Cheltenham is located in Gloucestershire and is known as a historic spa town. The city dates back to the 18th century when it became popular for its healing waters. Once King George III visited in 1788, the town became even more popular. Today the water is not available for taking, but visitors can visit the Pump Room. Several events and festivals are held throughout the year in Cheltenham, including the Gold Cup horse race in March of each year. The event is so popular it is necessary to book accommodations up to one year in advance. Cheltenham is also well renowned for its annual festival programme, including the extremely successful Literature Festival, Science, Music, jazz and folk festivals.
Cheltenham nestles underneath the Cotswold Hills and styles itself as the centre for the Cotswolds. It hosts a number of festivals throughout the year including literature, music, jazz, Science and many others. Cheltenham also has a renowned racecourse and the highlight of the season is the Cheltenham Gold Cup, held in March. All this activity in the spa town means that there are plenty of things to see and do and lots of places to stay.
Shoppers are well catered for: the town has two major shopping arcades which attract visitors from miles around. The town's reputation as a shopping centre was established in the early 1800's when Cavendish House set up in the town. The store is still located on Cheltenham's promenade.
In the evenings, you could take in a play at one of the two theatres in the town or visit the multi-screen cinema. There are also regular concerts at locations such as the Town Hall. If you visit during the summer, you could take a swim at the Sandford Parks Lido, which is a large heated outdoor pool close to the town centre.
One of Cheltenham's other claims to fame is its spa water. Pittville Pump Room still pumps up the water from the mineral springs and you can still taste the water that was claimed to promote health in those who drank it. The spa waters were a major factor in the town's growth.
The town has been home to horseracing since the early 1800's and if your stay in Cheltenham coincides with the National Hunt Festival you will need to book your accommodation well in advance to secure a room. Other sporting options include watching football and rugby or you could play a round of golf on one of the three local courses.