Cheltenham: a festival town with something for everyone

For some, Cheltenham is synonymous with ‘the Festival’. And especially the Gold Cup, the fourth largest sporting event in the UK. The ‘Cheltenham roar’ at the first race of the festival is the stuff of legend. We’re talking horse racing, of course, not cars, bikes or human athletes. But even readers who have to be told that will enjoy the spectacle. Every March, the whole Gloucestershire town is abuzz with excitement and well worth a visit.

Festival? Which festival?

Nevertheless, there’s more to Cheltenham than horse racing. Since growing up as a spa town in the 18th century, it’s always attracted visitors. And, today, those visitors come for more than one festival. October sees the world renowned Cheltenham Literature Festival. Book lovers flock to see the favourite writers and thinkers in conversation. In July, the Cheltenham Music Festival draws classical music buffs for concerts and talks. In May, cool cats descend on the Cheltenham Jazz Festival. And June is for boffins, with the Cheltenham Science Festival. The highlight is FameLab, the world’s largest competition for budding science communicators.


There’s also a film festival, a paint festival, a food and drink festival, and even a cricket festival. So when we say there’s something for everyone, we’re not exaggerating! And, as if that’s not enough, Cheltenham is the gateway to the beautiful Cotswolds. A buzzing town and gorgeous, rolling countryside. No wonder Cheltenham was named the best place to live in Southwest England by Th­e Sunday Times. Word has even crossed the Atlantic. The New York Times lauds Cheltenham’s 'cultural renaissance'.

Paint the town purple

Cheltenham has also been awarded 'Purple Flag Town' status. Purple flags recognise a flourishing night-time economy and safe streets. (Like blue flags for clean beaches and green ones for nice parks.) That means plenty of cool bars and restaurants. Much of this can be found in the Brewery Quarter. This upscale shopping and entertainment district also has a wide variety of hotels, as well as shops. There’s also a cinema and a bowling alley. Then there’s the Regent Arcade for top brands like John Lewis, House of Fraser and M&S.

Stay in style

Before you book your train or jump in the car, though, you’ll need somewhere to stay. Luckily, Guestz have just the place. In fact, you’re spoilt for choice. Options include The Residence, a stunning restoration of a regency-style, Grade II listed building in the centre of town. There is a range of apartments in four separate ‘houses’. All combine classic style with all modern conveniences. Many have outside space or private balconies. And parking is also available. (Ideal if you’re planning to drive out to the Cotswolds)

So what are you waiting for? Whatever the time of year, there’s likely to be a festival of one kind or another. Or just enjoy the town! So check out your accommodation options. And start looking forward to your visit to the town with something for everyone!