The Historic Charm of Cheltenham
Cheltenham is considered to be the cultural centre of the beautiful Cotswolds area. Originally designed in the 18th century as a hedonistic refuge for wealthy visitors, Cheltenham has maintained its historical charm while also modernising into a vibrant hub of metropolitan culture. Explore the intriguing museums, relax in the award winning gardens or simply soak in the convivial atmosphere of the busting shopping district; however you choose to spend your sojourn, Cheltenham is guaranteed to pleasure and delight.
The Gorgeous Grounds of Sudeley Caste Gardens
Before immersing yourself in the cultural excitement of Cheltenham's city centre, begin your day on the city's outskirts with a visit to the Sudeley Castle Gardens, nestled into a picturesque pocket near the historic town of Winchcombe. The verdant expanses of greenery have recently been lovingly restored to reflect the castle's fascinating past, and feature a kaleidoscopic array of blooming beauty throughout the year. Wander the gardens to discover imaginative topiary, lush labyrinths and fabulous fountains reminiscent of Alice and Wonderland. Tours of the castle reveal the resident family's turbulent and tantalising past, and a visit to the owlery will allow visitors the opportunity to get up close and personal with beautiful birds of prey.
Next, explore the cultural and historic heart of Cheltenham by marvelling at the classical splendour of The Neptune Fountain. Based upon the design of the Trevi Fountain in Rome, the Neptune Fountain and feature a breathtakingly beautiful myriad of intricately carved soldiers and angels.Stroll through the famous Promenade to enjoy the prismatic colours ornamental bedding plants, stopping beneath towering chestnut trees to admire commemorative statues and the war memorial. Wander the centre, marvelling at the city's handsome Regency buildings before visiting the traditional Swan Inn for a meal to delight both palate and pocket; sample the ploughman's lunch of thick and flavoursome cured ham, robust cheddar, sweet pickles and crunchy gherkins with a pint of locally brewed ale for an indulgent lunch time treat.
Float Upon Tranquil Waters
As the afternoon sun begins to descend, head to Pittville Park for a gentle stroll and a cup of aromatic English tea in the café. The tranquil Boating Lake proves the perfect place to hire a quaint rowing boat and flounder upon the water for an hour, before taking in an exciting exhibition at the recently renovated Wilson Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum. After sunset, submerge your senses in the delicious aromas and flavours of Vanilla Restaurant. The critically acclaimed restaurant has been regularly recommended by the Michelin guide for it's unpretentious, locally sourced cuisine and inviting ambience. Begin your magnificent meal with the smoked haddock fishcakes and wilted baby chards, continuing with delicately poached salmon and ending with whiskey and honey gravadlax and a glass of robust red wine.