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The Top-Five Things to Do in Cheltenham in 2013

Cheltenham Spa is one the most picturesque and well-loved towns in the UK.

Set in the county of Gloucestershire it is a stone’s throw from the Cotswolds, an area of outstanding natural beauty. The Cotswolds are easily explored by walking the Cotswold Way, while the town itself holds a number of exciting events and is home to some first-rate architecture and art.

Cheltenham has a rich history as a regency town, and the Promenade has some fine examples of period architecture alongside more modern art. The Promenade has been previously voted Britain’s favourite high street, and with its wide range of shops set amongst a wealth of history, it’s not difficult to see why. This winning combination ensures it a place on the top-five list.

The town’s varied cultural festival circuit, which runs from May to October, sees the town play host to some global stars of science, music and literature. Last year, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling and Benedict Cumberbatch, star of TV’s Sherlock and the new Hobbit films both appeared alongside hundreds of others.

This year, Peter Higgs, the physicist behind the theory which led to the construction of the CERN reactor in Switzerland, has already confirmed he will attend. The scale of the festivals and their historical success earn them a place on our list.

The next two places are filled with nods to Cheltenham’s rich history. The Pittville Pump Room is a Grade 1 listed building and a triumph of regency architecture with its stunning marble-work and magnificent dome.

It dates back to the 1800s and was a symbol of the increasing wealth of the town. The Gustav Holst Museum is a look back in time at Victorian Britain set in the very house where eminent composer Gustav Holst was born.

You can’t mention Cheltenham without mentioning the Cheltenham Festival. Held in March each year, the Festival is a global icon of the racing calendar.

Some of the biggest names in the sport have competed and won here – from A.P. McCoy to Kauto Star – and the annual event never fails to thrill. Get involved with this titan of the racing calendar – grab a race card at Ladbrokes and join the excitement.

For the international reach of this massive event, it has to go top of our list of things to do in Cheltenham in 2013.

Photo by welovethesky on Flickr

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