Cheltenham is a large town in Southwestern England, just outside of the picturesque Cotswolds. It became known as a spa town after a mineral spring was discovered in 1716 and people would flock to "take the waters". Even though the spas are no longer used (in the traditional sense), several festivals and events bring thousands to Cheltenham every year. The most popular of which is the Cheltenham Festival - a 4-day horse racing event. The Festival can bring in tens of thousands of visitors and the grand prize for the winner of the "Gold Cup"? A cool £475,000 or about $737,000 in US dollars. Other fesitvals abound for music, literature, and science.
Cheltenham is also well known for its Regency style architecture and most of its buildings have been meticulously preserved and restored. There is a sense of elegance as you walk through the streets.
Shopping is not a problem here, either! The Promenade in the center of town is home to Cavendish House, Cheltenham's oldest department store. Other places such as The Regent Arcade Shopping Center or Beechwood Shopping Center are large malls featuring various national and international stores. Along High Street you will find Marks and Spencer, WH Smith, Boots, etc. Restaurants are plentiful whether you're looking for Michelin star cuisine (Le Champignon Sauvage on Suffolk Road) or cheap pub grub.