An old Georgian resort
Cheltenham is a nice enough town with its Regency terraces, parks and pump room, but it lacks the ancient pedigree that gives Bath the edge in the heritage stakes.
Its twin city, Gloucester, is much rougher around the edges but has in its favour a nice cathedral, an interesting dockyard district and more things overall to see.
The town is well regarded for its festivals of music and literature: www.cheltenhamfestivals.co.uk/index.cfm
About the only thing I found interesting to visit in the town was its art gallery and museum, which you can learn more about by visiting www.cheltenhammuseum.org.uk.
Cheltenham is a gateway to the Cotswolds (see photo), with good bus connections into the district.
Click over to www.cheltenham.gov.uk for links for local travel, tourism and the festivals.
Cheltenham and the Cotswolds
"Hollyhocks and Storybook Villages"
I am probably confusing anyone that may read my entries, as I am not sure how to do it and I am working backwards, but does it really matter to you? I don't think so. This was our first exchange for the summer of 2006. We stayed in a fabulous home in Cheltenham. We happened to arrive during one of the hottest July's in the UK on record. Aw, but we loved it. We took a bus from Heathrow Airport to Cheltenham, to be met their by my sister and her husband at the bus stop in Cheltenham. Took a taxi to the exchange home and from there, every day for two weeks we would set off to visit various villages in the Cotswolds. We loved it. Surprisingly there were very few tourists in most of the spots we toured. I loved the thatched cottages and the stone homes that made these storybook villages. The hollyhocks and roses in the country gardens;the friendy pubs, the fabulous fish and chips, the clotted cream, the weight I gained!! Well we did a lot of walking so it wasn't too bad. Could have been a lot worse.
"Favorite Wee Towns"
There were so many wonderful towns to visit. My favorites were Bourton on the Water,Upper and Lower Slaughter, and Castle Combe. There is a very picturesque old mill Mill at Lower Slaughter that is apparently owned by a well known jazz singer. He must have been the guy singing in the gift and craft shop of the mill. That gift shop had some fabulous finds in it. There is a riverside tea roomsand an ice cream parlour famous for its organic handmade ice ceam. We had the best fish and chips in another chip shop there. If you are a photographer, you will be snapping away here.
The same goes for Castle Combe where apparently they filmed Dr. Doolittle years ago. The castle is long gone but the village was spectacular, we arrived there before noon and it was deserted, there was no one on the "street" and it looked like a set for a movie for sure. It was kind of eerie in a beautiful way. the air was fresh and there was not a car or bus in site. No TV antennas to block the warmth of the sun.( I have a lot of photos, but I guess I have to put most of them somewhere else. I will figure all of this out eventually.)