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Discover Gloucestershire

Gloucestershire offers the best of both city and country living. It’s as vibrant and innovative as it is historic and beautiful.

Our unique location has more than 45 festivals every year, beautiful countryside and an eclectic mix of music, cultural events and nightlife.

Jump to: Festivals and events | Sports facilities | Outdoor pursuits | Links to Harry Potter

Where is Gloucestershire?

Gloucestershire is a county in the South West of England. UoG’s three campuses are set across the city of Gloucester and its neighbouring town of Cheltenham on the edge of the Cotswolds, the UK’s largest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The area is easily accessible by road, rail and air, with Bristol, Birmingham and Oxford all within an hour’s reach.

More information about our location and how to travel here can be found on our How to find us page.

View from Bishops Cleeve, Cheltenham

Breathtaking countryside on your doorstep

Crowd cheering at live performance

Enjoy the best of both worlds

Three students sit at a table in a bar drinking cocktails.

Over 500 bars, clubs and pubs

Find out what Gloucestershire can offer you…

festivals and events

Festival stage with audience

The Festival Town

Cheltenham is known as the ‘Festival Town’ and it’s easy to see why. Its busy calendar of events include the world’s oldest literature festival and famous horse racing events including the Gold Cup.

There are festivals celebrating jazz, science, street art, film, wellbeing, comedy, music, poetry, cricket, food and drink, and much more besides.

Many of these festivals offer free events meaning you can involved and enjoy the vibrant festival atmosphere whatever your budget.

gloucester’s RICH CULtural history

Gloucester’s rich culture and history is celebrated throughout the year with a diverse programme of events including the Tall Ships Festival at the iconic Gloucester Docks, the Free Food Festival, the Gloucester History Festival and Victorian Christmas Market.

The city is also home to numerous music festivals including Barn on the Farm which showcases the best new musical talent and the Gloucester Rhythm and Blues Festival.

You can also enjoy a wide programme of music and cinematic events at the newly refurbished Guildhall in the city centre.

View of Gloucester Docks with canal boats adorned with colourful bunting and tall ships.

“The best thing about Gloucestershire is the number of opportunities – it’s really busy and lively.”

Amy Wright, English Language and Creative Writing student

Three female students hold bowling balls in front of the bowling lanes.

Two female students walk under an arch with Cheltenham Jazz festival wording on it.

festival crowd outside

Students on mountain bikes pause to admire the green scenery.

outdoor pursuits

The Cotswolds, Forest of Dean and the Malvern Hills are all within easy reach, giving you plenty of opportunity to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors.

You can enjoy cycling, hiking and horse riding, as well as canoeing and sailing in the River Severn and Wye.

Closer to home, Cheltenham has numerous parks and green spaces including Pittville Park with its pretty lake where you can hire boats.

Two male students holding skis on the dry ski slope.

World-class sports facilities

Gloucester is home to a world-class Ski and Snowboard Centre, The Warehouse indoor climbing centre and the recently opened 270 Climbing Park, one of Europe’s highest rope course and activity towers.

If you enjoy water sports, you’ll love paddle boarding at Gloucester Docks or the range of activities at the nearby Cotswold Water Park. Or perhaps a leisurely swim at Cheltenham’s Lido (50m outdoor pool) is more your thing.

A woman blows magic dust from her hands at night-time.

magical links to Harry Potter

There are many links between Gloucestershire and the Harry Potter books and films. Not only are the Potters supposedly from this county and the Dursleys are named after a local village, but many iconic scenes were filmed here too.

Students inside Gloucester cathedral

The world-famous Cloister of Gloucester Cathedral became the impressive corridors for Hogwarts in many of the films including The Philosopher’s Stone and The Chamber of Secrets.

A 30-minute drive from Gloucester, the Forest of Dean features in The Deathly Hallows film. Harry, Ron and Hermione camp out in the forest during their quest to destroy the Horcruxes.

A postgraduate students sits on the tree bough in the Forest of Dean.

Did you know?

The ancient woodland of Puzzlewood in the Forest of Dean has appeared in numerous television series and films including Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Doctor Who and Merlin.

A wooden pathway leads though woodland and undergrowth.
Students in a rowing boat on a lake

Pittville Pump Room with a lake in the foreground.