Located on the River Severn between the Forest of Dean and the Cotswolds, Gloucester has been a strategic settlement and port since Roman times. It reached the height of its growth in the 19th century, when it gained major new connections from the Sharpness ship canal, docks and railway. Now Gloucester is celebrating its rich heritage with the regeneration of key areas of town. It is one of the 10 fastest-growing cities in the UK.
You can see the impressive tower of Gloucester Cathedral from miles around, and it's right at the heart of the city centre. Arguably the finest example of Perpendicular Gothic architecture in the world, it was the place where Henry III was crowned, where Edward II was buried, and where William the Conqueror ordered the writing of the Domesday Book.
You might also recognise it from the odd TV show or film - it featured in no fewer than three of the Harry Potter adaptations. The historic docks and wider Gloucester Quays area are another must-see. They have been transformed over the last few decades into a vibrant heritage and leisure quarter, with museums, shops, bars, cafes and restaurants alongside relaxing open spaces. You'll see a variety of vessels in the water, but keep an eye out for the spectacular tall ships that sometimes call here.
Gloucester doesn't take pride in its heritage alone. Locals are passionate about their rugby union team, and rightly so - the Cherry and Whites, as the team are affectionately known, date back to the 1870s and play in the sport's top flight. The club's home stadium, Kingsholm, is just a few minutes north of the city centre and was one of the host venues for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.