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Cheltenham is a classical regency Spa town, with wide tree lined avenues, fine regency buildings and many beautiful parks.
An Anglo-Saxon settlement, Cheltenham was the site of a monastery as early as 803. It first became famous in 1716 when a spring with healing waters was discovered on the site of what is now The Ladies College, a visit of King George III in 1788 confirmed it's position as a fashionable Spa town.
Between 1780 and 1840 Cheltenham developed rapidly to becomethe most complete Regency town in England. Although subsequently it's popularity waned, it continued to prosper due to the growth of fine craftsmen and this still remains today in the form of high-tech companies.
The celebrated parks include Pittville park featuring the magnificent Pump Room, Sandford Park with the River Chelt, Imperial Gardens planted out in 1818 and containing magnificent displays of up to 25,000 bedding plants and Montpellier Gardens with it's tree lined broadwalk.
The High Street is renowned for shopping with style and features two fashionable arcades, The Regent Arcade and the Beechwood Centre. Other attractions worth noting are the Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum, the Holst Birthplace Museum and the impressive Cheltenham College, which was originally a gentlemans college but is now mixed.There is also a separate Ladies College.
Cheltenham is located on the A40 west of Oxford, and is well positioned for touring the Cotswolds including Broadway and Bourton-on-the-Water, both of which are featured elsewhere on this site.