The district of South Gloucestershire is a unitary district in the county of Gloucestershire. The district borders Bristol and Bath in North East Somerset and the county of Wiltshire with the River Severn forming the northwestern edge of the area. The Cotswolds Escarpment forms the eastern edge of South Gloucestershire.
Much of the population is in the northern and eastern suburbs of Bristol, although there are large population areas in Yate, Chipping Sodbury, Winterbourne and Thornbury.
All of South Gloucestershires towns and villages are well within the commuting belt for Bristol, Bath, Gloucester, Cheltenham and London with links via the M4/M5 motorways and major connections to the railway network, with routes from London passing through the Severn Tunnel to South Wales, and from the South-West to Birmingham and onwards. The area is also at the eastern ends of the two famous Severn bridges, which are the main routes by road to and from South Wales.
South Gloucestershire Attractions
South Gloucestershire has many attractions and has good access to the Cotswolds, the Forest of Dean and the Wye Valley and South Wales. There are National Trust properties at Dyrham Park and Horton Court; Berkeley Castle and the Avon Valley Steam Railway are close by and also the Slimbridge Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust is located on the Severn Estuary. The Badminton Horse Trials is one of the most popular events in the national sporting calendar, is held over four days in the first weekend of May and the Bristol Balloon Festival is a major attraction in the Bristol area.
Walkers are well provided for with several major footpaths and cycleways serving much of the area. The Frome Valley Walkway runs from Old Sodbury to Frenchay, the Cotswold Way runs along the western edge of the Cotswolds from Bath and the Severn Way runs north from the Second Severn Crossing. Cycleways include The Avon Cycleway, a circular 85-mile route that takes in many of the villages and historic landmarks and the Bristol and Bath Railway path is a 13-mile off-road route between Bristol and Bath. Just outside the area The Kennet and Avon Canal joins with the River Avon to create a water route from the Severn Estuary to London via the River Thames and the Sharpness Canal allows access to the City of Gloucester.
South Gloucestershire has a number of golf courses and South Gloucestershire Council manages a number of leisure centres at Thornbury, Yate, Kingswood and Bradley Stoke.