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The cathedral city of Gloucester is the county town of Gloucestershire and lies very close to the border with Wales. The city is roughly 30 miles to the north east of Bristol and 45 miles to the south west of Birmingham. Gloucester lies on the banks of the River Severn and is bounded by the Cotswolds to the east, the Forest of Dean to the west and the Malvern Hills to the north. Interestingly Gloucester is also a port city being linked to the Severn Estuary by the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal. Following renovation the city's former wharfs and warehouses form a public open space, are home to the National Waterways Museum and a number of apartments, shops and bars.
Gloucester Cathedral is in the north of the city close to the river and originates in the foundation of an abbey dedicated to St Peter in 681. The cathedral is the burial place of King Edward II and its cloisters were used for some scenes in some of the Harry Potter movies.
Gloucester's main theatre is the Guildhall which hosts a large and diverse number of entertainments including live music, dance sessions, a cinema, bar, cafe and art gallery.
Located in the Central Belt region of Scotland, the city of Edinburgh is Scotland's capital city, and has been recognised as such since the 15th century. Overlooked by its imposing castle, the symbol of the city, Edinburgh combines medieval relics, Georgian grandeur and a powerful layer of modern life with contemporary avant-garde. Medieval palaces rub shoulders with the best of modern architecture, Gothic churches with amazing museums and galleries. Scotland's throbbing night-life centre, Edinburgh, "the Athens of the North", is also a feast for the mind and the senses, playing host to great restaurants, shops and an unequaled programme of city festivals throughout the year. Hogmanay, the Scottish New Year, kicks off the festivities, which culminate in the high summer with the Tattoo, the International and the Fringe, amongst many others.
The Old and New Towns of Edinburgh were listed as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO in 1995. In 2004, Edinburgh became the first member of the UNESCO Creative Cities initiative when it was designated a City of Literature.
Edinburgh's historic centre is bisected by Princes Street Gardens, a broad swathe of parkland in the heart of the city. To the south of the gardens is the castle, located on top of an extinct volcanic crag, and flanked by the medieval streets of the Old Town following the Royal Mile along the ridge to the east.