We are very proud of our heritage here at Cotswold Collections! Starting over 25 years ago in Cheltenham we wanted to learn more about our lovely spa town that is quaintly nestled in the beautiful Cotswold countryside.

Here are 11 facts about the beautiful place we call home…

  1. Cheltenham began as an Anglo-Saxon settlement.

  2. It was granted a market charter in 1226 enabling the growth of the town.

  3. By 1850 Cheltenham had become the largest town in the county of Gloucestershire.
  4. The town’s popularity was boosted in 1788 by King George III who visited with his family, lodging at Bayshill and could often be seen exploring the municipality with his family.

  5. Gloucestershire has many literary ties including with novelist and poet Laurie Lee being born in Slad and his book ‘Cider with Rosie’ is based on the area. However, it is also believed Jane Austen was among the early visitors to Cheltenham.

  6. Pittville Pump Room, the work of Joseph Pitt, was built in 1830 and the spa waters (for which the town is famous) can still be enjoyed here today.
  7. In the 19th century, the fashionable shopping district (which in more recent years has become synonymous with the town) began development including the landmark promenade.  
  8. The Ladies’ College opened in 1854 and has been attended by notable figures such as the actress Dame Kristin Ann Scott Thomas and artist Bridget Riley.
  9. The first race meeting was held here in 1815 on Nottingham Hill and moved to Cleeve Hill three years later. Although, not everyone agreed with the sporting event and in 1829, a local priest preached against the evils of horseracing and the grandstand was burned to the ground. Consequently, in 1831, the racecourse was moved to its location today on the outskirts of the town.Read more about the Cheltenham races here and also see our race-day ready outfit inspiration here.

  10. In 1935, the steam-driven Cheltenham Spa Express – also called ‘The Cheltenham Flyer’ was the fastest train in the world, breaking records by achieving a speed of 92.3 mph and it was this train that regularly ran from Cheltenham to Paddington Station in London.
  11. The town is known for its association with British intelligence, as the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) is based here.

Fancy a weekend away in Cheltenham? Take a look at our sight-seeing recommendations >>
Which is your favourite place in Cheltenham? Let us know in the comments..