Visit Cheltenham Spa, Things to See and Do

Cheltenham Spa, is a spa town in Gloucestershire and a great shopping and foodie destination. There are lots of things to do and tourist attractions to see in Cheltenham. Cheltenham is the home of the flagship race of British steeplechase horse racing, the Gold Cup. The gold cup is the key event of the horse racing festival held every March. Cheltenham hosts many festivals throughout the year, from literature to music.

There are lots of tourist attractions for visitors to see and many options for things to see. Because of its location, there are also options for places nearby to visit in Gloucestershire and The Cotswolds. I’ve enjoyed lots of time in Cheltenham, having lived nearby for many decades.

Things To Do in Cheltenham

There are many visitor attractions to suit most tastes in the town and the rest of the local area. Because of its surrounding countryside, there are lots of other things to do is visiting Cheltenham.

Visit Pittville Pump Room

The Pittville Pump Room in Pittville Park was the last and largest of the spa buildings to be built in the town. They completed the Pump Room in 1825 and is now a grade 1 listed building. The architecture of this building is fantastic with a colonnade and lots of iconic columns. It still houses the original pump that was made from marble and scagliola.

Pittville Pump Room

Pittville Pump Room is open to the public to have a look around and is also a premier wedding venue. Inside this grand building is a ballroom, billiards room, a library and a reading room.

Enjoy Dining Out In The Town

There are a variety of places to eat out in Cheltenham, from nice exclusive restaurants, fine dining cafes and even many chain restaurants. There are many options for vegan and vegetarian eateries for you to choose from to suit most tastes.

nut roast at WoodKraft in Cheltenham

Woodkraft is a new modern eatery on Regent Street near the Everyman Theatre that serve great food. Former MasterChef winner devised the menu and seems a very popular place to dine out.

There are many pubs in the town centre and suburbs that serve food and great beer, some even are dog friendly.

Regent Arcade Shopping Centre

Regent Arcade Clock

The Regent Arcade Shopping centre has over 60 shops and is a great place to go shopping. The arcade houses both independent stores and some international brands. It is home to the Wishing Fish Clock, what I believe to be the tallest mechanical clock in the world. The clock features a goose laying the mythical golden egg, mice evading a snake and a fish that blows bubbles every 30 minutes.

Dine out in the Brewery Quarter

The Brewery Quarter is located just off the High Street and is a one-stop-shop where you can shop, dine out and even stay the night.

Brewery Quarter

The Brewery is home to some great restaurants like Mr Mulligans, a golf-themed restaurant, where you can play 18 holes of virtual golf. For beer lovers, Brewhouse and Kitchen microbrewery and bar call The Brewery Home. For those that like steak, Son of Steak is the place to visit. They serve a great menu and have some delicious options for flat iron steak, including a vegan version.

The Brewery Quarter is home to Hollywood bowl for those that like 10-pin bowling or other entertainment such as the cinema. A gym is also on site or for those requiring space to work is HUB8 an innovative workspace. For shopping, the quarter includes shops like Tescos, Wilkos and urban outfitters, to name a few.

Visit the Churchyard of St Mary’s Church

We also know Cheltenham Minster as St Mary’s Church, which is located just off the high street. The Minster is the only surviving medieval building in Cheltenham; it has been in use for 850 years.

St Mary's Cheltenham

They believe it to have replaced a Saxon church erected on this site in the 8th century. In the Domesday Book, the church and its land (the rectory) were recorded as belonging to William the Conqueror’s chancellor. The grounds are a nice place to relax away from the hustle and bustle of the High Street.

Have Fun in Cheltenham’s Parks

There are a few parks in the town centre the two most notable are Pittville Park. The park is home to the iconic Pittville Pump House and boating lake. The park is magnificent for walking and includes 2 lakes and a few cafes for refreshments.

Pittville Park Boathouse

The other being closer to the centre called Sandford Park. Both are great locations for a walk, picnic or to relax in the sun. Sandford park has some impressive fountains, nice trees and some beautiful flowerbeds.

Sandford Park Cheltenham Fountain

Visit Various Museums & Art Galleries

Cheltenham has a rich choice of museums to visit. One option for music lovers is The Holst Birthplace Museum. The Wilson, which also doubles as an art gallery, has an excellent collection of exhibits.

Have Fun Swimming at Sandford Parks Lido

Sandford Parks Lido is a Grade II Listed outdoor swimming pool that they opened in 1935 in Cheltenham. Swimming here is a fun thing to do. This outdoor lido has a 50-metre main pool, a children’s pool, and paddling pool. Both pools at Sandford Parks Lido are heated, the main pool to a warm 26°c and the smaller one is even warmer at 30°c. The lido is open for you to visit from March through to October.

Cheltenham Food & Drink Festival

The foodie event of the year, Cheltenham Food & Drink Festival, takes place in June each year. The festival is in Montpellier Gardens. Cheltenham Food & Drink Festival is an exciting day out for adults and children. There is typically live music throughout the weekend and you will have the chance to buy a range of delicious foods, pickles, sweets and alcoholic items from lots of exhibitors.

Cheltenham Food & Drink Festival

The Cheltenham Food & Drink Festival pride themselves on providing visitors with the most diverse selection of food or drink producers, chefs, talks and master classes. There really is something for everyone. The 2024 event takes place on 21st, 22nd and 23rd of June.

Visitors can enjoy a series of cooking demonstrations from chefs, both local and celebrity chefs. You can also take part in International Wine Tasting classes or the diverse and fascinating Food & Drink talks with some of the most well-known and respected experts.

Cheltenham Race Week

Cheltenham race week takes place during March each year at the magnificent Cheltenham Racecourse. The festival is the pinnacle event of jump racing in the UK including; Champion day, Ladies’ Day, St Patrick’s Thursday rounding off with Gold Cup day. This is one of the most popular events in the town and a popular thing to do for those that enjoy horse racing.

Stay The Night

To enhance a visit to Cheltenham and enjoy its full offerings a night or two in the town is a good option. In the centre of Cheltenham, near to Pittville Park is The Portland is a very welcoming guesthouse. This is a marvellous place to stay and well decorated. As a bonus, they supply a fantastic full English breakfast to all guests.

Queens Hotel

There is a diverse range of hotels in Cheltenham, ranging from five-star luxury hotels to smaller independent boutique accommodation.