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Gloucestershire

If you really want to appreciate the richness of the UK’s countryside, then make sure you pay a visit to Gloucestershire. This is the county that boasts the largest areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty of anywhere in the country. You’ll find it in the South West, situated on the beautiful Severn Estuary and bordered by a number of other counties including Monmouthshire, Herefordshire and Oxfordshire.

Art at the Heart of Gloucestershire

Gloucester is at the heart of the county; an impressive and historic city bustling with shops and imposing architecture. The other major towns are Tewkesbury, Stroud, Cheltenham and Cirencester. You’ll find that this county has a very artistic undercurrent: Tewkesbury is home to the Roses Theatre and Cheltenham plays host to one of the most important and spectacular literary festivals in the UK.

From ‘The Dream’ to Alcatraz

The county is steeped in history, with plenty of attractions to visit. Berkeley Castle is one of the most outstanding examples of Medieval architecture, with manicured gardens and is said to be the inspiration for Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. For something a little more imposing, families may enjoy a visit to Littledean Jail, known as ‘The Alcatraz of the Forest of Dean’.

Britain’s Most Beautiful Playground

A visit to Gloucestershire wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Forest of Dean. While it offers splendid, rolling scenery, it also offers plenty of activities for fans of extreme sports and family groups. With abseiling, horse-riding, rafting and a huge variety of other things to do, it's little wonder that the Forest has become known as one of the biggest and most beautiful playgrounds in Britain, and the perfect location to unwind and relax from the stresses and strains of everyday life.

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February

Oxford International Art Fair
Oxford International Art Fair

Giving Art Collectors and Art Enthusiast a once in a lifetime opportunity to buy directly from the artist that has travelled all the way to Oxford. (photo - VisitEngland/NewcastleGateshead Initiative)

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Slimbridge Festival of Birds
Slimbridge Festival of Birds

Slimbridge Wetland Centre in the Stroud area of Gloucestershire is not only home to the world’s largest collection of swans, geese and ducks, but it is also the only place in the UK where you can see all six species of flamingo.

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March

Cheltenham Racecourse The Festival (Gold Cup Week)
Cheltenham Racecourse The Festival (Gold Cup Week)

The Festival is the embodiment of everything that is great about Cheltenham. It is four days of atmosphere, anticipation and action, played out on a beautiful sporting arena that has no equal.

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April

Cheltenham International Jazz Festival
Cheltenham International Jazz Festival

Taking place in hosted in a tented festival village in Cheltenham’s Montpellier Gardens, the Jazz Festival features a Big Top, Jazz Arena, Beyond the Band tent with jazz cinema, and a great range of food and drink options, as well as a market area.

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Folk Weekend, Oxford
Folk Weekend, Oxford

Oxford's celebration of all things folky.

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May

Abingdon Air & Country Show
Abingdon Air & Country Show

A celebration of aviation and all things country. (photo - VisitEngland/Marketing Gloucester)

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Salisbury Arts Festival
Salisbury Arts Festival

A Two-week multi-arts festival (VisitEngland/VisitDerby/Matthew Jones Photography)

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Stratford-upon-Avon Food Festival
Stratford-upon-Avon Food Festival

Food and horse racing. (photo ©VisitEngland/Marketing Gloucester)

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June

Chadlington Beer Festival
Chadlington Beer Festival

A celebration of local beers. (photo - VisitEngland/Isle of Wight Festival Isle of Wight Festival)

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Cheltenham Food & Drink Festival
Cheltenham Food & Drink Festival

Showcasing the very best of local and national food producers

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Sherstonfest “The South Cotswolds Cider, Music and Fine Food Festival”
Sherstonfest “The South Cotswolds Cider, Music and Fine Food Festival”

The best of contemporary British music and traditional English. (photo ©VisitEngland/Marketing Gloucester)

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July

Annual Cotswold Show at Cirencester Park
Annual Cotswold Show at Cirencester Park

A showcase of all things Cotswolds. (photo ©VisitEngland/Marketing Gloucester)

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Tewkesbury Medieval Festival
Tewkesbury Medieval Festival

Tewkesbury Medieval Festival has been the high spot of Tewkesbury’s summer since 1984. It is now widely regarded as the largest free medieval gathering of its kind in Europe, and attracts re-enactors, traders and entertainers, and visitors from all over the world. (photo - VisitEngland/NewcastleGateshead Initiative)

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Three Choirs Festival
Three Choirs Festival

The Three Choirs Festival, held annually since the early eighteenth century and rotating between the three great cathedral cities of Gloucester, Worcester and Hereford, is one of the world’s oldest classical music festivals. (photo ©VisitEngland/Marketing Gloucester)

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Warwick Folk Festival
Warwick Folk Festival

The very best in traditional and contemporary folk arts.

photo - VisitEngland/VisitDerby/Matthew Jones Photography)

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September

Salisbury Food and Drinks Festival
Salisbury Food and Drinks Festival

Salisbury Food & Drink Festival is a fantastic week of foodie events, gourmet produce and family fun. (photo - VisitEngland/VisitPortsmouth)

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October

Tetbury Musical Festival
Tetbury Musical Festival

Bringing leading instrumentalists and singers to Tetbury. (photo ©VisitEngland/Isle of Wight Festival Isle of Wight Festival)

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December

Winchcombe Christmas Festival
Winchcombe Christmas Festival

A series of new Yuletide events in the town.

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