A weekend in Cheltenham
Discover an elegant spa town with a festival feel
Cheltenham is known as the ‘western gateway to the Cotswolds’. With its ideal location, abundance of independent shops and restaurants, and thriving festival calendar, this unique spa town is in many ways the ideal place for a weekend getaway.
Planning a visit? Don’t miss these rated recommendations for your Cheltenham Weekend Escape.
Things to do in Cheltenham
The discovery of a spring in 1716 rocketed the market town to prominence as a fashionable spa destination. The Regency era building boom a century later left behind an elegance that is associated with the town to this day, with its handsome, wide streets lined with villas and terraces. The town centre itself is compact and easy to explore on foot. Head to the Regency town, which spreads southwards along the Promenade, for one of England’s finest thoroughfares – you’ll also find boutique shops here that are perfect for an afternoon’s browsing.
The magnificent terrace at the northern end of the Promenade was built to house those coming to sample the spa waters. Head here for the Tourist Information Centre, as well as the striking Neptune Fountain which stands just in front of the terrace. From here the Promenade continues gently uphill, passing the Imperial Garden and Town Hall on the left.
Visit Montpellier Street to discover one of Cheltenham’s loveliest lanes, which is lined with interesting shops and cafés. A small alleyway on the left leads back towards the main road, passing old Montpellier Arcade on the left. North of the High Street is Pittville. Its showpiece, the Pittville Pump Rooms, are a spectacular architectural ensemble that look out onto Pittville Park and Lawn. The Pump Rooms themselves are often used for concerts and recitals – you can still taste the waters recommended as medicinal treatments on your visit.
As well as concerts and recitals, Cheltenham is world-renowned for its festivals – The Jazz Festival in April, Science Festival in June, and Literature Festival in October are particularly popular. With fun and fascinating events year-round, it’s well worth aligning your visit with something that sparks your curiosity.
Recommended things to do in Cheltenham
Where to eat in Cheltenham
With the sheer number of top-rated restaurants on offer, it’s easy to see why Cheltenham has garnered a reputation as a foodie hotspot.