Study in Cheltenham and Gloucester

Cheltenham and Gloucester sit on the edge of the delightful Cotswolds, with the former fondly thought of as the quintessential English spa town.

Cheltenham is well known for its many festivals, and of course the races! It’s a good time of year during the races, as spirits are high. The town is gorgeous with plenty of shops. I always spend my breaks between lectures there, and the walk through Pittville Park is lovely. Everywhere is within walking distance. (University of Gloucestershire student)

What Cheltenham and Gloucester are famous for...

Horse racing

While there are ‘meets’ at Prestbury Park's racecourse throughout the year, The Cheltenham Festival and Gold Cup in March is the crown jewel of the horse racing calendar, attracting visitors from all over and bringing a real buzz to the town.

The Brewery Quarter

This area of the town centre is home to a whole range of student-friendly things to do. Not only is there a wide range of lively bars and popular restaurants to suit everyone, students can also enjoy bowling, the cinema or even some interactive darts.

Gloucester Docks

The Gloucester docks are a busy central point of the town and popular with visitors and locals alike. Shops, bars, restaurants and a cinema now fill the historic space, meaning there’s always something to do.


From retro dance floors to student clubs, Gloucester offers a diverse range of nights out that are popular with students. And with buses running from Cheltenham to Gloucester, it’s easy to travel between the two for a night out.


The town’s rich history is displayed in a number of museums across the city, from the Waterways Museum to the Beatrix Potter Museum. Gloucester Cathedral is another historic landmark, and is popular with students seeking out the Harry Potter filming locations within the building.


Gloucester Rugby is based right in the heart of the city, at Kingsholm ground. A student membership ticket is available, proving popular with sports fans who want to soak up the action.

Cheltenham and Gloucester nightlife, according to students

There are lots of independent pubs like The Spectre and Lounge 72, which are nice for a few drinks, or to watch the football. There are also two Spoons, with the Moon Under Water being the preference for nights out, as it's larger and closer to the clubs. The Bankhouse is still decent, but tends to have older people visit. Everything is within decent walking distance to most private student houses, and there's a free shuttle bus for the student halls. (Second year student, University of Gloucestershire).

'Study among 'spies'

Looking like a big, steel doughnut, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) is tasked with keeping the UK safe through technology and intelligence. GCHQ provides thousands of jobs in the cyber security and technology sectors.

The rest of the county

Festival County

Gloucestershire is famous for its huge array of festivals – Cheltenham alone hosts over forty festivals a year, from jazz to science, literature to food. In the wider county, students enjoy the Witcombe Cider festival and the Wychwood Music festival, amongst others.

The Cotswolds

Just a short drive out of Cheltenham and Gloucester brings you to England and Wales’ largest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Cotswolds. The quintessential English countryside is perfect for adventure seekers to explore with walks, water activities and more.

Cheltenham and Gloucester nightlife, according to students

The nightlife in Cheltenham is vibrant, with a good music scene too, particularly at The Frog and Fiddle – a pub that many students go to. Moo Moos is a club renowned for its student nights. On Thursdays, they host ‘Propaganda’ which is a more alternative and rock music night, but they still play chart classics on another floor. There is also Fever next door, which is renowned for its cheesy pop music nights. The bars in the area are very welcoming to students, and often all have drink offers on. (Third year student, University of Gloucestershire).

The Cotswolds

England and Wales’ largest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this is the quintessential British countryside. The limestone buildings look like they've been dipped in honey.

Student life in Cheltenham and Gloucester

Local gems, tips, and things to do, as recommended by students.
Low on cash
The cathedral is great. You can see where they filmed scenes for Harry Potter and [it] only requires a donation to visit. (Hartpury University student)
Treat yourself
You can find lots of unique upmarket boutiques along the promenade, followed by drinks in the bars up in Montpellier. (Third year student, University of Gloucestershire)
Friday night out
The Moon Under Water or The Bankhouse, and then Moos for the remainder of the night if you're clubbing. For a night out without having to stand, go to Lounge 72. (Second year student, University of Gloucestershire)
Sunday chilling
Pittville Park is lovely. Cleeve Hill is great if your mates have a car. It gives you a whole view across Cheltenham and Bishop's Cleeve. (Second year student, University of Gloucestershire)
When family visit
In the Brewery Quarter, there are many restaurants, a cinema, bowling, [and] mini-golf. So whether you’re with mates or family, that’s the best place to go and have fun. (Second year student, University of Gloucestershire)
Feeling cultural
There are the science, literature, jazz, and racing festivals throughout the year, which attract people from everywhere. Festivals are sort of Cheltenham's culture. (Second year student, University of Gloucestershire)
Catch up with mates
The Miller has loads of retro games consoles, quiz nights on Tuesdays, and [other] events going on. It's a hotspot for societies. (Second year student, University of Gloucestershire)
Grab a bite
The Sober Parrot – I usually go for the veggie brunch, with a passion sunrise mocktail. A great hangover cure for sure. Boston Tea Party [is] also great for veggie and vegan options. (Second year student, University of Gloucestershire)

Cheltenham and Gloucester in pictures

Pittville Park

One of the largest parks in Cheltenham, Pittville Park is picturesque and great for picnics and socialising. It also offers tennis, golf and even rowing on the lake. (Photo from Chloe Knight, third year student at University of Gloucestershire)


Living in Cheltenham and Gloucester, according to students

Pittville – I like the neighbourhood I live in. It's literally a five-minute walk to the Brewery Quarter, which has a Tesco Express so I can pick up a few things, and a large Tesco about a 15-minute walk away. The Coconut Tree [bar and restaurant] is down the road by another campus, which also has a fish & chip takeaway. The area itself is mainly a student road, so I feel safe living here. It can get a bit noisy in the evenings, especially on student nights. It's a 30-minute walk away from campus, or if you walk into town for ten minutes, you can hop on the 94U campus bus or the number 10. (Second year student, University of Gloucestershire)

Pittville Pump Room

During summer, if you go in the evenings, there's hardly anyone about. It's such a nice area to relax in. (Lydia Maers, second year student at University of Gloucestershire)

Living in Cheltenham and Gloucester, according to students

St Paul’s is the larger student area, where most students will be living. The streets are quiet with a lot of families, but only about a five to ten-minute walk into town. It can be lively as the local community holds street parties, but this is not too often. There is a really quaint student coffee shop, which is worth every penny! The [housing] prices vary from £98 to £150 depending on which landlord, whether the bills are included, and the size of the house. There’s a local restaurant called The Coconut Tree, which is Sri Lankan, and always very busy as it is simply amazing food! It is a very good area for students as the uni is a stone's throw away, which is useful come deadlines and 4am trips to the library! I would definitely live here again. (Third year student, University of Gloucestershire)

Leckhampton Hill 

A brilliant view over Cheltenham. In Cheltenham, you can always go clear your mind in the countryside. (Max Barnes, second year student at University of Gloucestershire)

Living in Cheltenham and Gloucester

Housing, travel, and budgeting tips. You can also check our accommodation site if you're looking for student accommodation in Cheltenham or Gloucester.

Where you'll find students
  • Pittville
  • St Paul's
  • Fairview
Local transport
  • Weekly ticket: £13.50
  • Gloucestershire students only
  • Bus

Student money tips

Living in the St Paul’s area really helps save money – the rent is really cheap, and it’s a student area with campuses on your doorstep. You can also get the bus for free on nights out from the student village, to save on taxis. (Third year student, University of Gloucestershire)

The cost of living as a student soon adds up, us our budget calculator to find out roughly how much you'll need each month.

​Discover more savings on student life in Cheltenham and Gloucester with UCAS student discounts. Find the latest deals, from fashion brands and eating fresh, to big discounts on tech and travel.