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Ballooning over Gloucester

02/07/2015 Jo Bailey Features

Taking a balloon journey in the region near Bristol can easily lead to some special views of Gloucestershire.

As the crow flies, Gloucester, its county town, is just over 30 miles away from Bristol. Situated to the north east of the European Green Capital of 2015, it is also not too far from Bath. With the Forest of Dean and the Cotswolds in close proximity as well, ballooning over the cathedral city of Gloucester is a real pleasure for many tourists. There are several compelling reasons why this is the case:

The history of Gloucester

Tourists with a keen interest in history may be enthused by the fact that Gloucester was founded during Roman times. Its first name, Colonia Nervia Glevensium, reflects this as it links to the name of the Emperor Nerva.

It has been recorded by historians that the Roman settlement might have contained up to 10,000 people at one stage in its development. In 2002, a statue of Emperor Nerva was put up as a formal acknowledgement of his influence. Seeing it from the air might not be possible for all who journey in a balloon, but some of the Gloucester road network is aligned with its Roman predecessor. Moreover, some of the most famous British Roman villas were located in the region.

Gloucester was occupied by Saxon people about 500 years after its founding, which marked a major cultural shift and an abbey was eventually built in the vicinity. Further changes came in the wake of the Norman Conquest, while Gloucester was also the site of a critical siege that occurred during the course of the English Civil War.

The special architecture of the city

There are several impressive buildings in Gloucester, including the cathedral. This seems to have influenced the decision to shoot some Harry Potter films there. Tourists may well enjoy flying above this picturesque city. Tudor housing may also be seen, especially as the weather is quite often clear enough to see for some distance.

The city’s geography

Gloucester enjoys port status and has a connection to the Severn estuary. As a consequence, the wharfs, which can be readily viewed from above, are something for tourists to look out for. They once were quite important for the county’s trade, and the dockland area underwent substantial regeneration during the 1980s. A couple of museums on the waterfront may perhaps be picked out by people travelling in a balloon.

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