A view of Montpelier the chic shopping area in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

Cheltenham, The Festival Town: Read our Ultimate Guide to What’s on in 2020

Judie Cutting  - Founder and Creative Director 

Guinea London is a regular at Cheltenham Races, and over the years has developed a lot of love for all that this fabulous Regency town has to offer. So, it’s time for us to share all our favourite places and things to do. 

For a great British staycation or minibreak, this Cotswold town is a perfect spot. With its historic and vibrant town centre, beautiful surrounding countryside, superb dining and an amazing calendar of diverse festivals, then Cheltenham has something for everyone.

Cheltenham, an historic Spa town hosts 25 festivals a year, (for a full list of events click HERE). The Guinea London favourites include:

The Cheltenham Festival and Gold Cup: Held every March, at Cheltenham’s famous racecourse, whether you are a regular or a first-time racegoer, everyone is welcome at these four extraordinary days of racing which run from 10th - 13th March 2020. Along with world class jump racing, there is superb hospitality, entertainment and shopping. For the ultimate elegant and chic race fashions, check out Guinea London in the Shopping Village at Stand number 2. If you’ve always wanted to visit the Emerald Isle, then step into the racecourse’s Guinness Village where live Irish bands, Irish beers and food will make sure you’ve got a smile on your face however your horses run!

The Cheltenham Food & Drink Festival : In its 12th year, and held from 19 - 21 June, this is a culinary top foodie event that shouldn’t be missed. With master classes along with entertainment and leading fabulous foodie exhibitors, this is definitely a fun family foodie weekend! More info HERE

The Cheltenham Literature Festival : Held from the 2-11 October, and now in its 71st year, the Cheltenham Literature Festival is the longest running literary event in the world. And all of this in the perfect setting of vibrant and historic Cheltenham! There is a whole host of family entertainment, plus the chance to hear superstar speakers and commentators, and of course your favourite authors and characters. Information and tickets available HERE

Where to Stay : Due to its position on the edge of the glorious Cotswolds, a weekend in Cheltenham has a wide range of places to base yourself that will suit all budgets. If you want to stay just outside town in the tranquil Gloucester countryside, then our top pick is the Hatherley Manor and Spa situated 6 miles outside the town centre. 

If you prefer to be in the thick of it, and within walking distance of all the town has to offer, then we love the Regency grandeur of the Bradley Hotel in the trendy area of Montpelier. Set in a stunning Regency townhouse with sumptuous rooms, the Bradley Hotel has wonderfully comfortable beds, and the most delicious breakfast in town!

Another option is Beaumont House guesthouse, which is a wonderful spot to stay. In walking distance from all Cheltenham’s amenities, and a real home from home, it has handy parking, and beautiful gardens where you can enjoy a glass of wine when the sun is shining. This guesthouse is a real budget pleaser if you are looking for luxury at an affordable price.

Shopping : Cheltenham has an abundance of thriving independent shops and boutiques. The promenade is listed as one of the best shopping streets in England, whilst the Montpellier Arcade is the oldest in the country. Check out The Suffolk Anthology, a superb independent bookshop, whilst Vinegar Hill is the place for gorgeous homewares and accessories. 

John Lewis opened in 2018 and the store is integral in supporting, showcasing and introducing independent brands. Guinea London is doing a pop up in John Lewis’ Cheltenham store from 3rd – 24th February with the opportunity to buy coats and jackets in its exclusive, limited edition British woven wools. The Cheltenham edit is also available on our website HERE

Guinea London Foodie Favourites : There are so many fabulous dining spots catering to every culinary style and flavour. With such varied choice whether you’re after eastern street food, contemporary cuisine, traditional British fair or Michelin starred fine dining.  For a one off or special occasion, Le Champignon Sauvage offers stunningly presented, locally sourced food, and provides the most thrilling Michelin starred dining experience. 

Koj  is a firm favourite when in Cheltenham. Its tasty and fragrant Japanese food goes way beyond any standard sushi offerings. With menus suitable for vegans, gluten free and a superb children’s menu. We love the Turkey Katsu Buns and the excellent cocktails which can be enjoyed upstairs – the Cherry Blossom is to die for! The fab fun atmosphere, super service, and its excellent price point means it is an experience that can be enjoyed by everyone.

For excellent pizza outside of Milan or New York, then Fat Toni’s is the best! The pizzas are full of flavour with vegan, lactose free and gluten free options, La Puttanesca is the number one choice when we’re in Cheltenham. As well as eating in the restaurant there's a takeaway service, if you want a quiet night in.

With a constantly changing festival schedule throughout the year, Cheltenham is a the perfect weekend getaway whatever the season – so go ahead and book your visit, you will not be disappointed!