Gloucester is a county-city situated in Gloucestershire, which is located in South West England. Perhaps best known for the renowned Gloucester Cathedral, cheese rolling activities, and as the home county of the Cherry and Whites, Gloucester is also an interesting place to live and work. If you are looking to move to Gloucester… this ultimate guide to living in this cathedral city for all the necessary information you need to know before making such a big decision.
Is Gloucester a good place to live? As of 2015, Gloucester ranked as the 55th best place to live in the UK, out of 138 areas. This was based on average employment statistics, income rates, house prices, life expectancy, living costs, and other important factors. Of course, these rankings are subject to change and only serve to compare the different experiences of people living across the UK.
Gloucester is nestled between Forest of Dean and the Cotswolds to the southwest and to east respectively. There is a wide range of idyllic parks and canal walks that are perfect for taking walks and simply unwinding. Additionally, the county also offers a unique blend of history and architecture which is interesting to explore. There are many charming neighbourhoods in Gloucester as well that would make for a nice place to live, and the crime levels could be considered to be generally manageable. I’ll be taking all these and more factors into consideration in order to help you decide on whether Gloucester is the place for you.
Is Gloucester a good place to live?
I have had the opportunity to live in several places within the UK, from the Scottish capital of Edinburgh to Buckinghamshire in the South East of England. All these places offered vastly different experiences, and any comparisons to be made would depend on a number of factors such as prices of housing and employment levels, among other things. To determine whether it is worth your while moving to Gloucester, these are the important aspects to take into consideration:
Some of the best neighbourhoods that are popular with home movers include:
Tuffley. Situated towards the south of Gloucester, Tuffley is a neighbourhood that comprises of breathtaking views and green spaces, as well as essential amenities that make it a popular place to live in.
It is in close proximity to the Robinswood Hill County Park, which is a great open space with striking views that is ideal for taking long strolls and cycling.
There are many good schools where children can be enrolled. An outstanding school in the area that is worth mentioning is The Crypt School, an all Boys’ Grammar School.
For fun activities and sports, there is the Holmleigh Park that is immensely popular with children, and situated not too far is the Gloucester Ski and Snowboard Center.
For shopping needs, there are many local retailers in the area, and the Gloucester Quay is only a bus ride away.
Quedgeley lies along the River Severn, towards the southwest of the Gloucester City centre. This neighbourhood has a commendable bus service, and the road system is well connected and accessible in general. As a result, this area is popular with commuters.
Quedgeley also offers a considerable range of essential amenities that include shopping spots, plenty of restaurants such as the renowned Miller and Carter Steakhouse, a variety of supermarkets, a town hall, and a community centre. For some spiritual fulfilment, opt to attend the St. James parish church within the area.
Longlevens is a suburb in Gloucester that was developed from a farmstead. The neighbourhood is home to the Sir Thomas Rich’s Grammar School, a selective institution that is known for its impressive performance. Other notable schools in the area include Longlevens Junior School and Longlevens Infants School.
The vast large Longlevens Recreation Ground within the areas is a great space for family activities. There are various shops and restaurants in the area as well, as well as a leisure centre.
Not all neighbourhoods in Gloucester are ideal, especially if you are planning a long-term stay. There are various reasons why these neighbourhoods should be avoided. The area around Barton and Tredworth, as well as neighbourhoods near St. Oswald’s Road, have been affected by floods in the past, which consequently makes them disaster-prone areas.
Neighbourhoods such as Westgate are also not suitable due to the relatively high levels of crime in
Schools and universities
Notable schools in Gloucester include The King’s School, The Crypt School, Sir Thomas Rich’s School, and Ribston Hall Girls High School. Comprehensive schools available include Beaufort Co-operative Academy, Severn Vale School, and Gloucester Academy. A University of West of England campus is also situated in Gloucester.
According to Gloucestershire Live, the most crime-riddled neighbourhoods in Gloucester are Westgate, with a crime level of 409.69 per 1000 people. It is closely followed by Barton and Tredworth, with a crime level of 103.13 per 1000 people. Kingsholm and Wotton rank third with a crime level of 100.45 per 1000 people.
The high crime rate in Westgate can be somewhat attributed to the high level of petty crimes in the area, with shoplifting accounting for nearly a quarter of the total crimes. The average crime rate per 1,000 people in Gloucester is 75.12
Gloucester is easily accessible due to the connectivity provided by the M5 motorway. The A417 is the main road that links Gloucester to towns such as Cirencester and Ledbury. There are major trunk roads in the county as well, such as the A38 and the A40.
The Gloucester railway station services train to various places such as Birmingham, Nottingham, London Paddington, and Bristol.
There is a great sense of community in Gloucester, especially in neighbourhoods such as Longlevens and Tuffley. There are many churches in the city as well where you could meet like-minded individuals and form friendships.
Is Gloucester a good place to Work?
The answer to this question can be determined by looking at the biggest employers and industry type:
EDF Energy. With a staff of over 1, 600 based at the headquarters at Barnwood, EDF Energy is the largest producer of low-carbon electricity in the UK. The company additionally employs more than 13,000 people across the UK and is a great place to find a relevant job in the industry if you are based in Gloucester.
Safran Landing Systems UK Ltd.This is an aerospace engineering firm that is renowned worldwide for the design, development, manufacture, and support of aircraft systems. It is based in Gloucester, with a huge staff of 1,200 in the city alone.
West UC. This is an American international company that provides services such as teleconferencing and digital media. It employs a staff of almost 500 individuals.
Ecclesiastical Insurance. This is a specialist insurance and financial services company with the head office in Gloucester and 518 members of staff.
Barnwood Group Ltd. This is a construction company that has been previously involved in local projects such as the regeneration of Bakers Quay in Gloucester. It employs a staff of 245.
The unemployment levels are generally low in the city. Below is a table that summaries the employment and unemployment levels in Gloucester from October 2017-September 2018:
All people (Male and Female) Total number Percentage (%)
Economically active 70,700 82.6
In employment 69,500 81.1
Employees 61,000 71.3
Self-employed 8,100 9.3
Unemployed 2,000 2.8
Average salaries. Employees in Gloucester make an average of £24,212 annually. Average pays for different occupations vary, with a Teaching Assistant earning an average of £10,487 annually, while a software developer makes £33,334 within the same period. Safran has an average salary of £36,120, EDF Energy has that of £50,376 while Renishaw Plc has that of £30,674.
Is Gloucester a good place to buy a House?
Best and worst neighbourhoods
The best neighbourhoods to buy houses in Gloucester are Tuffley, Quedgeley, and Longlevens due to the availability of good schools, reliable transport systems in close proximity, and other essential amenities such as eateries and shopping areas.
Houses in these neighbourhoods are reasonably priced as well. The average price of renting and buying a house in Tuffley is £741 and £226,991 respectively. Renting a house in Quedgeley costs £779 on average. If you choose to buy one, then expect to spend an average of £217,386. If you decide to rent a house in Longlevens, expect your monthly rent to cost an average of £528. Buying a house there averagely costs £254,513.
If you intend to purchase property in Gloucester for investment purposes, it is important to be aware of the average prices:
Property size Monthly rent
1 bedroom £433
3 bedroom £800
5 bedroom £1,174
Average purchase prices in Gloucester:
Property size Price
1 bedroom £98,056
3 bedroom £227,119
5 bedroom £376,925
Is Gloucester a good place to retire?
Hucclecote is the best neighbourhood to set up your retirement residence. This could be attributed to the fact that there is already a large population of an older generation living in the area, and consequently a big retired community. Essential amenities such as health facilities are also available and easy to access. Longlevens and Quedgeley are also great choices since they are mainly residential areas.
Westgate is the worst place you could choose to retire in due to the high levels of criminal activity, the highest in the city. Furthermore, there is a high number of businesses that include pubs and clubs, which means that the area is frequently overcrowded and noisy, making it generally unsuitable if you love peace and quiet.
Average monthly rent in Hucclecote is £800, slightly higher than renting prices in Quedgeley (£779) and Longlevens (£528)
Average purchasing price for houses in Hucclecote stands at £258,717, which is slightly higher than prices in Quedgeley (£217,386) and Longlevens (£254,513).
Is Gloucester a good place to visit?
Gloucester is a riveting place to visit, whether you are on a short break or you are a resident.
Gloucester Cathedral. Situated in the northern part of the city, the stunning Gloucester Cathedral was constructed between the 12th and 15th centuries, effortlessly blending Norman and Gothic architectural styles. The filming of three Harry Potter films within the cathedral greatly increased the number of tourists who came to visit the site. Must-see attractions here include the colossal pane of medieval stained glass which you can see in the Great East Window and a shrine that is dedicated to King Edward II.
Llanthony Secunda Priory. This former Augustinian priory was recently restored, and in 1952, it was designated as a Grade I structure. The rest of the site is considered to be an ancient monument. The priory is currently accessible to the public.
New Inn in Northgate Street. This is among the few surviving structures of the medieval and Tudor period. Built in the mid-1400s by a monk, it is a timber building with huge external galleries and courtyards.
Gloucester Docks.To the south of the main docks area, you will find the Gloucester Quays designer outlet centre, while the Mariners Chapel is in the centre of the docks
Kingsholm Stadium. This is a rugby union stadium that is situated within Kingsholm, which is a residential area.
Saint Mary de Crypt Church. This Anglican Church is situated in the heart of Gloucester.
About the author: Marta Kovachek is the author of this article. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a master’s degree in Economics. Marta enjoys writing about the current economic situation and loves helping our readers to find their next "destination". From places to live to complex social and economic topics, we always enjoy Marta's work. Please contact us in case of any questions.