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Your fabulous Festival Guide from Peter Ball & Co

From world-famous jump-racing to music, literature and cricket, the beautiful Regency town of Cheltenham is known all over the world for the sheer quality, quantity and variety of its annual festivals.

With around 25 significant festivals now taking place every year - some of which are world-leading - Cheltenham has officially been pronounced "The Festival Town"and we've included a snapshot of some of the key dates below.

Cheltenham Festival and Gold Cup - March

Horses racing to the finishing line at Cheltenham

Encompassing Champion Day, Ladies Day, St Patrick’s Thursday and the internationally-renowned Gold Cup Day, the four-day event sees more than 25 races take place, with almost £600 million being bet on some of the world’s finest race horses.
Some of the best and bravest horses and jockeys, nervous and excited trainers and owners, and thousands of spectators gather every year determined to have the time of their lives.

For more info: See Cheltenham Festival and Gold Cup, or call 0344 579 3003

Cheltenham Wine Festival - April

Tasting wines from around the world

Explore, taste and learn from over 300 delicious wines in the iconic setting of Pittville Pump Room. Enjoy your favourites and have fun discovering exciting new ones from among France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Chile, Argentina, USA and more.

For more info: See Cheltenham Wine Festival

Cheltenham Jazz Festival - May

Signpost at Cheltenham Jazz Festival

One of the most famous Cheltenham events, the Jazz Festival showcases performances from rising stars, jazz veterans and music legends. Loyal fans return year after year and recent stars have included Van Morrison, Jamie Cullum and Corinne Bailey Rae.

For more info: See Cheltenham Jazz Festival
To book: Call (01242) 850270, email or visit directly.

The Times Cheltenham Science Festival - June

A budding young scientist experiments at the Cheltenham Science Festival

In June, some of the world’s most revered scientists, thinkers, performers, and writers come together for a six-day celebration of science in Cheltenham, exploring how the world works through a series of inspiring and entertaining events, experiments and workshops. Big names have included Professor Robert Winston, Brian Cox, Alice Roberts and Richard Dawkins Expect plenty of interactive displays and fun, hands-on activities for your mini-scientists too!

For more info: See The Times Cheltenham Science Festival
To book: Call (01242) 850270, email or visit

Wychwood Music Festival - June

Wychwood Festival

The UK's favourite family festival takes place within the beautiful Gloucestershire countryside, with over 100 acts performing across four stages, plus music, dance and arts workshops, a circus school and a programme of talks, debates and comedy for all ages. With optional idyllic camping and something to satisfy all appetites, it’s no wonder Wychwood has been nominated as ‘Best Family Festival’ each year at the UK Festival awards.  

For more info: See Wychwood Music Festival or call (01993) 772580

Cheltenham Food and Drink Festival - June

Cheltenham Food & Drink Festival

Three days of tasty treats and entertainment galore, with a jam-packed menu offering everything from chef demonstrations and wine tastings, to live music, not to mention food and drink exhibitors serving up everything from pizza and noodles, to baked goods. As well as delicious food, the three-day festival features plenty of live music to provide a brilliant atmosphere. What’s more, there's plenty to keep young visitors entertained during the event.

For more info: See Cheltenham Food and Drink Festival

Cheltenham Music Festival - June/July

Cheltenham Music Festival

Cheltenham Music Festival is all about high-calibre performances, magnificent venues and a huge variety of music – from symphonic grandeur to the intimacy of chamber music, and from sublime choral experiences to brand new musical adventures. With its excursions, too, into world music, film, dance, the visual arts and the spoken word, it’s a musically-centred cultural banquet that has few equals in the UK.

For more info: See Cheltenham Music Festival
To book: Call (01242) 850270,email or visit

Cheltenham Cricket Festival  - July

Cheltenham Cricket Festival

Set against the idyllic back-drop of Cheltenham College, the two week Cheltenham Cricket Festival is one of the most eagerly anticiated events in the summer sporting calendar, welcoming over 25,000 spectators. Gloucestershire have been playing in the stunning grounds of Cheltenham College for over 140 years, making this the world’s longest running cricket festival on an outfield.  This year supporters will be treated to four matches in total. 

For more info: See Cheltenham Cricket Festival

Cheltenham Literature Festival - October

Discussing literature





For ten days every Autumn, Cheltenham is transformed into a literary lover’s dream as over 600 of the world’s finest writers, actors, politicians, poets and leading opinion-formers help celebrate the joy of the written word. As well as a programme of nearly 500 debates, interviews and workshops, there’s Book It! the popular festival within a festival for families and young readers. Where else could you see the Gruffalo rub shoulders with an award-winning novelist, or listen to a Hollywood legend exchange views with political leaders?

For more info: See Cheltenham Literature Festival
To book: Call (01242) 850270, email or visit