Welcome to Cheltenham! Located in the picturesque Cotswolds region of England, this charming spa town has been a popular destination since the 18th century.
Today, Cheltenham is a vibrant town, with a full range of attractions to suit all tastes, from world-class shopping and nightlife, to stunning architecture and cultural attractions.
Start your visit to Cheltenham with a leisurely stroll around the iconic Promenade, a broad, tree-lined boulevard that winds through the heart of town.
Admire the regency architecture, including the striking Town Hall, Pittville Pump Room and the Neo-Classical Assembly Rooms.
The town’s regular festivals and events include the renowned Literature Festival and the Jazz Festival, while the Pittville Pump Room and Holst Birthplace Museum provide a fascinating insight into the past.
For the ultimate shopping experience, Cheltenham’s chic Montpellier district is the place to go.
Boutiques, cafes and restaurants line the streets, and the area is home to some of the best independent stores in the country.
When you’ve tired of exploring the town, escape to the stunning Cotswolds countryside, with its rolling hills and pretty villages.
Things To Do In Cheltenham
1. Cheltenham Racecourse
Cheltenham Racecourse is one of the most iconic and popular racecourses in the UK, hosting some of the most prestigious horse racing events in the world.
Located in the heart of the Cotswolds, Cheltenham Racecourse is a must-visit destination for any racing enthusiast.
The course itself is a National Hunt course, meaning that it is used for steeplechase and hurdle racing.
It is one of the most challenging courses in the UK, with a mix of flat and undulating terrain, and the course is renowned for its steeplechase fences.
The most famous races held at Cheltenham Racecourse are during the Cheltenham Festival, which takes place every March.
This four-day event is the highlight of the National Hunt season and attracts some of the best horses and jockeys from around the world.
The Festival features some prestigious races, including the Cheltenham Gold Cup, the Champion Hurdle and the Queen Mother Champion Chase.
Address: Cheltenham Racecourse, Evesham Rd, Cheltenham GL50 4SH
2. Cheltenham Town Hall
The picturesque Cheltenham Town Hall was constructed in 1902-3 and is a Grade II listed building boasting a stunning classical style façade.
Inside, the Town Hall has one main hall with impressive Corinthian columns and coved ceiling, and on the walls are mounted many artworks depicting scenes from local history.
In addition to its architectural beauty, there is also plenty to do within this historic venue where visitors can enjoy live music and theatre performances or visit the gallery which hosts regular art exhibitions from local artists.
There are also two bars offering drinks and refreshments as well as a café providing light snacks throughout the day.
The Town Hall is also home to some interesting events throughout the year including art classes for children, craft fairs, markets, comedy nights and much more.
Address: Cheltenham Town Hall, Imperial Square, Cheltenham, GL50 1QA
3. The Wilson Art Gallery and Museum
The Wilson Art Gallery and Museum is a great option for a day out in Cheltenham.
The museum offers a diverse range of exhibitions, activities and workshops for all ages, with families able to explore local history, archaeology, the arts and more.
There are also free family workshops where you can learn what it was like to be a pioneer in movie making.
The gallery also hosts the Sir Charles Irving Community Art Gallery, Summerfield Exhibition Gallery and brand new World of Wonders children’s gallery with free children’s crafts available.
A visit to The Wilson should definitely be on your list of things to do when in Cheltenham!
Address: Wilson Art Gallery and Museum, 51 Clarence St, Cheltenham GL50 3JT
4. Cotswold Farm Park
Cheltenham is full of fantastic attractions and activities for the whole family, and one of the best places to visit is Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park.
Located in the heart of the Cotswolds, this farm park has something for everyone. From bottle feeding lambs to tractor-trailer rides, there’s so much to see and do!
Children will love exploring the adventure playground, sand pits, maze and jumping pillows.
You can also take a farm safari ride around the park or go on a wildlife walk.
Plus, there are plenty of opportunities to learn about rare breed animals.
After all that fun, you can grab a bite to eat at their on-site restaurant!
Address: Cotswold Farm Park, Guiting Power, Cheltenham GL54 5FL
5. Walks With Hawks
Walks With Hawks offers a range of packages designed to give you and your family a more personal experience.
Whether you choose their Hawk Walk, Owl encounter or one of the other packages, their aim is to provide you with unforgettable moments and create lasting memories.
Explore the beautiful Cotswolds countryside and have an up-close encounter with birds of prey at their 4,000 acre wildlife sanctuary.
The team will provide you with all the necessary equipment, such as an experienced instructor to guide you through your experience.
Address: Walks With Hawks, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL52 5HQ
6. Pittville Park
Pittville Park is the ideal place to explore in Cheltenham.
Located on the west side of town near Pittville Pump Room, it’s a great spot for all ages.
With a boating lake and Boathouse, pitch and putt golf course, tennis courts, natural play equipment, skateboarding/BMX area and beautiful gardens, there’s something for everyone.
Whether you’re looking to take a leisurely stroll around the park or have some fun with friends and family, Pittville Park offers plenty of activities to keep you busy.
Address: Pittville Park, Prestbury, Cheltenham GL50 4SH
7. Montpellier District
Montpellier is a district just south of the town centre that has a rich history dating back to the 1830s when it was developed around Montpellier Spa.
Today, Montpellier is known for its vibrant nightlife, selection of bars, cafes and restaurants, and range of specialist shops.
There’s something for everyone – whether you’re looking for an intimate dinner experience or somewhere more lively with live music and dancing.
Montpellier houses several shops selling everything from antiques to fashion items and artworks, and the area is also known for the famous Cheltenham Ladies’ College, Montpellier Rotunda, Queens Hotel, and the Imperial Gardens.
Montpellier is a great place to explore on foot due to its pedestrianised streets which make it ideal for strolling around on sunny days.
As well as being home to lots of independent businesses and eateries, there is plenty of green space too, such as Sandford Parks Lido, an outdoor swimming pool with slides and diving boards.
In addition to all this, every June Montpellier hosts a special events food festival that celebrates regional produce including cheeses, meats and other goods from small producers across Gloucestershire.
Address: Montpellier District, Cheltenham GL50 2DY
8. Everyman Theatre
Cheltenham is home to the Everyman Theatre, a theatre in the heart of the city offering a wide range of shows from comedy, drama, musicals, opera and traditional family pantomime.
The theatre also runs community projects, education workshops or youth theatre productions.
Visitors can take a tour of the theatre which gives access to the stage, the main auditorium, into the wings and the star dressing rooms.
Address: Everyman Theatre, 7, Everyman Theatre, 10 Regent St, Cheltenham GL50 1HQ
9. Hailes Abbey
Hailes Abbey is set amid the beautiful Cotswold countryside and is now a tranquil ruin.
Visitors can wander through these ruins and explore the ancient foundation stones as well as admire the stunning architecture of the abbey church.
The new museum at Hailes Abbey houses a wealth of treasures from its long history, along with stories and artefacts from the monks who once lived here.
Visitors can see particularly rare objects such as a 14th century fragment of monk’s spectacles, along with various other historic relics.
An audio tour is also available which will guide visitors through the rich history of this abbey with interesting facts about its past inhabitants and significant events in its lifetime.
The grounds are also home to an abundance of wildlife, making it a great spot for nature lovers too!
Address: Hailes Abbey, Hailes, Cheltenham GL54 5PB
10. Holst Victorian House
Holst Victorian House in Cheltenham is a unique period house and the birthplace of composer Gustav Holst.
Here, you can explore the lives of some of its eclectic past residents, experience a working Victorian kitchen and scullery, and see Holst’s piano and the room where he was born.
The Museum hosts a range of exhibitions, events and children’s activities throughout the year all with flickering candlelight, delicious baking, and traditional fire lit rooms.
Visit in Autumn for an extra cozy experience!
Address: Holst Victorian House, 4 Clarence Rd, Cheltenham GL52 2AY
11. Sudeley Castle
Located on the edge of the historic town of Winchcombe, 8 miles north east of Cheltenham, Sudeley Castle is great for a day trip.
The castle has a fascinating history that spans over 1000 years and is a Grade I listed building.
Sudeley Castle is the only privately owned castle in England to have a queen buried within the grounds, Queen Katherine Parr, the surviving wife of King Henry VIII.
This wonderful Castle and Gardens has a lot to offer, whether you are interested in the history of Sudeley Castle or just want to relax and enjoy the 10 notable gardens covering some 15 acres.
Sudeley Castle is open daily for visitors from 10am to 5pm.
Address: Sudeley Castle, Winchcombe, Gloucestershire, GL54 5JD
12. Neptune Fountain
The Neptune Fountain in Cheltenham is one of the most impressive and iconic monuments of the town.
First constructed in 1893, this monumental statue depicting Greek god Neptune in a shell-chariot, being drawn by four sea-horses and heralded by conch-shell blowing merman has come to symbolize the Promenade as an important part of Cheltenham’s identity.
Designed by engineer Joseph Hall and carved from Portland Stone, the fountain was modelled on the Trevi Fountain in Rome.
The fountain is a popular destination for visitors who come to admire its elegant beauty and rich cultural history.
It also serves as an iconic landmark pointing towards the Promenade which lies just behind it.
Address: Neptune Fountain, 83 Promenade, Cheltenham GL50 1PJ
13. Cheltenham Imperial Gardens
Cheltenham Imperial Gardens are considered formal gardens that were laid out just after the Second World War.
The magnificent floral displays are enjoyed by thousands of visitors each year with approximately 25,000 bedding plants that are planted to enhance the display.
Located at the rear of Cheltenham Town Hall, the gardens are a perfect spot for a relaxing break.
Address: Cheltenham Imperial Gardens, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL50 1QA
14. Montpellier Gardens
Montpellier Gardens are located close to the town centre and are an important part of Cheltenham’s regency landscape.
These lovely gardens have a bandstand that gives regular concerts during summer months, tennis courts, and a small arboretum of unusual trees.
There are many free events held throughout the year in the gardens including Jazz concerts and the Montpellier Fiesta, with live music, and food stalls.
Address: Montpellier Gardens, 24 Montpellier Spa Rd, Cheltenham GL50 1UL
Is Cheltenham the most complete Regency town?
Cheltenham is considered the most complete Regency town and has traditional and contemporary architecture.
Where is good for shopping in Cheltenham?
Regent Arcade Shopping Centre is located in Cheltenham town centre.
This premier shopping area has over 60 retail shops, restaurants and cafes, all under one roof.
Is there a cycle trail in Cheltenham?
The Regency Cycle trail is a great way to explore Cheltenham and is a fun day out with family and friends.
The trail visits many of Cheltenham’s landmarks, starting at the Bicycle Hub unit, this six mile journey takes in the historic Pittville Pump Room, Pittville Park and the regency spa town centre.
Where is Cheltenham Literature festival?
The Cheltenham Literature festival was originally held in Cheltenham town hall, it’s now located in Montpellier Gardens.
Cheltenham, also known as a festival town, also hosts the Cheltenham Science Festival, the Cheltenham festival of Jazz and Cheltenham festival of music.
Cheltenham Festivals runs festivals of Jazz, Science, Music and Literature.