In a Nutshell
A cathedral city with plenty of pedestrianised shopping, architectural interest and the regenerated quays area.
Parking and Pooping
Gloucester is just a few minutes off the M5, close to the Welsh border and on the River Severn. In common with many cities, street level parking with nearby grass areas are limited. Most of the grassy areas are around the cathedral, so we head for the car park at Hare Lane South, which is just a few yards away from a grassy walkway through to the cathedral and is close to the Northgate shops. It's only a small car park and normally busy so look for alternatives near the cathedral if full.
If you’re heading for the Quays area, your options are more limited. The Southgate open air car park by the docks is convenient with some grass around it, but gets full very quickly. The big multi-story car park at the Quays is not dog friendly, although we have used it in a pinch and just walked the dogs straight out of the shopping centre from the lifts.
The centre of Gloucester is made up of a cross of pedestrianised streets, namely Northgate, Westgate, Eastgate and Southgate. This is where the bulk of the shops are and the pedestrian zones make for easy walking, with plenty of benches and bins etc. A stroll down Eastgate leads to some alleyways that feed through to the Cathedral, with grassy areas and modern scuplutes in the grounds that double for benches too.
The newly redeveloped Quay area is approx 6 mins walk from the centre along Southgate and again there are pedestrian areas here among the shops and cafes, however we find this area disappointingly lacking in dog friendly spots.
Keeping the Humans Amused
Gloucester is a busy shopping centre, so plenty of retail therapy across the four main streets. You'll find the big brands on Eastgate and some more individual shops on Westgate.
The Cathedral is definitely worth a visit, with some striking modern sculptures inside as well as the history of the building itself. A number of timber framed Tudor and medieval houses remain in the centre and Roman remains can be seen in Eastgate through a vision panel in the road surface.
The Quays area is under-going redevelopment and a new designer outlet centre has opened adjacent to new leisure offers and cafes. The outlet states 'no dogs' but we have seen a couple walking through and certainly there are cafes in the outdoor sections where you can sit with pup. The National Waterways Museum is dog friendly both in the museum and for the boat trips.
There are number of cafes and coffee shops that have pavement seating along Southgate and Westgate. There are a couple of pubs too along Northgate and Southgate with extensive courtyards and seating with umbrellas should the weather turn.
The cafe’s around the public space at the docks are generally not dog friendly, which is a shame as this is a pleasant place to sit. There are picnic tables to use on a nice day. The National Waterways Museum in the square has a pleasant courtyard for its tearoom, which doesn’t require an entry fee and is dog friendly outside. Across the road into Quays development, the Portivo Lounge and Bills are dog friendly inside and probably your best bet for hot food indoors. Just along from the entrance to the shops is a Cafe Nero which has dog friendly seating both inside and out.