Great accessible UK weekend breaks: Gloucester
11th November 2019
This popular cathedral city has roots that stretch back to Roman times and has a history that dates back more than 2,000 years.
It is home to England’s most inland port and over the last decade has undergone a large regeneration project that culminated in it being a host city for the Rugby World Cup in 2015.
It is now a great place to visit for a weekend break and as it is accessible it is perfect for visitors with mobility problems who struggle to get around. If you need new walk in baths, walking aids or are a wheelchair user, then you can find the top attractions you can visit in this guide.
How to get to Gloucester
Travelling to Gloucester by road
Being located on the M5, Junction 11 from the north and Junction 12 from the south, the city is very easy to get to by car. There are also lots of parking spaces in the city centre.
Travelling to Gloucester by rail
Gloucester Railway Station is very close to the city centre and you can travel to and from London, Birmingham and Wales very easily.
Travelling to Gloucester by air
With Gloucester being around an hour from Birmingham International Airport and Bristol Airport, it is easy to fly into one of these and catch a connecting bus to the city.
Best accessible attractions to visit
Gloucester is home to a number of great attractions to visit and here are three accessible places you can visit.
The Jet Age Museum
The museum is located close-by to where the very first jet aircraft was built in the UK and it is one of Gloucester’s newest museums.
It celebrates the pioneering aviation heritage of Gloucester and has lots of interesting displays to wow visitors. These exhibits include a replica of Sir Frank Whittle's Gloster E28/39, Britain's first jet fighter, the Gloster Meteor and the Cold-War era Javelin.
The Jet Age Museum welcomes all visitors and if you suffer from mobility problems you will be well catered for during your visit. There is ample seating in the display hall for visitors and a wheelchair can be loaned out to visitors who are unable to walk around the museum.
The museum opens from 10 am – 4 pm on Saturdays, Sundays and the majority of UK Bank Holidays and selected Wednesdays during the school holidays.
Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum
The Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum in Gloucester’s Historic Docks allows you to discover the lives of soldiers from the county over the last 300 years.
You can try on Army uniforms, look at a First World War trench, get an insight into the medals and how soldiers won them.
It is a great experience learning about the ‘Glorious Glosters’ as they were nicknamed and the fact the regiment carried more battle honours on their regimental colours than any other British Army line regiment means you can retrace true war heroes.
Despite the museum being located within a listed building there are disabled toilets on the ground floor and lift access to the second floor. Museum guides will also be able to help visitors with mobility problems.
The Blackfriars Priory is a stunning building and is the most complete example of a medieval Dominican Priory in Britain.
Visitors can see the original medieval cloister, completed in 1239, and where the friars were trained for their preaching mission over 750 years ago. Renovations mean that you can also see the historic fabric from the building, and it is highly recommended that you head to the Scriptorium, the oldest and most well preserved medieval library in the UK.
Although dating back to medieval times, the attraction is very accessible with disabled parking available, accessible toilets and visitors with mobility difficulties can explore the priory. The restaurant is also accessible too.
Best restaurants in Gloucester
There are plenty of top restaurants serving foods from across the world and here are some of the most accessible.
The Wharf House
For something different this Christmas, visit our two rosette award restaurant for a dining experience you wont forget! With 2 course and 5 course options there's something for everyone. Visit our website for menu's and more information. #christmas #feelingfestive pic.twitter.com/hyGWmnHcbn— The Wharf House (@TheWharfHouse) September 12, 2018
The Wharf House is an award-winning waterside restaurant that served modern British and European cuisine as well as offering up some spectacular views.
Located on the outskirts of Gloucester, the restaurant has been recognised as an AA Rosette Restaurant. Another great feature of the restaurant is its menu as local suppliers are at the core of everything the restaurant does.
Some popular foods you can try include rump of beef and pan-fried pheasant, while desserts range from rhubarb and custard to sticky toffee pudding.
The Wharf House caters to the needs of all visitors as there is disabled parking available and the main entrance and reception area is flat to help those with mobility issues. The restaurant is located on the ground floor, so no stairs are needed and the toilets are very easily accessible to all.
Check out the menu here.
Greek On The Docks
As the name suggests, the Greek On The Docks restaurant serves modern Greek and Mediterranean foods. It uses local ingredients in all its foods and has become one of the most renowned eateries in the whole of Gloucester.
It is situated in the heart of Gloucester in the historic docks and diners come here in hoards to taste traditional dishes such as Moussakas, Stifado Beef and Pastitsio. There are also great seafood dishes served here and common choices include Lavraki and Souvlaki Thalassinon.
The restaurant is accessible to wheelchair users and visitors with mobility issues as there is disabled parking in The Quays Outlet shopping mall, a large accessible entrance into the venue and accessible toilets for wheelchair users. The restaurant itself is also wheelchair-friendly as the seating plan is open for visitors with mobility issues.
Check out the menu here.
Portivo Lounge is the perfect corner spot to sit down, relax and enjoy great food. It’s located in the fantastic Gloucester Quays development and it serves a range of food and drinks that you can enjoy.
Lounges’ take their food seriously and the menu reflects this with the best fresh produce used to form creative dishes. There are fresh, zingy salads to massive burgers with all the trimmings, but something unique is the fact that new exciting dishes are being created all the time.
There are also gluten-free and vegan menus, and these are also packed with lots of satisfying dishes like the other menus.
With an old open plan, light and airy industrial space stretching across two floors, the restaurant is easily accessible to diners with mobility problems and those who need to use a wheelchair. At the back of the building, there are accessible toilets and there’s disabled parking in the Gloucester Quays Outlet Shopping Centre.
Check out the menu here.
Best accessible tours
If you’re looking to explore the city by going on a tour, then here are some of the best and most accessible ones you can enjoy during your break.
Gloucester Brewery tour
Twice a month, on the second and last Friday of each month, you can go on the Gloucester Brewery tour in the docks.
All guests are welcome into our venue bar at 7pm and receive their complimentary pint glass on arrival - hold onto this as it's important.
Guests are invited to the bar to order their first drink from a range of eight craft beers, all produced on-site. Whilst each guest is given a pint glass it is totally up to them if they would like to sample just small quantities of beer or enjoy full pints.
Hugh Joslyn from the Gloucester Brewery, adds: “Once all guests are settled in, our experienced host will get the tour started, usually around 7:30pm, when he will guide you through the brewery, explaining each piece of equipment and taking you through a brewers day - make sure your glasses are full at the start of the tour to keep you hydrated.
“At the conclusion of the tour, we return to the bar where a buffet of cold snacks, cheeses and charcuterie is available to be enjoyed alongside plenty more samples of our delicious beer. At 10pm it is time for us to lock the doors, unfortunately, but guests are welcome to make the short walk across to our pub Tank, just on the other side of the canal.”
The tour is accessible as it is held on the ground floor, with access to all areas of the brewery through double doors. There is also an accessible toilet on site and seating is available. So, the entire tour is accessible to people with mobility problems.
Tour & Explore
If you’re looking to enjoy a guided tour around the city you can with Tour & Explore with Anne Bartlett.
The guided walks around Gloucester will give you an insight into how the city was formed and its long history. You will also get told about the different attractions you can see in the city and the history of them too.
You can also learn about Gloucester’s association with Harry Potter and discover the places where Harry, Ron and Hermione had their adventures.
During the walking tour, you will also visit the historic docks and here you can learn about the waterways around the city and how they were fundamental in the growth of the city.
These tours are accessible to wheelchair users and people with mobility problems, but if you are worried about the length of the walk it is best to phone ahead to find out the exact route you will be taking on the day.
Tour of Gloucester Cathedral
One of the main highlights of the city is its cathedral. This should come as no surprise as Gloucester Cathedral is home to stunning architecture and is full of fascinating stories that you will be amazed by.
The highlights tour will share some of the stories about the monks who used to live here, explain how the architecture has evolved over the last 1,000 years and hear about where Harry Potter was filmed.
This tour lasts 50-minutes and are generally available at 10.30am, 11.00am, 12.00noon, 1.30pm, 2.00pm, 3.00pm on Monday-Friday. On Saturday the tours start at 10.30am, 11.00am, 12.00noon, 1.30pm and 2.00pm.
The cathedral is very accessible as there are eight car parking spaces that can be used by Blue Badge holders. Inside the cathedral, there is a level approach to the main entrance and this as well as inside the cathedral is wheelchair accessible.
There are wheelchairs available to hire for the duration of your visit and there are self-operating lifts inside the building, meaning most of the cathedral is wheelchair accessible. The Tower, the Tribune Gallery and the Library are not accessible for wheelchairs or for those with mobility difficulties as they are accessed via steep stairs.
Go skiing at the Gloucester Ski & Snowboard Centre
The Gloucester Ski & Snowboard Centre opened back in 1973 and it is home to the UK's only permanent Big AirBag and is home to the longest slope in England and Wales.
As well as the 255-metre main slope and a freestyle slope with a Snowflex Fun Park, there is a nursery slope and ski lifts.
You may think how this is an accessible attraction, but the centre has teamed up with Gloucester Disabled Skiing Club and this means wheelchair access is available via the side of the lodge.
There are trained instructors who are specially trained in adaptive skiing and you can book a private or group lesson during your break.
Watch Gloucester play rugby
If you’re a sports fan you should make time to go and watch Gloucester Rugby in action as they are a famous English Rugby Club.
The Cherry and Whites, as they are nicknamed, play at Kingsholm Stadium and with it being located in the heart of the city it is easily accessible.
The team play in the Aviva Premiership and European Cup and with Gloucester being a true rugby city you can enjoy a great atmosphere from the 16,000 fans.
The stadium is accessible to visitors with mobility problems as there is disabled parking available, ramp and level access for wheelchair users and accessible toilets available. On matchdays, you can get help from the staff.
This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.