Gloucester City Guide: Learn About the UK ETA for Gloucester

The county and cathedral city of Gloucester is located location in South West England, between the Forest of Dean and The Cotswolds. Situated on the River Severn, it has a population of roughly 130,000.

A Brief History of Gloucester

The Ancient Romans established a settlement on the River Severn known as Glevum, with a fort at Kingsholm (present-day Gloucester Cross) that was thought to be a former base for the invasion of Wales. As the provincial capital of Britannia Secunda, it was of important military consequence. Parts of the original city walls still stand, and Roman artefacts are in the city’s museums.

The city continued to grow post-Roman era, and with the Norman Conquests, a traditional motte and bailey castle was built (later demolished in 1787). Its most significant period in British history was during the “Anarchy”, which resulted in the ascendence of the Duke of Gloucester II to the English throne as Henry II in 1154. His successor, Henry III, was also crowned in Gloucester Cathedral. The Duke of Gloucester has remained a rank in the Royal Family ever since.

From Henry II’s time onwards, Gloucester grew with several important monastic establishments and port activity. By the time of the English Civil War, it was a major stronghold supporting the parliamentarians, and the city was besieged in 1647. Today, Gloucester is an important economic centre of the English southwest, with a major connection to the aerospace industry.

Notable Attractions of Gloucester

Gloucester Cathedral,-2.248857,17z

One of the finest medieval buildings in Britain, Gloucester Cathedral has fan-vaulted cloisters and elaborate stained glass in the Great East Window. It is the burial place of King Edward II. Harry Potter fans will recognise the cloisters as the corridors of Hogwarts.

Gloucester Museum,-2.2529061,16z

At the Gloucester Museum, you can learn all about the city, from its beginnings as a Roman riverside crossing town to a thriving modern-day city. Important exhibits include the Birdlip mirror, Roman tombstones, the oldest complete backgammon set in the world and paintings by Thomas Gainsborough.

Gloucester Historic Docks,-2.2567458,16z

Gloucester is the most inland port in the UK, and although it has declined in maritime importance, the docks are a big attraction for both locals and visitors alike. At Gloucester Docks, standing on the River Severn and the Sharpness Canal, you can see historic Victorian warehouses, a mariner’s chapel and dry docks that all have new, modern uses. These include the National Waterways Museum, Soldiers of Gloucester Museum, Gloucester Quays Designer Outlet and Gloucester Quays Antique Centre.

Beatrix Potter Museum,-2.2491652,17z

The Beatrix Potter Museum is a small but quaint place on many visitors’ maps. It’s a very special destination inspired by the author’s work, The Tailor of Gloucester, for those who are childhood fans of the Harry Potter books.

Slimbridge Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust,-2.4076206,17z

Lying alongside the Sharpness Canal, the Slimbridge WWT is an important conservation area. There is a wealth of wildlife here, though most of it is avian in nature.

Wallsworth Hall,-2.2346917,17z

A famous Georgian mansion, Wallsworth Hall is home to the Nature in Art Museum and Art Gallery, featuring paintings, sculptures, glass, porcelain and wood carvings. Believed to be the world’s largest collection of nature-based art, it contains pieces by Picasso and Flemish masters.

Gloucester and Beyond

Gloucester serves as an excellent base to visit the major urban centres and attractions of South West England.

• Bristol: 35 miles away — a major port city on the River Avon, Bristol is packed with significant British history, from Roman times to the Industrial Revolution.
• Bath: 48 miles away — Bath presents visitors with diverse historical attractions, including the Roman Baths and Georgian architecture.
• Oxford: 50 miles away — the university and its wealth of honey-coloured medieval colleges define the “City of Gleaming Spires”.
• Stow-on-the-Wold: 27 miles away — Stow is in The Cotswolds, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Its rolling countryside is home to picture-postcard towns and villages.
• Monmouth: 30 miles away — Monmouth is the closest and largest town to Gloucester in Wales.

The New UK ETA for Gloucester

The UK government is introducing a new border and immigration control process that will affect foreign visitors to Gloucester. The programme is known as the UK ETA programme, and it should be in full force by the end of 2024. You will need a UK ETA for Gloucester if you intend to visit this UK city.

What is the ETA?

The UK Electronic Transfer Authorisation is an entry permit that will be required when the country’s border crossing process becomes fully digitalised. It is an electronic document “attached” to your passport.

Who needs an ETA for Gloucester?

Any UK passport holder who resides in the UK is automatically exempt from ETA requirements. There is also a published list of further exemptions relating to UK nationals and passport holders. If your status is any of the following, you do not require a UK ETA for Gloucester (or any other UK destination):

• Citizen of a British Overseas Territory
• British national residing overseas
• British citizen residing overseas
• Protected British person
• British subjects without the right of abode in the UK

In addition, holders of Irish passports are exempt from needing a UK ETA for Gloucester. However, all foreign visitors will require an ETA to enter the UK. Whether the purpose is for a short holiday, business, study or medical treatment, it applies equally to current non-visa nationals from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the European Union and more. There are 92 countries on the Government’s ETA Eligibility List.

There is no age exemption. An ETA is required for travellers of any age. Any person wishing to stay long-term or wanting to work in the UK requires a standard visa as per current requirements. There is no automatic or guaranteed acceptance. In fact, even an approved ETA may be refused by UK border control if the visitor is perceived as a security threat or otherwise inadmissible by law.

How long is an ETA valid?

Unless the visitor’s passport expires beforehand, a UK ETA for Gloucester is valid for six months from the date of issuance. The ETA allows freedom of movement all throughout the UK for 180 days. You will need to apply for a new ETA if your current one is due to expire while you are still residing in Gloucester.

How to apply for a UK ETA?

The ETA application process is completed online. Copies of your documents must be provided digitally. The ETA application process may require you to provide the following:

• Personal identification details: name, birth date and gender
• Contact details: address, email address, and telephone number
• Passport details: issuing country, expiry date, and passport number.
• Declare dual nationalities or any other citizenships
• Work details: name, address and contact number of employers
• Security information: immigration, drug and criminal histories

Payment is due on application and must be made with a valid credit or debit card. Processing takes 72 hours, so it is advisable to apply for a UK ETA for Gloucester several days before your date of travel. The ETA will also be issued as an e-document linked to your biometric passport.

ETA data privacy

The information you provide in your ETA application is covered by the privacy policy and terms & conditions. The information is checked against UK and international immigration & security databases used by the UK Home Office and Border Force. The information is also shared on the API (Advance Passenger Information) system, enabling travel companies and carriers to check that their passengers have a valid ETA for Gloucester.

What happens if my ETA application is denied?

If you are denied an ETA after completing an application, the alternative is to apply for a visa. Travellers are encouraged to review the UK ETA FAQ for more details.

How does the ETA benefit travellers

The streamlined online application process for UK ETA is faster and easier than the standard UK visa application process. The application takes only a few minutes, and if everything is in order, an ETA will be issued by email within days.

Gloucester is a small city by UK standards, but there are a substantial number of things to see and do for visitors with differing interests. Admire the architecture, enjoy a waterside adventure and seek out some of the city’s hidden gems.