Saturday, 11 March 2017

Julie Ryan ~ Love of Gloucester ~ Guest Blog Post @julieryan18

Welcoming today, Julie Ryan, fellow Book Connectors member, to talk about Gloucester, her home town.

Gloucester, with its famous cathedral, actually dates back over 2000 years to Roman times. It also has the distinction of being England’s most inland port and is conveniently situated with the Cotswolds, the Forest of Dean and Wales all close by.

Having lived here for twelve years, one of my favourite areas to visit is The Quays, the dockland area of Gloucester that has seen massive rejuvenation in recent years. With the designer outlet, multiplex cinema and restaurant chains, this area has become quite trendy. What I appreciate though is the docks themselves from where you can take a boat trip down the Gloucester- Sharpness canal. On the dockside is one of my favourite restaurants with a great view, aptly named ‘Greek on the docks.’

The kleftiko (lamb cooked in a clay oven) is to die for. I first went there for my birthday and will definitely be going back.

The area has been mostly pedestrianized and there’s a pretty little church that looks as if it’s been marooned amidst the redevelopment.

If you want to find out more about local history, Gloucester Waterways Museum is just a stone’s throw away and well worth a visit. I really enjoyed finding out what life was like for people living on barges last century.

At Christmas the area becomes a magical grotto with stalls selling Christmas novelties and mouth-watering goodies. There was also an ice-rink set up last Christmas to add to the magical feel.
The area also hosts a Victorian market and in summer the Tall Ships Regatta is not to be missed as the ships are quite a sight to behold as they sail into the Docks.

From the Quays it’s an easy walk into Gloucester itself. The town is arranged in a crossroads style with roads named Eastgate Street, Southgate Street, Westgate Street and Northgate Street. Although there is a modern shopping centre, I still love the ambiance of the streets and it’s not too difficult to imagine what they must have been like in medieval times.

Overshadowing the city is the magnificent cathedral.

It was begun in the late 14th century and the cloister is one of the earliest examples of cross vaulting – truly magnificent but for most people the cathedral is better known as the place where several scenes from Harry Potter were filmed. Dr Who and Wolf Hall have also been filmed here and if you visit, you can see why.

Gloucester’s final claim to fame is of course Beatrix Potter. In the shadow of the cathedral is ‘The tailor of Gloucester’, a museum and gift shop dedicated to this book.  

It is believed that Beatrix Potter got the inspiration for her book whilst visiting a cousin who lived in Gloucester.

Whatever your interests, Gloucester is a wonderful place to visit and I feel very lucky indeed to live here.

Thanks for joining me on my blog Julie. 


Title - City of Secrets
Author - Christine Jordan
When in 1497 murder, flood and disease hit the holy city of Gloucester it’s not long before the monks of Blackfriars and the corrupt burghers of the city start to talk of sorcery. Orphaned at a young age and trapped in marriage to the boorish Humphrey, Emmelina finds herself the focus of fear and superstition. Punishments are brutal; fires will be lit; people will burn. But what really happened to her friend and maidservant, Fayette, and how much is she prepared to risk in the name of freedom… and of love?

Title - Dark Ritual
Author - Patricia Scott
Synopsis - Murder arrives in a small English village when the naked body of an investigative journalist, Sandra Peterson, is found stabbed to death in a crop circle. The graphic way her body has been mutilated, and the attempt to set fire to her remains, lead to a disturbing suggestion.

Have the old beliefs of human sacrifice and pagan worship returned to the quiet English countryside?

DCI Fowler and DC Peale are called in to investigate. It soon becomes clear that Sandra had links to quite a few of the men in the village.And before they know it, nearly everyone they come across seems to be a suspect. Was this a random murder to re-invoke an ancient Pagan ritual?Or is it a cover up for something even more sinister…?

Fowler and Peale need to find before someone else falls victim to this Dark Ritual…

‘Dark Ritual’ is a chilling murder mystery that is perfect for fans of Kathy Reichs and Elizabeth George.

Check out Julie's blog etc. on the links below-

Check out the Top 15 Attractions in Gloucester in the video below.