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Cheltenham

Trip Planner Europe  /  UK  /  England  /  Cotswolds  /  Cheltenham
(3.9/5 based on 3,800+ reviews for top 30 attractions)
Things to do: nightlife, spas, parks
Cheltenham, also known as Cheltenham Spa, is a large spa town and borough in Gloucestershire, England, located on the edge of the Cotswolds.Cheltenham is the home of the flagship race of British steeplechase horse racing. The Gold Cup is the main event of the Cheltenham Festival, held every March.The town also hosts several festivals of culture, often featuring nationally and internationally famous contributors and attendees. The list of festivals includes: Greenbelt, the Cheltenham Literature Festival, the Cheltenham Jazz Festival, the Cheltenham Science Festival, the Cheltenham Music Festival and the Cheltenham Food & Drink Festival.HistoryCheltenham stands on the small River Chelt, which rises nearby at Dowdeswell and runs through the town on its way to the Severn. It was first recorded in 803, as Celtan hom; the meaning has not been resolved with certainty, but latest scholarship concludes that the first element preserves a pre-British noun cilta, 'steep hill', here referring to the Cotswold scarp; the second element may mean 'settlement' or 'water-meadow'. As a royal manor, it features in the earliest pages of the Gloucestershire section of Domesday Book where it is named Chintenha. The town was awarded a market charter in 1226.
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