New Year’s trip to Gloucester

a boat on a canal
We’re not big on New Year celebrations, and instead we have a tradition each year that we visit somewhere new for an overnight stay – and usually the hotel is paid for using our Tesco Clubcard points (which are much more beneficial if you exchange them for vouchers).

We decided on Gloucester at the end of last year – staying on December 30th. I don’t think I’d ever been to the city before, but had heard good things, so was looking forward to it. While the weather was obviously not very good, we had a lovely stay and managed to cram a lot in.

We stayed in a fairly good location, not too far from the city centre and close to Gloucester Quays, which is where you’ll find all the shops, bars and restaurants. From there, you can walk along a stretch of the canal and then head to the city centre and cathedral (roughly a 20 minute walk).

Luckily, the Christmas lights were still up, so it was pretty magical by night – particularly on the docks where the boats were moored. There was also a reindeer trail still up for the children. Paper maps explained where each reindeer was, and each one had a letter attached to it, which in turn spelt out a word as part of a competition. Unfortunately, over the two days, we didn’t find them all, but it was still a bit of fun and a great way to explore the city by foot.

a plate of food on a table

We went to Coal Grill & Kitchen for dinner, which was aptly named in an old warehouse called (Pillar and) Lucy House! Having being diagnosed with gestational diabetes something like 10 days before, eating out proved a bit of a minefield, but thankfully there were plenty of options that I could tolerate. I ended up choosing the chicken shish skewers, which came served with a homemade flat bread, salad and two dips (chilli sauce and garlic mayo). The meal was well paired, and I avoided the chilli sauce – but it was all so tasty; succulent marinated chicken and the lightest flat bread. Even though I probably shouldn’t have, I ended up having a scoop of ice cream for dessert… and the after-dinner walk did me some good – my reading was well in range.

On our second day, the boys went ice skating, while obviously, I watched on. I’m not particularly good at skating and it was only Alfie’s second go, but he did so well and loved it! He spent a lot of time on the penguin (sat on it while being whizzed around the rink), but he also got up and pushed it too. I sat under a patio heater and sipped a hot chocolate – the better choice in my opinion. There were a couple of food trucks in the area and skating must have been hungry work, as we had to get Alfie a hot dog afterwards… I wish I could have had one.

a stone walkway with a fountain in front of a building

We also visited the cathedral which was fantastic. There was so much to see and learn about, with display boards, photo opportunities and plenty of steps to get in. We found one of the reindeer, and there was a fantastic Barbie box, which both Alfie and I had to step into (still haven’t seen the film!). There’s no admission fee, but instead a recommended donation (£5 per adult). We could have easily spent a lot longer here than we did, but we decided to go and watch the football instead.

There was even time to go shopping before we returned home. I was very pleased to see a Le Creuset outlet store and went in to buy a couple of plates to complete our set – and ended up coming out with a pizza cutter and heatproof mat as well! There was also a Lindt store, which proved lethal – I had to refrain from the pick n mix. We ended up buying a few chocolates each – after all, it would have been rude not to.

I’d definitely recommend an overnight stay or short break in Gloucester and would love to return.

Love, Lucy xx

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Love, Lucy xx

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