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Cheltenham, sometimes known as Cheltenham Spa, is a pretty spa town on the edge of the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Gloucestershire. Staying in a hotel in Cheltenham will out you close to plenty of nature as well as the attractions of the town. It's crammed with lovely features to explore on a city break such as Regency architecture and town houses, historic squares, promenades and terraces.
There is plenty going on in Cheltenham throughout the year if you want to have your hotel stay in Cheltenham spiced up with some added attractions - festivals throughout the summer cover literature and music, and of course the Cheltenham Gold Cup is a huge annual event too. If you want to take this in in 2013 or 2014 you will need to start arranging your Cheltenham hotel as soon as you can!
Taking advantage of cheap Cheltenham car hire during your stay, or driving your own car to the town will let you spend time both exploring Cheltenham on foot from your hotel as well as making trips into the Cotswolds where you can explore the stunning countryside and quaint villages.
There are plenty of Cheltenham hotels as this town has been popular for generations, in fact people have been visiting ever since the mineral springs were discovered in 1712! You will find everything from health spa hotels in Cheltenham and on the outskirts, to family-run bed and breakfast establishments and cheap hotels in Cheltenham town centre.
Since Cheltenham is not a large town, most hotels will be within easy walking distance of the town centre. In fact, even the famous racecourse is fine to reach on foot from a centrally located hotel in Cheltenham. Hotels on the outskirts such as in the villages of Charlton Kings, Prestbury and Leckhampton are great if you're after a mixture of Cheltenham sights and visiting the Cotswolds, although you might want to consider using your car to get into the town too.
Taking a visit to Cheltenham and heading out into the surrounding Cotswolds is best done in the summer because you're likely to be spending plenty of time outside. But expect this to be the busiest time of year too, which can affect the prices and availability of hotels in Cheltenham, as well as your ability to get to and around the attractions - and more importantly get a seat in one of the pubs! You could consider spring or autumn for a visit too, which the crowds have dispersed slightly. Just plan on more indoor stops to keep warm or perhaps out of the rain.
When it comes to getting out into the Cotswolds, you can do this at any time of year, and serious hikers will want to avoid the summer altogether as it's too hot for such strenuous exertions. In the spring you will see blossoms and early flowers, whilst the autumn is rich in golden colours. Winter is crisp and quiet and finding a hotel in Cheltenham is much easier outside the summer months.
If you want to visit Cheltenham for the Cheltenham Gold Cup or one of the many festivals then remember that the hotels in Cheltenham and nearby too will be very busy and reservations must be made in advance. Events include the International Jazz Festival in May, the Cheltenham Science Festival in June, the Cheltenham International Festival of Music in July and concurrently the Fringe Festival, as well as the Cheltenham Cricket Festival in late July or early August.
Despite being relatively small, there is plenty to do in Cheltenham. Highlights include visiting the Pittville Pump Room where you can drink the famous spa water, browsing the collections at the Art Gallery and Museum or seeing where composer Holst was born at the appropriately-named Holst Birthplace Museum. And if you're staying in a Cheltenham hotel over the weekend, seeing the steam trains on the Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Railway is a must!
You should also take some time to stroll the tree-lined Promenade, which is where you will find some great boutique shops, which continue on Montpellier Walk. Don't forget to get out and about in the Cotswolds too!
Want more? Head straight to our guide!