Cheltenham is often described as the centre of the Cotswolds. This Regency town has plenty of history to discover. Nestled against the Cotswolds – Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty for a reason – Cheltenham is a great place to settle yourself for some time away. Whether you are here for relaxation, a night out or something in between; Cheltenham is a place you will enjoy spending time. I have written a one-day itinerary so you can see all the best things in under 24 hours.
Wherever you are staying in the area, it is very likely you would like some breakfast before kicking off the day! At Boston Tea Party there is plenty of choice on the menu for everyone as well as a great atmosphere. This dog friendly cafe will fuel you up for the day and is conveniently located in the middle of town! I recommend the veggie or vegan breakfast with a Breakfast Smoothie.
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After such a filling and satisfying breakfast it might be nice to digest and go for a walk. Stretch your legs with a nice walk around Montpellier Gardens. In the park you will find a gallery that features different local artists every month. There is also a playground for children and a café if you find yourself in need of another coffee. When you’ve seen the Montpellier Gardens you can head up to Imperial Gardens and walk past the town hall.
After your walk around the gardens, head back to the Promenade and do some shopping. There are plenty of independent boutiques as well as well-known stores to get some nice bits. I always enjoy popping into Vinegar Hill where they have a lovely selection of homeware, stationary and more. Maybe find a nice postcard to send to a loved one! I can’t seem to walk out that shop without buying a candle. A brand new John Lewis just opened on the high street that boasts personal styling, multiple beauty bars and a Huffkins café!
During your shopping session you may have worked up your appetite again! You can walk back down towards Imperial and Montpellier gardens, but this time keep the gardens on your left and head into Montpellier street. There are some more boutique shops on the way before you stop off for lunch at Giggling Squid. As well as being very Instagrammable, this fantastic Thai restaurant serves fresh food and has a nice wine selection. I usually go for the two meal dish combination which is good value, tastes great and satisfies you without you feeling too full. I definitely recommend booking a table if you are planning to visit on the weekend.
After lunch it is time for another stretch! You are in the countryside after all so expect to be doing some walking! Walk up to the promenade and keep going to find Pittville Park. This overwhelmingly big park features the famous Pump Room, lakes and children’s play areas. If you are not a fan of very long walks, I’d recommend staying towards the eastern side of the park that have the ‘main attractions’: the Pump Room, the main children’s play area and the aviary. Want to get some more steps in? Walk your way around the entire park including the western side, which features a fishing lake, golf course and small areas of woodland.
With all this movement in I’m pretty sure you will have reached the recommended 10.000 steps a day. I’d say you’ve earned a drink! Walk back from the park to the Brewery Quarter. You can have a wander around this new shopping centre before you sit down at The Botanist for a cocktail. Any cocktail on the menu is worth your money, but if I could recommend I’d get the ‘secret gin carafe’ to share. The Brewery Quarter has lots of fun activities on offer like a newly refurbished Cineworld, crazy golf and bowling.
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If you’ve got peckish again at this time you’re not the only one! I have done this exact itinerary plenty of times and always look forward to the next opportunity for food! Whether you’re in Cheltenham to celebrate something special or just to celebrate life, enjoy your time and go for an extravagant dinner at The Ivy. I have been lucky enough to have a Christmas dinner here and it was fantastic! The interior is spectacular and the restaurant very much fits in this Regency town. Treat yourself 😉
After dinner it might be nice to see a play at the Everyman Theatre or visit the newly refurbished Cineworld (the most up to date Cineworld in the country) that now has 4DX and VIP options. If after all this you’re still not tired, around the entire town there are lots of places to get a late-night drink. The Clarence Social is a small but fun cocktail bar where you can do a bit of dancing (don’t tell anyone, but there’s a secret bar in the basement).
Spending longer in Gloucestershire? Also consider doing the Cotswold canal walk, with gorgeous paths along the river and cute Cotswold towns.
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