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Cheltenham Travel Guide

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The Pump Rooms also host a number of musical events especially during the annual Cheltenham Music Festival, which brings national and international musicians of all styles and talents together for one of Britain’s most innovative musical events. Most towns would be satisfied with just one internationally acclaimed festival, but not Cheltenham. Each October the town hosts one of the world’s leading literature Festivals. Over 50 years old the festival goes from strength to strength with a glittering array of writers, poets, adventurers and opinion makers. In recent years Cheltenham has doubled its festival portfolio with an increasingly popular Folk Music event in February and the recently born Festival of Science taking place in early June. Two successful theatres, The Everyman and The Playhouse complete the cultural line up.

More hedonistic entertainment is equally prolific; the town has number of sophisticated clubs and popular music venues as well as many good pubs. Eating out follows the same quality trend as everything else in Cheltenham with a virtual cornucopia of notable restaurants from simple Bistro’s to Michelin starred establishments.

For the culturally and gastronomically challenged perhaps a spot of shopping may fit the bill. Very much a regional shopping centre Cheltenham has all the ‘Big Names’ stores but also has an enormous range of small specialist shops and boutiques. Elegant Montpelier has the largest selection of boutiques and gift shops and the Suffolk Road, Suffolk Parade area the best antique shops.

Clearly an affluent town Cheltenham is home to an increasing number of medium to large corporations, and is a flourishing creative and hi-tech centre. The town is the headquarters of the Government Communications centre (GCHQ). Until recently Cheltenham’s only claim to sporting greatness was the annual staging of National Hunt racings premier meeting The Cheltenham (yes another!) horse racing Festival, a three day racing extravaganza with the Cheltenham Gold Cup as the centrepiece event. But in recent years league football has come to Gloucestershire for the first time in the shape of Cheltenham Town FC known locally as ‘The Robbins’.

If town life becomes to hectic The Cotswolds are literally on Cheltenham’s doorstep. Dozens of sleepy, honey coloured stone villages lie nestled in deeply wooded vales and wolds, each with a character all its own and usually a pub selling good beer and good food.

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