Cheltenham Spa is a Regency town, conveniently less than a hundred miles from London and a great base for touring the Cotswolds, visiting Stratford upon Avon and Bath. Regency town houses line the historic Promenade, squares and terraces. Cheltenham has award winning gardens, diverse shopping, several annual festivals and much more besides.
Cheltenham has a cosmopolitan atmosphere and offers a wide variety of fashionable restaurants, wine bars, bistros and coffee bars to tempt everybody.
The first natural spring was discovered in Cheltenham nearly 300 years ago. In 1781 a local Cheltenham Guide talked of a visit being “a journey of health and spring”. Pigeons are rumoured to be the “founders” of medicinal waters, pecking at salt left by the spring water on the site of the Cheltenham Ladies College. In 1788 King George III came for five weeks to take the water cure; he was followed by many aristocratic and distinguished figures of the period, and Cheltenham’s transformation into a fashionable resort began.
Eating Out in Cheltenham
Cheltenham is home to summertime alfresco dining on the tree-lined Promenade or beautiful Regency terraces, in winter trendy and sophisticated restaurants are sure to tempt.
There is a wide choice of places for a pre or post-theatre dinner when visiting one of the 3 theatres in Cheltenham.
Shopping in Cheltenham
Shopping in Cheltenham, with the elegant Regency architecture all around, is not only retail therapy but also a visual pleasure. Shopping is, indeed, one of Cheltenham’s top visitor attractions.
The choice of shopping in Cheltenham includes The Promenade, High Street, Regent Arcade, Beechwood Shopping Centre and The Brewery – Cheltenham’s newest retail and leisure destination.
The Cheltenham Farmers Market takes place on the Promenade on the second and last Friday of each month. This offers a range of natural produce, specialist foods and locally produced food.
There is no shortage of things to do – from regular events at the Town Hall to the Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum.
Cheltenham Racecourse is not only home to the annual horse-racing Cheltenham Festival where races such as the Gold Cup and Champion Hurdle are held, but also plays host to Greenbelt (a Christian arts and music festival) and Wychwood music festival. The racecourse also has a large conference, events, concert and exhibition centre – Centaur.
In addition to the festivals hosted at the racecourse, there are folk and jazz festivals, literary and science festivals and even a cricket festival.
Cheltenham has three theatres: the Everyman, the Playhouse and the Bacon and for those who prefer film to theatre there is a Cineworld multi-screen cinema at the Brewery, with another Cineworld close by in Gloucester.
Art Gallery & Museum
Cheltenham’s Art Gallery and Museum, located on Clarence Street, contains sections on archaeology, art, crafts and furniture and furnishings. Additionally there are dedicated exhibitions to Edward Wilson – a local man who died with Scott in the Antarctic – and William Morris who was the leader of the Arts & Craft Movement.
The Art Gallery and Museum has free admission and is open daily except Sundays from 10am to 5.15pm.
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