Moving to Gloucester
Gloucester is the cathedral city of the Cotswolds.
Moving to Gloucester from within Europe is usually by road and from further afield usually by sea, with more urgent items coming by air freight. Further details of the various shipping options can be viewed in our shipping guidance.
Lying on the River Severn and close to the Welsh border, Gloucester’s roots stretch back to Roman times when it was one of the chief settlements in Roman Britain. Thus this important English city can boast 2,000 years of history. Gloucester is the country’s most inland port, and grew wealthy on the export of wool from the Cotswolds. The city’s glorious Cathedral originated in the foundation of an abbey in 681. King Henry III was crowned there (the only time a monarch has been crowned outside Westminster) and King Edward II was buried there in 1327, attracting pilgrims and great wealth to the city.
In 1643, during the English Civil War, Gloucester’s parliamentarians were besieged by royalist forces who outnumbered them by twenty to one. The city was eventually relieved after 26 days on 5 September, an event now celebrated annually as Gloucester Day.
Gloucester developed into an industrial centre during the industrial revolution thanks to the proximity of iron ore, coal and timber from the nearby Forest of Dean. The Gloster Aircraft Company designed and built the first British jet aircraft and the aerospace business is still important today, along with the finance and service sectors. Physically the city is regenerating once-neglected areas like the docks, the King’s Quarter and Greater Blackfriars, developments which are bringing in new investment.
Gloucester Cathedral is one of the finest medieval buildings in the country. The extraordinary fan-vaulted cloisters (you may recognise them from the Harry Potter films) and the East Window are national treasures, and the Lady Chapel has some of the finest Arts & Crafts glass in the land. The Museum of Gloucester and Art Gallery features a Roman kitchen and a medieval street scene, while the Life Museum relates the story of Gloucester’s social history.
Housed in a fine Victorian warehouse in the historic docks area, Gloucester Waterways Museum reflects the importance of canals and rivers to the city. The Tailor of Gloucester Beatrix Potter Museum and Shop is located in the original building used in the story.
To the south-east of Gloucester lie the many beautiful and historic towns and villages of the Cotswolds, like Boughton-on-the Water, Cheltenham and Stow-on-the-Wold. To the west across the River Severn is the 27,000 acres of woodland that make up the spectacular natural beauty of the Forest of Dean. Between the Cotswolds and the Forest of Dean lies Severn Vale, where lush meadows lie alongside the lower reaches of the Severn, Britain’s longest river, forming a haven for thousands of wildfowl and wading birds.
Amenities and Entertainment
If it is high street brands you are looking for you will find them in the city centre and the King’s Walk and Eastgate Shopping Centres. There are friendly independent boutiques in the Cathedral Quarter, while Gloucester Quays has designer brands, restaurants and a multiplex cinema. The city has a range of antique shops and flea markets to tempt visitors.
Gloucestershire produces the world-renowned double and single Gloucester cheeses, and the Gloucestershire Old Spot pig, famed for its succulence and flavour. But whether it is fine food, dockside dining or food on the run there is somewhere to suit your taste, from Michelin-starred restaurants to gastro pubs, offering cuisine from round the world.
The city’s main theatre and cultural venue is the Guildhall, which hosts live music. The Three Choirs Festival, one of the oldest music festivals in Britain, is held in Gloucester every three years. For sports fans Kingsholme stadium, close to the city centre, is the home of Gloucester Rugby Club who play in the English Premiership.
Gloucester has excellent transport links to the rest of the country.
- Gloucester railway station has frequent trains to London Paddington, Bristol, Cardiff and Birmingham. The journey time to London is around two hours.
- Gloucestershire Airport, situated between Gloucester and Cheltenham, is mainly used for flight training and private and business flying. The nearest international airports are Birmingham International Airport and Bristol Airport.
- The nearby M5 motorway to the east of the city connects Gloucester northwards with the M6 at West Bromwich near Birmingham, and southwards with Bristol and Exeter.