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Destination: Cheltenham Tours

Beautiful Cotswolds Spa Town
Region: Central England
Pronounced: chelt-n-h'm
Time to spend here: 2 - 6 hours
historical townspa town
Cheltenham, Central England

Cheltenham was transformed into Cheltenham Spa in 1738 when the ‘Old Well’ was discovered. King George III came to enjoy the waters in 1788 and stayed for 5 weeks and soon it became Britain’s most important spa.  Cheltenham Spa is probably the most complete Regency town in England; the 'town within a park’ offers beautiful parks and gardens, tree-lined avenues and colourful floral displays. Cheltenham’s most famous son, Gustav Holst (composer of ‘The Planets’), was born here in 1874 and his birthplace is now the Holst Museum. 

The town is also a great base from which to visit neighbouring Gloucester, a historic city with a magnificent cathedral built by Benedictine monks in the 12th century.

Local Activities
Pittville Pump Room
Pitville Pump Room, Cheltenham
PitvilleThe Pittville Pump Room is the grandest of the town’s many spa buildings. Built in 1825 it overlooks  the sweeping lawns and ornamental lakes of Pittville Park. The spa waters can still be tasted today from the original marble and scagliola pump, although now they are pumped electronically from the well, 80 feet below, rather than by the traditional hand pump method.  The unpleasant tasting liquid supposedly had the power to cure all ills!
Holst Birthplace Museum
Holst Birthplace Museum, Cheltenham
PitvilleThe Holst Birthplace Museum has photographs, manuscripts and memorabilia all appertaining to the composer’s life and a small exhibition space showing items from the Holst Collection.
Cheltenham Art Gallery
Cheltenham Art Gallery
PitvilleCheltenham Art Gallery and Museum depicts the town’s life through the ages with a great selection of paintings, drawings, sculpture, archaeologyplus many artefacts from all over the world.
SportsSport: Cheltenham hosts the prestigious Gold cup, the flagship of British horseracing in March. You can also watch cricket and premiership rugby in neighbouring Gloucester.
What can I see in the area?
Gloucester Cathedral
Gloucester Cathedral
PitvilleGloucester Cathedral built by Benedictine monks in the 12th century and lies at the heart of the city. Its fine craftsmanship with the peculiar fan-vaulted cloisters and beautiful wood, stone and glass was one of the locations in the movies ‘Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone’ and ‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets’.
Hailes Abbey
Hailes Abbey, Cotswolds
PitvilleThe Cistercian abbey of Hailes was founded in 1246. Today it is a beautiful and serene spot for a picnic in the Cotswold countryside and everyone in the family can be guaranteed an interesting, relaxed day out at Hailes Abbey.
Gloucester Docks
Gloucester Docks, Cheltenham
Gloucester DocksGloucester Docks are the city’s other main attraction, where 15 restored Victorian warehouses guard Britain’s most inland port.  It is also home to the National Waterways Museum, which chart the 200 year old history of Britain’s waterways with interactive displays, historic craft and working forge.  
The Cotswolds, Central England
CotswoldsThe Cotswolds are also in easy reach from Cheltenham, with the closest Cotswold town being Winchcombe, the former capital of the Saxon Kingdom of Mercia.  South of Cheltenham, the town Cirencester with its narrow and winding streets has Roman beginnings explained in the Corinium Museum.
Multi-attraction Passes Recommended for this destination:
English Heritage Pass
English Heritage pass
Hudson Heritage Explorer Pass
Hudson Heritage Explorer Pass
This is a great base for exploring:
Cotswolds, Tewkesbury, Shropshire, Bath
Transport options in this area: Cheltenham has a good bus service and can be reached by train or car.
Did you know:
In the 2001 census 1 in every 75 people (1633 people) in Cheltenham declared their religion to be 'Jedi'.
From Cheltenham:
Gustav Holst (composer)
Eddie 'the Eagle' Edwards
(Ski jumper)
Cotswolds Oxford
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