Seeing Cheltenham From Above with Light Up Cheltenham *

AD, Gifted | Cheltenham is one of my favourite towns to visit in the Gloucestershire area. The town itself is home to some stunning Georgian architecture, lovely parks, an array of shopping streets and more than 25 different events and festivals held throughout the year. So you’re never short of things to do. And with its close proximity to the Cotswolds, it’s also perfect for those visiting the area.

But while you may have heard of its more famous festivals such as the Cheltenham literature festival, which just so happens to be the world’s longest-running literary festival. Or The Cheltenham Festival – which includes the legendary Gold Cup. You may not have heard of the lesser-known Light Up Cheltenham *, which sees the streets of Cheltenham lit up in celebration of the town’s history.

Light Up Cheltenham Festival

Over three weeks in February ‘Light Up Cheltenham’ saw 30 buildings in the town centre lit up in bright colours. And I must admit it made everything look very pretty indeed. But the main draw for me was the observation Ferris wheel which gave wonderful birdseye views of the town centre.

As well as the observation wheel, there were also guided and self-guided tours* on offer, and a street theatre on opening night. Which sadly I wasn’t able to make it to this year. 🙁 But having seen the photos on Instagram it looks amazing! And I’m hoping they hold the event again next year so I can check it out.

The Observation Wheel

The 35m observation wheel was situated in Imperial Gardens, which is one of Cheltenham’s many beautiful parklands. It provided a birds-eye view of the town including floodlit buildings such as The Queen’s Hotel, The Town Hall, No. 131 The Promenade, and a terrace of ornate Regency buildings.

If you’ve been following me on Instagram you’ll know that Aaron and I are suckers for a Ferris wheel. And enjoy seeing city views from high in the sky, so this was a must for us. Although the wet and windy weather nearly put us off!

The views were definitely worth it though. We could see the vast countryside surrounding Cheltenham as well as many of its famous landmarks – although we quickly found that there aren’t that many tall buildings in Cheltenham.

I also discovered it’s difficult to take photos sat down in a Ferris wheel. 😅 – I wasn’t sure whether to post these!

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Costing £6 per adult and £5 per child it was very reasonable, and the ride was longer than other Ferris wheels I’ve travelled on before. We rotated three times and stopped at the top once as well. Thankfully the pods were covered from the rain so we were somewhat sheltered from the elements. The wind did rock our pod a bit though!

While we were in Cheltenham we decided to take advantage of our time there by going for breakfast in the Revival Café and a bit of shopping in its Regent Arcade. But the rainy weather put us off exploring the gardens – we’re hoping to pop back again when the weather brightens up a little.

Light Up Cheltenham sadly finished on Sunday 23rd February so we were very lucky to see the festivities before it ended. I’m hoping the event will be on again next year, along with the Ferris wheel. 😉

Have you heard of Light Up Cheltenham? Or visited Cheltenham before? Let me know in the comments.

* Visit Cheltenham kindly gifted me two free tickets to ride their Ferris wheel.


  • Bexa

    May 3, 2020 at 12:54

    This sounded like such a wonderful experience and the views from the Ferris wheel look amazing! I’ve never been to Cheltenham before, but it sounds like a great city with lots to see and do and visiting during the festival would be so much fun 🙂 Thanks for sharing your trip Kim, this is a great idea for a day out in the future! <3 xx

    Bexa |

  • Jo Jackson

    April 18, 2020 at 06:32

    It’s nice to hear about places that I’ve never been to. Maybe one for the future.

  • Kelly Diane

    March 16, 2020 at 10:57

    Cheltenham is such a pretty place. I haven’t heard of Light Up Cheltenham before but I’ll definitely be looking out for it in the future.

  • Nic | Nic’s Adventures & Bakes

    March 14, 2020 at 11:58

    I have not been to Cheltenham since my sister-in-laws hen do, sounds like you had fun on the attractions there 🙂

    Nic | Nic’s Adventures & Bakes

  • Lisa

    March 13, 2020 at 08:43

    It’s been YEARS since I was last in Cheltenham but I remember loving walking around the town. And I didn’t know about Light Up Cheltenham either, that sounds absolutely perfect for a half-term day trip, thank you. Also, your Ferris Wheel pics are great, don’t worry! x

  • Caz / InvisiblyMe

    March 12, 2020 at 22:20

    Very cool! As you know I live in Cheltenham so I knew the wheel was coming back this year around the time of the Light Up event. I also love ‘Visit Cheltenham’, excellent for ideas and finding out what’s on. I’ve still never been on it even though I’d like to, instead I’ll have to live vicariously through you! Nice write-up.
    Caz xx

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