Gloucester Quays is located next to the beautiful Historic Docks of Gloucester – one of the UK’s most inland Shipping Ports and one of Gloucester’s busiest tourist attractions. Filled with Victorian Architecture, Gloucester Docks is the perfect place to enjoy interesting views and learn about Gloucester’s History.
A Brief History of Gloucester Docks
The Ship Canal was opened in 1827 and allowed boats to bypass a particularly winding part of the River Severn, thus making Gloucester an Inland Port. At its busiest, the Docks would have been full of narrow boats, sailing ships, steam ships and barges. In more recent years it has been featured in lots of major films, including Alice Through the Looking Glass and Amazing Grace.
Gloucester Docks had also previously been the home of Fielding and Platt one of Gloucester’s Greatest Engineering Firms and an important part in Gloucester’s Manufacturing History. They were based in Gloucester until the 1990s and were a company that exported hydraulic machinery worldwide. High Orchard Street at Gloucester Quays (where Ted Baker and Café Nero are located) is part of the original Fielding and Platt site as the Centre has tried to stay in keeping with its Historical connections.
There are plenty of attractions at Gloucester Docks but one of your first port of calls should be the National Waterways Museum Gloucester. The Museum offers a hands-on experience for children (and adults!), and is packed with information, meaning it’s a trip that the whole family can enjoy. There are also boat trips on the canal departing directly from the Museum and tickets can be purchased from their Information Desk.
The Soldiers of Gloucester Museum is also a must for anyone interested in the History of Gloucester as it offers an insight into the lives of Soldiers of the Gloucester Regiment over the last 300 years. The Gloucestershire Regiment (The Glosters) have been present at many of the turning points in British History; battles in the American Revolutionary War, defeating Napoleon, the defence of Dunkirk and fighting the spread of communism in Korea.
Mariners Chapel is located on Gloucester Docks and is a vibrant Anglican Church, where Christians have worshipped for over 165 years.
Attractions: Other Things to Do
Founded in 2011 as a part-time project, Gloucester Brewery is now a popular local brand, with tours available on the last Friday of the month. Opposite Gloucester Quay’s Portivo Lounge, Gloucester Brewery have their own independent bar called Tank serving the best of Gloucester Brewery as well as food.
SUP Gloucester offers Stand-up Paddle boarding sessions run by Kev Brady, who has solo paddled the Mississippi river during the coldest winter on record, and recently paddled Sri Lanka’s longest river, The Mahaweli, encountering rapids and saltwater crocodiles on the way! Kev offers beginner sessions, half and full day sessions, and group events.
Gloucester Docks is the home to the award winning Gloucester Tall Ships festival, where tall ships travel from far and wide to gather over a fun-filled weekend! The most recent festival, in May 2017, saw live music, pirate demonstrations and lots of arts and crafts, amongst lots of other activities enjoyable for the whole family. The next Tall Ships is scheduled for May 2019 – watch this space for more information!