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, and a huge array of festivals across the county.

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...

Festival county

Famous for literature, jazz and science festivals, Cheltenham also hosts the Cheltenham Festival and Gold Cup in March – the crown jewel of the horse racing calendar. In Gloucester there's the Witcombe cider and music festival, and many more across the county.

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. MooMoos is a club renowned for its student nights. There is also Popworld 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

Just a short drive out of Cheltenham and Gloucester brings you to England and Wales’ largest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – the Cotswolds – where the limestone villages look like they've been dipped in honey. Quintessential English countryside – perfect for seeking adventure and inspiration.

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'

On the bus from Cheltenham you'll pass the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), tasked with keeping the UK safe through technology and intelligence. Then in Gloucester you'll find the historic docks and cosmopolitan quayside – plus the beautiful cathedral and the Kingsholm rugby ground.

Student life in Cheltenham and Gloucester

Local gems, tips, and things to do, as recommended by students.
Low on cash
Gloucester 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 Cheltenham 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 MooMoos 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
Cleeve Hill is great if your mates have a car. It gives you a whole view across Cheltenham and Bishop's Cleeve. Pittville Park is lovely. (Second year student, University of Gloucestershire)
When family visit
In Cheltenham's 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 in Cheltenham has loads of retro games consoles, quiz nights on Tuesdays, and events going on. It's a hotspot for student 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 and 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 not too often. There is a really quaint student coffee shop, which is worth every penny! The [housing] prices vary, 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. 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
  • Bath Road
  • Blackfriars
Local transport
  • Weekly ticket: £12.50
  • 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.

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