The Cotswolds hills cover the eastern half of Gloucestershire rising to over 1,000 feet at Cleever Hill, a place that is wonderfully scenic and quintessentially English. Its gentle hills and picture-postcard villages make this area, Gloucestershire's most popular destination.
The Cotswolds, which takes in seven county districts, and stretches for 790 square miles, is the largest area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Britain. Farmland covers 80% of the area and farming has always been big business here. Most of the golden honey coloured villages, so loved by tourists, were built on the proceeds of sheep farming during the booming medieval wool trade. With over 3000 miles of footpaths to explore, including the 100 mile Cotswold way, stretching from Chipping Camden in the north to Bath in the south, it is the perfect area to explore on foot.
The River Severn runs through Gloucestershire from north to south, its valley is about 8 miles wide in the north and known locally as the Vale of Gloucester. South of Gloucester it narrows to become the Vale of Berkeley. West of the Severn is the rich and verdant Forest of Dean.
Britain's Severn Bore, a large surge wave that travels inland along the estuary of the River Severn, is a spectacular natural phenomena and is one of the largest in the world. The Severn estuary is shaped such that the incoming tidal waters are funnelled into an increasingly narrow channel, as the tide rises. This forms a large wave that can travel all the way up the river to Gloucester.
For details of Bore times and the best viewing points visit the Environment Agency web site
'When the boar comes, the stream does not swell by degrees, as at other times, but rolls in with a head... foaming and roaring as though it were enraged by the opposition which it encounter'
Gloucester - distance from London: 114 miles (183 km)
Cleever Hill (near Cheltenham), 1083 feet
Coin, Leadon, Severn, Windrush
Double Gloucester - a soft mellow cheese made with full cream milk
Gloucestershire Squab Pie - lamb and apples topped with a swede and potato mash
Berkeley Castle | Birdland | Bourton House Garden | Bourton-on-the-Water Model Village | Chavenage House | Chedworth Roman Villa | Clearwell Caves Ancient Iron Mines | Cotswold Falconry Centre | Cotswold Farm Park | Dean Forest Railway | Dean Heritage Centre | Dyrham Park | Edward Jenner Museum | Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway | Hailes Abbey | Hidcote Manor Garden | Keith Harding's World of Mechanical Music | Kiftsgate Court Gardens | Littledean Hall | Lodge Park Sherborne Estate | Nature in Art | National Birds of Prey Centre | Odda's Chapel | Prinknash Abbey and Pottery | Prinknash Bird and Deer Park | Sezincote | Snowshill Manor | Sudeley Castle & Gardens | Uley Long Barrow | Westbury Court Garden | Westonbirt National Arboretum | Wildfowl Wetlands Trust
First recorded in 1016 as Gleaucestrescir, meaning bright place or shining fortress, taken from the Brittonic 'Glouiu'. Its Roman name was Glevum.