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Hen do suggestions in Cheltenham and the surrounding Cotswolds

A view of Cheltenham and the surrounding Cotswolds Many couples are looking ahead to their big day, whether that's later this year, next year or further in the future. There's nothing more exciting in the build-up than planning a hen (or stag) celebration so with this in mind, the team at Visit Cheltenham have listed a number of different ways that bridal parties can come together and celebrate for a day or a weekend in the Regency spa town and surrounding Cotswolds. Cheltenham is a small spa town that's home to numerous Regency buildings, museums and an auditorium.

The town is also well known for its fantastic shopping, an abundance of festivals and mouth-watering dining experiences, from street food right through to Michelin-starred fine dining. While home to just 117,000 residents, celebrities can often be spotted in and around Cheltenham.

For those who have the honour of planning their best friend's upcoming hen do, the team at www.visitcheltenham.com have compiled their top tips and suggestions to keep the bride-to-be and bridal party entertained:

Accommodation
First things first, you're going to need somewhere to stay. Home to many hotels, you're going to want something a little more luxurious for the hen do, so consider a spa hotel, such as Ellenborough Park, where you can get a massage on-site, or a guest house, such as No. 38 The Park, where you can hire out as few or as many rooms as you may need. If you want something a little more quirky, consider travelling a little outside of Cheltenham to Cotswold Farm Park for a spot of glamping.

Activities
If you're staying in a spa hotel, it's a given that you're going to want to make the most of the facilities on-site. Why not add on afternoon tea with fizz while you're at it? Stepping outside though, you can shop 'til you drop on Cheltenham's high street, Montpellier and The Suffolks, or head on over to Gloucester Quays where you can often find up to 70% off brands such as All Saints, Ted Baker and Nike. When it comes to making memories though, you'll want to do something you wouldn't normally get a chance to do. One option is to head over to Brierly Hill Llama Farm and spend roughly three hours walking with and tending to a group of Llamas. Another is to take a gin masterclass, gin distillery tour or go wine tasting. But for those who might want to keep a little active, you could hire bicycles and explore the town and surrounding Cotswolds. Head to Pittville Park Boating Lake where you can row around the lake, or pop over to Gloucester and hit the slopes at Gloucester Ski and Snowboarding Centre, whether you want to try your hand at skiing, snowboarding, tubing and even laser tag.

Food and drink
No matter your tastes and dietary requirements, how simple or vast your palette is, there truly is something for everyone in Cheltenham. There are many restaurants to whet your appetite, from Pho (Vietnamese), KIBOU (Japanese) and The Mahal (Indian), through to The Coconut Tree (Sri Lankan), MUSE Brasserie (European) and Bar Padron (Spanish). What's more, there are numerous award-winning, Michelin Star & 4AA rosette restaurants in the spa town, including Le Champignon Sauvage and Purslane.

If you want to be a bit hands-on with your drinks, you can start with a cocktail-making session at Revolution Bar, before heading to Imperial Haus for a cocktail that you'll want to plaster all over your Instagram and end up at Gin & Juice at No. 131 on The Promenade, named the 'Best Hotel Gin Bar in the World' by Gin Magazine. Gin & Juice has over 350 gins on offer, with many signature cocktails to indulge in, including the famous Candyfloss Gin. Festivals are proudly known as The Festival Town, Cheltenham hosts more than 30 festivals that attract hundreds of thousands of tourists from around the world every year. Whether you're looking to hear from some of your favourite authors and celebrities, love a spot of horse racing or want to enjoy some relaxing music, there's something for everyone. A few of the upcoming festivals include:

· The Gin To My Tonic Festival, 9th – 10th December
· The Cheltenham Festival, 14th – 17th March '23
· Cheltenham Jazz Festival, 26th April – 1s May '23
· Wychwood Festival, 2nd – 4th June '23
· Cheltenham Food & Drink Festival, 23rd – 25th June '23.

Image courtesy of www.gettyimages.co.uk

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