Cheltenham England is a spa town located at the edge of the River Chelt. Originally settled in 1226 as a market town, little of that history remains. It became famous as a spa and health town in 1716 with the discovery of mineral springs nearby. Even though the spas are still in use many tourists come to the area not for the healing mineral springs but for many of the other attractions this town has to offer.
One of the towns' biggest attractions is the Gold Cup Steeplechase. Considered to be the flagship of British Steeple Chasing the Gold Cup began in 1815. It didn't become a major national attraction until 1902 when the Gold Cup Steeplechase Festival was created. This annual festival is held each March. There are other horse racing activities throughout the year as well. Horse enthusiasts will find no shortage of activities in Cheltenham.
Cheltenham is also famous for its regency architecture. One of these architectural marvels is the Cheltenham Synagogue. This church is considered to be one of "the architecturally best non-Anglican ecclesiastical in Britain" according to Nikolaos Pevsner. The synagogue features Doric pilaster and pediment as well as a coffered saucer dome. Other than the architecture visitors can view some of the original furnishings. Visitors can see the original rattan upholstery on the pews and the prayer boards contain the prayer of Yom Kippur and for the monarchial welfare, with the name of Queen Victoria as the ruler.
Museum Lovers will find plenty of tour in Cheltenham. The Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum is located in the Old Regency style Cheltham Public library. Visitors to the free gallery can view furniture, textiles, crafts, and carvings as well as many important works of art.
Music Lovers can visit the Gustav Holst birthplace museum. Holst was an English composer best known for his orchestra "The Planets." The home that Holst was born in is now a museum dedicated to the composer. Visitors can see his piano, a working Victorian kitchen, and Edwardian nursery, and Regency drawing room. Anyone who is a fan of his work should make this stop.
The outdoor lover can enjoy the many gardens and parks that Cheltenham has to offer. The promenade is home to the colorful long gardens. This garden is laid out with ornamental bedding that change throughout the year. It is home to a monument to the Cheltenham born explorer Edward Wilson who lost his life during the Antarctic Expedition of 1910 to 1912. Also found here is Neptune's fountain.
Theatre lovers can attend the Everyman's theatre. Considered to be an architectural master piece, designed by Frank Matcham in 1891, the Everyman theatre is home to many operas, pantomimes, plays and musical events throughout the year.
For those interested in taking in all they can of this historic town they might want to enjoy a walking tour. On the guided walking tour you'll "get off the beaten path" and see many areas that are easily missed. View the superb architecture and terraces. You'll hear stories of the town and history as well making for an interesting aside to your stay.
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