Gloucester Cathedral

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Much of Gloucester's history, present location, expansion and even contemporary layout came about thanks to its beginnings as a military fortress and later 'Glevum,' a retirement village for Roman soldiers at the time of Emperor Nerva. When deciding where to stay in Gloucester, the central city hotels in Gloucester, England make excellent base to peek into the buried foundations of this ancient ‘golden acres’ at the Eastgate Viewing Chamber.

Gloucester Cathedral

From the time of Roman decline to the digging of the Gloucester-Sharpness Canal in the Victorian era, Gloucester was a witness to important events in English history. The resplendent Gloucester Cathedral, usually first on the visitors’ list, stands where St. Peter's Abbey used to be, one of the first projects built by the invading Anglo-Saxons and the only abbey outside of Westminster where a king's coronation – that of the boy king Henry VIII – took place.

The abbey of ‘Gloweceastra' became even more renowned when it received the remains of gender-ambiguous Edward II, the first English heir apparent to have held the title of Prince of Wales. His grave became a pilgrimage site, and continues to be the cathedral’s star attraction. In the past, generous visitors made possible the expansion and beautification of the abbey to its present form.

The cathedral, which lords over the city, has also been receiving pilgrims of the Harry Potter variety. Given its old age and magnificent cloisters, it is little surprise that the interiors looked picture-perfect to stand in for Hogwarts corridors.

Gloucester attractions

Just outside the cathedral grounds sprouted several other priories and friaries from the second to 13th centuries and largely remain true to their form. Wander around the backyard of Gloucester's oldest church, St. Mary de Lode, and hear the echo of its dark secret. It was here that a Protestant martyr was burned at stake by the Queen of Scots, Bloody Mary. Along with the Blackfriars Dominican cloisters, the area is undergoing a much-needed facelift.

From your city centre accommodation in Gloucester, England, stroll into the once-decrepit and now restored Victorian warehouses that bustle with a gentrified air, transforming the historic dockyards into a hub of retail, a gathering place for lazy-afternoons coffee, and a gateway to discovery in its museums. England’s once largest inland port also makes convenient launching pad to explore the waterways on a 45-minute canal cruise which leaves thrice a day.

Secure a bed and breakfast in Gloucester, England and make the city your base for longer cruises that can be arranged at the Waterways Museum. Or chart an overland route and integrate Gloucester into several other attractions that include London, three hours east; the Cotswolds, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty of rolling farmlands and limestone rural villages immediately to its east; or across the River Severn and into Cardiff, Wales one hour southwest.