Gloucestershire

Gloucestershire is the place where ancient wilderness lives cheek to cheek with civilisation. The honey-hued cottages and cobbled paths of the Cotswold villages and towering battlements of medieval castles edge the Forest of Dean, England’s second-largest forest, where rootling boars and soaring birds of prey make it seem as if nothing has changed since the 12th century. Cider With Rosie, the famously bucolic English memoir, was set among Gloucestershire’s quiet towns and sun-drenched fields, and the Forest’s beautiful depths evoke English legends like Robin Hood. Camping in Gloucestershire is the way to see myths comes alive.

It’s also a place with a rich cultural life, from festivals and opera to some of the country’s most famous horse racing, and a historical past that bursts at the seams. Wildflowers cover the hills in spring and the dip of the Severn Valley begs to be explored by intrepid walkers, while towns like Gloucester, Cheltenham and Cirencester have starred restaurants and elegant antique markets for an afternoon of happy browsing.

For centuries people of all kinds have flocked to Gloucestershire to take the waters, spot deer between the trees, or sit back and observe some of England’s most glorious vistas; it’s time to be one of them.

Moreton-in-Marsh

Set in the picturesque Cotswolds, this beautifully landscaped site with good facilities for families. With lots of cycle routes nearby too, there’s plenty to keep everyone busy.

Ideal for:
• Active families
• Nature lovers
• Cycling

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Reasons to visit Gloucestershire

Staying at a campsite in Gloucestershire is the ideal way to experience its delights first hand. Whether you're in search of an active break or a relaxing escape, there's plenty to suit you.

Bewitching history

There’s history everywhere you look in Gloucestershire, and none of it is dusty or boring. The Corinium Museum in the elegant town of Cirencester will delight kids with its priceless Roman artefacts, hands-on exhibits and interactive displays. If you’re more the type to love regal surroundings, head over to one of the region’s castles. Sudeley Castle has extensive gardens full of activities for all ages, from a beautiful willow maze to a giant wooden fort, while Berkeley Castle has treasures to make even the most devoted history buff feel dizzy: cannons, Civil War ramparts, gory stories of death and betrayal, and lavish displays from several centuries. Children can take on an archery session, while TV lovers can see the settings and costumes from Wolf Hall.

Grab a pint at the Olde Black Bear, a pub open since 1308, and drop into the House Of The Tailor, a free museum of Beatrix Potter memorabilia sure to enthral children with its quirky miniature displays. Perhaps the most awe-inspiring building in all of Gloucestershire, though, is Gloucester Cathedral — and there’s plenty to enjoy inside, including guided tours, a chance for kids to design their own gargoyles, dress-up boxes, and multi-media recreations of the way the Cathedral was built by medieval masons.

Rambling and rivers

Walkers of all kinds will find something to excite them in Gloucestershire. The Cotswold Way traverses 100 miles of breath-taking Cotswold countryside, from tea shops in tiny towns to rolling wooded hills. Gloucestershire is a place custom-made for walkers; in spring and summer, a Daffodil Way near Dymock leads you gently through fields of gorgeous flowers, perfect for a day out with kids who’d love to experience the wonders of endless stretches of swaying yellow blooms. It’s also one of the best places in the UK to see the first snowdrops in February, with areas around Trench Hill transformed into carpets of white.

The Forest of Dean, once a royal hunting ground, has many trails for different abilities and even a sculpture walk – bring a picnic and a fishing rod — while Crickley Hill offers free maps for orienteering and navigating some amazing parkland. If you have other ideas for stretching your legs, kayaking at the rapids at Symonds Yat or mountain biking in the Dean offer thrills and spills, while canoeing down the River Wye is a more sedate afternoon’s leisure.

Festival fun

Gloucestershire’s festivals are world famous. The most unique is the annual cheese rolling down Cooper’s Hill every spring, a centuries-old tradition that’s now a global phenomenon; competitors chase 8lb Double Gloucester cheeses down a steep hill and chaos ensues. If you’re more bookish in your tastes, the Cheltenham Literary Festival is one of the highlights of the annual book world calendar, with a host of events from talks by famous authors and presenters to kid-friendly story workshops.

Music-wise, both the Wychwood Festival and Barn On The Farm have deservedly brilliant reputations for excellent acts and a child-oriented atmosphere. Love dressing up? Then the Tewkesbury Medieval Festival is for you; it’s chock-full of battle re-enactments, children’s entertainers, markets and excellent food.

Why choose Experience Freedom?

Camping and glamping in Gloucestershire are top-notch ways to encounter the region’s history, famous landscapes and world-class festivals while staying at some of the best locations around. Want to know more about getting a taste of Gloucestershire? Select a region to learn more about what sites are available, or use Search and Book tool to check out availability at a particular Gloucestershire site.