The National Waterways Museum

Gloucester's National Waterways Museum.

Photo by Jim Linwood, licensed under CC BY 2.0

The National Waterways Museum comprises of three museum sites where the national collection of inland waterways are exhibited and curated. The three sites are all located in England at Stoke Bruerne, Ellesmere Port and Gloucester.

In this article we will be concentrating on the museum at Gloucester but first we will look at a little bit of history about the National Waterways Museum.

The museum receives sponsorship from British Waterways and is operated by The Waterways Trust. The main areas of concern are rivers, canals- the navigable inland waterways that were the anchor of our industrial heritage.

The museum is trusted with a wonderful collection holding the status of “designated collection”. This title is designated by the Museums Libraries and Archives Council. However, there is historically concern over this as the museum is not in receipt of funding to maintain and upkeep the historic vessels in its care unlike other collections. It is hoped this will change enabling the museum with the aid of lottery funding and other grants to improve standards. Sadly this has meant that some boats were offered for disposal as the museum could not afford to undertake the restoration.

Visit England Quality Assured Visitor AttractionThe first National Waterways Museum was located in Gloucester, and is now known as Gloucester Waterways Museum. It is housed in an old Victorian warehouse in the city of Gloucester at Gloucester Docks. The collection is fascinating and consists of narrow boats, river and canal tugs, and a steam powered dredger and river barges. As might be expected from a working museum with restoration taking place, there is a steam crane and oil engine in the canal repair yard. There is also a working machine shop, hydraulic accumulator and forge. There are many hands on, interactive exhibits.

Boat Rides

The great part about any water based attraction is the opportunity to get really involved with many activities for children and adults that are educational as well. A highlight is the opportunity to take a boat ride from the museum in Gloucester Docks and enjoy a commentary about the history form the boat’s skipper. A more pleasant way to spend an hour is hard to think of, especially during the summer months.

Children

Children will enjoy all aspects of the National Waterways Museum as apart from boat trips and cruises, children will have the chance to design their own narrow boat, race boats and transport them through locks, dress up as canal children for an authentic experience and explore historic boats in every nook and cranny. Great fun is to be had by interacting with the scale model of the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal. This intricate model offers real working engines and hands on displays. Visitors will be fascinated by the ingenious engineering that works the locks and boats on the waterways. If you and your children enjoy getting wet (optional!) and play with water the museum is just the place.

Nature

There are informative films that show you what to look out for on riverside and canal walks whether you are in the countryside or urban environments. There is always wildlife to be seen and plenty of nature spotting opportunities. Canals and rivers offer a diverse selection of wildlife habitats and also help fauna and flora to thrive whether in the country side or more urban landscape. Whatever the habitat, they all support different species. Picking up a few hints and tips from the National Waterways Museum will enhance enjoyment of waterside walks for the future.

Trade and Life on Narrow boats and Barges

A marvellous exhibit shows what a working warehouse was like and the role of trade and the need for canals and docks throughout the years of the British Empire and Industrial Revolution.

Another feature of the museum is the story of canals where an interesting overview of people who worked and lived on the canals tells the story of their lives. Using documents, silverware, clothing and tools of the trade, a picture of their different lives is drawn of boat and waterways families from narrow boat dwellers to the navvies who laboured on the canals to engineers and businessmen whose fortunes were built thanks to the canal and waterways system. The visitor will see beautiful canal ware and a sparkling polished motor launch, a conveyance no doubt used by a wealthy business man.

There is an enormous list of activities and exhibits of interest at Gloucester’s National Waterways Museum and it is a perfect place to visit for all ages and there is of course a perfect spot for coffee and a sustaining snack.

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Tewkesbury

Tewkesbury's Mill Bank.

Tewkesbury’s Mill Bank. Photo by Matthew Hartley, licensed under CC BY 2.0

Tewkesbury is a lovely town and well worth a visit if you are visiting Cooks Green Cottage. One of the things we love about the town is its history. The Battle of Tewkesbury was one of the pivotal battles of the War of the Roses and on this historic day 4 May 1471, the Lancastrians were totally defeated by the Yorks led by King Edward IV. Many Lancastrian nobles were killed in battle or were later executed including Edward, Prince of Wales while poor King Henry IV imprisoned in the Tower of London died (or was he murdered?) a short time later. His Queen the fearless and reckless Margaret reputedly fled the scene after commanding a blacksmith to put the shoes on her horse backwards so anyone in pursuit would follow the wrong direction. The Battle of Tewkesbury restored stability to England during a turbulent period in history.

The town of Tewkesbury has around ten thousand inhabitants today and is a market town. The town dates back to the 7th century when the area was believed founded by a Saxon hermit who named the area. Many monastic buildings dating from the 11th century also exist. Another claim to fame was the flourmill built in 1860 – the largest and most modern in the world.

Tewkesbury has escaped urban renewal thankfully and the visitor can meander through narrow lanes and small alleyways affording an experience of medieval times. Tewkesbury Abbey is the jewel in the crown of Tewkesbury and was founded in the 11th century built from stone transported up the river Severn from Normandy. The tower is the largest surviving Norman tower in existence. 14 meters square, the tower rises 45 meters from the ground. A wooden tower sadly collapsed in 1559 and rose 39 metre above the stone, this must have been an impressive sight, but the wooden edifice was never replaced.

Markets

Saturdays and Wednesdays are market days in the town and it is so much fun to wander around and see the goods on offer. There is a tremendous variety of homemade products, crafts, and fresh produce including the famous Tewkesbury mustard, so famous in fact, that Shakespeare refers to it in Henry IV when Falstaff states, “his wit’s as thick as Tewkesbury Mustard”!

Entertainment

Entertainment is in abundance with fairs, festivals, and theatre. There are many historical pubs, which are fascinating in their own right, and they make the perfect backdrop to some of the beer festivals that take place at various times of the year. There is a well-known music festival Musica Deo Sacra Roses

The Tewkesbury Medieval Festival

Tewkesbury Medieval Festival.

Tewkesbury Medieval Festival. Photo by Kevin Gould, licensed under CC BY 2.0

This festival is a great occasion for all the family. It commemorates the famous Battle of Tewkesbury with re-enactments of the battle, live music and other entertainment throughout the day including a medieval rock band in the beer tent, a dragon parade with banners made by local school children, falconry display on the battlefield and much more. When the festival ends for the day, events move to the abbey where a storming takes place followed by re-enactment of the trial and execution of the Lancastrians (just right for gory kids!)

This festival brings a fascinating historical period back to life showing glimpses of medieval life. There is also jousting, living history exhibits, and a medieval market.

Tewkesbury is that wonderful combination of modern town that is steeped in history. This balance allows the visitor to enjoy the history yet also take advantage of modern shopping and dining with all the conveniences you would expect. Considering the town was settled so long ago, there are places that have not changed in hundreds of years, which is quite a remarkable legacy. We hope you enjoy Tewkesbury as much as we do for a day out and we can thoroughly recommend the Medieval Festival if you are visiting with us around that time in July.

Click here for a list of 5 things to do in Tewkesbury.

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Ledbury

Ledbury's Church Street

Ledbury’s Church Street. Photo by Rose Davies, licensed under CC BY 2.0

Ledbury in Herefordshire is one of our favourite places to visit for a day trip from Cooks Green Cottage. It is a fascinating town full of rich history and an abundance of beautiful half-timbered buildings. Located near the Malvern Hills and Welsh border, the attractions of Ledbury are plain to see for every visitor. For people who enjoy poetry, Ledbury is something of a cultural haven with many poetic connections and wistful romance.

Ledbury has origins dating back to 690 AD. It is believed the town is named for the river Leadon. Ledbury appears in the Domesday Book as “Liedeberge”. During the 1600’s there were thriving drovers inns such as the Feathers Hotel and the town has an abundance of Tudor and Stuart architecture regularly winning many awards for its architectural preservation and decorative features. Quite simply, the town is an absolute pleasure to explore.

The world famous poet Elizabeth Barrett-Browning grew up and spent her childhood at Hope End. Here she began writing her popular and timeless poetry. The library in Ledbury is dedicated to her and is called the Barret-Browning Institute. Ledbury is also the birthplace of John Masefield Poet Laureate. Poets William Langland and Thomas Traherne were also born in Ledbury and William Wordsworth was a visitor to Ledbury and wrote a sonnet called “St. Catherine of Ledbury” and the opening line begins “When Ledbury bells broke forth in concert.”

Not surprisingly, Ledbury hosts an annual Poetry Festival that draws the cream of literary persons from around the globe.

Market House, Ledbury

Market House, Ledbury. Photo by rodtuk, licensed under CC BY 2.0

One of the most popular – certainly the most photographed buildings in this delightful town is the magnificent Market House which can be dated back to 1653. The building constructed on 16 enormous timber posts for support, was intended to be a grain or wool store. The builder is said to be John Abel the King’s carpenter. Today, it acts as the town council chamber and hosts an open market form time to time, recreating a feel of medieval Britain.

The well-preserved medieval streets of Ledbury are among the finest to be found in England. The old medieval architecture is set off by riots of flower displays. This town is full of civic pride and revels in its heritage.

The distinguished heritage of Ledbury becomes evident in a narrow walkway of cobbles off the High Street that meanders from the town to the beautiful parish church. Church Lane offers a wealth of interesting features beginning with the Market House close to the entrance of the walkway. The Heritage Centre gives an insight into the town’s history situated in a 15th century building. This small museum is full of interest and offers the challenge of a timber puzzle, which is a scaled model of part of the building.

The award winning folk museum in Church Lane is situated in Butcher Row House one of a row of 15 houses and shops, of which many were butcher shops. Interestingly, these rows of buildings were originally in the High Street and were re-erected in Church Lane during the 19th century. Exhibits and installations on display include curiosities such as a Tibetan pipe made from a human thighbone and replica armour as would have been worn at the Battle of Ledbury in 1645

At the furthest end of Church Lane is the 16th century Painted Room, which is within one of the oldest timber framed buildings now in use as council offices. Dating between 1560 and 1570 the paintings were only discovered in the 1980’s during restoration work. The paintings are considered some of the very best examples of Elizabethan wall art. The theme is Elizabethan box gardens with floral fresco designs and boxes containing religious writings.

The church of St. Michael & All Angels is claimed to be the best local parish church in Herefordshire. It has a tall spire of 200 feet, which is detached from the rest of the building. The church dates from the 13th and 14th centuries, built by St. Guthlac’s monks of Hereford some people believe.

The 17th century Skynner family tomb is very interesting and depicts Edward and Elizabeth of Ledbury Park husband and wife. Their infant daughter lies between the both of them and it is alleged the last wolf in Ledbury killed the child.

Do not be surprised if you have a sense of déjà vu in Church Lane, it is quite all right, you are not having a past life regression, it is just Church Lane has been featured in television programmes too numerous to mention.

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50 things to do in Cheltenham (Part 5)

Many of our visitors to Cooks Green Cottage enjoy an active holiday and some guests bring their beloved pets with them. We always welcome well-mannered dogs to our holiday home and in this final part of 50 things to do in Cheltenham; we will be introducing some of the walking trails that can be enjoyed in the town and around the outskirts. As ever, we will also be including some random places and activities of interest that visitors may enjoy.

  • 43. Lineover Wood and Ravensgate Hill – This delightful walk of around two hours begins at Little Herbert’s Cheltenham (OS map reference SO 98185 19635) and is ideal for walkers of all types. Outdoor lovers will be well catered for and lovers of abundant flora will enjoy the many varieties of flowers along the way through Lineover Wood. Topped off by wonderful views from Ravensgate Hill, this walk will leave you refreshed and ready for a delicious Cotswold pub lunch or supper.
  • 44. Cheltenham Circular Footpath – Cheltenham Borough Council is a keen supporter of active lifestyles. They have designed a number of walking routes for the enjoyment of residents and visitors. This clearly marked route is a circular walk around and about Cheltenham, which offers breath-taking views of the escarpment of the Cotswolds. This walking trail begins and terminates close to Pitville Park in the town and passes by the Dowedeswell reservoir and Cheltenham racecourse. The whole route is 25 miles in total so not for the faint hearted, but individual sections can be walked. Keen walkers will enjoy the challenge, rewarded with spectacular views.
  • The Well Walk Tea Room in Cheltenham

    The Well Walk Tea Room in Cheltenham

    45. Well Walk Tea Room, Cheltenham – It does have the word walk in the name, that is our excuse but we just thought we would slot in a favourite place if all this walking is making you feel peckish! This exquisite old style tearoom in the town is a well-loved favourite with visitors and has a very affordable menu. A varied menu offering the traditional tearoom delights of scones, pastries and cakes along with more substantial fare of soups and quiches satisfy the heartiest appetite. The surroundings of antiques, decorative objects, and textiles offer a real ambience set in one of Cheltenham’s first shops.
  • 46. Whittington Court – Around five miles from Cheltenham stands Whittington Court a 16th century Cotswold stone manor house that stands on the footplate of a much earlier building. The house is surrounded by a moat and the interior is full of original features. There are Tudor fireplaces and wood panelling, carved staircases and ornamental over mantles featuring a coat of arms that was later used by George Washington to create the stars and stripes of the American flag. The building in this location goes back to the 14th century. You could always walk to the house from Cheltenham town, or alternatively enjoy a turn around the grounds here.
  • 47. Cotswold Farm Park – A day of activity for the children is available at the Cotswold Farm Park in Cheltenham. This countryside experience will delight adults and children with many different activities such as rides on mini tractors, a play barn full of fun rides, restaurant, rare breeds, walking, pony trekking and locally sourced food and produce.
  • 48. Inn at Fossebridge, nr Cheltenham – Here is a walk with a difference, not too far from Cheltenham there is a beautiful inn built of mellow stone where you can partake of an hours walk. This circular route takes you through the very pretty hamlet Fossebridge, the spot where Fosse Way drops down to the River Coln Cotswold valley, which is an area of outstanding natural beauty. After your walk relax and enjoy the atmosphere of this lovely inn. During the summer, there are four acres of garden where you can eat al fresco and even confine your stroll to a dander around the lake. In winter, welcoming log fires will take off the chill. An added bonus is this is a dog friendly place – perfect!
  • 49. Cheltenham Cycle Touring Club – This cycling club is an ideal contact for those visitors wanting to explore the Cheltenham area on two wheels. With plenty of cycle routes on offer for different levels, there are lunch rides, elevenses rides, which take in beautiful countryside with the emphasis on fun and activity with plenty of refreshment stops. A great way to see the countryside, the club can be contacted through their website.
  • 50. Guided Walk of Cheltenham – The Cheltenham Tourist Office is a great resource and has regular walking tours of Cheltenham led by a guide. This is an ideal introduction to the town for new visitors and then you can come back and see things that interest you at your leisure.

And that’s the end of our 50 things to do in Cheltenham guide.

Go to: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

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50 things to do in Cheltenham (Part 4)

Le Champignon Sauvage in Cheltenham

Le Champignon Sauvage in Cheltenham

As our 50 things to do in Cheltenham guide continues, we decided to bring you an eclectic mix of places to visit with the emphasis on places to dine, shop, and enjoy a drink or two in traditional English pubs. Of course, while we think these places are amongst the best that Cheltenham may offer, you may prefer to compile your own list of best places to dine and enjoy a glass of wine and that is part of the fun of exploring a new area. All kinds of cuisine are catered for and all price ranges are covered. At certain times of the year such as the Cheltenham races, these places are likely to be very busy and full of high-spirited race goers. Never fear though because as the visiting Irish are wont to say, it will be mighty craic, and you may get a tip for the races as well.

Onwards then we go on our voyage of discovery starting with attraction number 32.

  • 32. John Higgs Tombstone – We had to include this oddity, which is hidden in the graveyard next to St Mary’s Church. It is a headstone of a man called John Higgs who died in 1825, occupation pig killer! His epitaph reads, “Here lies John Higgs,” it says. “For killing pigs was his delight / both morning, afternoon and night”. It will be a conversation piece for openers in the pub anyway.
  • 33. Pub Grub – There are many excellent places for authentic pub grub but we like The Royal Well Tavern, which serves a fusion of French and British cuisine with honest to goodness ingredients. Located at Royal Well Place, the restaurant offers a fixed price menu until 7pm, which offers terrific value. Sirloin steak and chips to duck rillettes on toast ensure all appetites are catered for.
  • 34. Touch of the Med in Cheltenham – Brosh is a restaurant with an Eastern Mediterranean menu offering a meze of babaganush (aubergine and garlic dip) hummus, falafel and carrot and coriander salad and authentic east meets west cuisine.
  • 35. Fine Dining – Try the Michelin 2 star Le Champignon Sauvage where the three-course menu is reasonably priced. They offer the freshest of ingredients sourced locally. The two star chef Everitt-Matthias handpicks wild fruit and garlic for the restaurant frequently.
  • 36. Montpellier Shopping – Get your boutique buzz in this area where there are several unique outlets in the quaint Courtyard Mall. From the couture of Caroline Charles to Pretty Special who sell organic baby wear there is a wealth of design on offer at purse friendly prices.
  • 37. Enjoy a Pint in a Classic Pub – The Royal Oak is a favourite with race goers before the starting pistol goes off on race day. The pub boasts an array of fine pub food and real ales and has a fascinating history dating back to the Domesday Book.
  • 38. A Glass of Wine – The trendy Montpellier Wine Bar attracts a stylish crowd who enjoy the wide selection of wine available. It is a great meeting spot for lunch and afternoon tea as well as an evening venue.
  • 39. Indian Curry – Almost England’s national dish these days, Cheltenham boasts many Indian restaurants, said to be a legacy of the officers who retired to Cheltenham from the Raj. For something different, enjoy a Kingfisher Indian beer with your meal at a restaurant like Hassans.
  • 40. Nightlife – Monty’s Brasserie is a popular cocktail bar and on the Promenade, the venue Subtone hosts four bars in a listed Regency townhouse. Located at Imperial Lane, the Boogie Lounge does music from the 70s to the 90s.
  • 41. Playhouse Theatre – Situated in an historic building opened in 1806, the theatre was once the Montpellier Baths, a highly fashionable venue where mineral baths were enjoyed. The venue now plays host to many first class amateur theatre productions and is worth a visit for the architecture and the entertainment.
  • 42. Everyman TheatreThe Everyman Theatre was opened in 1891 with a production starring Lily Langtry. The Everyman is in good company with the London Hippodrome, London Coliseum, and London Palladium having been designed by architect Frank Matcham,. Famous stage personalities, such as Charlie Chaplin, took to the boards at the theatre. Today the venue is in full swing with many events taking place during music and arts festivals as well as the regular theatrical repertoire.

Go to: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

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50 things to do in Cheltenham (Part 3)

Cheltenham's Famous Imperial Gardens

Cheltenham’s Famous Imperial Gardens

When you are bored of Cheltenham then you are bored of life! That is the opinion we are forming anyway. There are so many things to do in Cheltenham that we think there is a good chance our 50 things to do in Cheltenham guide could end up with many more entries catalogued. A week at Cooks Green Cottage is unique for every visitor and many who stay with us enjoy an active break, a relaxing break, or a mixture of both. Whatever your preferences, be sure to enjoy one or two activities in Cheltenham – we can guarantee you will not be disappointed.

Cheltenham the town is an exquisite place characterised by beautiful Regency townhouses with painted stucco facades and wrought iron balconies line the streets. Manicured gardens and places to dine give an air of elegance to the overall ambience. Cheltenham also boasts a range of impressive boutiques, shops, and artisan food outlets making a stroll around town irresistible for shoppers. Cheltenham has been a frequent winner of the Britain in Bloom competition and has won the Prix European d’Excellence. In fact, in the early 18th century it was stated that Cheltenham is the garden town of England.

Once more, we bring you our 50 things to do in Cheltenham guide part three and hope you enjoy reading about the wealth of great things on offer. If you’ve not yet read parts 1 and 2 then do so here: Part 1 | Part 2

  • 24. Go Ape! High Wire Forest Adventure – Do you have an inner ape? Bring out the chimp inside with the three hours of fun-at this tree top adventure. There are 30ft rope ladders a huge Tarzan swing into a huge rope net and a zip wire through the forest of trees. Plenty of crawling through tunnels and high wire rope bridges complete the adventure.
  • 25. Imperial Gardens – found behind the Town Hall, these gardens were planted originally for the exclusive use of patrons of the Sherborne Spa. Where the Queens Hotel now stands is where the spa was constructed in 1818. There were winter gardens at one time, but the gardens of today were established after World War II. Around 25,000 bedding plants are utilised each year to create the wonderful floral displays. The park is also the venue for many cultural events.
  • 26. Sandford Gardens – Named for the sandy soil and ford crossing this lovely park is the hidden jewel in Cheltenham’s crown. The diminutive River Chelt flows through Sanford Park, which is full of ornamental ponds, water features, and fountains. Clipped topiary guards the park entrances and there is plenty of seating to stop at to eat a picnic lunch and gaze at the beauty of the flowers and plants.
  • 27. Farmers Market – This market takes place in the Long Gardens, Promenade on the second, and last Friday of every month 9am until 3pm. The market is a bustling, busy, and bright place offering locally grown and produced vegetables, preserves, meat, and other fresh produce from around the Cotswold area.
  • 28. Arts and Crafts market – This market features the best of local crafts and hand made items from local artisans. It is a very popular and attractive market with much to see and buy. Like the Farmer’s Market, it is also locate in Long Gardens, Promenade on one Saturday every month.
  • 29. Promenade Shopping – The Promenade is without doubt one of the finest shopping areas in England. From long established Cavendish House a short stroll takes you to the highly fashionable stores of LK Bennett, Coast, Gap and Russell and Bromley. Style emporiums Jaeger, Hobbs, Karen Millen, and Jigsaw are just some of the delightful shops waiting to be explored. Quality gift shops and accessory shops for jewellery books and makeup are present bringing such outlets as Space NK for hours of cosmetic browsing!
  • 30. Wishing Fish Clock – Created by author Kit Williams whose famous book is “Masquerade”, the clock has been designed to bring joy and delight to all those adults and children that gaze upon its action. Michael Harding a world famous clock maker from the local area built the working parts of the clock and structural parts.
  • 31. Parabola Arts Centre – This is the home of contemporary performance in the county. The programme of engaging and creative includes dance, theatre, dance, music, and family shows. The grade II listed art gallery and award winning theatre design make it a pleasure to visit.

Once again, we have not fitted in all of the things we are bursting to share with you, so look out for part four of 50 things to do in Cheltenham coming soon!

Go to: Part 1 | Part 2

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50 things to do in Cheltenham (part 2)

Cheltenham's Holst MuseumContinuing our journey through Cheltenham in Part Two of 50 things to do in Cheltenham guide, we have selected another eclectic mix that should provide a great day out for everyone. Whether you love the countryside, history, shopping, dining out, hot coffee and cool conversation you will have plenty of ideas to choose from. Cheltenham is blessed in its location as not only does the town offer numerous attractions and things to do, but also within a mile or so of the town, you can find more entries in our 50 things to do in Cheltenham guide. Whatever the weather, Cheltenham is the perfect spot to find something interesting to do. (Part 1 of the guide is here)

Our Completely Random Guide of 50 Things to do in Cheltenham Part Two

  • 14. Rockcliffe House, Cheltenham – This wonderful sloping garden and was laid out by Graham Stuart Thomas in 1976. There is an acre and a half of pleasant walks, walled kitchen garden, two lakes, many ornamental trees and shrubs, and a Holy well. Note that the walled garden will not be open in 2013 sadly due to some reconstruction work
  • 15. Eyford House Country Show – Keep the date for future reference, 30th June. This friendly country show is perfect for all the family and there is nothing more English than a day at the local show watching glossy fat ponies, noble hunters and show jumpers compete for rosettes and prizes. The sideshows are great fun and this show offers crafts, stalls, fun fair rides, children’s entertainment, activities and more than likely candyfloss and toffee apples. There is a qualifying class for Crufts dog show, which will be fiercely contended by the pooches and plenty of fun in the dog show where the waggiest tail often reaps rewards winning a ribbon and bag of dog food!
  • 16. The Home of Gustav Holst – This famed son of Cheltenham was born in Clarence Street in 1874. The composer who wrote the iconic Planet Suite left a legacy of classical music that is revered and loved. His birthplace is now a museum that has Holst memorabilia and an exhibition of life “below stairs”.
  • 17. Cheltenham Race Course – This racecourse is famous for the iconic Cheltenham Gold Cup, the holy grail of jump racing. Cheltenham is swamped by visitors during the March meeting so if not a racegoer, this week may be best avoided to visit the town. However, if you fancy a day at the races, there are many other fixtures throughout the year at the course.
  • 18. Statue of Edward Wilson – The Municipal Offices in Cheltenham were originally private homes that were built in 1825. Opposite these buildings is a statue of Edward Wilson, a local Cheltenham man who was part of the ill-fated expedition to the South Pole led by Captain Scott. Stay and ponder awhile what it must have felt like to be an early though tragic pioneer.
  • 19. The Promenade, Cheltenham – The Promenade has a reputation as England’s most beautiful streets. It is a tree lined wide boulevard with imposing, magnificent architecture flanking each side of the street. A stroll down this street is a fabulous way to pass the time and with a stop for cappuccino and a snack, it is a great way to spend a morning.
  • 20. Hall of Fame Museum – Attached to Cheltenham Race course, this museum charts the history of jump racing and is ideal for racing enthusiasts and horse lovers. It is open on days when the racing is not.
  • 21. Walks With Hawks – This unique attraction allows you to take owls and other types of hawk out flying. If you have ever fancied a bird of prey perching on you hand then this is the place to visit. The birds are first class and their welfare is paramount.
  • 22. The Brewery – This interesting building conversion is a shopping centre with a variety of super restaurants and a great atmosphere. Apart from the many dining options, there is a fitness club and a play area for children. It is family friendly and a great rainy day option.
  • 23. The Screening Rooms – Going to the pictures does not get better! Also located at The Brewery, The Screening Rooms is a luxury film going experience that starts the moment you step through the doors. There is a bar and snack service (no pick and mix here!) and when you are ready a concierge will show you to your luxury armchair seat. There is also an in-seat service where before the film, drinks and snacks are brought to you in your seat. Sounds great!

Visitors to Cooks Green Cottage always remark on the wealth of things to do yet also love the fact that the peaceful countryside can be enjoyed far away from the madding crowd.

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50 things to do in Cheltenham

Pittville Pump Rooms

Pittville Pump Rooms. Photo by James Phillips, licensed under CC BY 2.0

Here is a complete guide of 50 things to do in Cheltenham! This list of completely random places and events in Cheltenham (and within a mile or two) is split in to 5 parts and designed to whet your appetite to some of the splendid ways to pass the time while staying at Cooks Green Cottage. Note that not all attractions will be open at all times of the year, but there are very good tourist offices and information in the area that can give you specific details.

Cheltenham was an average sleepy English town until a flock of pigeons was seen regularly in a field in the area. The townsfolk discovered a spring in 1716, after which time it quickly evolved to be Great Britain’s most popular spa town. This respectable town with its magnificent Regency architecture is ideal for exploring on foot if you wish to take in the sights and imagine the wealthy tourists and residents of yesteryear strolling down the avenues.

Our Completely Random Guide of 50 Things to do in Cheltenham Part One

  1. Pitville Pump Room – This spa is somewhere you can still see the waters that made the town so famous. The pump room is a magnificent piece of architecture and well worth a visit.
  2. Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum – A visit to this wonderful gallery and museum will be an education and insight into the social history of this famous spa town.
  3. The Paint it Yourself Pottery CoThe Paint it Yourself Pottery Ceramic Cafe in Cheltenham is a fabulous idea for families especially on wet days and allows you to hand craft a personal souvenir of your visit.
  4. Sandford Parks – This wonderful lido is testament to a restoration committee that have preserved this outdoor heated swimming pool in true 1920’s splendour. With refreshment cafes and full bathing facilities, rain or shine this heated pool is the place to be for a leisurely splash. Paradise for kids, there are water slides and paddling pools.
  5. Leisure at Cheltenham – Leisure at Cheltenham is a marvellous leisure centre where you can indulge in many kinds of past times and sports. Facilities are top class and include three pools, racquet sports, athletics tracks, trampolines, coaching, gymnastics, and coaching. There is plenty of parking and free swimming for kids when accompanied by an adult.
  6. The Playmate Children’s Riding School – This BHS approved all weather riding establishment welcomes children from 2 years to 12 year for fun riding lessons, riding on the farm and show jumping. There is also a play area for outdoor fun.
  7. Woodlands Riding Stables – These stables are fully British Horse Society (BHS) approved and offer lessons in jumping and riding from 4 years plus hacks out through scenic countryside. There is an all weather school and cross country course.
  8. Cotswold Farm Park – This great all weather facility has an indoor play barn, self-propelled roller racers, and ride-on battery operated tractors while outside pedal tractors give little toddler farmers a turn at tractor driving.
  9. The Old New Inn Model Village – This fascinating model village is world renowned as one of the most accurate and intriguing. Not only can you view this wonderful model village in the garden of the inn, but there are children play areas too. You can also enjoy refreshments.
  10. Chedworth Roman Villa – This Roman Villa is without doubt one of the best sites for exploring what a Roman country house would have been like. It is well preserved and has plenty to see of historical value.
  11. Sudeley Castle – No list of things to do is complete without a visit to a castle and Sudeley is one of the best in the UK.
  12. Art in the Park – This annual event runs for four weeks during June and July and features different exhibitions by various artists. The format of the event turns up some very reasonably priced art.
  13. Imperial Gardens, The Promenade – Throughout the summer season, this large and traditional 8 acre English garden includes white, pink and blue gardens, with herbaceous borders, walled kitchen garden, rose terrace and orchard. There is a lovely stone dovecot, which is arrived at through a pathway of topiary birds. Ponds and greenhouses complete the picture.

Gustav Holst statue in Cheltenham. His Birthpalce Museum is located in Cheltenham.

Gustav Holst statue in Cheltenham. His Birthpalce Museum is located in Cheltenham. Photo by kennysarmy, licensed under CC BY 2.0


Continuing our journey through Cheltenham in Part Two of 50 things to do in Cheltenham guide, we have selected another eclectic mix that should provide a great day out for everyone. Whether you love the countryside, history, shopping, dining out, hot coffee and cool conversation you will have plenty of ideas to choose from. Cheltenham is blessed in its location as not only does the town offer numerous attractions and things to do, but also within a mile or so of the town, you can find more entries in our 50 things to do in Cheltenham guide. Whatever the weather, Cheltenham is the perfect spot to find something interesting to do.

Our Completely Random Guide of 50 Things to do in Cheltenham Part Two

  • 14. Rockcliffe House, Cheltenham – This wonderful sloping garden and was laid out by Graham Stuart Thomas in 1976. There is an acre and a half of pleasant walks, walled kitchen garden, two lakes, many ornamental trees and shrubs, and a Holy well. Note that the walled garden will not be open in 2013 sadly due to some reconstruction work
  • 15. Eyford House Country Show – Keep the date for future reference, 30th June. This friendly country show is perfect for all the family and there is nothing more English than a day at the local show watching glossy fat ponies, noble hunters and show jumpers compete for rosettes and prizes. The sideshows are great fun and this show offers crafts, stalls, fun fair rides, children’s entertainment, activities and more than likely candyfloss and toffee apples. There is a qualifying class for Crufts dog show, which will be fiercely contended by the pooches and plenty of fun in the dog show where the waggiest tail often reaps rewards winning a ribbon and bag of dog food!
  • 16. The Home of Gustav Holst – This famed son of Cheltenham was born in Clarence Street in 1874. The composer who wrote the iconic Planet Suite left a legacy of classical music that is revered and loved. His birthplace is now a museum that has Holst memorabilia and an exhibition of life “below stairs”.
  • 17. Cheltenham Race Course – This racecourse is famous for the iconic Cheltenham Gold Cup, the holy grail of jump racing. Cheltenham is swamped by visitors during the March meeting so if not a racegoer, this week may be best avoided to visit the town. However, if you fancy a day at the races, there are many other fixtures throughout the year at the course.
  • 18. Statue of Edward Wilson – The Municipal Offices in Cheltenham were originally private homes that were built in 1825. Opposite these buildings is a statue of Edward Wilson, a local Cheltenham man who was part of the ill-fated expedition to the South Pole led by Captain Scott. Stay and ponder awhile what it must have felt like to be an early though tragic pioneer.
  • 19. The Promenade, Cheltenham – The Promenade has a reputation as England’s most beautiful streets. It is a tree lined wide boulevard with imposing, magnificent architecture flanking each side of the street. A stroll down this street is a fabulous way to pass the time and with a stop for cappuccino and a snack, it is a great way to spend a morning.
  • 20. Hall of Fame Museum – Attached to Cheltenham Race course, this museum charts the history of jump racing and is ideal for racing enthusiasts and horse lovers. It is open on days when the racing is not.
  • 21. Walks With Hawks – This unique attraction allows you to take owls and other types of hawk out flying. If you have ever fancied a bird of prey perching on you hand then this is the place to visit. The birds are first class and their welfare is paramount.
  • 22. The Brewery – This interesting building conversion is a shopping centre with a variety of super restaurants and a great atmosphere. Apart from the many dining options, there is a fitness club and a play area for children. It is family friendly and a great rainy day option.
  • 23. The Screening Rooms – Going to the pictures does not get better! Also located at The Brewery, The Screening Rooms is a luxury film going experience that starts the moment you step through the doors. There is a bar and snack service (no pick and mix here!) and when you are ready a concierge will show you to your luxury armchair seat. There is also an in-seat service where before the film, drinks and snacks are brought to you in your seat. Sounds great!

Cheltenham's Famous Imperial Gardens

Imperial Gardens. Photo by Cheltenham Borough Council, licensed under CC BY 2.0

Visitors to Cooks Green Cottage always remark on the wealth of things to do yet also love the fact that the peaceful countryside can be enjoyed far away from the madding crowd.

When you are bored of Cheltenham then you are bored of life! That is the opinion we are forming anyway. There are so many things to do in Cheltenham that we think there is a good chance our 50 things to do in Cheltenham guide could end up with many more entries catalogued. A week at Cooks Green Cottage is unique for every visitor and many who stay with us enjoy an active break, a relaxing break, or a mixture of both. Whatever your preferences, be sure to enjoy one or two activities in Cheltenham – we can guarantee you will not be disappointed.

Cheltenham the town is an exquisite place characterised by beautiful Regency townhouses with painted stucco facades and wrought iron balconies line the streets. Manicured gardens and places to dine give an air of elegance to the overall ambience. Cheltenham also boasts a range of impressive boutiques, shops, and artisan food outlets making a stroll around town irresistible for shoppers. Cheltenham has been a frequent winner of the Britain in Bloom competition and has won the Prix European d’Excellence. In fact, in the early 18th century it was stated that Cheltenham is the garden town of England.

Our Completely Random Guide of 50 Things to do in Cheltenham Part Three

  • 24. Go Ape! High Wire Forest Adventure – Do you have an inner ape? Bring out the chimp inside with the three hours of fun-at this tree top adventure. There are 30ft rope ladders a huge Tarzan swing into a huge rope net and a zip wire through the forest of trees. Plenty of crawling through tunnels and high wire rope bridges complete the adventure.
  • 25. Imperial Gardens – found behind the Town Hall, these gardens were planted originally for the exclusive use of patrons of the Sherborne Spa. Where the Queens Hotel now stands is where the spa was constructed in 1818. There were winter gardens at one time, but the gardens of today were established after World War II. Around 25,000 bedding plants are utilised each year to create the wonderful floral displays. The park is also the venue for many cultural events.
  • 26. Sandford Gardens – Named for the sandy soil and ford crossing this lovely park is the hidden jewel in Cheltenham’s crown. The diminutive River Chelt flows through Sanford Park, which is full of ornamental ponds, water features, and fountains. Clipped topiary guards the park entrances and there is plenty of seating to stop at to eat a picnic lunch and gaze at the beauty of the flowers and plants.
  • 27. Farmers Market – This market takes place in the Long Gardens, Promenade on the second, and last Friday of every month 9am until 3pm. The market is a bustling, busy, and bright place offering locally grown and produced vegetables, preserves, meat, and other fresh produce from around the Cotswold area.
  • 28. Arts and Crafts market – This market features the best of local crafts and hand made items from local artisans. It is a very popular and attractive market with much to see and buy. Like the Farmer’s Market, it is also locate in Long Gardens, Promenade on one Saturday every month.
  • 29. Promenade Shopping – The Promenade is without doubt one of the finest shopping areas in England. From long established Cavendish House a short stroll takes you to the highly fashionable stores of LK Bennett, Coast, Gap and Russell and Bromley. Style emporiums Jaeger, Hobbs, Karen Millen, and Jigsaw are just some of the delightful shops waiting to be explored. Quality gift shops and accessory shops for jewellery books and makeup are present bringing such outlets as Space NK for hours of cosmetic browsing!
  • 30. Wishing Fish Clock – Created by author Kit Williams whose famous book is “Masquerade”, the clock has been designed to bring joy and delight to all those adults and children that gaze upon its action. Michael Harding a world famous clock maker from the local area built the working parts of the clock and structural parts.
  • 31. Parabola Arts Centre – This is the home of contemporary performance in the county. The programme of engaging and creative includes dance, theatre, dance, music, and family shows. The grade II listed art gallery and award winning theatre design make it a pleasure to visit.

Montpellier Arcade, Cheltenham

Montpellier Arcade, Cheltenham. Photo by Chris Beckett, licensed under CC BY 2.0

As our 50 things to do in Cheltenham guide continues, we decided to bring you an eclectic mix of places to visit with the emphasis on places to dine, shop, and enjoy a drink or two in traditional English pubs. Of course, while we think these places are amongst the best that Cheltenham may offer, you may prefer to compile your own list of best places to dine and enjoy a glass of wine and that is part of the fun of exploring a new area. All kinds of cuisine are catered for and all price ranges are covered. At certain times of the year such as the Cheltenham races, these places are likely to be very busy and full of high-spirited race goers. Never fear though because as the visiting Irish are wont to say, it will be mighty craic, and you may get a tip for the races as well.

Onwards then we go on our voyage of discovery starting with attraction number 32.

Our Completely Random Guide of 50 Things to do in Cheltenham Part Four

  • 32. John Higgs Tombstone – We had to include this oddity, which is hidden in the graveyard next to St Mary’s Church. It is a headstone of a man called John Higgs who died in 1825, occupation pig killer! His epitaph reads, “Here lies John Higgs,” it says. “For killing pigs was his delight / both morning, afternoon and night”. It will be a conversation piece for openers in the pub anyway.
  • 33. Pub Grub – There are many excellent places for authentic pub grub but we like The Royal Well Tavern, which serves a fusion of French and British cuisine with honest to goodness ingredients. Located at Royal Well Place, the restaurant offers a fixed price menu until 7pm, which offers terrific value. Sirloin steak and chips to duck rillettes on toast ensure all appetites are catered for.
  • 34. Touch of the Med in Cheltenham – Brosh is a restaurant with an Eastern Mediterranean menu offering a meze of babaganush (aubergine and garlic dip) hummus, falafel and carrot and coriander salad and authentic east meets west cuisine.
  • 35. Fine Dining – Try the Michelin 2 star Le Champignon Sauvage where the three-course menu is reasonably priced. They offer the freshest of ingredients sourced locally. The two star chef Everitt-Matthias handpicks wild fruit and garlic for the restaurant frequently.
  • 36. Montpellier Shopping – Get your boutique buzz in this area where there are several unique outlets in the quaint Courtyard Mall. From the couture of Caroline Charles to Pretty Special who sell organic baby wear there is a wealth of design on offer at purse friendly prices.
  • 37. Enjoy a Pint in a Classic Pub – The Royal Oak is a favourite with race goers before the starting pistol goes off on race day. The pub boasts an array of fine pub food and real ales and has a fascinating history dating back to the Domesday Book.
  • 38. A Glass of Wine – The trendy Montpellier Wine Bar attracts a stylish crowd who enjoy the wide selection of wine available. It is a great meeting spot for lunch and afternoon tea as well as an evening venue.
  • 39. Indian Curry – Almost England’s national dish these days, Cheltenham boasts many Indian restaurants, said to be a legacy of the officers who retired to Cheltenham from the Raj. For something different, enjoy a Kingfisher Indian beer with your meal at a restaurant like Hassans.
  • 40. Nightlife – Monty’s Brasserie is a popular cocktail bar and on the Promenade, the venue Subtone hosts four bars in a listed Regency townhouse. Located at Imperial Lane, the Boogie Lounge does music from the 70s to the 90s.
  • 41. Playhouse Theatre – Situated in an historic building opened in 1806, the theatre was once the Montpellier Baths, a highly fashionable venue where mineral baths were enjoyed. The venue now plays host to many first class amateur theatre productions and is worth a visit for the architecture and the entertainment.
  • 42. Everyman TheatreThe Everyman Theatre was opened in 1891 with a production starring Lily Langtry. The Everyman is in good company with the London Hippodrome, London Coliseum, and London Palladium having been designed by architect Frank Matcham,. Famous stage personalities, such as Charlie Chaplin, took to the boards at the theatre. Today the venue is in full swing with many events taking place during music and arts festivals as well as the regular theatrical repertoire.

Many of our visitors to Cooks Green Cottage enjoy an active holiday and some guests bring their beloved pets with them. We always welcome well-mannered dogs to our holiday home and in this final part of 50 things to do in Cheltenham; we will be introducing some of the walking trails that can be enjoyed in the town and around the outskirts. As ever, we will also be including some random places and activities of interest that visitors may enjoy.

Our Completely Random Guide of 50 Things to do in Cheltenham Part Five

  • 43. Lineover Wood and Ravensgate Hill – This delightful walk of around two hours begins at Little Herbert’s Cheltenham (OS map reference SO 98185 19635) and is ideal for walkers of all types. Outdoor lovers will be well catered for and lovers of abundant flora will enjoy the many varieties of flowers along the way through Lineover Wood. Topped off by wonderful views from Ravensgate Hill, this walk will leave you refreshed and ready for a delicious Cotswold pub lunch or supper.
  • 44. Cheltenham Circular Footpath – Cheltenham Borough Council is a keen supporter of active lifestyles. They have designed a number of walking routes for the enjoyment of residents and visitors. This clearly marked route is a circular walk around and about Cheltenham, which offers breath-taking views of the escarpment of the Cotswolds. This walking trail begins and terminates close to Pitville Park in the town and passes by the Dowedeswell reservoir and Cheltenham racecourse. The whole route is 25 miles in total so not for the faint hearted, but individual sections can be walked. Keen walkers will enjoy the challenge, rewarded with spectacular views.
  • 45. Well Walk Tea Room, Cheltenham – It does have the word walk in the name, that is our excuse but we just thought we would slot in a favourite place if all this walking is making you feel peckish! This exquisite old style tearoom in the town is a well-loved favourite with visitors and has a very affordable menu. A varied menu offering the traditional tearoom delights of scones, pastries and cakes along with more substantial fare of soups and quiches satisfy the heartiest appetite. The surroundings of antiques, decorative objects, and textiles offer a real ambience set in one of Cheltenham’s first shops.
  • Whittington Court

    Whittington Court. Photo by James Stringer, licensed under CC BY 2.0

    46. Whittington Court – Around five miles from Cheltenham stands Whittington Court a 16th century Cotswold stone manor house that stands on the footplate of a much earlier building. The house is surrounded by a moat and the interior is full of original features. There are Tudor fireplaces and wood panelling, carved staircases and ornamental over mantles featuring a coat of arms that was later used by George Washington to create the stars and stripes of the American flag. The building in this location goes back to the 14th century. You could always walk to the house from Cheltenham town, or alternatively enjoy a turn around the grounds here.
  • 47. Cotswold Farm Park – A day of activity for the children is available at the Cotswold Farm Park in Cheltenham. This countryside experience will delight adults and children with many different activities such as rides on mini tractors, a play barn full of fun rides, restaurant, rare breeds, walking, pony trekking and locally sourced food and produce.
  • 48. Inn at Fossebridge, nr Cheltenham – Here is a walk with a difference, not too far from Cheltenham there is a beautiful inn built of mellow stone where you can partake of an hours walk. This circular route takes you through the very pretty hamlet Fossebridge, the spot where Fosse Way drops down to the River Coln Cotswold valley, which is an area of outstanding natural beauty. After your walk relax and enjoy the atmosphere of this lovely inn. During the summer, there are four acres of garden where you can eat al fresco and even confine your stroll to a dander around the lake. In winter, welcoming log fires will take off the chill. An added bonus is this is a dog friendly place – perfect!
  • 49. Cheltenham Cycle Touring Club – This cycling club is an ideal contact for those visitors wanting to explore the Cheltenham area on two wheels. With plenty of cycle routes on offer for different levels, there are lunch rides, elevenses rides, which take in beautiful countryside with the emphasis on fun and activity with plenty of refreshment stops. A great way to see the countryside, the club can be contacted through their website.
  • 50. Guided Walk of Cheltenham – The Cheltenham Tourist Office is a great resource and has regular walking tours of Cheltenham led by a guide. This is an ideal introduction to the town for new visitors and then you can come back and see things that interest you at your leisure.

And that’s the end of our 50 things to do in Cheltenham guide.

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Cheltenham Cricket Festival

Cheltenham Cricket Festival

Cheltenham Cricket Festival. Photo by laurencehorton, licensed under CC BY 2.0

Is there anything more quintessentially English in the summer than cricket? From village green to professional stadium, the summer months are the perfect time to experience this game that has stood the test of time and been exported to so many corners of the globe. Whenever you need a taste of British summer time in Australia, the West Indies, India, Sri Lanka, South Africa, or Ireland to name just a few locations, then a cricket match will immediately transport you to the village green.

Fortunately, with Cheltenham Cricket Festival just round the corner in July, you need not travel so far especially if you are joining us at Cooks Green Cottage during the festival. While many of us think of cricket as a polite game that has a soundtrack of polite applause and the thwack of leather hitting willow, the reality of the professional games is one of fast-paced athletes with ultimate competitiveness in mind. However, the festival has something for everyone and is the oldest running celebration of cricket in the world. This famous sporting festival began in 1872 and runs on average for 12 days which is enough time to hone your own skills or satisfy your appetite for some really top class cricket.

Background

The Cheltenham Cricket Festival is still held at the original location in the grounds of Cheltenham College amongst the magnificent college buildings and perfectly manicured pitches.

The famous cricketer W. G. Grace is closely associated with the festival and played in the very first Cheltenham Cricket Festival match taking 12 wickets to help beat Surrey the opponents on the day. He was born in the Cotswold region in Bristol and was coached in cricket by his father. Still remembered as one of the greatest cricketers of all time, you will sense the spirit of W.G. at this historic event.

Gloucestershire have played at Cheltenham for more than 140 years and the idyllic grounds are the perfect backdrop for spectators and fan to see the stars of cricket and exciting action. Additional excitement is in the form of three Friends Life t20 matches. This is the very first time this cricket format has been played at the Cheltenham Cricket Festival. This particular format is all about non-stop action and big hits so a great event to be enjoyed by all the family.

With county cricket matches on offer with some of the finest teams in Great Britain, you can follow the daily action in the blissful surroundings of the festival enjoying some hopefully fine weather soaking up the atmosphere and cheering on your preferred cricket team.

Family Fun

Throughout the Festival, there are numerous events and attractions including free cricket coaching for children and a wide choice of hospitality outlets serving food and drinks in bars, restaurants and a Food Village.

Whether you are an enthusiastic cricket fan or are new to the game, the Cheltenham Cricket Festival is a spectacular event and a magnificent opportunity to see world-class sport in hopefully classic English summer weather (and we don’t mean rain!).

The Fixtures

Over the course of the Cheltenham Cricket Festival, there will be five major fixtures:

  • 1. Gloucestershire vs. Kent -Wednesday 10 to Saturday 13 July 2013. Gloucestershire play Kent in a four County Cricket Championship match.
  • 2. Gloucestershire vs. Warwickshire – Sunday 14 July 2013. Gloucestershire play in the 1-day Friends Life Twenty20 match against Warwickshire.
  • 3. Gloucestershire vs. Northamptonshire -Tuesday 16 July 2013. Gloucestershire play a one-day Friends Life Twenty20 match against Northamptonshire.
  • 4. Gloucestershire vs. Worcestershire Wednesday 17 to Saturday 20 July 2013. Gloucestershire play Worcestershire in a four-day County Cricket Championship match.
  • 5. Gloucestershire vs. Glamorgan -Sunday 21 July 2013. Gloucestershire play a one-day Friends Life Twenty20 match against Glamorgan.

With such a fabulous event coming up, book into Cooks Green Cottage – we will even provide the sun cream for the festival! With a hamper full of Gloucestershire’s finest tasty treats and some cool drinks, you will be set up for a few days viewing of one of the best traditional sporting events in the world.

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The Cheltenham Weather

Cheltenham in the snow

Cheltenham in the snow. Photo by Nelson Cunnington, licensed under CC BY 2.0

Whether you are visiting from abroad or resident in the UK, it is always useful to know what the weather will be like during the time of year you are visiting. While Cheltenham follows the trends for the overall British climate, local conditions can be different from the rest of the country and on the whole statistics for Cheltenham weather show the area is a good prospect for experiencing fine weather at most times of the year. Obviously, there are extremes of weather from time to time and in recent years; a trend towards warmer wetter weather has been experienced due to seasonal shifts in the Gulf Stream.

The beauty of life here at Cooks Green Cottage is that whatever the season and whatever the weather is doing, the warm welcome and cosy surroundings of our friendly holiday home is the perfect haven whatever the weather is doing. Cold snaps and dreary days are warmed by our wonderful open fire and modern heating system, while the balmy days of spring and summer can be enjoyed in our private garden where you can sit, barbeque, or soak up the sun.

The British climate is what is known as a maritime climate and there are four distinct seasons in the year. The Cheltenham weather is similar to the rest of the British Isles, but regional variations mean that the weather can be warmer, cooler, and wetter from place to place. Fortunately, paying a visit to Cheltenham in the summer you can expect the summer climate to be warm and inviting interspersed with the odd rainy spell that only lasts a few days. Cheltenham also experiences very pleasant weather in late spring with May being a particularly bright, fine month.

Spring

Spring occurs from March to May and is usually a calm, cool, but dry period with many sunny spells. As Spring progresses, the days grow longer and the sun grows higher in the sky, temperatures rise quite high in the days but cool again quickly at night. Very early spring may cause the Cheltenham weather to experience some snowfalls as winter ends and on the rare occasion; snow has fallen as late as May! The spring weather in Cheltenham is perfect for discovering the new growth after the winter, many gardens as well as the countryside will have a show of flowers, and trees will be blossom covered. Young animals will be playing in the fields and you will experience the renaissance of this wonderful part of England after the cold of winter.

Summer

Summer is the warmest season lasting from June to August. Long days with many hours of sunlight make holiday-making at our cottage heavenly. There may be the odd thunderstorm when temperatures soar and we often achieve high temperatures of 30 degrees from time to time although usually they are more modest in the low to mid twenties. Summer of course is time to lazily wander and explore the native countryside, enjoy festivals and attractions and sight-see until the late hours. What is more enjoyable than eating an al fresco meal after a day in the sun on holiday whether in our holiday cottage garden or one of the many wonderful eating places.

Autumn

Autumn begins in September and the air grows much chillier as the nights grow shorter. Days can be very warm still and as the season progresses through to November, nature goes to sleep once more, and the leaves drop from trees, the smell of wood smoke in the air and the Cheltenham weather becomes a little more unsettled with morning mists, fog appearing, and a lot of cloud, which often results in rain. There are wonderful crisp autumn days where a touch of ground frost leaves an azure sky and blazing sunshine. This type of Cheltenham weather is probably the most perfect for walking and outdoor pursuits. The later part of autumn in these parts can become stormy with sometimes extreme winds. If you are very lucky, you may experience an “Indian Summer” where temperatures are mild and balmy even at night giving a sense of nature becalmed until another Atlantic depression sweeps in.

Winter

The Cheltenham weather in the winter lasts from December to February. The season in general is cool, wet, and windy. This area of England does not have snow as a regular occurrence and in common with other parts of the UK, is often surprised when severe winter weather arrives. There have been one or two severe winter spells with severe snow and ice conditions but it is not the norm. Frost and fog are occurrences that are more common and even though grey days are usual, there are opportunities to experience glorious cold but sunny days

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