Spotlight on Cheltenham
In 2020, Cheltenham was voted ‘the best place to live in the South West’ by The Sunday Times, with education, culture and connectivity highlighted as its best attributes. It’s easy to see why – hosting over thirty significant festivals a year including the Cheltenham Literature Festival and The Cheltenham Music Festival, an exciting foodie destination with the Michelin starred Le Champignon Sauvage as one of the many outstanding dining options, as well as a number of great school options – Cheltenham is a fantastic place to live or have on your doorstep.
Why we love it:
Easy train links from Cheltenham Spa mean that you can be in London Paddington in less than two hours. By car, it’s about 2½ hours to the capital. Rail links to the rest of the country are excellent: you can be in Bristol in 40min, Birmingham in 50min and Manchester in 2hr 20min. The town also has good cycle paths connections to get around easily.
The other shining attraction is the schools in both the independent and state sectors. Cheltenham Ladies’ College came 37th in The Sunday Times Parent Power guide’s independent secondary school league table, and Pate’s Grammar was rated the best state secondary in the southwest. Balcarras, two miles from the town centre in Charlton Kings, is the only comprehensive to make the top 20 state schools in the region.
Easy to reach countryside
Cheltenham has the picturesque Cotswolds right on it’s doorstep, so for popular walks and cycles, or just to go for a cosy pub lunch – you can very quickly find yourself in the midst of the honey coloured architectural gems. Winchcombe is a popular town less than 10 miles away – traditionally famous as a centre for walkers, Winchcombe has a wonderful timeless quality about it, with Cotswold stone cottages standing side by side with distinctive black and white half-timbered buildings. Independent shops fill the town, you’re spoilt for choice with clothing boutiques, interiors and antiques, delis and traditional English village shops. It’s easy to while away a day getting lost in the narrow alleyways with the dreamy shops and galleries.
The shopping is good, too, with a John Lewis store, lots of smart national chains as well as independents clustered around Montpellier — Cheltenham’s answer to Notting Hill. On the rare occasions when there isn’t a festival on, culture is provided by the Everyman Theatre and the Wilson Art Gallery.