Cheltenham was just your average, sleepy town until the discovery of a spring in 1716, after which it became Britain's most popular spa town. (Like Palm Springs without the casinos.) Local Cheltonians have a reputation for being wealthy and respectable, and a walk along the Promenade will give you a first-class view of their wonderful houses, shops and gardens. After taking in the waters at the Pittville Pump Room (great name for a spa), check out the Art Gallery and Museum to learn about the social history of Cheltenham.
The Cotswolds (/ˈkɒtswoʊldz/ KOTS-wohldz, /-wəldz/ -wəldz) is an area in south central England containing the Cotswold Hills, a range of rolling hills which rise from the meadows of the upper Thames to an escarpment, known as the Cotswold Edge, above the Severn Valley and Evesham Vale. The area is defined by the bedrock of Jurassic limestone that creates a type of grassland habitat rare in the UK and that is quarried for the golden coloured Cotswold stone. It contains unique features derived from the use of this mineral; the predominantly rural landscape contains stone-built villages, historical towns and stately homes and gardens. The population of the District is about 84,000.
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