Gloucestershire Lighting logo
This page was printed on:

About Gloucestershire- a great place to live, work and learn

Gloucestershire is an English county situated at the northern apex of the south west region of the United Kingdom.

It covers an area of 1,025 square miles including the largest Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the country. Essentially a rural county, it has been known since Roman times for farming, forestry and horticulture with an industrial history featuring the wool trade.

Geographically, it splits into three areas, the Cotswolds, the Royal Forest of Dean and the Severn Vale with a total population of about 575,200.

Gloucester and Cheltenham lie at the heart of the county, linked by the A40 and either side of the M5. There are good connections to the south west via the M5, to the north via the M5/M6 and M42 , Wales using the A40 and the M4 and to London and the south -east using the A40 and the M4. The Fosse Way runs through the county north to south taking travellers from Cirencester to Stow on the Wold and Moreton in Marsh whilst the Ermin Way crosses east to west from Cirencester to Ross.

Gloucestershire millennium
2008 marked the 1000th birthday of Gloucestershire and the perfect excuse to celebrate everything that makes our county such an exciting place to live, work and visit.

Leisure and Tourism
Imagine the English countryside at its best and you're probably already thinking of Gloucestershire.

Gloucestershire can be divided up into a number of distinctive areas, each of which enjoys its own local characteristics.
Arlington Row at Bibury. Arlington Row at Bibury

The best known area of Gloucestershire is the Cotswolds, a band of limestone hills covering half of the county. The steep scarp edge to the west runs down the middle of the county and the hills slope gently away eastwards to the valley of the River Thames. The Cotswolds are internationally renowned for their architecture, with picturesque villages of mellow stone cottages nestling in the valleys. Barns and churches are built along similar lines, with massive buttresses and stone-tiled roofs.

Betty Daws Wood, a Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve near Dymock. Betty Daws Wood, a Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve near Dymock

The Royal Forest of Dean is one of Britain's ancient hunting forests with over 100 square kilometres of woodland still standing. Here secretive villages fringe the forest while quiet glades of foxgloves are hidden among great oak trees. The River Wye forms the western boundary of the county with spectacular gorges and beautiful woodlands.

In the Severn Vale lush meadows lie alongside the lower reaches of Britain's longest river, famous for its tidal bore. Half-timbered buildings are in evidence and the curious solitude of the widening estuary is a haven for thousands of wildfowl and wading birds.
Ashleworth church viewed across the River Severn. Ashleworth church viewed across the River Severn

The Leadon Valley in the north-west of Gloucestershire has literary connections, including the influential Dymock Poets, and is quietly attractive in its own right. The area is well known for its display of springtime wild daffodils.

In the south-east corner of the county two areas of flooded gravel workings form the Cotswold Water Park, an increasingly important wetland area offering a greater area of water than the Norfolk Broads. The area is a centre for water sports, nature conservation, walking, cycling and angling.

Although countryside accounts for 90% of Gloucestershire the remainder is made up of the county's towns and cities. Gloucester is the county's capital, famous for its Norman cathedral, restored docks and fine rugby team. Close by is Cheltenham, a spa town renowned for its Regency architecture and a winner of the Britain in Bloom competition. Tewkesbury has fine examples of half-timbered houses while Stroud has a rich industrial heritage. Coleford is the administrative centre for the Forest of Dean and Cirencester fulfils the same function for the Cotswolds.

Steeped in history and rich in agricultural practice, the county offers a unique experience of traditional rural life.

It has been said that Gloucestershire has the most diverse geology of all the English counties, which is why it can offer such a wide range of landscape, flora and fauna, heritage and attractions.

For centuries people have co-operated with the landscape in terms of agriculture, woodlands and architecture to sympathetically provide for their needs.

Gloucestershire has supreme examples of all that is finest in terms of countryside that has been influenced by humankind since time immemorial.

You can find out more information about us, please contact us here

You can find out more information on UBE
1998-2010©, All rights reserved,