Things to see and do
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- Cheltenham Races – the famous Gold Cup is held every year in March, but there are a number of other key fixtures during the year. Click on the tab to open the window to the Cheltenham Racecourse events diary.
- Festivals – There are 5 key festivals a year here in Cheltenham; they attract the highest calibre contributors and offer a wide variety of events for you to enjoy. Click on the tab to find out more about each of them.
- Chapel Spa Beyond the threshold of the 1816 Portland Chapel, now lovingly restored to a day spa, there’s a multitude of sensory experiences waiting to be enjoyed and a very enthusiastic spa team to look after your every need.
- Montpellier – Montpellier is known as one of the most attractive and fashionable areas of Cheltenham. Its distinctive architecture and many café’s and bars has gained Montpellier the reputation of having continental flavour. In the 18th and 19th centuries the name of French spa town of Montpellier had been a byword for a pleasant healthy place – and that name was chosen in 1809 by Henry Thompson for his newly established spa.Concerts – Every year Cheltenham has a wide array of concerts, from classical, jazz, pop or urban to folk and blues. There are also comedy shows and all kinds of other events to keep you entertained.
- Auctions – Lots of Antique auctions are held in the area, Cheltenham alone has several each month, but within a 10 mile radius there are plenty more.
- Three Counties Show – Held every year in Malvern which is about a half hour drive away. The showground also hosts many other events, from flea fairs, toy fairs, classic car events, and the impressive Gardening Show every spring.
- Tewkesbury Medieval Fair – The largest European Medieval battle re-enactment and fair. An annual event, which has the whole of Tewkesbury buzzing. Tewkesbury is about 10 miles away from here and is a lovely town to visit. Also having;
- Tewkesbury Abbey – Lying at the southern edge of the old town, the Abbey quietly dominates the land and skyline with its long nave and “probably the largest and finest Romanesque tower in England” (Pevsner). Vestiges of its social domination can be deduced from the layout of the streets and buildings, and the occasional relic; the Abbot’s gatehouse, the Abbey Mill, The vicarage and the Tudor-style dwellings in Church Street. The area surrounding the Abbey is protected from development by the Abbey Lawn Trust, originally funded by a United States benefactor.
- Prestbury Hill Climb – Prescott Hill Climb, based just outside Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, is home to one of the world’s most prestigious motor racing venues. Set in 60 acres of glorious Cotswold countryside, the estate not only provides a beautiful setting for a range of classic car and bike weekends, but also hosts major motor racing championships. The 1127 yard course rises over 200 feet via short straights, fast and slow corners and a breathtaking hairpin, with the fastest modern racing cars completing the course in an exciting 36 seconds. The action can be viewed from strategic points along the course as well as from the restaurant terrace. Visitors and competitors alike can en joy an exhilarating days racing plus vintage cavalcades up the Hill.
- Montpellier Fairs – Each Spring and Summer the Montpellier Garden hosts a number of fairs from the Food Festival, to Youth Concerts and traditional fairs, along with musical or charity events.
- Town Hall – the Town Hall host a large number of different events throughout the year and there will always be something on for you to enjoy when you are in Cheltenham.
- Pitville Pump rooms – The Pittville Pump Room was the last and largest of the spa buildings to be built in Cheltenham.The well from which the Pump Room’s waters originate was first exploited by Henry Skillicorne around 1740, about 25 years after the waters were first discovered in 1716. . In the 1820s the local landowner Joseph Pitt determined to develop the northern part of the town as ‘Pittville’, of which the Pump Room and its spa were to form an important element as part of a pleasure garden.
- Ladies College – The Cheltenham Ladies’ College is an independent boarding and day school for girls aged 11 to 18. Founded in 1853, the College has been at the forefront of girls’ education for over 150 years and has a worldwide reputation for academic excellence. The opening of the Performing Arts Centre in 2009, is the latest milestone in an illustrious history and continues the process of educational development and innovation synonymous with The Cheltenham Ladies’ College.
- Cheltenham Museum and Art Gallery – Collections include art, sculpture, archeology, local and social history and object from all over the world. The Summerfield Galleries contain displays and paintings, furniture and everyday objects from the medieval period to the present day. Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum possesses an internationally significant collection relating to the Arts and Crafts movement, recognised as outstanding by the award of Designated Museum Status in 1998.
- Montpellier Gardens – Montpellier Gardens were established soon after the opening of the Montpellier Spa in 1809, originally only a wooden pavilion with a colonnade, established by Henry Thompson The gardens, at first called Montpellier Grounds, were used to provide ‘ornamental pleasure grounds’ for the visitors to the spa. By 1820 two terraces known now as Montpellier Spa Road and Montpellier Terrace in the north and the south edge of the gardens were built, today many of them are Grade 1 listed buildings.
- Wychwood Festival – The Independent described it as ‘a bijou Glastonbury’ and it was nominated for Best Family Festival at the UK Festival Awards for the third time in a row!
The Wychwood Music Festival has had strong links with various NGOs, with Friends of the Earth, Oxfam and Greenpeace all having had a presence at the Festival. The numbers of people attending this festival grow every year as they come to enjoy fab music and comedy.
- Greenbelt – a huge Christian Festival which gathers each August bank holiday on the Racecourse for 3 days of music, worship and events.
- Royal Shakespear Company (Stratford) The RSC is one of the world’s best known theatre companies. It’s their job to connect people with Shakespeare and produce bold, ambitious work with living writers, actors and artists. A treat and only 40 mins away!
- Holst – Cheltenham’s musical gem – the Regency terrace house where Gustav Holst, composer of The Planets was born in 1874. The story of the man and his music is told alongside a fascinating display of personal belongings including his piano. The museum is also a fine period house showing the upstairs downstairs way of life in times past, including a working Victorian kitchen and laundry, elegant Regency drawing room and charming Edwardian nursery
- Chedworth Roman Villa – Nestling in a wooded combe in the heart of the Cotswolds and surrounded by beautiful woodland walks are the remains of one of the largest Roman villas in the country.
- Sudley Castle – Usually open March – October. There are 9 magnificent gardens which sweep around the Castle and grounds, each with a unique style and design. In the original 15th century west wing of the Castle; formerly the kitchen range, then the stables and coach house and finally the banqueting hall, a number of fascinating exhibitions are also open daily, illustrating the history of Sudeley and its owners.
- Gloucester Cathedral – This has been a place of Christian worship continuously for over 1300 years, since Osric, an Anglo-Saxon prince, founded a religious house here in 678-9 AD. Perhaps made even more famous by the filming of Harry Potter. Gloucester’s historic cathedral cloisters were transformed into the corridors of Hogwart’s School o f Witchcraft and Wizardry in the films of JK Rowling’s first two books – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
- Cotwold Wildlife Park – Cotswold Wildlife Park is set in 160 acres of parkland and gardens around a listed Victorian Manor House and has been open to the public since 1970. It has a wide variety of animals, birds and reptiles housed there.
- Blenheim Palace – Blenheim Palace is a unique example of English Baroque architecture. Inside, the scale of the Palace is beautifully balanced by the intricate detail and delicacy of the carvings, the hand painted ceilings and the amazing porcelain collections, tapestries and paintings displayed in each room. It is still the home of the Duke and Duchess of Malbrough and was the birthplace of Winston Churchill.