Cheltenham visitors guide

Whether you're visiting Cheltenham for a weekend break or leisurely holiday, make the most of the Regency town with SoGlos's definitive guide to where to stay, eat, shop and much more.

Introduction to Cheltenham

Cheltenham is a beautiful Regency town situated in the English county of Gloucestershire, with a 300-year history as a destination for tourists from across the UK and around the world – thanks to the discovery of a natural mineral spring!

King George III visited Cheltenham in 1788 to ‘take the waters’, paving the way for its transformation into a fashionable leisure resort, and today Cheltenham has become known as a hub of stylish accommodation, fine food and upmarket shopping – not to mention the home of National Hunt horse racing.

Whether you’re a couple taking a romantic weekend break or a family planning a fun-filled holiday, make the most of your time with SoGlos’s definite visitors guide to Cheltenham.

Also see SoGlos’s Gloucestershire visitors guide, Gloucester visitors guide, Cotswolds visitors guide and Forest of Dean visitors guide.

Where to stay in Cheltenham

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A visitor’s dream, most of Cheltenham’s popular accommodation venues are situated within easy walking distance of the town centre.

Many include excellent bars and restaurants, they come in all shapes and sizes and there are plenty of luxurious choices – plus a few more budget options too.

See SoGlos’s dedicated Cheltenham venue listings for bed and breakfasts, self-catering, budget hotels, mid-range hotels and luxury hotels.

Things to do in Cheltenham

You will never run out of things to do in Cheltenham, whether you’re interested in learning more about the town’s history or want to enjoy some top-class entertainment at one of its live music, comedy or theatre venues.

From soaking up the history at Sudeley Castle to catching a play at the Everyman Theatre, admiring the fine art at The Wilson museum and gallery, to laughing out loud at a comedy night at Cheltenham Town Hall , there's plenty to keep you entertained. And, if you fancy seeing the town in an all together more spooky light, head out on a Cheltenham Ghost Tour.

Check out SoGlos’s dedicated Cheltenham venue listings for attractions, days out, museums, art galleries, theatres and live music venues.

Eating out in Cheltenham

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A gastronomic hot bed, Cheltenham includes a plethora of fine dining restaurants, bustling bistros and relaxed gastropub eating out establishments – spanning cuisines from around the globe.

The most notable is the two Michelin Star Le Champignon Sauvage Restaurant, which attracts foodies from around the world thanks to its reputed French cuisine, run by chef David Everitt-Matthias and his wife Helen since 1987.

See SoGlos’s dedicated venue listings for Cheltenham restaurants, as well as the more specific British restaurants, French restaurants and Indian restaurants categories in Cheltenham, along with cafés and tea rooms.

Shopping in Cheltenham

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Cheltenham enjoys an excellent reputation as a hotspot for fashion and style, playing home to independent boutiques and international design houses alike.

The town’s must-visit shopping area is the tree-lined Promenade, while Montpellier and the bustling High Street should also be included in any sprees of retail therapy.

Regent Arcade Shopping Centre offers plenty of chance to update your wardrobe, while the town is set to benefit from the arrival of John Lewis in 2018.

Events in Cheltenham

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Dubbed the festival capital of Britain, the town enjoys an enviable reputation for its varied line-up of annual yearly events. Some of our highlights include:

Cheltenham Festival and Gold Cup in March
Cheltenham Jazz Festival in April/May
La Vie en Bleu in May
Wychwood Festival in May
Cheltenham Science Festival in June
Cheltenham Music Festival in July
Cheltenham Cricket Festival in July/August and
Cheltenham Literature Festival in October

See SoGlos’s dedicated Cheltenham events calendar for the most up-to-date guide to what’s on, and don’t miss the Gloucestershire festivals guide and Gloucestershire wacky events guide.

Sport in Cheltenham

No guide to the area would be complete without including Cheltenham Racecourse – famous all over the world as the home of National Hunt racing – situated just beyond Pittville Park and overlooked by Cleeve Hill.

Cheltenham also plays host to another world-famous sporting spectacle in the form of the annual Cheltenham Cricket Festival – the longest running event of its kind in the world – held in the grounds of the prestigious Cheltenham College. While Cheltenham Town FC hosts The Robins’ home matches at the Abbey Business Stadium.

For everything from clay shooting and hot air ballooning, to flying aeroplanes and helicopters, see SoGlos’s dedicated Cheltenham sport and outdoor venue listings.

Getting around Cheltenham

The easiest and most cost-effective means of getting around Cheltenham is on foot – with most of the town’s accommodation, restaurants, shops, museums and more being centrally located. When visiting places of interest outside the town centre, check local bus timetables before considering hiring a car.

Cheltenham’s main bus station is situated in the town centre, while the main railway station is a 20-minute walk or five-minute taxi ride away. If you do use a car, there are plenty of well-signposted car parks in and around the town, but be warned the one-way system can be taxing.

Map of Cheltenham

See SoGlos’s Google-powered Gloucestershire Map to explore Cheltenham in amazing detail – including everything from accommodation and restaurants to attractions, museums, gardens and much more.

© SoGlos
Friday 30 June 2017

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