The elegant Regency town of Cheltenham Spa is located on the edge of the Cotswolds in an area of outstanding natural beauty. The town centre is composed of fine Georgian terraces, manicured parks and up-market shops.
As well as being famous for its high number of internationally renowned and historic schools, the town has styled itself as the cultural centre of the Cotswolds and is famous for its events and festivals.
The list of festivals includes: the Cheltenham Literature Festival (October), the Cheltenham Jazz Festival (April/May), the Cheltenham Science Festival (June), the Cheltenham Music Festival (July) and the Cheltenham Food & Drink Festival (June). All these festivals feature well-known international and national celebrities.
As well as supporting the Arts and Drama, Cheltenham has a world-famous steeplechase racecourse. The Cheltenham Gold Cup, the main event in British steeplechase horse racing is held at Cheltenham in March. For more information go to Web: Cheltenham Racecourse External Link
Visitors can combine a day at the races with a ride on a superb heritage steam railway, the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway (GWR) which terminates at the racecourse. This railway runs throughout the year independant of race meetings. For information go to Web: Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway External Link
The Mineral Springs
Cheltenham has been a popular holiday town since the discovery of the mineral springs in 1716. The springs were not exploited until 1738 when the new landowner, Captain Henry Skillicorne decided to create a commercial spa. He built a pump to regulate the flow of water and erected an elaborate well-house complete with a ballroom and upstairs billiard room to entertain his customers.
The beginnings of Cheltenham's famous tree-lined promenades and gardens surrounding its spas were first designed by Captain Skillicorne with the help of "wealthy and travelled" friends. The beautiful walks and gardens were naturally adorned with sweeping vistas of the countryside. Soon the gentry and nobility from across the county were visiting to try the allegedly beneficial waters of the fashionable resort.
Cheltenham Spa was given the Royal stamp of approval when King George III and his family came to sample the waters in1788. As a result, wells were opened up at several points round the town.
During the 1820s the mineralised waters were further exploited. Joseph Pitt created the new town development of Pittville, the centrepiece of which is a pump-room where the waters of one of the more northerly wells are available.
Pittville Pump Room
The spa waters can still be sampled at the Pittville Pump Room, which was the last spa building erected for this purpose and completed in 1830. This lovely building is now owned by the Cheltenham Borough Council, which continues to use it for public events. The Pump Room is frequently used as a concert hall, especially during the Cheltenham Music Festival.
Visit Cheltenham External Link
Cheltenham is located in the Vale of Gloucester, Beautiful views over the town can be obtained from the Cotswold escarpment from places such as Leckhampton Hill and the Devil’s Chimney.
On the Cotswolds plateau there are so many pretty honey-coloured stone villages to see that the visitor is spoilt for choice. An excellent way of discovering the hiden villages of the north Cotswolds is to join a Secret Cottage minibus guided tour. These tours last six hours and take only 7 passengers. Periodically duringt the tour the bus returns to the owners thatched cottage for refreshments. For more information go to Web: Cotswold Tourism Tours External Link
Other beauty spots close by are The Forest of Dean, The Malverns and the ancient towns of Gloucester, Tewkesbury and Worcester.
Contact & Further Information
+44 (0)1242 262 626
Cheltenham Borough Council External Link
Cheltenham Spa is approximately 86 miles (138 km) from London Heathrow airport with good road and rail connections. It has good public transport options for the market towns and villages of the Cotswolds as well as Stratford-upon-Avon, Bath and Oxford.
- By Car
Cheltenham is accessed via Junction 11 of the M5 motorway, making it easily accessible from all areas of the country, including Bristol, London and Birmingham., From Junction 11, follow the direction signs to Cheltenham Town Centre.
- Park & Ride
Cheltenham has two Park & Ride services where motorists can park for free and come into the town centre on frequent bus services. Arle Court (GL51 6SY) is signposted from the M5 at Junction 11; and Cheltenham Racecourse (GL50 4SH) is close to the A435 Evesham Road. The service runs every few minutes but please note that times vary on Sundays. Go to Web: Park & Ride/ timetables & Information External Link
- By Bus
National Express Coaches operate services between many major cities and Cheltenham Spa’s Royal Well bus station (GL50 3PD). To book National Express tickets go to Web: Visit Cheltenham/ book National Express Tickets External Link
Stagecoach run regular services locally and to nearby town and villages – for route maps and timetables go to Web: Stagecoach Bus/ information External Link
- By Rail
Cheltenham Spa is well served by CrossCountry trains, including direct services from many mainline stations including Bristol, Manchester, Leeds, York, Sheffield and Edinburgh.
The railway station (GL51 8NP) is located approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) from the town centre, and local buses depart into Cheltenham town centre every few minutes - use Service D.
For rail information, timetables and bookings go to Web: National Rail Enquiries External Link
- By Air
Located just 10 minutes from the centre of Cheltenham, Gloucestershire Airport at Staverton, offers daily scheduled flights to and from the Isle of Man, Jersey and Belfast. For details Tel: 01452 857700 ext 223 between the hours of 08:30 – 19:30.
Car Hire is available at the airport. For more information go to Web: Gloucestershire Airport External Link
Google Maps - Cheltenham Spa