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Hidden in Train Sight - Gloucester's Green Spaces

Have you ever wanted a quick escape from your laptop screen? Picture this: A quiet green space, just a 20-minute walk from the train station, offering a sanctuary for your lunch break or a quick mental recharge. You might be thinking, “A green space in Gloucester city centre? You’re kidding, right?”. That was the exact disbelief echoed by my table when I attended the Gloucestershire Young People Action Summit at Gloucester Cathedral in January. 



Here’s the thing. Contrary to this belief, there actually are green spaces in Gloucester, and they are not only real but also conveniently walkable from the train station. I actually did take that opportune moment to share our Gloucester Wellbeing Walks map, which showcases four walking routes that promise exactly what you need for mental recharge. 




Accessing nature has been a part of my role at GCRP since I joined in 2021. Our Getaway programme has helped us take over 400+ young people from underrepresented communities out to nature spaces across Gloucestershire, using train travel as a way of them gaining confidence in public transport  and their own independence.



But as a proud Gloucesterian, I sometimes feel that the amazing spaces we have in the city itself aren’t showcased enough. That’s what I wanted to do when I sat down to create these four trails, showcasing spaces and walks that feel tangible and are spaces close to home that I use myself as a means of both escape and connecting with nature. 


Research has consistently shown that active travel, walking and spending time in nature reduces stress, enhances mood, and boosts overall mental  and physical health. As we move into more sunny days, these routes can provide a breath of fresh air in the heart of Gloucester. 





The Gloucester Wellbeing Walks map has garnered fantastic feedback from various individuals and organisations. Stagecoach, for example, are using the maps to encourage drivers to step out during their lunch breaks whilst others are incorporating them into community sessions to encourage a sense of well-being and connection among participants. 


“Yesterday I was looking at the map with one of my colleagues and we talked about the different areas of Gloucester that are on the map that you don't think about. We also worked out a way to join a couple of the walks together to make a suitable lunchtime walk to fit our break. Joining the Island walk and the Priory walk makes a great "lunchtime" loop of the city. We're also going to try mixing the garden walk with the national cycle network, so see some other parts of the city.” - Stagecoach Employee 


“I came across your leaflets for Gloucester wellbeing walks and Lets Talk Travel the other day and thought they would be very useful for our patients and service users. They are perfect for our waiting area and patients who are looking for alternative activities and travel due to illness. We are near the railway station, so they will really come in handy.” - Anon 



Gloucester's green spaces may be “hidden”, but they are far from nonexistent! The Gloucester Wellbeing Walks map serves as a guide to discovering these hidden gems, promoting mental and physical well-being. We’d love to hear about your experience using the map, as well as our walking trails across other stations, downloadable HERE.


(Please note that the bridge to access Alney Island from Gloucester Quays is currently closed for repairs - Alney Island is accessible through the Castlemead Car Park.)


A Gloucester Access Map to help people with your personal travel choices and access needs to and from the train station is also available here, along with our TrainTripper website to help you explore and create itineraries for your car-free travels. https://traintripper.co.uk/


If you have other ideas for wellbeing walks around train stations in Gloucestershire, you can contact us on info@gcrp.org.uk


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