15 Best Things to Do in Cheltenham, England

15 Best Things to Do in Cheltenham, England

By will

Are you looking for an escape from the everyday?

Then look no further than Cheltenham, England!

This picturesque British town is full of history, culture, and plenty of things to do.

Whether you’re a thrill seeker or a nature lover, Cheltenham has something for everyone.

From outdoor activities to unique dining experiences, here are the 15 best things to do in this charming English town.

1. Montpellier District

Montpellier District
Photo by Colin Craig

The Montpellier District of Cheltenham is a must-see for any visitor.

Located in the heart of the city, this area is filled with shops, restaurants, and art galleries.

It’s a great place to explore and get away from it all.

Stroll through the cobbled streets and admire the beautiful Georgian architecture as you take in a unique atmosphere.

If you’re feeling adventurous, why not try a bit of shopping?

There are plenty of independent boutiques to browse through – from designer clothes to vintage finds – so there’s something for everyone.

You can also find some great food here too, with lots of cafés and pubs serving delicious dishes; perfect for those days when you just want to relax and soak up the local culture.

2. The Promenade And Long Gardens

Municipal Buildings, The Promenade
Photo by Philip Halling

Leaving Montpellier behind, why not explore the stunning Promenade and Long Gardens?

This picturesque area of Cheltenham features winding pathways, beautiful flowerbeds, and lush green lawns that are ideal for a leisurely stroll.

The gardens date back to the 18th century when local aristocrat Thomas Wyndham created them as a place for people to relax and enjoy the fresh air.

Today, The Promenade is still very popular with locals and visitors alike who come to take in its beauty.

As you wander along the paths, keep an eye out for some of the many statues and monuments scattered throughout the gardens.

From sculptures of birds to larger works celebrating local heroes, there’s something interesting to see at every turn.

The Promenade is also home to a variety of attractions such as a bandstand where free concerts are held during summer months, open-air theatre performances in July and August, guided tours on weekends, and plenty of benches for soaking up the sunshine or just taking a break from sightseeing.

Whether you’re looking for somewhere peaceful to spend an afternoon or simply want to admire some lovely scenery – The Promenade is certainly worth exploring!

3. Pittville Park

Pittville Park
Photo by Wayland Smith

Pittville Park is an oasis of beauty and tranquility in the heart of Cheltenham.

Situated on the edge of the town, it’s a perfect spot for a leisurely stroll or to take in some spectacular views.

The park is home to many different species of birds and wildlife, making it a great place to observe nature up close.

Visitors can also fish in the lake or wander through the lush gardens.

The park has ample seating areas, allowing you to relax and enjoy the scenery.

There are plenty of activities available for all ages at Pittville Park, from boating to cycling and picnicking.

There’s also an adventure playground with swings and slides for kids to enjoy.

For those looking for something a bit more energetic, there are several courts available for tennis, football, and basketball.

And if you’re after something more peaceful, why not enjoy some outdoor yoga?

Whatever your preference, there’s something here to suit everyone – so why not come explore this beautiful park?

4. Cheltenham Town Hall

Nestled in the heart of Cheltenham, England is the stunning Town Hall.

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Built-in 1820, it’s a magnificent sight to behold.

It stands proudly in the center of town, with its tall white walls and Greek Revival-style columns.

Inside, you’ll find a grand marble staircase leading up to three floors of exhibition spaces and meeting rooms.

The Town Hall also houses a library, theatre, and art gallery, making it an ideal stop for anyone interested in culture and history.

The Town Hall has been host to many important events over the years, including political debates and performances by some of the world’s greatest acts.

Its interior is equally impressive; from the grand ceiling frescos to the ornate furnishings, every detail adds to its majestic beauty.

Whether you’re looking for an afternoon stroll or a unique way to spend your day in Cheltenham, make sure to visit this incredible building – you won’t be disappointed!

5. Chedworth Roman Villa

Leaving the elegant Town Hall behind, we now venture to an ancient marvel: Chedworth Roman Villa.

This unmissable site is located in the heart of the Cotswolds, near Cheltenham.

It’s a great place to visit for those who want to learn about how Romans lived right here in England.

Discovering Chedworth Roman Villa is like taking a journey back in time.

It was built over 1,600 years ago and offers visitors a window into what life was like for the wealthy Roman families who lived there.

Explore the ruins and find out more about their lifestyle from interactive displays and multimedia exhibits.

You can also take a walk through its stunning gardens which are filled with beautiful flowers and plants.

This villa provides an unforgettable experience that will stay with you long after you have left.

As you explore the ruins and soak up its history, it’s easy to imagine what life used to be like here so many centuries ago.

Discovering Chedworth Roman Villa is an opportunity not to be missed while visiting Cheltenham!

6. Sudeley Castle

The historic Sudeley Castle is an absolute must-see while visiting Cheltenham.

It’s the only private castle in England to have a queen buried within its grounds.

Queen Katherine Parr, the last of Henry VIII’s wives, was laid to rest in Sudeley after her death in 1548.

As you explore the castle and its beautiful gardens, you’ll get a sense of what life was like during the Tudor period.

It’s also home to one of England’s oldest rose gardens with over 1,000 varieties of roses blooming throughout the season.

The castle offers a variety of activities for visitors including guided tours, educational programs, and events such as medieval banquets and jousting tournaments.

You can even stay overnight at the luxurious bed and breakfast located on the grounds if you’d like!

There’s something for everyone at Sudeley Castle – whether it be soaking up history or taking part in more modern activities like falconry or archery lessons.

Make sure to add this incredible castle to your list of things to do while in Cheltenham – you won’t regret it!

7. Imperial Gardens

Tucked away in the heart of Cheltenham, Imperial Gardens is a delightful spot to spend a day.

Its sprawling lawns, filled with vibrant flowers and lush foliage, make it an ideal place to relax and take in the beauty of the English countryside.

From here, visitors can enjoy stunning views of the surrounding area, including some of the town’s most iconic buildings.

The gardens are home to some spectacular architecture, including a Chinese pagoda and a Japanese tea house.

There are also plenty of benches and sheltered areas for visitors to sit and soak up their peaceful surroundings.

With an abundance of nature trails winding through the grounds, it’s easy to lose yourself amidst all its charm.

On sunny days, it’s not uncommon to see people strolling around or having picnics on the grass.

Whether you’re looking for a quiet spot for contemplation or simply want to escape from city life for a while, Imperial Gardens is just the ticket.

The Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum is a must-see for anyone who visits the city.

It is packed with art, cultural artifacts, and interactive displays that explore the history of the local area.

From ancient Roman coins to modern paintings, there’s something here for everyone to enjoy.

One of the highlights of the museum is its impressive collection of 20th-century British art.

Featuring pieces by renowned artists such as Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, and Graham Sutherland, it’s a great way to gain insight into this period in British art history.

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You can also view contemporary works from local artists, including an ever-changing display in the Creative Space gallery.

The museum also hosts exciting activities throughout the year; from lectures and workshops to hands-on craft sessions, there are plenty of ways to get involved!

Visitors can even take part in trails and quizzes designed to engage visitors both young and old.

Whether you’re looking for a fun day out or an educational experience – this is one destination that will not disappoint!

9. Honeybourne Line

The Honeybourne Line is an adventure like no other.

This unique train line takes you on a meandering journey through some of the most beautiful countryside in England.

From Cheltenham, the tracks take you past fields and woodlands, alongside rivers and streams, and finally to the small village of Honeybourne.

The route is full of surprises – look out for wildlife along the way such as deer and badgers!

On arrival at Honeybourne, there’s plenty to explore including a few pubs, cafes, and shops.

For those keen adventurers, there are also walking trails that head off into the surrounding hills.

There’s something special about traveling by train; it gives us a chance to relax and enjoy the sights from a different perspective than we usually get from road travel.

You can simply sit back in your seat, and allow yourself to be taken away on this journey through time, watching as the rolling hills give way to distant horizons.

Taking the Honeybourne Line allows us to experience nature at its finest and create lasting memories that will stay with us for years to come.

10. The Cheltenham Paint Fest

The Cheltenham Paint Fest is a must-see for any art enthusiast visiting the English town of Cheltenham.

Taking place in the heart of the town center, this vibrant festival brings together over fifty professional and amateur artists to display their work.

Visitors can admire and purchase original artwork, as well as take part in workshops and demonstrations.

The streets of Cheltenham come alive with music, food, and activities for all ages during the Paint Fest.

There’s something for everyone at this cultural celebration – from live performances to interactive art installations.

In addition to browsing through artworks from local talent, visitors can also enjoy street food from around the world and catch up on some shopping.

Whether you’re looking for a unique gift or something special to take home as a souvenir, you will find it here!

The Cheltenham Paint Fest is an unforgettable experience that captures the spirit of creativity and freedom found within this beautiful town.

It is sure to leave lasting memories that will stay with you long after your visit has ended.

11. Hailes Abbey

For the ultimate escape, a visit to Hailes Abbey is a must.

Set in the stunning Gloucestershire countryside, this remarkable 14th-century Cistercian abbey is an oasis of tranquility and beauty.

Its history stretches back over 750 years and it’s still surprisingly intact.

The ruins are truly awe-inspiring and you can easily spend hours exploring all the nooks and crannies, as well as admiring some of the remaining medieval artworks.

The surrounding grounds are also full of life with wildflowers, butterflies, and birds galore.

There’s even a café serving delicious homemade treats, so you can refuel after your exploration.

Exploring Hailes Abbey is like taking a step back in time and immersing yourself in the past.

It’s one of those places that will leave you feeling inspired, relaxed, and deeply connected to nature.

So if you want to really get away from it all during your stay in Cheltenham, don’t miss out on this beautiful spot!

12. Colesbourne Park

Colesbourne Park is a must-see destination for those visiting Cheltenham.

Nestled in the Cotswolds, this stunning estate offers breathtaking views of the beautiful English countryside.

The grounds feature lush gardens full of color and life, with plenty of interesting walks to explore.

Visitors can also take part in activities like fishing, boating, and birdwatching.

The highlight of Colesbourne Park is its incredible collection of trees, shrubs, and plants.

It’s home to some of the rarest species in Europe, so it’s a great spot for nature lovers to get close up with nature.

The park also hosts events like music festivals and open-air concerts throughout the year.

So if you’re looking for a peaceful retreat or an exciting day out with friends, Colesbourne Park is the perfect place to go!

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13. Cotswold Farm Park

From the lush and tranquil Colesbourne Park, we now move to Cotswold Farm Park, a family-friendly attraction that is sure to delight.

This farm park is located in the heart of Gloucestershire, offering visitors a chance to explore the wonderful world of British farming.

Here you’ll find a variety of animals including pigs, cows, sheep, and more.

Plus, there are plenty of other activities and attractions for everyone to enjoy such as tractor rides, play areas, and farm shops.

Cotswold Farm Park is definitely one of those places that has something for everyone.

Kids will love getting up close with some furry friends while parents can relax on the picnic benches or in the tearoom.

There’s also an adventure playground where kids can let off steam and explore their wild side.

With so much to do here, you’ll never be bored!

With its charming atmosphere and wide range of activities, Cotswold Farm Park is an ideal day out for all ages.

Whether you’re looking for some animal encounters or just a fun day out with your family – this farm park ticks all the boxes!

14. Everyman Theatre

A visit to the Everyman Theatre in Cheltenham is an absolute must for theatre lovers.

This Grade-II listed building is a stunning example of Edwardian architecture and has been entertaining West Country audiences since 1912.

The venue hosts a wide range of productions from musicals, dramas, comedies, and much more.

The Everyman also has a fantastic bar and restaurant area, which makes it the perfect place to spend an evening or two with friends or family.

The theatre offers something for everyone, whether you’re looking for a great night out or just want to catch up on some of the best shows around.

It’s easy to get to as well – located only a few minutes walk away from Cheltenham town center – making it even more convenient to experience all that it has to offer.

From matinee performances with discounted rates to exclusive auditorium hire, the Everyman Theatre provides entertainment like no other!

Go ahead and treat yourself – it’s sure to be an incredible time!

15. Sandford Parks Lido

The next must-do experience in Cheltenham is a visit to the Sandford Parks Lido.

This remarkable spot provides a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Situated on a hillside, with stunning views of the town below, Sandford Park Lido is an open-air swimming pool that was built in 1935.

It’s one of the oldest outdoor pools in Britain and holds a Grade II listed status due to its unique design.

The pool is surrounded by lush greenery and tranquil gardens, making it an idyllic place to relax and take in the sights.

The pool itself is 25 meters long and heated, so even during colder months, visitors can enjoy taking a dip.

There’s also plenty of seating around the edge, making it ideal for sunbathing or simply enjoying a picnic lunch with friends or family.

The nearby café also serves light snacks and refreshments throughout the day so you can be sure to stay fuelled for your visit here!

Best Things to Do in Cheltenham – Final Thoughts

In conclusion, Cheltenham is a great destination for any traveler looking to explore the English countryside.

From the Montpellier District to Pittville Park, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

For those looking for some history, Chedworth Roman Villa and Colesbourne Park are must-sees.

Those wanting some fun should check out Everyman Theatre or Sandford Parks Lido.

No matter what you choose to do, you’re sure to have an amazing time in Cheltenham!

As a travel writer, I’ve had the pleasure of visiting many places around England, but Cheltenham has proven itself as one of my favorites.

Everywhere I went I was met with friendly locals and breathtaking views that can’t be found anywhere else.

It’s easy to see why this area is so popular and why it continues to attract visitors from all over the world.

So if you’re ever in England and need a place to go for the day or weekend, make sure you put Cheltenham at the top of your list!

You won’t regret it!

FAQs

What are the best things to do in Cheltenham with kids?

The best things to do in Cheltenham with kids are visiting The Wilson Art Gallery and Museum, Hailes Abbey, and Everyman Theatre.

What to do during the day in Cheltenham?

The best things to do during the day in Cheltenham are visiting Sudeley Castle, Birdland Park and Gardens, and Cheltenham Town Hall.

Is Cheltenham worth visiting?

Yes, Cheltenham is worth visiting because it is the gateway to the Cotswolds. It is also a perfect weekend getaway and has some of the best-preserved Georgian architecture in the UK.

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About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.