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Gloucestershire tourist information & travel guide

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Nearly all of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) lies in the county of Gloucestershire. This is classic English countryside: honey-coloured cottages adorned with flowers, pretty villages, bustling market towns and lush green scenery. There are lots of lovely holiday cottages in Gloucestershire to rent for a self-catering break - idyllic English country cottages abound.

The cities of Gloucester and Cheltenham stand on the western side of the Cotswold region. Stroud, Painswick, Tetbury, Cirencester

The Cotswold Water Park, in the southern part of Gloucestershire, is great for outdoor types. The disused mines and reservoirs form a great habitat for wildlife, and there are some pleasant walks and some designated areas for swimming and watersports. Who needs a coastal holiday cottage when you can stay in the Cotswolds and enjoy canoeing, kayaking, sailing and windsurfing?

There's a visitors information centre, just near Ashton Keynes, where you can find out more about available activities and local wildlife - this is a particularly good spot for birdwatchers. The little café in the information centre is perfect for a light lunch or afternoon tea. Next to the visitors centre is Cotswold Outdoor store, packed full of clothing, tents and other equipment from the world's leading outdoor brands - a great place to visit if you are on a walking holiday in the Cotwolds. The visitors centre and outdoor store are housed in unique energy-efficient premises.

The city of Gloucester was originally a Roman settlement and has experienced various influences from the Celts, Saxons, and Normans too. The Norman cathedral is a must-see. It lies in the heart of Gloucester and features some fine examples of craftsmanship. It's even been used in the filming of the Harry Potter films. Adjacent to the cathedral is the House of the Tailor of Gloucester: inspiration for Beatrix Potter's famous tale. Gloucester Docks, home of Britain's most inland port, are a short walk from the city centre. Gloucester has some fine luxury self-catering holiday cottages to rent for a holiday in this lovely English city - Gloucester is perfect for a city break in the UK.

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