Cheltenham Guide Book(Last Updated On: April 9, 2019)
Cheltenham is a town in Gloucestershire, England, home to the renowned Cheltenham Festival, 4 days of horse jump racing culminating in the Gold Cup, held annually in March at Cheltenham Racecourse. It’s also known for Regency buildings, including the Pittville Pump Room, a remnant of Cheltenham’s past as a spa town. There’s fine art at The Wilson museum, and the Victorian Everyman Theatre has an ornate auditorium.
The Ivy, Cheltenham
The Ivy Montpellier Brasserie in Cheltenham is an all-day dining British restaurant with an all-encompassing menu serving modern British and international classics, seven days a week. Located in the stunning grade I listed Montpellier Rotunda building, the restaurant serves breakfast, elevenses, lunch, weekend brunch, afternoon tea and dinner and features a private dining room and a bar, offering relaxed yet sophisticated dining in the popular town in Gloucestershire.
No. 131, Cheltenham
Classic on the outside, contemporary British on the inside located in the heart of Cheltenham. Traditional classics & modern European dishes showcase the best seasonal ingredients in the restaurant. All ingredients are sourced and gathered locally wherever possible but always from British lands and shores.
The Green Dragon, Nr Cowley
Dating from the 17th century, the Inn has proven to be a popular retreat for those appreciating good food, fine wine, real ales.
The Butchers Arms, Sheepscombe
Our 16th century Public House is situated on Lime Street in the parish of Eldersfield near Gloucester. The Butchers Arms is first and foremost a rural pub, where the bar is the hub of life, with low ceilings, wooden floors, roaring fires and real ale served straight from the cask. We serve high quality seasonal British food using only the best suppliers. Our menu constantly changes in accordance to the seasons.
The Black Horse, Cranham
1600s village pub with log fires, serving real ale and hearty fare including pies and Sunday lunch.
Drinks & Nightlife
Gin & Juice at No. 131
No.131 is a late night destination for good times on Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, with house DJ’s and special guests playing into the early hours. After supper head down to Crazy 8’s and delve into our delectable cocktail list until late into the night.
Montpellier Wine Bar
Montpellier Wine Bar & Restaurant is the most iconic and popular wine bar in Cheltenham and has been in its prime, sun-trap location since 1977. With a warm friendly atmosphere, a large selection of international wines coupled with delicious food, it’s the perfect place to unwind after work or enjoy a meal with family and friends.
Our Ethos is Creativity Is Contagious. We believe in challenging the concepts of drinks and food. Making something that is beautiful in its presentation, challenging in its consumption and integral in its foundation. Our drinks and food are served in ways that stand us apart from anyone else, the flavour will delight and it may challenge taste buds and the ingredients we make it from have their place. Whether it be from a local source or from a corner of the world that correlates to the idea behind what you’re tasting, please ask us and we would love to tell you.
You will find us conveniently located overlooking Montpellier Gardens in the fashionable suburb of Cheltenham. We are open seven days a week until late. As an independent wine and spirit merchant since 2006, you are able to shop from our vast range of whiskies and gin, and many other specialist products like wines, champagnes, cognacs, beers, and so forth; sourced locally or from far and wide, or try something from the bar with a bite of food.
Sightseeing in and around Cheltenham
Sudeley Castle & Gardens
Rated amongst the top attractions in the Cotswolds, the castle rooms and exhibits contain many fascinating treasures, from ancient Roman times to the present day. The castle is surrounded by a breathtaking 1,200 acre estate and ten award-winning gardens. The centrepiece is the Queens Garden, so named because four of England’s queens – Anne Boleyn, Katherine Parr, Lady Jane Grey and Elizabeth I – once walk ed upon the original Tudor Parterre. The Pheasantry at Sudeley houses a collection of 16 rare and endangered species of birds from around the world as part of Sudeley’s programme of breeding and conservation.
Sudeley Castle & Gardens is also the only private castle in England to have a queen buried within its grounds – Katherine Parr, the last of Henry VIII’s six wives. Today visitors can explore the beautiful 15th century church where she lies entombed. The whole family can explore the castle’s fascinating past and enjoy a host of exciting events throughout the year. Children will love scaling the wooden fort and whizzing on the zip wire in the famed Adventure Playground, as well as tackling the brand new 10-piece assault course.
Slimbridge Wildfowl and Wetland Trust
From birdwatchers to families there is plenty to discover all year round. Enjoy amazing wildlife up-close. With experiences to suit all ages offering access to a huge variety of wildlife, it is no surprise that this fabulous centre is an award-winning day out!
Prinknash Abbey and Gardens
Once the hunting lodge of King Henry VIII, Prinknash Bird and Deer Park’s Old Abbey is set in a charming wooded valley the other side of a monastic estate from the more impressive New Abbey. The park has been landscaped with modern techniques to recreate an 18th century park including traditional style follies, which include a vintage gypsy caravan and a traditional Wendy House structure.
The Cattle Country Adventure Park has been operating since the early 1990s and has grown from a field with a few trampolines to one of the best visitor attractions in the area, including animals, a huge indoor soft play barn and many outdoor attractions.
During certain times of the year there are also falconry displays, maize maze, punch & judy show, magic shows, character days, animal feeding and handling sessions and tractor rides.
Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens
The Cotswold Wildlife Park is a truly fantastic day out for both little and big kids! As one of the UK’s largest zoological collections, the park is home to over 260 different species of animals set in 160 acres of beautiful landscaped parkland and gardens. With daily talks on the penguins and lemur feeding, a hands-on animal farmyard, narrow-gauge railway and adventure playground, there’s plenty to see and do to keep the whole family entertained!
Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park
Sitting in the heart of the Cotswolds, Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park has a longstanding reputation for a fun-filled day out. Visitors of all ages can interact closely with the animals and learn about farming, past and present. As the home of rare breed conservation, visitors can meet over 50 flocks and herds of farm animals, including Gloucestershire Old Spot Pigs and Highland cattle. The Touch Barn and Demonstration Barn can be enjoyed all year round, as they are undercover and protected from the elements. With an adventure playground, Farm Safari, Maze, Tractor School, Sand Pits and Jumping Pillows, there’s lots of entertainment for children of all ages. The on-site restaurant, serving seasonal food and Adam’s own beer is a hit with the adults!
Cotswold Falconry Centre
The perfect place for inquisitive minds and nature lovers alike, Cotswold Falconry Centre gives you a fantastic insight into the world of birds of prey. Located near Moreton in Marsh, you’ll have the chance to see daily flying displays and over 130 different birds of 60 different species, including those on the Critically Endangered list.
Parks & Nature
The 56 acre arboretum at Batsford is situated just a mile west of the historic market town of Moreton-in-Marsh in the heart of the Cotswolds. A former home to the famous Mitford family, interest in the arboretum begins in late winter when the snowdrops, aconites and early flowering daffodils spring into life, followed by magnolias, hellebores, fritillaries and the beautiful Japanese ornamental cherries – stars of the show from late March until mid April. The handkerchief tree is another show-stopper in May, as are the beautiful wildflower meadows which bloom in high summer.
Montpellier Gardens lie close to the town centre and are an important part of Cheltenham’s regency landscape. Many of the buildings surrounding the gardens are listed grade one. The site has been owned by the borough council since 1893 and is part of the Cheltenham Central Conservation Area which, at over 600 hectares, is one of the largest in the country. The gardens can be broadly split into two recreational zones. You’ll find most of the park facilities in the southern section, including toilets, cafe, tennis courts and a toddlers’ play area. The larger informal northern section is used for promenading, sitting, and informal children’s play.
Painswick Rococo Garden is a beautiful place to escape, explore and imagine. It was designed in the 1740s as an English country gentleman’s pleasure garden, a place for holding intimate garden parties. Laid out in a hidden valley around Painswick House, the Garden is now the country’s only complete surviving rococo garden. Since 1984, the Garden has been rescued from ruin and transformed into a stunning place to escape the busy world. Ripe for riotous pleasure and romance, this is still a fanciful place, and is dotted with perfect spots for socialising or snuggling.
Arts, Culture & Entertainment
Cheltenham racecourse, the jewel in Jump racing’s crown, plays host to the best jumping action in the world from 350 spectacular acres in the lee of the beautiful Cotswold hills. Whether you’re here on a crisp bright October day or a balmy evening in May, you’ll feel that unmistakeable Cheltenham magic. The racing, the setting, the tradition and history, the shared sense of enjoyment all combine to give everyone, from those sampling our finest hospitality to the racegoers on the course, an experience they’ll never forget.
One organisation, four extraordinary Cheltenham Festivals: Jazz, Science, Music and Literature. We also run extensive education and outreach programmes.
The Everyman Theatre
Victorian theatre in the heart of Cheltenham presenting a wide range of shows from comedy,drama, musicals & opera. They also produce a family pantomime.
Cheltenham Town Hall
Rich in heritage, opulence and vibrancy, our much-loved jewel of Cheltenham sets a stunning backdrop for an impressive year round events programme, as well as private functions and corporate hospitality.
As a productive agricultural area, the Cotswolds is the ideal place to sample local produce and there are many farmers’ markets dotted across the region in the various market towns and villages. From locally produced cheese to speciality sausages, there is an extraordinary range of quality food created here. Take a morning out to explore one or more of the wonderful markets listed below and read our recent blog post about local farmers’ markets.
The Stroud farmers’ market is one of the biggest and busiest farmers markets in the United Kingdom and is also known for being a bit of a celebrity haunt. While it has been featured by multiple cooking shows and major national publications, it has not lost its authenticity with all produce and crafts gathered or created within a 17-mile radius. It is also multi-award winning, scooping not one but two FARMA awards for Best Farmers’ Market and Radio 4’s Best Farmers’ Market in the country in 2010. The market has between 50 and 55 stalls depending on the season, including Cotswold cheeses, chutneys and preserves, speciality butchers, cooked food stalls, ice cream and certified organic traders. The market also has several special events throughout the year such as the apple day festivities in October, Christmas events in December and the occasional cooking demonstration from local celebrity chef, Robert Rees.
When: Every Saturday, 9am – 2pm
Where: Cornhill Market Place & Surrounding Streets, Stroud GL5 2HH
Named the best farmers’ market in Gloucestershire by Cotswold Life, the Cheltenham market has a variety of stalls offering produce including fruit, vegetables, preserves, cakes, cheeses, free-range meat and plants. In December this bustling market is joined by a 10-day Christmas market offering various crafts and gifts. It was established over 12 years ago and is enthusiastically supported by the local community.
When: 2nd and 4th Friday of the month, 9am – 3pm
Where: The pedestrianised area of the Promenade, outside Cavendish House or in front of the Long Gardens
Sitting beneath the medieval spires of the Church of St. John the Baptist, this charming market has a range of locally brewed beer, baking, fruit and vegetables, pies and game. All primary produce is grown in the surrounding area and secondary produce must be made locally with at least one ingredient coming from the surrounding area. Regular stallholders include Corinium Ales who recently won Best Farmers’ Market Stallholder in the Cotswold Life Food & Drink Awards.
When: 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month, 9am -1pm
Where: Cirencester Market Place
There has been a market in this Oxfordshire Cotswolds town since the 13th century and its medieval market square is now also the site of its monthly farmers’ market offering fresh, local food from the surrounding area. Stalls offer a variety of produce include baked goods, fruit, vegetables, meat, plants, preserves, honey, plants, beverages and dairy
When: 3rd Saturday of the month, 8.30am-1.30pm
Where: Chipping Norton Market Place
With between 18 and 20 stalls, this farmers’ market is one that offers an array of meat, vegetables, cheese, preserves, cakes and other produce. There are also a range of artisan craft stalls. In addition, most market days include live music giving it a festival vibe. The surrounding town is worth exploring with interesting shops and restaurants.
When: 4th Saturday of the month, 9am-1pm
Where: Mortimer Gardens, behind the Bus Station, Central Nailsworth
Walking & Cycling in Cheltenham
The Cotswold Way offers just over 100 miles of magical walking, with long distance views from the Cotswold escarpment, and journeys through picturesque villages and famous ancient sites.
Winchcombe has ‘Walkers are Welcome’ status and many lovely footpaths with interesting things to see en-route. You can visit a remote Roman villa, Belas Knap Long Barrow – a Neolithic burial site, as well as climb to the top of the Cotswold scarp and get fantastic views. Winchcombe hosts an annual walking festival in May which offers a variety of walks with local guides, orienteering and evening events.
Winchcombe’s rolling countryside is a true walkers’ paradise, with options for casual, seasoned and hardy walkers running right from the cottage’s front door. Winchcombe itself is a “walkers are welcome” town, a special status awarded to towns and villages which go above and beyond with their walking amenities, making it a fantastic destination for groups in search of a walking break.
The Winchcombe Way, a 42-mile figure-of-eight trail centred around the town, offers walkers a great way of discovering the surrounding Cotswold towns and villages section-by-section over the course of a stay, whilst there are plenty of options for those looking for a more casual, leisurely pace within a close radius of the cottage.
We recommend the Sudeley Castle Circular walk for a relaxing stroll; a 2-mile loop, taking you along the river, straight through the heart of the town and into the grounds of historic Sudeley Castle – a must-visit for any guest. The 2 ½ mile walk to Belas Knap, a Neolithic chambered long barrow sat atop Cleeve Hill, is also a great walk to try, providing you don’t mind the incline.