Historic spa town Cheltenham lies on the edge of the Cotswolds in picturesque Gloucestershire, just half an hour’s drive from Gloucester itself and 100 miles from London. Cheltenham has been a tourist destination for some time, attracting visitors since the early 1700s thanks to its so-called healing spas and mineral springs.
Cheltenham’s thriving town centre is packed with an array of classy shops and restaurants – from traditional-style pubs to restaurants serving haute cuisine. Sample some of the area’s finest delicacies and culinary delights including Gloucester cheese and Old Spot pork – or shop til you drop at the Regent Arcade or the town’s iconic high street Montepellier, flanked by impressive Georgian and Victorian architecture and smart boutiques. Montepellier culminates with stunning gardens home to a café and bandstand hosting a variety of concerts and events in summertime. Culture vultures can also explore a collection of fine art at The Wilson Museum, enjoy a show at the town’s historic ornate auditorium the Victorian Everyman Theatre. On hot days visitors can enjoy a refreshing dip in the iconic Sandford Parks Lido – one of the UK’s largest outdoor heated swimming pools set in stunning landscaped gardens.
Nearby there’s plenty to see and do. Cheltenham Racecourse is home to a number of events throughout the year – notably the historic Gold Cup race taking place each spring. Meanwhile the grand Gloucester Cathedral draws crowds each year, as does Sudeley Castle with its famous gardens, Hidcote Manor and the limestone rock formation known as ‘the Devil’s Chimney’. Picturesque Pitville Park is perfect for a stroll closer to town. Transport links are excellent – with trains to London, Bristol and Manchester frequently passing through Cheltenham Station.