Cheltenham – stylish, historic, and a favourite with A-listers

Perched on the edge of the Cotswolds, the pretty spa town is emerging as a trendier alternative to the historic tourist magnet of Bath.

Originally a medieval market town, Cheltenham began to flourish in the 18th Century as a health resort for wealthy visitors. Legend has it that the health-boosting properties of the town’s water were first discovered when pigeons were spotted pecking at the salty deposits which had formed around a spring. The spring, near what is now the world-famous Cheltenham Ladies’ College, made the town’s fortune, as a result, the pigeons are now part of the civic coat of arms.

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