Cheltenham is a great town and your best starting place for exploring the Cotswolds. The old spa town of Cheltenham has a first class range of accommodation, restaurants, theatres and shops. As winner of Beautiful Britain in Bloom, Cheltenham is renowned for its gracious Regency architecture, colourful parks and floral decorations.
The spa waters, which brought fame and royalty to Cheltenham can still be taken at the Pittville Pump Room. Set amongst beautiful lakes and parkland, this building has somewhat erratic opening hours but is worth a visit. There are a few interesting museums in town as well – of special note is the Arts & Crafts Collection at the Art Gallery & Museum.
If you are into horse racing, Cheltenham offers 16 races a year. The magnificent Cheltenham Racecourse, known across the world as the home of National Hunt racing, is the place to go. The racing season lasts from October to April.
Within the town centre there are many small shops. The tree-lined Promenade is home to some of the best known fashion names, such as House of Fraser, Liberty, Laura Ashley and Jaeger. For small boutiques head for the area of Montpellier and The Suffolks where individual boutiques mix happily with antique shops, cafes and specialist craft establishments.