If you rent a car, Gloucester can be your base for perfect holidays in rural England...
However, there's plenty to see in the city itself before you discover the freedom of the open road.
The city of Gloucester has hundreds of buildings of historical interest. Some of the best include the awe-inspiring Gothic Gloucester Cathedral and the ninth-century St Oswald's Priory. The Gloucester Tailor Beatrix Potter Museum and Shop and the historic Gloucester Docks are also well worth a visit.
Children will be particularly smitten by the cathedral, which isn't a sentence that is heard very often! But little muggles will be thrilled to see some of Harry Potter's famed Hogwarts School - the stunning cloisters of the cathedral were used during filming as a corridor at the fictional wizarding school. Youngsters will also enjoy the thrill of leisure cruises along the Sharpness Canal, which can be taken from Gloucester Docks, while little travellers can experience life on the canals at the interesting Gloucester Waterways Museum, where the chance to dress up never fails to amuse young minds. Of course, Beatrix Potter is loved by children around the world too. Visit the House of the Tailor of Gloucester - the writer stayed in Gloucester and was so inspired by this quaint shop that she penned 'The Tailor of Gloucester'.
After a tour of the city, it's time to get out and explore.
Gloucester car hire deals give visitors the freedom to discover the rolling countryside and quaint villages of the surrounding areas. You can visit at any time of year but spring and summer are especially lovely.
Book your rental car well in advance to secure the best deals and then collect your vehicle in one of the convenient downtown locations in and around the city centre. To find the best price on car hire in Gloucester use TravelSupermarket's search tool.
After you've found a deal on car rental, Gloucester becomes a springboard from which you can dive into places such as the Cotswolds...
Hiring a car is the best way to tour the stunning local surroundings such as the Forest of Dean, the Cotswolds and the nearby spa town of Cheltenham.
The nearby Forest of Dean can be reached easily by car and, apart from the stunning scenery, the highlights are the mazes, steam trains and a number of outdoor activities.
The beautiful Wye Valley begins in the Forest of Dean, although from Gloucester you could easily drive to any point along the valley. To the north is the spectacular Severn Valley. The Severn Estuary itself is famous for the Severn Bore, an incredible and rare tidal wave that travels up the river.
The Cotswolds lie to the south of Gloucester and can be easily toured by car. Highlights of this area include timeless villages, the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and Berkeley Castle. For many visitors from overseas, the Cotswolds are quintessential rural England - the idyllic scene of undulating pastures, grazing flocks, welcoming country pubs, honey-coloured cottages and streams that sing songs of the country as they flow through picture-postcard vistas. Your hire car is the key to visiting the Cotswolds with ease, as you can take your time visiting serene villages such as Moreton in the Marsh, Bourton-on-the-Water and Broadway, plus large towns of interest, including Stratford-upon-Avon, and the city of Oxford. The chance to delve into Britain's history adds another charming element to holidays in and around the Cotswolds. Drive to attractions such as Blenheim Palace, Warwick Castle, and the Roman baths of gorgeous Bath.
The spa town of Cheltenham is east of Gloucester and can be reached by car in 20 minutes. Home to the famous Cheltenham horse racing festival - where the highlight is the Gold Cup - Cheltenham can provide a great day out.