Spotlight on: Cheltenham
Traditionally a spa town, Cheltenham sits on the edge of the beautiful Cotswolds, an area of outstanding natural beauty in the west of England. Surrounded by stunning scenery and countryside, it offers the perfect mix of town and country life. The Sunday Times referred to Cheltenham as the town that puts the ‘gloss’ into Gloucestershire, and voted it the best place to live in the South West in 2020 so it’s not just us who think it’s amazing.
Effortlessly combining Georgian architecture with a cool cosmopolitan vibe, Cheltenham has a distinctly relaxed feel about it, with stylish shopping, a thriving cafe culture and restaurants to rival some of the best in London.
Renowned for its elegant terraces, Cheltenham is made up of a number of different boroughs all of which have their own individual vibe.
Montpellier, for example, is defined by its large regency townhouses, fine dining restaurants, independent boutiques and art galleries. It’s also the area which hosts the various Cheltenham festivals throughout the year (more about those later), and has beautiful landscaped gardens through which to stroll and enjoy. This is an incredibly pretty area, especially in the full bloom of Spring and Summer.
The Suffolks & Tivoli have a more ‘boho’ feel, with an eclectic mix of shops, antiques and cafes. Famous for its ‘Suffolks Sunday Market’, a buzzy sociable event where local artisan producers set out their stalls along the street and sell their wares to passers by. Properties in these areas are typically Victorian and Georgian terraced houses.
The Promenade is where you’ll find the finest of Cheltenham’s regency architecture; grand, balconied terraced houses with beautiful details on their exterior elevations, most of them in the trademark honey coloured stone. Along the promenade there are a range of high-end stores such as The White Company, Space NK, Reiss and Hobbs, as well as some lovely independent boutiques where you can pick up some unusual pieces or just browse.
Cheltenham is known as one of the culture capitals of the UK, not least because of the Cheltenham Races but also because it offers such a vast array of music, food and literary festivals throughout the year….
The Cheltenham Jazz Festival is probably one of the most popular of these festivals, held annually over the May bank holiday weekend, it has an international reputation for bringing some of the very best artists together in a unique setting. 2022 celebrates 25 years of the Jazz Festival and will bring over 70 artists and musicians, including Jamie Cullum and Gregory Porter, who are both associate Creators.
Also home to the prestigious Cheltenham Gold Cup; this pinnacle of jump racing brings thousands of visitors to the town over the four day event. The buzz is undeniable; restaurants and bars set up marquees to host racegoers and live music is performed in various venues in the evenings. It really is a great atmosphere!
Other festivals across the year include The Cheltenham Literature Festival, Cheltenham Science Festival, Cheltenham Music Festival and The Cheltenham Food and Drink Festival. (Cheltenham Festivals)
Cheltenham offers a choice of very highly regarded schools, both state and independent, which, of course, makes it incredibly popular for families. Cheltenham Ladies College (Cheltenham Ladies’ College), Dean Close School (Dean Close School) and Cheltenham College (Cheltenham College) all have an international reputation and are a huge draw for families relocating from overseas.
The Brewery Quarter has been developed in recent years and now offers a one stop place to dine and play! It has an array of activities to suit all ages including a large Cineworld IMAX, ten-pin bowling and indoor crazy golf as well as some great family friendly dining options.
Just on the outskirts of the town, is Leisure@ (Leisure at Cheltenham ), Cheltenham’s leisure centre, which provides a wide choice of activities, holiday camps and toddler groups, as well as fitness facilities and a swimming pool.
In the summer months, the Lido is a fun place to take the kids and enjoy some open-air swimming with a picnic on a sunny day, and if you feel really brave you can even join in with the 4am Sunrise swim which takes place in June!
Cheltenham has great road and rail links, making travel to either the north or south west of England via the M5 very easy. Cheltenham Spa mainline station has direct services to Birmingham (45 mins), Bristol (30 mins) and London (2.15hrs).
In the post COVID world we now find ourselves in, as more of us are able to work from home we seem more prepared to accept a slightly longer commute than we once were in exchange for a better quality and pace of life. This new way of thinking is making Cheltenham a very popular town.
Since demand has been especially high over the past couple of years, Cheltenham’s property prices have continued on an upward trend and although the quality of properties coming onto the market is still exceptional, the volume of properties for sale or rent is relatively low. This, unfortunately, is making it tough for buyers.
If you’re buying a property, the average cost of a 4 bedroom detached house in Cheltenham is now around £720,000, which is an increase of around 16% on last year. 2/3 bed terraced or semi-detached house range between £310,000 and £415,000.
For rentals, the average cost of a 4 bedroom house stands at £1900 per month, and 2/3 bedroom properties range from £1,100 and £1600 per month.
If you are planning a move to Cheltenham and want to discuss the area in more detail, or would like support with your home and/or school search, we would especially love to hear from you. Our office is in the centre of town so it’s an area we know like the back of our hands!