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Top 10 Places to Stay for the Cheltenham Literary Festival

by Dinah Hatch

Top 10 Places to Stay for the Cheltenham Literary Festival

Fancy hearing what Ian Rankin has to say about his Rebus novels? Or maybe listening in on journalist Emma Freud chatting with actor Bill Nighy? October (6th - 15th) means Cheltenham Literary Festival time – and we’ve got ten lovely little accommodation suggestions in this Regency hotspot…


Showing below are all 10 records in "Top 10 Places to Stay for the Cheltenham Literary Festival"

The Cheltenham Townhouse (Hotel)

12-14 Pittville Lawn, Cheltenham

The Cheltenham Townhouse, 12-14 Pittville Lawn, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

Within easy walking distance of the town centre on its northern edge, this cream white Georgian Townhouse is typically boutique - its 21 bedrooms and five studio apartments much sought after during the festival. Devotees cite sipping gin and tonics on the sun deck in summer (you never know, you might get some October sun) as one of their favourite things about this place – with the scrumptious breakfasts also much appreciated. Family rooms, with a king size bed and two singles, are very popular as are the luxury rooms with their own walk-in wardrobes.

Hotel du Vin - Cheltenham (Hotel)

Parabola Road, Cheltenham

Hotel du Vin - Cheltenham, Parabola Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

Located in the arty, rather chic Montpelier district of the town, the Hotel du Vin does not disappoint. All the bohemian little touches the chain’s admirers have come to expect are there in spades, from the showpiece spiral staircase that dominates the building to the stunning wine glass chandeliers. You’re only a best-seller’s throw from all the festival action (this year the hotel is actually hosting some late night events), and guests are also close to some of the chicest restaurants in town. Think classy, stylish bed linens, great service and period charm agogo. You may even bump into a few of the festivals acts – keep your eyes peeled.

The Greenway Hotel & Spa, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

Oh, oh! Four poster bed with swagged curtains alert! Yes, if you are after luxury fabrics, beautiful lamps and comfy armchairs in velvets and silks by the fire, look no further than this country house hotel. Nestled in the western fringes of the Cotswolds, close to stunning Crickley Hill, this 400-year-old manor house is the sort of place that should have featured in Four Weddings and a Funeral and we wouldn’t be half-surprised if you spotted the Cotswold set (Kate Moss, Clarkson, Lily Allen) lurking in the superb Marcus McGuinness restaurant. Rooms are all exposed beams, feature wallpaper and horse portraits – all beautifully higgledy -piggledy in situation, randomly dotted along warren-like corridors. A delight!

Clapton Manor (Bed & Breakfast)

Clapton-on-the-Hill, Bourton-on-the-Water, Cheltenham

Clapton Manor, Clapton-on-the-Hill, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

Check into this 16th century Tudor Cotswold stone manor house ensconced in gorgeous gardens and it may be hard to drag yourself out to the festival. With stunning views across some of the finest English countryside you’ll encounter, this little gem is family owned and it shows – from the welcome tea and cake to the excellent local advice owners James and Karin dispense. Do not, on any account, miss breakfast at Clapton – the homemade bread and fruit compotes are made on site, the eggs are fresh from the henhouse and the sausages from Gloucester Old Spot pigs, reared next door.

Crossways Guest House (Bed & Breakfast)

57 Bath Road, Cheltenham

Crossways Guest House, 57 Bath Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

Right in the beating heart of Cheltenham, this fabulous Regency guesthouse could not be more convenient for the festival. Rooms are cosy, bang-up-to-date in décor (but with period twists) and smart as news pins – but be quick, there are only six of them! Owners Lyndsay and Mark spoil guests rotten, with great attention to detail in every room. A full vegetarian breakfast is on offer too – a rarity in B&Bs. Top marks too for the no-noise factor – despite its location, guests always remark on what a good night’s sleep they get. Forgot your reading glasses? Just ask reception, where they keep spares. I know, that’s real service.

Cotswold Grange Hotel (Hotel)

Pittville Circus Road, Cheltenham

Cotswold Grange Hotel, Pittville Circus Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

Sitting between the racecourse and the town centre on a quiet tree-lined avenue, the elegant 19th century Cotswold Grange has nailed it for style. Huge windows, high ceilings with Farrow and Ball hues contrasted with icing-sugar white coving, wooden floors, gorgeous rugs and chic lighting make the public spaces are a real treat while the bedrooms, in browns, greens and creams, feel fresh and modern with a lovely tea tray and La Sultane de Saba toiletries in the bathrooms. Don’t forget to book in for dinner here. Chef Tomer Ron offers up unfussy Modern British menus, with locally-sourced ingredients key to each dish.

Aylworth Manor (Bed & Breakfast)

Aylworth, Cheltenham

Aylworth Manor, Aylworth, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

From the Willow pattern china on the breakfast table to the shiny brass handles on the mahogany dressing tables, Aylworth is true country house B&B. Sitting amidst glorious countryside, wildflowers nodding as your crunch down the track to the hotel, this is luxury living. The current owners have carefully restored this century-old property with great panache without losing any of its authenticity. Its 12 miles from Cheltenham and four from stunning Bourton-on-the-Water but the drive from its valley base to your destination is delightful. Choose from the Walnut, Hornbeam, Chestnut or Ash rooms – all are huge, spotless, gorgeously furnished and deeply cosy.

Cotswold Guest House (Bed & Breakfast)

Manor Cottage, Bagendon, Cirencester

Cotswold Guest House, Manor Cottage, Cirencester, Gloucestershire

Need a bit of space while you’re in town? Well then we strongly advise you to book up this self-catering gem in the grounds of Manor Cottage, set over two floors with breath-taking rural views beyond the rose-filled beds. This timber-framed house (the kids will love the vaulted attic space) is all about light and space and the owners have dotted it with lovely old oak furniture and books to curl up with. Although its self-catering, breakfast is served in the Manor Cottage’s kitchen (but you can ask for croissants to be left in your kitchen if you like) or outside on a sunny day.

Rose Briar Bed and Breakfast (Bed & Breakfast)

Rose Briar, Burcombe Road, Chalford Hill, Stroud

Rose Briar Bed and Breakfast, Rose Briar, Stroud, Gloucestershire

Just under ten miles from the festival action, this luxury bungalow sits along a country lane and surrounded by beautiful views and country pubs. Owners Diane and Brian open up their gorgeous light, spacious home (we love the giant extension with breathtaking views) to guests, offering breakfast (healthy style of gut-busting full English) and evening meals, with produce sourced from local butchers and farmers markets. Have a potter around the beautifully-cared for garden to walk off your meal or chill with a book in the sitting room – a lovely accommodation option if the formality of hotels isn’t your bag.

The Lion Inn Winchcombe (Pub with Rooms)

North Street, Winchcombe

The Lion Inn Winchcombe, North Street, Winchcombe, Gloucestershire

A 16th century coaching inn and a favourite stop for hikers, the Lion Inn has that cool country thing going on – with bags of history evident but renovated to appear cosy and bright at the same time. With four bedrooms in the main pub building and a further four set around the garden, demand is high with the quirkiness of the features making them all the more appealing (think retro phones, antique rocking horses etc). Food is excellent here – homemade bread and chutneys are much loved and the breakfast eggs Benedict is awesome while Sunday dinner has become a bit of an institution to make sure to book.


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