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Cheltenham, also known as Cheltenham Spa, is a large spa town and borough in Gloucestershire, England, located on the edge of the Cotswolds. It is the home of the flagship race of British steeplechase horse racing, the Gold Cup, the main event of the Cheltenham Festival held every March. The town hosts several festivals of culture often featuring nationally and internationally famous contributors and attendees, including Greenbelt, Cheltenham Literature Festival, Cheltenham Jazz Festival, Cheltenham Science Festival, Cheltenham Music Festival and Cheltenham Food & Drink Festival
This place takes its name from the small river Chelt, which rises nearby at Dowdeswell and runs through the town on its way to the Severn. The town was awarded a market charter in 1226. Though little remains of its pre-spa history, Cheltenham has been a health and holiday spa town resort since the discovery of mineral springs there in 1716. The visit of George III with the queen and royal princesses in 1788 set a stamp of fashion on the spa. The spa waters continue to be taken recreationally at Pittville Pump Room, built for this purpose and completed in 1830; it is a centrepiece of Pittville, a planned extension of Cheltenham to the north, undertaken by Joseph Pitt, who laid the first stone 4 May 1825. Cheltenham's success as a spa town is reflected in the railway station, which is still called Cheltenham Spa, and spa facilities in other towns that were inspired by or named after it.
Horse racing began in Cheltenham in 1815, and became a major national attraction after the establishment of the Festival in 1902. Whilst the volume of tourists visiting the spa has declined, the racecourse attracts tens of thousands of visitors to each day of the festival each year, with such large numbers of visitors having a significant impact on the town.
On 1 April 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, the borough of Cheltenham was merged with Charlton Kings urban district to form the non-metropolitan district of Cheltenham. Four parishes—Swindon Village, Up Hatherley, Leckhampton and Prestbury—were added to the borough of Cheltenham from the borough of Tewkesbury in 1991.
The first British jet aircraft prototype, the Gloster E.28/39, was manufactured in Cheltenham. Manufacturing started in Hucclecote near Gloucester, but was later moved to Regent Motors in Cheltenham High St (now the Regent Arcade), considered a location safer from bombing.
Sports & Leisure
Cheltenham Racecourse, in the nearby village of Prestbury, is the home of National Hunt, or jumps, racing in the UK. Meetings are hosted from October to April. The highlight of the season is the Cheltenham Gold Cup, which is normally held in the middle of March, during the Cheltenham Festival.
The local football teams are Cheltenham Town F.C. who play in League Two, Bishop's Cleeve who play in the Southern League South & West Division, Cheltenham Saracens F.C. in the Hellenic League Premier and Cheltenham Civil Service F.C. who play in the local Gloucester Northern Senior League, and Falcons AFC who play in the Cheltenham 1st & 3rd Division.
Amateur rugby union clubs include Cheltenham R.F.C., Cheltenham Saracens R.F.C., Cheltenham North R.F.C., Old Patesians R.F.C. and Cheltenham Civil Service RFC.
In rugby league university side Gloucestershire All Golds were admitted into the semi-professional Championship 1. The Cheltenham Rugby Festival is a rugby league nines event held in May.
The town has one golf course, Lilley Brook, in Charlton Kings.
Cheltenham has one of the largest croquet clubs in the country, and is home to the headquarters of the national body of the sport, the Croquet Association. The East Glos tennis, squash and women's hockey club, which was founded in 1885, is also located in the town.
Sandford Parks Lido is one of the largest outdoor pools in England. There is a 50 m (164 ft) main pool, a children's pool and paddling pool, set in landscaped gardens.
If you are looking for accommodation in Cheltenham visit the award winning bed and breakfast , The Battledown. www.thebattledown.co.uk
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