The Regency spa town of Cheltenham has lots of different quarters, each with their own charm and eclectic mix of independent boutiques, restaurants and communities – from The Suffolks to Montpellier and The Parade. Discovering a different corner of the town on each visit uncovers a new favourite haunt to share. Situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with the Gloucestershire countryside on its doorsteps, it’s the perfect mix of town and country.
“It is wonderful to have Cheltenham so nearby. We are spoilt for choice with its wonderful array of boutiques, restaurants and cafes. Known as one of the culture capitals of the UK we are lucky enough to be able to experience the variety of festivals the town offers: a delightful mix of food, jazz and literary exhibitions.” Francesca Sharvell.
The mineral spring of Cheltenham that gave it its spa town status was first discovered by pigeons. People noticed flocks gathering in a field that turned out to be a spring, and pigeons now appear on the town’s crest as a mark of gratitude.
Renowned for its Regency architecture and elegant terraces, Cheltenham is packed with smart Georgian townhouses, characterful cobbled mews houses and large lateral apartments.
Boutique shopping doesn’t get better than Cheltenham’s Montpelier and Suffolk areas – beautiful arcades of independent fashion destinations are peppered with big name luxury brands such as Space NK, The White Company, Hobbs and Cologne and Cotton. Interiors-wise there is a Neptune, Farrow & Ball, John Lewis and a whole host of antiques treasure troves to discover.
Some local foodie favourites include: the 2 Michelin-starred Le Champignon Sauvage for superlative French dining; fresh, authentic Thai can be found in abundance at Giggling Squid and there is a great family brasserie menu at The Daffodil. After dark, try 131 and Crazy Eights, or award-winning cocktail bar, Koj and Bandana Monkey Bar.
If you’re looking for somewhere to lay your head, reliable boutique chains Hotel Du Vin and Malmaison both have outposts in town; or try No. 38 The Park for its characterful antiques and art collection. If you’re looking to be pampered, try Hatherly Manor and its newly opened spa.
Cheltenham is an incredible regional hub for The Arts – from museums to galleries, theatres and cinemas (The Brewery Quarter has built a buzz around its cinema and food & drink offerings). The calendar is packed all-year-round with festivals for every interest – from the famous Literary Festival, to jazz and food. For children there is a Play Farm and trampolining, with the popular Cotswolds Farm Park nearby. For big kids, Gloucester Rugby and the world-famous racing course will satisfy sporting spectators.
Cheltenham is a well-serviced town with all the usual amenities, including all the big supermarkets, hospital, nationally renowned schools (Cheltenham Ladies, Cheltenham College, Dean Close to name a few) and a train station with direct links to London. There are some beautiful green spaces within the town – including Pittville Park which has a great play area for kids.