The Insider – 4 Amazing Facts You Didn’t Know About Cheltenham

By on August 2, 2016

You’ll probably know Cheltenham for its spas, regency-style buildings and other tourist attractions. But there are amazing stories behind these attractions which make the town even more special.

Alice in Wonderland

Did you know the Alice in Wonderland story was inspired in Cheltenham? Alice and her adventuresare certainly fiction. But there really was an Alice – Alice Liddell – who lived in Charlton Kings, a suburb of Cheltenham.

Alice’s grandfather had a friend, an author best known as Lewis Carroll (real name – Charles LutwidgeDogson). One day, Lewis took Alice, 10, and her sisters on a boat ride and entertained them with a story about an “Alice”who fell in a rabbit hole. Afterwards, Alice asked Lewis to write the story down for her, and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was born.

The looking glass in the story referenced an actual looking glass which is still found at the Liddell home at Cudnall Street, Charlton Kings. You can read the meaty details here.

Why not take your kids down there and show them how their favorite story came about?

Cheltenham travel destinations

Cheltenham Spa


In 1716, salt crystals were discovered in a meadow in Cheltenham. The discovery of the salt crystals was informed by pigeons that were always found pecking at the crystals.A spa had been born. Today, there are 3 pigeons on the Cheltenham Coat of Arms to reflect this bit of history.

In 1788, King George III arrived at the spa to treat his ailments, and regency houses were built. By the 1800s, thousands of visitors were coming to Cheltenham to treat their illnesses. And that’s how Cheltenham became Cheltenham Spa, one of the classiest health resorts in the UK.

The magnificent Pittville Pump Room spa was the last and largest spa to be built in Cheltenham. Today, you can visit any of the town’s exotic spas for a taste of the healing powers of Cheltenham’s spa waters.

Saint Mary’s Church

Saint Mary’s Church in Cheltenham dates back to the 8th century. You’ll be charmed by the church’s Victorian windows and Norman architecture.

Inside the church, there are many memorials, including the visit of King George III, which will make you feel palpably close to history.

The American flag in the church has a really heart-warming story behind it. During WWII, American soldiers came to the church to worship. Many American servicemen today, including descendants of the original worshippers still go there.

Beautiful Gardens

Cheltenham is brimming with green spaces to play, explore and enjoy. Montpellier Gardens boasts the best amenities, with tennis courts, a skate park, the Garden Café and Gardens Gallery. The space is surrounded by listed grade one buildings – including the Malmaison. Treat yourself to a stay in this Cheltenham hotel and enjoy your breakfast in the comfort of the Garden Room, overlooking the Gardens whatever the weather.

Film Locations

Butterflies, These Foolish Things, Vanity Fair, Pride and Prejudice (1995), The Whistle Blower, and Clarence are some of the well-known films and television productions that were shot in Cheltenham.

There are so many other interesting facts to learn about Cheltenham. Why not check things out for yourself?

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