Cheltenham lies on the edge of the Cotswold Hills it became a Spa Town in the 1700’s. It is within easy reach of Cirencester
. The town was visited by Royals including King George 111, other notable people who came to Cheltenham to take the waters in the past included Jane Austen and Charles Dickens.
The spa waters which brought fame to Cheltenham can still be sampled in the town today head for the magnificent Pittville Pump Room which is open to the public.
Cheltenham is famous for its horse-racing course, it is the home of the Cheltenham Gold Cup, and is Britain’s main steeple-chase venue.
If you are interested in horse-racing you might like to combine your holiday visit with one of the racing fixtures, the season lasts from October to April. You can get a list of the dates from the Tourist Office.
The principal street in the town is the broad, award winning, Promenade, lined with grand houses and with good pedestrianized areas it is a place to relax, take pleasure in the surroundings and enjoy some refreshment at one of the pavement cafés before visiting the shops. You will find boutiques, fashionable chain shops and stores including House of Frazer, Hoopers, Laura Ashley and many more.
As well as the stylish Promenade shopping area, the High Street has also plenty of shopping opportunities, the Regent Arcade with its famous ‘ Wishing Fish Clock’ designed by Kit Williams has many shops to browse around. Also located along the High Street are M&S among other well known names. In the Beechwood shopping centre you will find Next, River Island, Debenhams and much more. There is a good variety of shops to keep you occupied for those of you who enjoy shopping.
You might prefer to take a guided walking tour of the town centre; these tours are available in the summer months and give a good insight into the life of Cheltenham with knowledgeable guides. Also on offer are bus tours in to the Cotswolds you can get more information from the Tourist Office in Cheltenham.
If you are exploring the town yourselves you will need an insight into other visitor attractions. The Holst Museum in Clarence Road is worth a visit, once the home of the famous composer and musician. The displays feature the Victorian and Edwardian way of life including a working Edwardian kitchen. The rooms hold plenty of Holst memorabilia, you can enjoy his music and see Holsts piano in this restored Regency house.
A visit to Cheltenham’s Art Gallery & Museum may interest you it is situated in Clarence Street and houses an important Arts and Crafts Collection. You will also learn more about the history of the town.
In Regent Street you will find the Theatre, various cafes, bars and restaurants and boutiques. If your interests lie in antiques you will find antique dealers in the Montpellier and Suffolk areas, on Sundays there are Antique and Collectors Fairs at Cheltenham Race-Course.
There are various options when choosing accommodation with guest houses in fine Regency houses, hotels and B&B’s something to suit most budgets. It is advisable to book your holiday break
in advance if it coincides with the races and at festival times when accommodation is limited.
Cheltenham is a unique, historic town it makes a good base for touring the Cotswolds and for exploring other historical sights of Gloucestershire.