The cultural hub of Cheltenham, Gloucester is soon to host one of the most notable annual jump racing events of the National Hunt calendar: the Cheltenham Festival. Argued as a ‘highlight of the season’, this epicentre of sporting action will draw in fans from across the country. As many as 250,000 people are rumoured to attend this year based on previous festival records. To ensure you can experience the tangible atmosphere of this renowned four day event in person, this guide is designed to help you find convenient accommodation to suit your needs.
Although the festival is an intense display of many great jockeys and horses within the industry, it’s the popular Gold Cup bet that really ignites passion within spectators. British bookmakers Coral have already started listing odds and looking at the current favourite to win, therefore adding to the mounting excitement. One of the names currently circulating as a big contender is Annie Power, having won nine races out of 11.
The Grade 1 race is the impressive finale of the festival, and is known for being a spectacle to mark down in sporting history. Since its beginnings in the 1920s, many sporting greats have held the title of the Gold Cup, such as Master Smudge in 1980, which in turn has made it the ‘must see’ event. It’s no wonder people try to make sure they have a front row seat to watch the story unfold. By staying local and booking accommodation you give yourself the time to savour every minute.
Accommodation to Suit All
If you’re looking to save money, and want to find a quality yet affordable place to stay, then places such as The Abbey are for you. Their guide price starts at a low £44.00 for one adult in a single room, and includes breakfast. Located two miles from Cheltenham Racecourse, you can reach the festival via public transport, by car, or even on foot.
Should you wish to indulge during your time at the Cheltenham Festival, the historically rich Greenway Hotel and Spa is one of several high end hotels, situated approximately five miles from the racecourse. The combination of contemporary and traditional adds a touch of elegance to your visit, and allows you to escape the hum of the town without you having to sacrifice accessibility.
Accommodation Outside of Cheltenham
Many of the aforementioned establishments are booked in advance in anticipation of the festival, so it’s worth shopping around and looking at accommodation outside Cheltenham. Gloucester is one such place that is handy to commute to and from. Trains run at 30 minute intervals, and the A40 provides a fairly direct route for drivers.
Finding the right time to book your accommodation can be tricky as it depends on when you intend to visit: whether it’s for the entirety of the festival, or if you want to arrive early or during. All these factors will effect the end price. If you want optimum value for money, try to book outside the peak dates of 15th – 18th March. To see full listings of all available hotels, B&Bs, self catered apartments and more within the immediate area and beyond, it’s best to check out various booking agents.