23 exciting things to look forward to in Cheltenham in 2023

Cheltenham promises a year of excitement in 2023, bringing famous faces, three Michelin star dining, new musicals, a rooftop restaurant and more to the town.

By Zoe Gater  |  Published
2023 is looking bright for Cheltenham, with so many cultural events, festivals and new openings to look forward to this year.
In partnership with Everyman Theatre  |  everymantheatre.org.uk
Everyman Theatre

Situated in the heart of Cheltenham, the Everyman Theatre is undoubtedly one of Gloucestershire’s finest entertainment venues, hosting a diverse line-up of drama, dance, comedy and music events – not to mention the annual pantomime.

The year 2023 will be a busy one in Cheltenham, with new hangouts like Roxy Lanes opening on the high street, new shows including The Heathers coming to the stage, and even a new rooftop bar on the cards.  

Roughly ordered by date to give you plenty of things to put in your calendars, here are 23 reasons to get excited about in the year ahead…

See Stephen King's epic novel brought to the stage 

Audiences can step behind the bars of Stephen King's iconic maximum-security facility this February 2023, and see the acclaimed stage adaptation of one of the greatest movies of all time, The Shawshank Redemption.

From Tuesday 13 to Friday 18 February, a cast of esteemed actors, including Joe Absolom as Andy and Ben Onwukwe as Red, will take to the stage at Cheltenham's Everyman Theatre, as the show examines the same desperation, injustice, friendship and hope ​as the original story.

See panoramic views across Cheltenham

Hosted by Cheltenham BID and coming to town for the first time in two years, Cheltenham's observation wheel is set to return to Imperial Gardens this February 2023, offering panoramic views across Regency Cheltenham. 

For three weeks only, running from Saturday 4 to Sunday 26 February 2023, visitors will have the chance to see the town from new heights when the wheel returns for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic. Tickets cost £7 per adult and £5 per child under 1.4 metres tall, with family tickets costing £20. 

Get your teeth into Beefy Boys

Cult Hereford burger brand, Beefy Boys, will be opening its latest joint in the centre of Cheltenham town, taking over the former site of Bills, with aims to open doors to hungry guests in February 2023.

Diners can expect the full range of Beefy Boys burgers, made using 100 per cent Herefordshire beef which is freshly ground each day. The menu is set to feature everything from classic burgers like the Beefy Boy with crispy bacon, American and Swiss cheese, lettuce, red onion, gherkin and special sauce; to dirty burgers like the Macaroni Boy, which includes a mac and cheese patty, American and Swiss cheese, HPA nacho cheese sauce, bacon, lettuce and spicy chipotle ketchup. 

Eat, drink and play games at Roxy Lanes

Cheltenham High Street is rumoured to become home to Gloucestershire's very first Roxy Lanes venue, with the brand's nearest location just across the border in Bristol. 

The venue submitted a licensing application to Cheltenham Borough Council in November 2022 for 105 to 107 High Street, which houses New Look on the ground and first floors. 

Cheltenham revellers can expect to experience the joy of a competitive socialising venue, with activities including bowling; karaoke rooms; beer pong; American pool; late night refreshments; and booze. 

Explore a new three Michelin star dining experience

Launching to coincide with The Festival, from Tuesday 14 to Friday 17 March 2023, Core on Course by Clare Smyth at Cheltenham Racecourse is set to be the first and only three Michelin star hospitality experience in sport

The tasting menu will feature six dishes with an instinctive focus on natural, sustainable ingredients - among them being the signature 'potato and roe' course by the chef patron, who has worked under the likes of Gordon Ramsay and catered for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding reception. 

Place your bets for Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup

Headlining day four of The Festival at Cheltenham, Boodles Gold Cup falls on Friday 17 March 2023. As the pinnacle of jump racing, previous winners like Best Mate have become household names.

Whilst not yet confirmed, a series of entertainment and live music is set to accompany the day, with previous performers including the likes of The Wickermen, The Lucky 15’s, The Hipcats, Taylor & The Masons and The Brimstones.

Try out an exciting new climbing and activity park

Located on the outskirts of Cheltenham, 270 Climbing Park is set to feature a number of adventure activities including indoor and outdoor bouldering and climbing walls - but to kick off the launch, the team is nearing the completion of the first phase, its ropes course. 

Planning to open in April 2023, visitors can look forward to scaling the highest ropes course in the UK with friends and family. 

Add greenery to your home with Little Dobbies

Following on from the launch of its Tewkesbury store, Dobbies announced that it will be adding another Gloucestershire store to its repertoire, with Little Dobbies is taking over the former GAP store on The Promenade bringing with it greenery, gifts, accessories and coffee too.

Whilst a specific date hasn't yet been confirmed, doors are expected to open by April 2022, with plant lovers poised for plenty of leafy new purchases.

Experience all the Festival Town has to offer

First up on the Cheltenham festival roster is Cheltenham Jazz Festival, from 26 April to 1 May 2023. This year, organisers are inviting musicians, dancers, artists and street performers to take part in some 100 new Around Town events designed to showcase emerging talent.

Cheltenham Science Festival follows in June, Cheltenham Music Festival in July, and Cheltenham Literature Festival in October 2023.

Watch the world's longest-running play at the Everyman Theatre

The world's longest running play, Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap is coming to Cheltenham's Everyman Theatre in May 2023.

For nearly 70 years, Agatha Christie's genre-defining murder mystery, The Mousetrap, has successfully kept millions of people on the edge of their seats - and you could be next. 

A group of seven strangers find themselves snowed in at a remote countryside guesthouse, after news spreads of a murder in London. With the knock on the door from a police sergeant, the guests discover that a killer is in their midst... But who's the murderer? Who will be the next victim?

Audiences can try and solve this infamous mystery themselves from Monday 15 until Saturday 20 May 2023, with ticket prices starting from £15 per person. 

Cheltenham’s highly anticipated £6.8 million MX centre

One of the most highly anticipated and high-profile building projects in Gloucestershire - the £6.8 million MX centre which is set to become a new headquarters for Cheltenham Festivals, the town's Growth Hub business support team, and a performance, workspace and café - is set to open some time in spring 2023. 

Opening was originally planned to take place by the end of autumn 2022, with those behind the project blaming the knock-on effects of Covid-19, supply chain issues, inflation and workforce shortages on the delay.

Solve a whodunnit mystery at Cheltenham Town Hall

An interactive screening of the classic Murder She Wrote episode 'Broadway Malady' is set to appear at Cheltenham Town Hall on Tuesday 23 May 2023 - and Jessica Fletcher requires your help to solve the murder mystery. 

The cult event promises to be a unique and hilarious night, featuring games, prizes and plenty of audience participation. 

Heathers the Musical at the Everyman Theatre

Paying homage to the cult 80s movie, the re-imagined stage performance, Heathers the Musical, is set to come to Cheltenham's Everyman Theatre from Tuesday 6 to Saturday 10 June 2023. 

Following two brilliant West End seasons, a record-breaking run at The Other Palace, audiences will see Westerberg High's Veronica Sawyer join the cruel group of Heathers as she gains popularity - but it turns out the girls aren't the only problem, when she discovers her boyfriend J.D. is killing students. 

Conquer the Three Peak Challenge

Do you have what it takes to tackle Cheltenham's Three Peak Challenge? Put your fitness to the test on Saturday 10 June 2023, for a worthwhile charity, climbing a total of 22 miles across Cleeve, Crickley and Leckhampton hills.

All proceeds will go to Aim Up - formerly known as St Vincent’s and St George’s Association – a brilliant charity which works to provide care, support and independent living opportunities for adults with disabilities, complex needs and health conditions.

SGGLA 2023

Back for its sixth year, SGGLA 2023 will be held at Dunkertons Cider on the outskirts of Cheltenham on Thursday 29 June 2023, with partners The Lucky Onion and PR Production Services, along with returning compere Steve Knibbs, making for another memorable night, celebrating the best of the county. 

This year's awards promise to be bigger than ever before – with more opportunities for local businesses to nominate themselves across a diverse selection of new categories including Chef, Pet Business and Property/Interiors Business of the Year.

Make new friends at an indie music festival

After the welcomed return of 2000Trees in 2022, the alternative festival will be back for another year of sun, music, friends and good food, all at the idyllic Upcote Farm. 

On the bill this year, festivalgoers can expect to see big names such as Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes to The Wonder Years, via Loathe and Holding Absence, the festival’s six stages will host over 100 of the best bands, from 7 to 9 July 2023.

See The Full Monty's premiere 

With its opening performance taking place on Cheltenham’s Everyman Theatre stage, The Full Monty promises ups and downs paired with equal measures laughs and heartbreak, with the stage adaptation of the classic film.  

From Thursday 14 to Saturday 23 September 2023, audiences can relive the music of the 90s and celebrate the 25th anniversary of the film on its major national tour. 

Get some tap room parties in the diary

Another jam-packed schedule for DEYA Brewery’s tap room parties in Lansdown Industrial Estate off Gloucester Road in Cheltenham is set to go ahead this year.

Expect food trucks, unfiltered and unpasteurised beer with a side of live music galore.

Developments for new sky-high restaurant

Following the opening of the rooftop restaurant in the Quadrangle overlooking Imperial Gardens in 2022, Cheltenham could be home to yet another sky-high restaurant, as the Regent Arcade confirms plans to build a new rooftop dining spot are still firmly in the frame for 2023.

Centre manager Scott Lahive has said he hopes to reveal names of new businesses joining the hub soon, and that by the middle of the year, there could be more news about plans to redevelop the rooftop into a restaurant and bar. 

See a Broadway and UK-smash hit show at the Everyman Theatre

Bringing catchy gospel harmonies to town from Monday 16 to Saturday 28 October 2023, Sister Act follows disco diva Deloris Van Cartier. When she witnesses a murder and is sent into protective custody in a convent, Deloris finds herself joining forces with her new sisterhood when her cover is blown.

Alongside a moving story, audiences can expect original music by Tony and eight-time Oscar winner Alan Menken, as well as songs inspired by Motown, soul and disco. 

Sit back and relax at Fioro Lounge

Already owning the likes of Curio Lounge in Stroud and Toro Lounge in Cirencester, The Loungers restaurant group jumped at the chance to add Cheltenham to its list, with its newest eatery, Fioro Lounge, set to join the vibrant food scene on Bath Road in 2023

The relaxed bar and eatery will feature an eclectic interior, celebrating the history of its local community, and whilst a menu has not yet been released, it's expected to follow suit to the businesses other menus, offering all-day menu dishes such as burgers, buttermilk fried chicken, pappardelle con funghi and more. 

New plans for Cheltenham's historic fire station

Originally serving as Cheltenham's fire station almost 120 years ago and nearby neighbours with the popular Steamhouse bagel shop housed in the town's Crescent Bakery building, the historic fire station building has been bought, with plans to re-inject life into the venue once more. 

The new owner is yet to be revealed, but the leisure advisor managing the transaction typically deals with upmarket food and beverage businesses, including restaurants, pubs, bars, cafés and delis - so Cheltenham may have something exciting on the cards! 

See Tweedy star in this years' pantomime

And last, but of course, no means least following on from another spectacular pantomime in 2022, Tweedy is back for 2023 and taking on his biggest challenge ever, playing Mother Goose!

Taking to the Everyman stage as a panto dame for the first time ever, audiences can expect to see the rest of the team behind Dick Whittington and His Cat Tweedy, Jack and the Beanstalk and Cinderella, running from Friday 24 November 2023 through until Sunday 7 January 2024. 

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