This pretty spa town in Gloucestershire is the perfect place to explore and base yourself for a Cotswold sojourn.
Like nearby Bath, spring waters first made Cheltenham’s name but it took an ailing monarch’s visit to truly put the place on the map. George III ‘took the waters’ here in 1788, and his patronage meant it soon became a must-visit destination for the smart-set of the day.
Two hundred years later, Cheltenham again finds itself at a very fashionable point in its history. This is thanks in the main to a forward-thinking festival program that really does cover pretty much every base and means visitors can enjoy modern entertainments in the grandest of settings.
Arts and music lovers will also find much to stimulate their synapses at the music, jazz, literary and science festivals held each summer. And once you’ve exhausted yourself with all that culture, remember that Cheltenham is also one of the best places in the region for shopping and locally sourced food.