Cheltenham is in the heart of the Cotswold, we are blessed with a host of nearby gardens and National Trust properties as well as a choice of two magnificent arboretums. In the summer we often have groups of horticulturists using us as a base to explore, mainly from America and Europe. Our most highly recommended are:
Holst Museum, Cheltenham
The Regency terrace house where Gustav Holst, composer of The Planets was born in 1874. The story of the man and his music is told alongside a fascinating display of personal belongings including his piano. The museum is also a fine period house showing the upstairs downstairs way of life in times past, including a working Victorian kitchen and laundry, elegant Regency drawing room and charming Edwardian nursery.
(just two minutes walk away)
Set against the stunning backdrop of the Cotswold Hills, Sudeley Castle oozes history. With royal connections spanning a millennia, it has played an important role in the turbulent times of England’s past. The Castle, once home to Queen Katherine Parr, the last and only surviving wife of King Henry VIII. Henry himself, Anne Boleyn, Lady Jane Grey, Queen Elizabeth 1 and Richard III have all been involved in Sudeley’s story. King Charles 1 found refuge here in the Civil War, while his nephew Prince Rupert established headquarters at the castle.
Jacobean Mansion. Stanway is an outstandingly beautiful example of a Jacobean manor house, owned by Tewkesbury Abbey for 800 years then for 500 years by the Tracy family and their descendants, the Earls of Wemyss. Stanway House is currently the home of Lord and Lady Neidpath.
Charles Wade embodied his family motto ‘Let nothing perish’, he spent his life and inherited wealth amassing an amazing collection of everyday and extraordinary objects from around the world. He bought objects because of their colour, craftsmanship and design, restoring the ancient golden-yellow Cotswold manor house to display them. Laid out theatrically showing Mr Wade’s wishes, the manor is packed to the rafters with 22,000 unusual objects – from tiny toys to full suits of Samurai armour. The manor is surrounded by a delightful terraced hillside garden designed in the Arts & Crafts style.
If you dare vist the haunted Woodchester Mansions
Woodchester Mansion is a 19th Century Victorian Gothic Masterpiece it was mysteriously abandoned mid-construction in 1873. Hidden in a secluded Cotswold valley, untouched by time and the modern world. The Grade 1 Listed Building has been saved from dereliction, but will never be completed!
Visitors walk through an incredible architectural exhibit in which the secrets of the medieval Gothic builders and masons are exposed. The carvings in Woodchester Mansion are among the finest in the world. The Woodchester Mansion Trust was founded to protect and to preserve this sensational building for future generations and delivers a unique on-site masonry and traditional building skills programme that is now being emulated across the UK.
The famous Tudor (1450-1616) stands in an early formal garden of magnificent yews at the heart of the estate, steeped in 900 years of history. Owlpen Manor and its cluster of holiday cottages form an exclusive and relaxing hideaway, surrounded by private woods and hills, with many miles of walks in the most beautiful part of the Cotswolds. The licensed Cyder House is an atmospheric medieval restaurant serving home-cooked gourmet meals for private parties with an emphasis on the fresh produce of the working farm and garden.
One of the most remarkable buildings in Britain and possibly the most outstanding example of Mediaeval architecture in the country.
Where other Castles were romanticised or ‘modernised’ by the Georgians or the Victorians, Berkeley quietly survived as it is: a Norman fortress with a surrounding curtain wall, built and enlarged through the mediaeval period up to date.
Edward Jenner Museum
Fascinating to learn about the inventor of the Smallpox vaccine. Visit this world important site. Learn about Dr Jenner’s life, his hopes, the setbacks and how he changed the world. Immerse yourself in this beautiful, country home and explore where history was made
An Elizabethan house. The earliest recorded owner of Chavenage was Princess Goda, the sister of Edward the Confessor, however there are records of Chavenage Green being the meeting place of the Hundred Court early in the ninth century.
Blenheim Palace was gifted from Queen Anne and a grateful nation to John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough after his famous victory at the Battle of Blenheim, 1704. Visit the gilded State Rooms that house one of the finest collections in Europe, the fascinating visitor experience, ‘Blenheim Palace: The Untold Story’. The Churchill Exhibition includes a room where Sir Winston Churchill was born 1874.
Situated outside the stunning Cotswold town of Painswick it is famous for its snowdrop display, the garden is a fascinating step back into a flamboyant and sensual period of English garden design. This gem was originally laid out in the early 18th century, is set in a hidden Cotswold valley with magnificent views of the surrounding countryside.
Dutch Water Garden
A rare and beautiful garden survival originally laid out between 1696 and 1705, the only restored Dutch style water garden in the country. Visitors can explore canals, hedges and working 17th-century vegetable plot and discover many old varieties of fruit trees.
(18 miles, an idyllic picnic spot)
Celebrated 20th-century garden in the north Cotswolds. Relax and unwind in one of the country’s greatest gardens and experience for yourself the completion of a quiet American’s English fantasy. You will never forget the exquisite garden rooms, each with its’ own unique character. Discover rare unusual plants, shrubs and trees and herbaceous borders from around the world. The garden changes with the seasons, from vibrant spring bulbs to autumn’s spectacular borders. Nestled in the Cotswolds with sweeping views across the Vale, a visit to Hidcote is inspirational.
One of the jewels in the crown of the Cotswolds and one of the largest private collections of trees in the country. It is tucked away on a south facing escarpment of the famous Cotswold Hills.
Westonbirt, The National Arboretum, located three miles from the Cotswolds market town of Tetbury.
Westonbirt is a historic, Victorian picturesque landscape. An internationally important tree and shrub collection. It is run by the Forestry Commission and supported by the Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum.
Great days out
Cheltenham Racecourse, Prestbury park
Just fifteen minutes walk away with the finest National Hunt racing in the country. The Course is Home to the Centaur, conference and exhibition centre and hosts many and varied shows and expo’s throughout the year.
(Less than a mile)
Golf at Cleeve Hill
Cleeve is a stunning links style municipal course with outstanding views into Wales and down as far as the Severn Bridges. A demanding and most rewarding course.
“It’s good sportsmanship to not pick up lost golf balls while they are still rolling.” – Mark Twain
Gloucester Cathedral Docks
One of the main sets for Harry Potter, This has been a place of Christian worship continuously for over 1300 years, since Osric, an Anglo-Saxon prince founded a religious house here in 678-9 AD. Little is known about the communities which worshipped here and the buildings they used over the next 400 years, although it is believed that Benedictine rule was introduced here early in the 11th century.
Cotswold Farm Park
The great family day out interacting with an superb collection of domestic rare breeds with the chance to learn more about farming and conservation.
WWT Slimbridge Wetland Centre
This huge area encompasses the grasslands to the banks of the Severn estuary and is a habitat for wildlife. The reserve provides shelter for flocks of swans, geese and ducks in the winter; it is an ideal breeding ground for waders in the summer. Slimbridge’s reserve is a great place to see birds from all over the world. In the summer take a Land Rover safari and visit one of our hides, you may see hobby, kingfishers, redshank, brown hares, wild otters, dragonflies, grass snakes and wild orchids. It’s home to up to 35,000 wildfowl in the winter. The reserve covers over 325 hectares, its wetlands have international protection and include a Site of Specific Scientific Interest (SSSI), are a Ramsar site and Special Protection Area.
Music, Comedy & Theatre
The Cheltenham Townhouse hotel is located within an easy walk to the Centaur, Cheltenham Town Hall, Everyman and Playhouse theatres, the Bacon and Tuckwell theatres are a cab ride. Ideally situated for concerts as well as festivals; guests are often surprised and delighted when a world renowned performer sits on the next table for breakfast the following morning.
Shakespeare Swan Theatre
Opened in 1986 is the home of the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-Upon-Avon is a forty minute drive.