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Gloucester Docks &
the Sharpness Canal

 

Visiting Gloucester Docks


The former dock estate has become a popular free destination where visitors can enjoy interesting views and a range of modern facilities while wandering around a remarkably complete example of a Victorian port. Views include many fine warehouses and other dock-related buildings that have been found new uses. Where ships once discharged their cargoes, there is now an ever-changing miscellany of visiting narrow boats, smart motor cruisers and the occasional yacht or tall ship. The whole area is suitable for wheel-chairs.
 

Getting To The Docks
   The Historic Docks and Gloucester Quays are well sign posted with brown signs on the main approach roads. For those with satellite navigation aids, the post code is GL1 2EH. Car parks (pay & display) can be accessed direct from Southgate St or from the east end of Llanthony Rd (for the Waterways Museum). Cars are not allowed to cross Llanthony Bridge. The nearest Park & Ride bus stop is in Southgate St. For further guidance, see map of Gloucester.

Visiting Boats
     Facilities for visiting boats are administered by the Canal & River Trust, based in the Dock Office. Sanitary station keys, electric or pump-out cards, long term boat licences and information about local canals can be obtained in person from the Gloucester Waterways Museum reception.

Refreshments

Barge Restaurant - serving English food near the Mariners Chapel.

Caffe Corretto and Caffe Tucci - two Italian-style coffee shops at the head of the Barge Arm.

Fosters on the Docks - a restaurant/bar in Kimberley Warehouse.

Gloucester Yacht Club - visiting boaters are welcome at the Clubhouse bar, located near the north-east corner of the Victoria Dock, every Friday and Saturday from 20.00 till late. (Website)

McColl's - a convenience store at the east end of the Barge Arm Apartments which includes a Subway food outlet.

On Toast - speciality restaurant on the West Quay serving a wide range of toast dishes.

Vinings Restaurant - a restaurant on the ground floor of Vinings Warehouse serving a buffet style range of Indian and Thai dishes. (Website)

Also cafes at Gloucester Antiques Centre and Upstairs Downstairs Antiques.

City of Gloucester
     For information on other places of interest in Gloucester, see City of Gloucester.

Gloucester Waterways Museum
     Occupying three floors of Llanthony Warehouse, this museum (formerly known as the National Waterways Museum, Gloucester) features life on Britain's inland waterways using artifacts, photographs, videos and computer interactives. It has a shop that is open to all. Historic craft moored by the quay side include steam dredger SND No 4, tug Severn Progress, barge Sabrina and narrow boats Northwich, Wye and Oak. (More)

Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum
     Occupying the former Custom House at the north end of the Victoria Dock, this Museum tells the story of the lives, travel and service of the men of the Gloucestershire Regiment and the Gloucestershire Huzzars over the last 300 years. (More)

Queen Boadicea II leaving Gloucester DocksGloucester Leisure Cruises
     45 minute trips down the canal and back from the Waterways Museum and some longer cruises on the canal and River Severn. See website for times.

Gloucester Antiques Centre
     The Antiques Centre that formerly occupied the warehouse by the lock has moved to new premises on the corner of Llanthony Rd and High Orchard St in the Gloucester Quays development. It has over 100 individual dealers selling a wide range of antiques and collectables, and there is a cafe on the second floor. (Website)

Vessel in the small dry dock at Gloucester DocksWorking Dry Docks
     Maintenance and repair work on vessels in and around the large and small dry docks is managed by T Nielsen & Co. Craftsmen can be seen at work using traditional skills aided by modern tools. For information on interesting vessels currently at Gloucester, see Vessels for Overhaul.

Gloucester Quays Designer Outlet Centre
      To the south of the main docks area is the Gloucester Quays designer outlet centre which has an outstanding mix of high street and designer labels at up to 60% off recommended retail prices. Refreshments are available at various coffee shops and restaurants. (Website)

Sula Lightship Holistic Centre
      Lightship Sula, permanently moored beside Llanthony Quay, is a centre for complementary therapies such as aroma-therapy, Reiki and crystal and sound healing. The centre has a workshop area for training courses, a shop selling related products and tea & coffee are served on the deck. (Website)

Mariners Chapel
     The chapel in the centre of the docks is open to visitors each day, and services are held on Sundays at 10.30 am and at times during the week - see website for details.

Guided Tours
     Gloucester Civic Trust guides lead public tours around the docks during the summer. Special tours can be arranged for pre-booked parties. (Website)

Model boats in the Main Basin at Gloucester DocksModel Boat Displays
     Members of the Gloucester & District Model Boat Club sail their models from the entrance to the Victoria Dock each Saturday afternoon. These include yachts, tugs, paddle boats, hovercraft, submarines, warships, patrol boats, lifeboats and motor cruisers. (Website)

Gloucester Sea Cadets
     The cadets moor their boats in the Barge Arm and may often be seen using them on Monday or Thursday evenings during the summer. (Website)

Upstairs Downstairs Antiques
     Specialists in clocks, furniture and lighting, across Severn Rd from the Lock Warehouse. Cafe on the first floor.

Silent Water
     Gifts, jewellery and home style shop between the Mariners Chapel and the Barge Arm.

Gloucester Brewery
     A micro brewery in the courtyard adjoining the Waterways Museum, open every day except Mondays offering four different ales and guided tours. (Website)

MV Edward Elgar
     
This vessel, based at Alexandra Quay, is the biggest hotel boat now cruising UK inland waters. She offers holiday cruises for 2 to 7 days right along the Severn navigation between Sharpness and Stourport-on-Severn. (Website)

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