Cheltenham is famous for its beautiful Regency architecture, world-renowned festivals and for being the home of GCHQ – but it’s also a wonderful place to raise a family, with excellent schools, employment opportunities and plenty of green spaces.
In this hot list, SoGlos picks out nine reasons why the town is an ideal place to put down roots when you’re looking to start, or grow, your family.
Outstanding education in Cheltenham
With good schools high on prospective parents’ lists when choosing a place to raise their family, it’s easy to see why Cheltenham is a great location to consider.
As well as a host of fantastic nurseries, primary and secondary schools, Cheltenham is also home to prestigious independent schools, like Cheltenham Ladies’ College, which offers a broad range of academic subjects alongside an impressive co-curricular programme.
Glorious green spaces in Cheltenham
Cheltenham is full of beautiful green spaces to explore, from parks to nature reserves and Sites of Specific Scientific Interest. Pittville Park is a wonderful place for families, with adventure playgrounds, cafés, a skate park and plenty of ducks to feed; the pretty Imperial Gardens in the town centre are ideal for a pit stop when out shopping; while Sandford Park is home to the town’s heated lido.
Slightly further afield, Leckhampton Hill in Charlton Kings boasts stunning views over the town, while Lineover Wood in Dowdeswell is home to a collection of ancient beech trees – one of them is said to be over 600 years old!
Inspiring cultural attractions in Cheltenham
From the historic Sudeley Castle and Gardens where Katherine Parr lived, to The Wilson Art Gallery and Museum, named after the Antarctic explorer, not to mention Cheltenham’s stunning Regency architecture around every corner, the town is steeped in history and culture, with plenty of places to inspire little minds.
Family fun in Cheltenham
Fun-seeking families will be spoiled for choice as Cheltenham has a host of attractions right on the doorstep – from a multiplex cinema, soft play centre and adventure golf at The Brewery Quarter in the town centre, to Cotswold Farm Park just a short drive away.
Cheltenham’s close links to the countryside
Cheltenham’s proximity to the Cotswolds and the Forest of Dean makes it an ideal choice for families who want to enjoy the countryside, while having great schools and plenty of entertainment close by too.
Active families will love jumping on their bikes at the Forest of Dean cycle trail, while little ones will love dipping their toes in at Bourton-on-the-Water on warm summer days.
Family-friendly festivals in Cheltenham
From drawing-along live with illustrator Rob Biddulph, to contemplating the mysteries of the universe with Professor Brian Cox, kids can get involved with Cheltenham Festivals’ four family-friendly festivals spanning jazz, classical music, science and literature, when they take over the town each year.
There’s also the Wychwood Festival, which has plenty for families to enjoy from live music to comedy, as well as the annual Cheltenham Balloon Fiesta with hot air balloons, fireworks and a funfair – both taking place at Cheltenham Racecourse.
Strong employment opportunities in Cheltenham
With the likes of GCHQ, GE Aviation, SLG Brands, Spirax Sarco and Superdry all headquartered in Cheltenham, the town offers a variety of employment opportunities in a diverse range of sectors – with some employers, including GCHQ, offering educational opportunities and summer schools to children and students.
Low crime rates in Cheltenham
Gloucestershire as a county has a lower-than-average crime rate compared to the rest of the country, according to the ONS – making Cheltenham a reassuringly safe place for families.
Cheltenham has been voted the best place to live in the south west
In 2020, Cheltenham was voted The Sunday Times Best Place to Live in the south west – with its many festivals, impressive schools and its location close to major cities just some of the reasons why the town took home the prestigious award.