From snowboarding to zorbing and trampoline parks to tenpin bowling, we’ve got the best Gloucester activities covered!
With four ski lifts, over 500 metres of slopes, a fun park and a giant airbag for jumps, the Gloucester Ski & Snowboard Centre is as much fun as you can have without actual snow. Using lubricated matting, the all-year ski centre is perfect for beginners and snowboarders, while the 250-metre racing slope is ideal for more advanced skiers. There’s a nursery slope as well, with full ski hire available – and you can take in all the action from the slope-side licensed bar and restaurant. To the south of the town centre, our Gloucester Business Park hotel is just one junction away on the M5.
Equally innovative is Gloucester Football Zorb in Abbeymead. Wearing oversized protective bubbles, this six-a-side football activity is as much about the beautiful game as it is about pinging into opponents and having fun rolling around on the ground. With indoor and outdoor pitches, it’s the perfect place to blow off some steam.
Likewise, Paintball Raiders is a great place to unleash your inner Rambo, with three different games spread across abandoned villages, forests and man-made obstacles. Open to everyone aged 12 and older, the site is open daily and is situated several miles to the south of Gloucester, just off the M5.
More sedate and based in the heart of Gloucester, you can try your hand at Stand Up Paddleboarding at the Gloucester Docks to see the historic waterways from a new perspective. A great way to get fit, sessions start from beginner intros to all-day excursions that head into the River Severn with the obligatory post-SUP pint at a local country pub to finish things off.
If you prefer your action on dry land, head to the Bird and Deer Park at the edge of the Cotswolds. Living up to its name, the 18th-century park is home to dozens of bird varieties, as well as pygmy goats and fallow deer. With a well-equipped visitor centre and on-site café, it’s a great place to explore with the family.
With climbing walls up to 11 metres high, a caving system and a dedicated kids’ zone, The Warehouse Climbing & Caving Centre on Parliament Street is the leading indoor climbing centre in Gloucester, and is just a short walk from the Gloucester Docks. Literally around the corner is Cineworld, a 10-screen complex that’s part of the Gloucester Docks, screening all the latest Hollywood action.
A short walk along Bristol Road from there is JDR Karting, a 300-metre-long indoor karting track, which is open for kids and adults over 12 years old. And if that’s not enough adrenaline-fuelled action for you, they also have a Lasertag arena that can host up to 32 players.
Home to a spa, gym, fitness studio and four pools, the GL1 Leisure Centre offers a wide range of classes and fitness sessions, as well as a toddler play area and café. It is located on Bruton Way in the heart of Gloucester, a short walk from the Eastgate Shopping Centre.
Part of a new craze sweeping the nation, Gloucester’s XJump Trampoline Park on Metz Way is a huge warehouse full of trampolines, crash pads and dodgeball courts. Sign up for a fitness session or a toddler-friendly jump, or head down at night for a trick session where you can flip and twist to your heart’s content.
Another new entertainment sensation, Trapped Escape Rooms is located just off Eastgate Street in the centre of Gloucester. Unlock the clues and use your grey matter to escape the room within an hour, with themed challenges including a haunted hotel and a prison break.
On a more traditional note, Tenpin Gloucester is a modern take on the bowling alley, offering dozens of lanes, a soft play area for kids, table tennis and pool tables. It even offers cosmic bowling where the lights are turned down low and the atmosphere turned up. You can find Tenpin Gloucester on Centre Seven, which is just a five-minute walk from our Barnwood hotel.
One of the best mountain bike parks in the UK, the Flyup 417 Project features 100 acres of downhill tracks, slalom runs, dirt jumps, a pump track and its own café and coffee shop. Open from Wednesday to Monday from 9.30am, the site includes three downhill tracks and even its own lift system and is located just off the A417 on the edge of the Cotswolds.
There’s also a bike shop where you can hire and buy accessories and bikes, as well as a bike wash after you’ve made your way through miles of mud.
Much more sedate is the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal Cycle Route, a 16-mile trail that runs from the Gloucester Docks to Sharpness via the Forest of Dean and the Cotswolds. With flat ground and several sights along the way – including the Slimbridge Wetlands Centre and the Gloucester Waterways Museum – the route is perfect for riders of all abilities.
Alternatively, head north on the Gloucester to Tewkesbury Cycle Route. Starting near Gloucester Cathedral, the route uses minor roads following the river Severn and is a largely flat 30-mile round trip that spreads over two counties and some very green and pleasant views. Just make sure to stop off at one of the cafés and pubs on Gloucester Road on the way, including the historic Nottingham Arms pub.
A historic town loaded with stately homes, abandoned mental asylums, dilapidated prisons and even underground bunkers, Gloucester is the perfect place for a ghost walk. The Gloucester Ghost Walks company organise three routes, running alternatively on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. They leave from the Tourist Information Centre at 7pm and stop in at several said-to-be haunted sites, as well as finishing up each tour in one of the town’s historic pubs.
Gloucester Cathedral is really brought to life via seven fascinating Cathedral Tours, spanning the crypt, the new library, the tower and even a two-hour evening tour taking in the cathedral’s amazing musical history.
Running on the second and last Friday of every month, the Gloucester Brewery Tours take you behind the scenes of one of the region’s busiest brewers. Featuring a Q&A session around the brewhouse, as well as a buffet and several opportunities for beer tasting, the sessions are a great way to explore the science behind your pint.
It's no suprise that people flock to this lovely city - whether to marvel at the splendour of its historic sights or to enjoy its vibrant waterfront scene. And you'll find there are plenty of hotels in Gloucester to pick from if you're a planning a visit.
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