Gloucester (pronounced [ˈglɒstə]) is a city and district in south-west England, close to the Welsh border. It is the county town of Gloucestershire. In 2003 the city proper had a population of 110,207. However the built-up area extends beyond the city boundary. The 2001 census gave the population of the whole "Gloucester Urban Area" as 162,203, up 8% from the 1991 figure of 126,149.
It is located on the right (east) bank of the River Severn, at grid reference SO832186, 114 miles west-north-west of London. It is sheltered by the Cotswolds on the east, while the Forest of Dean and the Malvern Hills rise prominently to the west and north-west, respectively.
Gloucester is a port, linked via the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal to the Severn Estuary, allowing larger ships to reach the docks than would be possible on the tidal reaches of the river itself. The wharves, warehouses and the docks themselves fell into considerable disrepair until their renovation in the 1980s. They now form a public open space. Some warehouses now house the National Waterways Museum, others were converted into luxury residential apartments, shops and bars. The port still houses the most inland RNLI Lifeboat in the UK