This week's blog is on Gloucester. Let Centurion-rugby's guide help you decide which hotels, restaurants and nightlife to choose and help with travelling to the city.
Eleven cities across England and Wales have been selected to host the Rugby World Cup 2015, and this week we've picked Gloucester as our place of interest. With a capacity of 16,500, the Kingsholm Stadium has an enviable history when it comes to international rugby hosting its first Test match way back in 1900. Home to Aviva Premiership side Gloucester, Kingsholm is widely regarded as the noisiest crowd in the league, largely due to the boisterous inhabitants of The Shed stand.
If you're looking for places to stay, eat or go out, we've put together a short guide below to Gloucester, to help celebrate the Rugby World Cup 2015.
Saturday 19th September - Tonga v Georgia - 12.00
Wednesday 23rd September - Scotland v Japan - 14.30
Friday 25th September - Argentina v Georgia - 16.45
Sunday 11th October - USA v Japan - 20.00
Top places to stay
The Edward Hotel (0.5 miles from Stadium)
Located just a 10 minute walk from the city centre and Gloucester Train Station, The Edward Hotel is in an ideal location to enjoy the Rugby World Cup. Set in 3 historically listed town houses, it offers en suite rooms with free Wi-Fi, traditional breakfasts and free parking. Gloucester Rugby Club at Kingsholm Stadium is less than one mile from The Edward whilst Gloucester city centre is just 10 minutes walk away and offers a good range of shops, bars and restaurants.
The New Country Hotel (0.5 miles from Stadium)
Located in Gloucester's City Centre, the New Country Hotel offers modern rooms with simple decor, a flat-screen TV and free WiFi for guests. The contemporary, stylish bar is on hand for a cocktail or guests can sample the delights of the restaurant which serves local produce. Gloucester Cathedral is only 350 yards away whilst the train station is just over a 10 minute walk away. Look out for the late bar Cafe Rene across the road - the ideal place to relax into the early hours after a Rugby game.
ibis Gloucester (2 miles from Stadium)
The ibis is conveniently located just a 5 minute drive from the M5 motorway and just 15 minutes from Gloucester City Centre. It offers modern, reasonably priced rooms with free WiFi, free on-site parking and a traditional restaurant where guests can enjoy a varied menu. The hotel is situated within walking distance of Gloucester Railway Station which is just 1.5 miles away.
Top places to eat
The Queens Head
Located on Tewkesbury Road, The Queens Head has built up a reputation for serving some of the area's best food and real ales. Privately owned, the pub employs 4 talented chefs who are passionate about food to produce an array of culinary delights. As a result, the food is excellent and offered at a reasonable price - the pub has the ethos that customers must be entirely satisfied when they leave! The pub offers a busy, laid back atmosphere and is quite often full so please pre-book.
Located on Northgate Street, The Abbey pub is a friendly welcoming venue offering delicious food, great drinks and unforgettable experiences. The pub offers a fantastic menu packed with delicious traditional English dishes. Open all day for breakfast, lunch or dinner, it makes the perfect stop-over either before or after a rugby match, catering to families, friends and businesses executives alike.
Sebz Cafe, Tapas & Restaurant
Also located on Northgate Street, Sebz restaurant was voted #18 out of 250 restaurants in Gloucester reviewed on Trip Advisor. Opening in 2006, the restaurant serves a range of Portugese tapas and Mediterranean cuisine in a friendly and relaxed setting. The chefs specialise in fresh fish, grilled meats and a wide selection of tapas as well as tasty vegetarian options. All dishes come at exceptional value, offering the perfect place to celebrate after a game
Top places to drink
The Lion's Den
The Lion's Den bar is located as the East End of the terrace in Kingsholm Stadium and is the perfect hotspot to enjoy a pint prior to the match. Open from 17.30pm, you'll have to opt for a different pub if you're planning on watching an earlier match. Drinks are offered at some of the cheapest prices in Gloucester - draught beers are only £2 a pint and you can also buy a freshly filled roll from the bar.
The Kingsholm Inn
Cross the road from the Kingsholm Stadium and on Kingshom Road you'll discover the Kingsholm Inn, a highly popular place for rugby supporters to gather prior to the game. The Inn is a family run traditional pub with a beautiful log fire which serves a wide selection of draught beers, wines and along with a lovely range of soft drinks for all the non-drinkers and drivers. The atmosphere is warm and friendly and for sports fanatics, there are 4 TVs throughout the pub including 2 big screens showing all major games on Sky Sports. Visitors can also enjoy the pretty beer garden - a great place to unwind in the summer months. As expected, the pub is full of rugby memorabilia and makes an ideal pub to visit before or after a rugby match.
The Fountains Inn
Located on Westgate Street, The Fountains Inn owned by Alan and Michelle is a charming, traditional 200 year old village pub in the heart of the Forest of Dean, also offering self-catering and bed and breakfast accommodation in the Fountain Lodge. The Inn provides a welcoming atmosphere to both locals and visitors to the area. The Inn offers a wide selection of real ale as well as locally produced wine along with an extensive menu featuring locally sourced ingredients where possible.
Getting there and away
From the North or South, exit the M5 at Junction 11 and follow the A40 in the direction of Gloucester. At Elmbridge Roundabout, take the A40 West (towards Ross on Wye), before taking the A38 South (towards Gloucester) which will take you directly to the ground.
Gloucester rail station is situated less than a mile from Kingsholm in the City Centre. Direct services operate to Bristol (50 minutes), Swindon (50 mins), Birmingham (60 mins), Cardiff (70 mins), London Paddington (110 mins) and Nottingham (140 mins).
Many bus routes are available into the main bus station in Gloucester, which is only a 5 minute walk to the stadium. Key routes and service numbers are laid out below or for more information visit www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/bustimetables.
By Park & Ride
From the M5 south, please take exit 12 and follow signs to the Waterwells Park and Ride. Buses run every 12 minutes to the city centre. The cost is £2.50 to the city centre or St Oswald's Business Park, where the Stadium is only a 5 minutes walk away. Travel is free for Under 14's and concessionary pass holders. The postcode for the Park and Ride site for GPS / Sat Nav is: GL2 2AN.
Bristol Airport is approximately 50 miles away. Birmingham International Airport is approximately 60 miles from away, whilst Cardiff airport is 80 miles from Gloucester.