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Cheltenham's Hidden Gems

Cheltenham, located in the heart of Gloucestershire, has a distinct and charming character. Its parks and gardens offer a peaceful escape to unwind amidst nature, and numerous independent shops populate the town centre streets, offering many different worthwhile experiences for visitors. Famous for its cultural and sports events, including the renowned Cheltenham Festival at the Cheltenham Racecourse, this town balances its stunning architecture with a lively contemporary scene and buzzing high street.

Cheltenham Spa railway station, under the operation of Great Western Railway, ensures a stress-free journey and smooth arrival. With a commitment to accessibility, the station provides wheelchairs and ramps for those with mobility needs. Although Cheltenham Spa station is a 25–30-minute walk to the town centre, there are buses such as the “D Bus - Bishops Cleeve”, which arrives directly outside the station and provides stops near the town centre. Moreover, a large taxi rank immediately outside the station offers excellent transport selection whilst the local taxi company “Starline Taxi’s” is a further option.

Once within the Cheltenham town centre, multiple independent businesses, cafés, restaurants, and activities will make your visit worthwhile. Here are a few attractions that GCRP recommends:

·        The Wilson Museum is home to an internationally significant museum collection of various extraordinary pieces of work, with a cafe serving hot drinks, cakes, and pastries. Owned by the Cheltenham Trust, a not-for-profit charity. Located within the town centre, it is an opportunity to indulge in an artistic and educational experience whilst contributing to the fantastic work the Cheltenham Trust provides.


·        St. Pauls Vintage  – a family-run clothing shop selling vintage clothes for all genders, providing unique and highly sustainable fashion options for residents and visitors to Cheltenham town.


·        The Beefy Boys – the ultimate burger destination in Cheltenham, serving gourmet beef, chicken, and vegetarian burgers with a wide selection of toppings, sauces and sides. From personal experience, this is one of the best restaurants in Cheltenham.

Cheltenham also hosts numerous parks and green spaces to explore, the most significant within the town being Pittville Park. The park hosts the Pittville pump room, which is how Cheltenham station gained its notorious ‘Spa’ name by discovering spa water within the town in 1716, with the station gaining its iconic name in 1925. Pittville Park is perfect for dog walking and strolls with family, friends and your significant other. If you’re feeling more adventurous, the nearby Cleeve Hill offers picturesque views of Cheltenham and the surrounding areas, which are a photographer's dream.

Outside of Cheltenham’s natural beauty and green spaces, the Montpellier District offers superb Regency-era architecture combined with boutique shops and prestigious venues such as the Queens Hotel and the Ivy. If you particularly like architectural history, the Montpellier Caryatids are the most iconic Regency architectural piece in Cheltenham, dating back to 1840 and were similarly used extensively as decorations in 19th-century France.

Fun Fact: Cheltenham is home to an exciting piece of history as it was a filming location for scenes in the popular British television series "Sherlock".


Check out Visit Cheltenham’s website for more information and to find out what’s on when:

For more adventures in Gloucestershire by train, why not try TrainTipper to help plan your adventures?

Written by James Hamilton

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