Beatrix Potter Museum

Rainy Days in Gloucestershire

Rainy Days: Dr Foster (who went to Gloucester!)
Rainy Days: Dr Foster (who went to Gloucester!). Photo by sleepymyf, licensed under CC BY 2.0
Naturally enough, whenever anyone decides to take a trip away somewhere they consider the weather. If you are visiting England especially during the winter months you can expect to experience some rainy weather. Our cosy holiday cottage will surround you with charm and warmth and Gloucestershire will provide you with an abundance of local attractions and fine foods to eat on rainy days. The weather need not be a deterrent to your exploration plans as there is plenty to do and see even when the weather is soggy.

Here we look at some of the rainy day attractions that are a favourite with visitors in any kind of weather.

Gloucester Cathedral

The cathedral is a beautiful and awe inspiring building that is over 900 years old. There are guided tours available to make the most of the visit or you are welcome to explore on your own. You may be interested to know that some of the Harry Potter movies were filmed here in the Whispering Gallery and the Treasury. Royal connections are the coronation of King Henry III and the tomb of Edward II. With so much history and architectural magnificence with a timeline of almost 1000 years, Gloucester Cathedral must be seen.

Beatrix Potter Museum and Shop

This quaint and charming building is said to be the inspiration for Beatrix Potter’s “Tailor of Gloucester” children’s book. For all of us who fell under the spell of Beatrix Potter’s animal characters a visit to the museum and shop is a nostalgic journey offering an insight into the author and the characters in her tales. The shop and museum are located in the College Court, which is within the reach of Gloucester Cathedral. Children will be enchanted by the museum and will enjoy browsing the delightful shop. Any souvenirs you buy fund the maintenance and restoration of the building and museum.

Gloucester Folk Museum

Here inside splendid Jacobean and Tudor timber framed buildings, there is an interesting collection of daily life treasures from different periods in history. There are many local crafts on display and an exhibition of historic costumes. Agricultural life and the fisheries on the Severn are topics you can learn about and you can picture yourself in the reconstructed Victorian classroom. There are exhibits from different trades and you can see a pin factory, ironmonger’s shop, and carpenter and wheelwright workshops. There is also a complete kitchen set piece from the 1960’s so there is something to keep everyone entertained. Gloucester Folk Museum also has a gift shop and café for a cup of tea.

Clearwell Caves – Iron Mining Museum

When it is raining, a trip to the caves is just perfect, although the rain outside may make a few more drips from the cave roof more likely, it is a dry cave system, perfect for exploring on rainy days. The caves, located in the Forest of Dean were mined extensively for iron.

The caves open to the public are part of a large cave system natural to the area. Mining for iron ore dates back to over 4500 years ago making these some of the oldest mine workings in the British Isles. Neolithic miners are known to have mined this area for ochre pigments. Nine atmospheric caves are open to the public all of which have a mystical and intriguing history. Popular television programmes such as Dr Who and Merlin have been filmed here. Every twist and turn as you follow the path of the miners show fascinating iron ore workings and tunnels. An old man reputedly haunts the caves.

At Christmas and Halloween, the caves are transformed into fantasy wonderlands for children to make the journey to see Father Christmas in his grotto or marvel at the spooky decorations of Halloween.

Clearwell Caves are a museum as well as natural attraction where not only can the magnificent natural beauty of the caves be appreciated but also the working mining museum which boasts an impressive array of mining and geological exhibitions. The iron ore mined was used to make weaponry and tools. Some forms of iron ore are still mined at the caves. This type of iron ore is powder that yields pigments in yellow, purple, red, and brown. These natural pigments are highly valued still.

Of course on rainy days you do not need to do anything at all, you can curl up by the woodburner, read a book or watch some films while the rain pours down. However, it is good to know that Gloucestershire offers a wealth of rainy day activities that will educate, entertain, and enchant.