Let's move to a drugs-and-knife-crime hellhole masquerading as magical Harry Potter dreamland! This week: Gloucester

What’s it about?

FOUNDED by the Romans in the first century AD, and still retaining ruins from its time as Glevum, Gloucester’s pretty historical.

Though St Oswald’s Priory, dating to the 890s, is of less interest to most visitors than the inside of the cathedral, built in the 14th century and filmed in the 20th as various parts of Hogwarts. Yeah. It’s one of those unfortunate Harry Potter places.

Around the cathedral there are pretty cobbled streets and the shopfront that inspired Beatrix Potter to write The Tailor of Gloucester, and that’s where the picturesque tweeness abruptly ends and the charity shops, vape shops and branches of Greggs begin.

With the highest crime rate in the county, coming 20th in a review of the most dangerous neighbourhoods in England and Wales – and that’s post-Fred West – it’s no wonder Harry needed a patronus.

Any good points?

The aforementioned cathedral is spectacular, even if you aren’t a fan of JK Rowling’s overprivileged teenage magic pricks, and the Victorian warehouses at the docks retain old-fashioned charm.

On the outskirts of town is the incredibly diverse Barton Street where 70 different languages are spoken, which is either an excellent place to go food shopping or a den of crime and inequity, depending on how racist you are. Many locals would happily tick ‘very’.

Beautiful landscape?

No. The city sits on a flood-plain on the eastern side of the River Severn, so the landscape is as flat as a pissed-on pancake, though if you really squint you might be able to see the Malverns in the distance past the soulless housing estates and retail parks. No wonder everyone’s so obsessed with the cathedral.

Hang out at…

Gloucester Quays, as the docks have been rebranded, has a few decent restaurants, and hosts foodie events and a tall ships festival. These allow you to feel you’re somewhere metropolitan and interesting rather than the arse-end of the West Country.

Teenagers have the option of multiple rundown shopping centres to terrorise, including the Eastgate Market which hasn’t been updated since 1982 and is disturbingly redolent of fish, raw meat and toffee.

There are plenty of pubs where you’ll get called a pussy for ordering a half, but the safest bet is the Wetherspoons, which has retained the facade and name of the old Regal cinema while everything else around it has been developed into a generic architectural shithole.

Avoid Eastgate Street. It tends to get fighty.

Where to buy?

If you don’t mind being woken up by pissed-up shouting rugby louts every weekend, you can snap up a two-bed flat right in the city centre for a measly £73k. However, if you’ve got more money to spend, it’s worth looking somewhere a bit further out. Like Cheltenham.

From the streets:

Jack Browne, aged 16: “The Cathedral cloisters are so quiet and tranquil. The perfect spot for a weed deal.”

Lucy Parry, aged 23: “I can’t believe this is where Harry Potter went to school! It’s a shithole!”

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How to create a sex playlist that will put you both right off, by the Mash sex columnist

IF music be the food of love, then why not fill her ears as well as all the other orifices? But just as in sex, one wrong chord and the moment’s dead. 

You can shoot down a boner with a single landfill indie track and it won’t come back, so annoyed is he to hear The Kooks again. If you want to finish stay the hell away from these:

90s house

So easy to segue into from the seducer’s favorite, trip hop – but you’re here to fuck, not to dance. And given the way you dance the two are not compatible. Stepping awkwardly from side to side with zero hip movement and the odd mistimed arm flail won’t locate G-spots. Turn off One Night In Heaven and focus: any lover would choose silence over M People.

Singalong tracks

What is Bohemian Rhapsody doing on your shag playlist? This is no time to imagine you’ve got the vocal range of Freddie Mercury, let alone duet back and forth on the ‘scaramouche!’ bits. If you want to get that Freddie feeling, lube up and invite six men in.

Nu metal

Getting all pumped up while you’re thrusting can be helpful with stamina, but too much Limp Bizkit or Rage Against the Machine and you’ll get less caught up in the thumping beat and more in the mood to actually thump someone. Which isn’t romantic, and nor is wearing a baseball cap backwards.

Anything emotional

Since you’re having sex you’re probably drunk, so avoid getting your emotional buttons pressed. Bursting into tears mid-cunnilingus because Sinéad O’Connor’s got to the sad bit will be not be taken in the spirit it’s felt. It’s as incongruous as opening a bag of cheese & onion Walkers. Save the Neil Young for the post-coital cuddle.

Anything from your youth

Sex and nostalgia do not mix. Getting it on to the whining tones of Damon Albarn will mess with your head as you’re carried back to the horny angst of your teenage years. You were worse at sex back then but it was so much better, you’ll think, lost in reverie.

Free jazz

Any jazz is a problem, but how can you concentrate on fantasising you’re making it with someone other than the man who’s currently inside you while filtering out the screeching honks of a saxophonist touched more by heroin than divine inspiration?

Show tunes

In some ways, sex is a performance, but rutting along to music theatre classics is never a good idea, no matter how smart the rhymes or rousing the tap–dance breaks. So steer clear of Lloyd Webber or you’ll end up raining all over your own parade.