives their number at 99, apparently when the 100th was planted, the devil uprooted it.
Slimbridge houses the worlds largest collection of wildfowl. Founded by Peter Scott it has both thousands of resident birds, plus enormous flocks of geese that pass here in winter every year. There are a number of well placed hides for you to se the birds at a closer distance.
Tewkesbury grew up where the River Avon joined the River Severn. There are still lots of black and white, half timbered houses. 13th and 14th century inns, including the Royal Hop Pole Inn mentioned in Pickwick Papers, the timer framed Bell Inn and The Black Bear. Of course the Abbey, with its Norman Tower stretching up 132 feet, and the 16th century Tudor Hotel - complete with priests hole
Westonbirt Arboretum is perhaps the most famous arboretum in England. Managed by the Forestry Commission, the tree collection was started in 1829 by the local squire. The trees are at their most interesting with the rhododendrums through the summer, and the deciduous trees changing colour in autumn.
Wooton under Edge
Wooton gets its name from being literally under the edge of the Cotswold escarpment. There  are some fine 13 and 14th century building in the old market town. The organ in the parish church was bought from St Martins in the Field in London, and Handel himself played it there
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Gloucester touring centre