Living in Cheltenham
Take a look at our essential guide to Cheltenham here. From living, working and studying to the area crime rates and the best places to eat, it’s all here!
Cheltenham is a spa town located in Gloucestershire on the western side on the borders of the Cotswolds. It takes just over an hour to reach Birmingham by car and around 2 hours 30 to London from Cheltenham.
The history of Cheltenham dates back over 1200 years ago when it was discovered it started as an Anglo – Saxon village. In the 18thC the spa waters were discovered and became one of England’s most famous spa towns. It doesn’t stop there though as Cheltenham is the most complete Regency town in Britain with a wonderful mix of traditional and contemporary architecture making this town unique!
According to the last census in 2014 it was estimated that there were 116,500 living in Cheltenham. The rise between 2004 and 2014 is equivalent to an annual growth of 0.61% which is lower than the England and Wales average of 0.80%.
Is Cheltenham Expensive?
Cheltenham is an expensive area to buy in with house prices averaging to more than over £100,000. This is due to a few reasons such as being the most complete Regency city in Britain, the famous festivals and its proximity to the Cotswolds.
According to Zoopla the current average value of a property in Cheltenham is £356,109 with the average price paid standing at £352,372. The value in house prices has slowly crept over the past year by 0.46% which is great news for people selling their homes.
Average Detached House Price in Cheltenham
The current average value for a detached house in Cheltenham is £549,025 which is more than 10,000 over the average price paid which currently stands at £533,958. Of 482 sales that took place in the last 12 months the value of a detached property in Cheltenham has risen by 0.94%, this may explain why Zoopla estimates the average value significantly more than the average price paid.
Average Semi-Detached House Price in Cheltenham
At the time of writing semi-detached houses in Cheltenham have risen by a whopping 3.59% in the past year with 528 sales! The average price paid is £330,937 which is £6,000 over the current Zoopla average value of £324,966.
Average Terraced House Price in Cheltenham
The average price of a terraced house has also healthily risen over the year with a 1.81% increase from 466 sales! The average price paid is almost £10,000 over Zoopla’s estimate of £285,932. This is great for sellers this year!
Average Flat Price in Cheltenham
It has been a great year for all of those selling their properties in Cheltenham this year as the value of flat prices have risen by a staggering 2.62% from 319 sales. The current average value is estimated at £216,978 on Zoopla but this time it is great for buyers in Cheltenham as the average price paid is £196,682.
The average price of a property to rent in Cheltenham is £1,020pcm; much like buying a house you will pay a premium price to rent a property in Cheltenham. According to home.co.uk to rent a one bedroom property in Cheltenham it costs around £711pcm. For a two bed you are looking at around £993pcm, three beds cost around an average of £1,261pcm and four bedroom properties cost slightly more at £1,639pcm. If you are looking to rent a 5 bedroom house in Cheltenham prices drastically increase to £2,235pcm.
Are you a student in Cheltenham? If so, you are looking at paying around £657pcm to rent a room in a larger house in Cheltenham on average!
Cheltenham’s house prices reflect the area. As a traditional spa town that is quintessentially English it is a popular place. Nestled on the edge of the Cotswold’s it provides residents with exclusive city life with the option to escape into country life nearby.
In saying that, it was reported that the people in Cheltenham had the lowest happiness levels across Gloucestershire with a rating of 7.2 out of 10 in 2017/18. The highest levels of happiness voted in Gloucestershire were in the Forest of Dean scoring 8 out of 10 which is just a 45 minute drive from Cheltenham.
We are optimistic for these levels to rise accordingly as Cheltenham is dubbed the ‘festival town’. With over 25 festivals a year there is something for everyone. The festivals include the world’s longest running literary festival and the most prestigious horse jumping festival with the grand final ‘the Gold Cup’ taking place in Cheltenham each year.
Is Cheltenham Safe?
According to police.co.uk the crime rate in Cheltenham was higher than average for the Gloucestershire force area just below Gloucester which was the highest for the area. Throughout the year ending in June 2019 Cheltenham did place lower than average of crimes committed across the UK with 72.73 crimes committed per 1,000 residents whereas the UK average stands at 85 crimes per 1,000.
Pittville is one of the most affluent areas to live in Cheltenham with Regency style housing. It is easy to see why as the area is dominated by Pittville Park which is a grade 2 listed historic park, gardens and lakes. In the park also sits the majestic Pump Room which is a grade 1 historical building. At the time of writing (February 2020) the cheapest property to buy on Zoopla is a 1 bed flat on Prestbury Road for £165,000. On the other end of the spectrum there is an 8 bedroom semi-detached house for sale on Rightmove located on Pittville Lawn for a whopping £2,600,000!
Battledown consists of Victorian and Edwardian properties in a hilly area close to the Cotswold’s. This area is close to lots of schools and nurseries making it a prime location for young families! On Zoopla the current lowest priced property is a 2 bed flat with the asking price of £139,995, the most expensive is a modern 6 bed detached property going for a huge £2,500,000.
Prestbury is further north than Pittville and Battledown, older thatched cottage style houses are found in this pretty little village. The cheapest of the three areas listed as a 1 bed flat is available in Prestbury for £110,000 and the most expensive is just shy of 1 million at £925,000 on Zoopla.
Travelling around and to Cheltenham is very accessible via a number of ways. Getting to Gloucester takes just over 15 minutes by car without traffic and just over an hour to reach Birmingham. To get to London from Cheltenham it is around 2 hours by car and by train.
Where is the Closest Airport to Cheltenham?
The biggest commercial airport closest to Cheltenham is Birmingham Airport. It takes around 1hr to 1hr 30 to reach Birmingham Airport from Cheltenham which is just over 50 miles on the A46 or just under 60 miles on the M5.
Is there a Train Station in Cheltenham?
There are two train stations in Cheltenham; the most central station is Cheltenham Spa which is around a mile away from the town centre. There is a also train station at Cheltenham Racecourse where a steam train runs from through to Broadway which offers stunning views of the Cotswold’s.
Buses in Cheltenham
There are plenty of buses running around Cheltenham that help beat the town centre traffic and there is also a park & ride option if you are visiting for the day and don’t want to pay car park fees.
There is a good mixture of public and private schools in Cheltenham. There are 35 primary schools, 12 secondary schools and 10 schools or colleges that provide further education for 16-18 year olds. Out of those schools there are an impressive 13 of them that achieved an Ofsted rating of ‘Outstanding’. Only three schools were below average according to Ofsted and many do not have Ofsted ratings at all as it is not applicable for their school.
Closest University to Cheltenham
The closest university to Cheltenham is the University of Gloucestershire. The university has four campuses with three based in Cheltenham and one in Gloucester.
‘Francis Close Hall’ has been dubbed ‘the Hogwarts’ campus and holds lectures for the students who are studying humanities, social sciences, education and art and design. ‘Oxstalls’ is the one based in Gloucester and is for students studying sports, leisure, performing arts, health and social and business. ‘Park’ campus is for all those studying media including computing, technology, design, fashion and advertising. Last but not least is the ‘Hardwick’ campus which is a hub of creativity for those studying fine art and photography. Hardwick Gallery is also on-site!
Living and Studying in Cheltenham
There are many halls of residence to choose from when studying in Cheltenham. There are four villages/ blocks these include: Pittville Student Village, Hardwick Halls, Park Villas and Park Challinor ranging from £126 to £202 a week!
There are three in Gloucester: Oxstalls Halls, Blackfriars and Ermin Hall, all ranging from £137 to £191 per week.
There are many places to dine and get merry in Cheltenham with places that suit every budget. Known for the festivals, Cheltenham has developed to cater for all tastes and experiences.
Top 3 Restaurants in Cheltenham
According to TripAdvisor these are the top three restaurants in Cheltenham:
Voted the top restaurant in Cheltenham for a reason as it has previously won Restaurant of the Year for England and is on the Michelin guide. They serve contemporary British menus with season produce in a relaxed setting. You can expect to feast on a 5-course dinner menu or a 9 course tasting menu so you get to experience as many of their dishes as possible!
Another multi-award winning restaurant in Cheltenham is KIBOUSUSHI, which serves Japanese ramen and sushi. It has been praised not only for the delicious food but the friendly staff also.
- East India Cafe
The principle of East India Cafe is to ‘serve tasty food with a piece of history with it.’ Not only do they serve excellent food but they also hold cookery master classes so you can bring the taste home with you!
Top 3 Pubs in Cheltenham
These are the top 3 most charming pubs in Cheltenham according to Cotswoldlife.co.uk.
- The Beehive
Located in Montpellier the pub serves local ales, traditional ciders and a variety of wines! The Beehive prides itself on a community feel and is open all year round with a roaring fire in the winter and two beer gardens in the summer.
- The Vine
With green glazed tiles and redbrick The Vine looks like an old London pub but inside it is far from it. The pub serves authentic Thai cuisine in a fun and relaxed atmosphere.
- Kemble Brewery Inn
A traditional pub with a pretty courtyard garden nestled at the back. This food serves good pub grub but it is all freshly cooked on the premises.
Top 3 Bars in Cheltenham
The top three bars in Cheltenham as voted by people on Google.
- Lily Gins
If you’re looking for an energetic fun evening then Lily Gins is the bar for you! They pride themselves on ‘creative drinks combined with an unashamedly fun experience.’ Lily Gins also offer master classes if you’re looking for a fun night out with a twist!
- Bar 50
A New York loft design style bar will have you relaxed and enjoying spirits, cocktails, wines and beers at this bar. We recommend this place with a group of friends as they regularly hold quiz nights, poker sessions and hold live music events!
- The Daffodil
Set inside a 1920s cinema this bar is great to visit to just admire the art deco features. Hollywood glamour is a theme throughout from the champagne bar to their innovative yet classic menu.
Cheltenham is the perfect spot for shopping as the Promenade was listed as one of the best shopping streets in the UK! There is a good mix of chain retail shops and unique independent sellers meaning you could spend all day roaming the goods on offer in the Regency buildings.
- The Bradley
The Georgian townhouse is situated in Montpellier which is in the heart of the Regency town. Fresh fruit, luxury linen, fluffy bathrobes and an exceptional breakfast will have you relaxing in luxury at the Bradley. Prices start from £111 for double room and breakfast on Booking.com.
- Jurys Inn
The Jurys Inn is a fantastic budget hotel with a health and leisure club that includes a heated indoor pool, fully equipped gym and 2 tennis courts. A full English breakfast is also included to set you up for the day. Prices start from £89 a night for a double room including breakfast, found on Booking.com.
- DoubleTree by Hilton
With any Hilton hotel you can expect high standards and a clean room. This Hilton hotel is located in a Georgian manor house that overlooks the landscaped gardens, lake and golf course. Prices for a double room start from £90 including breakfast, also found on Booking.com.
Is Cheltenham Worth Visiting?
If the above hasn’t convinced you to take the take a look below at the top 10 things to do in Cheltenham!
These are the top rated things to do in Cheltenham according to TripAdvisor.
- Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway
- Pittville Park
- Walks with Hawks
- Montpellier District
- Cheltenham Racecourse
- Brennen & Brown Distillery
- Everyman Theatre
- Cotswold Farm Park
- The Wilson, Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum
- Sanford Parks Lido
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