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Things to do in Cheltenham

5 Things to Do in Cheltenham for the Cultural Traveler

If you’re looking for things to do in Cheltenham then you’ve arrived in the right place. Whether you’re visiting from abroad or out and about from within the UK, this premier Gloucestershire city has a whole on offer for any adventure hungry traveler who just so happens to find themselves in town. From fine art, paintings and decor to the thundering hooves of a yearly horse festival, there’s something for everybody here – no, it’s not London, but don’t let that fool you. The real substance of a country is in its smaller places, in its people, and in its culture. So why not come on down and take a look?     


Get Your Culture on – Things to do in Cheltenham


The Wilson Fine Art Gallery and Museum


Archaeology, geology, fine art; the Wilson Gallery and Museum houses exhibits on topics both broad and personal. Explore the history of Cheltenham itself, then gaze on the works of new and upcoming visual artists. Browse an extensive photo archive, then pause for a spot of tea at the on-site cafe. This is a morning or afternoon in full, ready and waiting to inspire and inform. Perfect for when the British weather takes a rainy turn. 


The Cheltenham Festival


Things to do in Cheltenham
Source: Pexels 


The Cheltenham Festival is a four-day racing extravaganza, with horses, jockeys, and teams taking part in furiously speedy competition throughout. Take to the stands and join the crowd, as veterans and newcomers alike are most certainly welcome – this is a highlight of the spring jump season, truly thrilling for everyone involved. The green grass awaits, and with last year’s winner no longer in the running, a new king must take their place in the Champion Hurdle. Will it be Melon? Yorkhill? Verdana Blue? This is part of Cheltenham’s ingrained culture, and it’s not to be missed. Bets and wagers make things even more exciting on the day, and there are odds and talk aplenty as for the people’s favorite. Faugheen is currently at the top, with odds of 2/1 at William Hill


The Victorian Everyman Theatre


There’s nothing quite so British as a Winter pantomime! If you’re in Cheltenham town in and around the Christmas season, the Victorian Everyman Theatre has got you covered. Can’t quite make the date? No worries. There are shows and presentations on all year round, with comedy, drama, musicals, and family shows all making their way onto this iconic stage with its surrounding auditorium. 


Hidcote Manor Garden


Things to do in Cheltenham


Just a short trip out from Cheltenham proper, the Hidcote Manor Garden is renowned for its masterful arts and crafts shrubbery. Owned and run by the National Trust, a day here is a day in linked hedges, blooming trees, and tastefully designed nature. If the Wilson Gallery and Museum is perfect for a rainy day, this gem is perfect for a bright hot summer. Birds shaped out of leaves, walls made out of hedge – the whole place is shaped green art!  


The Cheltenham Literature Festival 


Last and certainly not least: the Cheltenham Literature Festival. Held every year in October, this wordsmith’s gathering is a wonder to behold for all those so linguistically inclined. Held and hosted by The Times and The Sunday Times, this is an international festival that boasts visiting talent from all around the globe.


It just goes to show – Cheltenham is more than a little old spa town! It’s art, literature and thrilling sport. It’s England at its heart and certainly shouldn’t go overlooked when you come to book your next trip. 

Feature photo source: Pexels 

Things to do in Cheltenham

Christa Thompson

Christa Thompson is the Founder and Chief Editor of The Fairytale Traveler. She started traveling the world in 2003 when she attended a summer abroad study at the University of Cambridge in England. Since then, her wanderlust has been fierce. Her three passions in life are her son, traveling, and being creative. The Fairytale Traveler brand gives Christa the opportunity to do all of these things and to live intentionally every day. "It's never too late to believe in what you love and to pursue your dreams." -Christa Thompson

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