5 minutes read

What is Cheltenham Festival?

Posted by Cassie on 08/07/2023 (Updated 02/20/2024), Category: Events
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Cheltenham Festival, also referred to as Gold Cup Week, is one of the largest sporting events in the UK.

The Festival sees tens of thousands gather at Cheltenham Racecourse to watch one of the most prolific events in the horse racing calendar.

It is for both avid horse racing fans and novices alike as it is as much about the atmosphere as the sport itself.

 

Where is Cheltenham Festival?

As referenced, Cheltenham’s Gold Cup Week takes place at Cheltenham Racecourse, a large racecourse in the town of Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

Cheltenham is fairly accessible to the rest of the country via public transport, with good train and coach access; it is also connected to the M5.

 

When is Cheltenham Festival?

Cheltenham Festival is an annual event, that takes place in mid-March each year. It typically coincides with St Patricks Day, or takes place in the same week as St Patricks Day. It is four days long and runs from Tuesday – Friday in the week it takes place, with the key event (the Gold Cup) of the festival taking place on Friday.

In 2024, Cheltenham Festival will be taking place from 12th March – 15th March.

Attendees may choose to attend one day or multiple, with each day offering something slightly different.

 

Why is Cheltenham Festival so popular?

Cheltenham Festival is one of the largest sports events in the UK, but what is the reason behind the popularity of this event? There are actually multiple.

The first reason is the prestigiousness of the event for the horseracing community due to the difficulty level of the races. Cheltenham Festival hosts Grade 1 races, which are participated in by only the most capable. Due to the difficulty of the races, it is extra exhilarating to watch as a viewer.

The intensity of the races is not the only contributor to the lively atmosphere, it is common for attendees to enjoy a few drinks during the festival.

Attendees often “make a day of it”, from going out for brunch, attending the festival, and then heading into Cheltenham town centre for celebratory drinks; the festival is not only fun in its own right but is part of a larger celebration.

Even with numerous large festivals taking place in Cheltenham throughout the year, such as Cheltenham Literature Festival, Gold Cup Week is the biggest event and brings in over £100 million to the local economy.

Cheltenham Festival Fashion example. Gold Cup Fashion.
Photo credit: Visit Cheltenham

Another aspect that makes Cheltenham Festival so popular is fashion, as the races are renowned for the guests’ distinctive fashion.

Although Cheltenham’s dress code has relaxed recently, most attendees put a lot of effort into their appearance for the festival; there is also Ladies’ Day which is a day to showcase the fashion of women attendees.

 

Who attends Cheltenham Festival?

One of the fantastic aspects of the Cheltenham Festival is that it’s attended by both novices and keen racegoers.

It’s not just the locals that attend, people travel from around the country.

Cheltenham Festival also draws a large Irish crowd for various reasons including the coinciding with St Patricks Day and strong participation by Irish Jockeys.

Discover your stay

Every home has a complete 3D tour. Take your time exploring so you can book with confidence.

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Pittville Lawn

1 Bedrooms
1 Bathrooms
Free Permit Parking
750 sq/ft

2 Pittville Lawn, Cheltenham, UK

From £98 p/n

Pittville Lawn

1 Bedrooms
1 Bathrooms
Free Permit Parking
750 sq/ft

2 Pittville Lawn, Cheltenham, UK

From £98 p/n

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18 Tivoli Mews

1 Bedrooms
1 Bathrooms
Allocated Parking
430 sq/ft

18 Tivoli Mews, Cheltenham GL50 2UX, UK

From £88 p/n

18 Tivoli Mews

1 Bedrooms
1 Bathrooms
Allocated Parking
430 sq/ft

18 Tivoli Mews, Cheltenham GL50 2UX, UK

From £88 p/n

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Glensanda

4 Bedrooms
3 Bathrooms
Allocated Parking
1775 sq/ft

3 Glensanda Court, Montpellier Spa Road, Cheltenham GL50 1UF, UK

From £190 p/n

Glensanda

4 Bedrooms
3 Bathrooms
Allocated Parking
1775 sq/ft

3 Glensanda Court, Montpellier Spa Road, Cheltenham GL50 1UF, UK

From £190 p/n

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39 Rodney House

4 Bedrooms
3 Bathrooms
Allocated Parking
1808 sq/ft

39 Rodney Rd, Cheltenham GL50 1HX, UK

From £195 p/n

39 Rodney House

4 Bedrooms
3 Bathrooms
Allocated Parking
1808 sq/ft

39 Rodney Rd, Cheltenham GL50 1HX, UK

From £195 p/n

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Saint Margaret

2 Bedrooms
1 Bathrooms
Off-road
765 sq/ft

5 saint margaret road cheltenham gl50 4dt

From £115 p/n

Saint Margaret

2 Bedrooms
1 Bathrooms
Off-road
765 sq/ft

5 saint margaret road cheltenham gl50 4dt

From £115 p/n

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Elizabeth House Flat 6

1 Bedrooms
1 Bathrooms
Free Permit Parking
808 sq/ft

Elizabeth House, 3 Lansdown Cres, Cheltenham GL50 2JY, UK

From £88 p/n

Elizabeth House Flat 6

1 Bedrooms
1 Bathrooms
Free Permit Parking
808 sq/ft

Elizabeth House, 3 Lansdown Cres, Cheltenham GL50 2JY, UK

From £88 p/n

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