Cheltenham’s enhanced Christmas events programme is proving a huge success this year despite the continued challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

With a brand new market, an enchanting ice rink and spectacular Christmas lights throughout the town, Cheltenham has been transformed in recent weeks, and visitors have been flocking to the town to enjoy the magic. The increased investment by Cheltenham Borough Council and Cheltenham BID has focused on supporting economic recovery and the town’s £200 million visitor economy sector.

Christmas in Cheltenham

Visiting coaches have been arriving regularly into Cheltenham over the past few weeks, with both the Market and new ice rink in the Imperial Gardens proving big draws; with more than 20,000 skaters having enjoyed the magical ice rink to date.

Local accommodation has also been enjoying the influx of visitors coming to Cheltenham for a Christmas break. Wyatt Davis, Sales Manager at Holiday Inn Express Cheltenham, said, “Holiday Inn Express Cheltenham Town Centre has been thrilled to play its part in this year’s festivities, especially in supporting such an exciting new addition to the town such as the ice rink. We’ve also enjoyed seeing the impact the council and BID’s investments have made with both the hotel and the town centre thriving, especially on weekends.”

Oliver Williams, property director of Stay Lets, mirrored this sentiment, “It’s just wonderful to see the festive spirit being brought back to Cheltenham. The ice rink is a wonderful addition and adds a focal point to celebrations throughout Christmas. We’re very proud to support this initiative and hope it’s just the first of many more to come.”

Imperial Gardens Ice Rink

In addition to the ice rink and Christmas Market, the extended Christmas lights have also proved to be a delight for shoppers this year, with twinkling bulbs crisscrossing the pedestrianised Promenade, high street, Brewery Centre and Montpellier Walk and lighting up the night. Festive performers, provided by Bristol-based Bakehouse Factory, have filled the streets with festive entertainment and will be continuing to provide shoppers with magical promenade theatre in the run-up to Christmas. 

The town’s hospitality businesses have been seeing the benefit of the new ice rink too. A collaboration between Visit Cheltenham and TURF, the town’s independent hospitality group, has proved a huge success, with diners benefitting from discounted ice rink tickets.

Lindsey Holland, director of Second Nature Hotels, said, “After a difficult trading year, TURF members have been delighted to be part of the Christmas activities and feel the support for local businesses that events, like the ice skating, have brought to Cheltenham. We look forward to these events becoming a regular Christmas feature each year!”

Cheltenham Christmas Market

The Cheltenham Ice Rink will be open daily (except Christmas Day), Sunday to Thursday 10am – 8pm and Friday and Saturday 10am – 10pm until 2 January, while the Christmas Market will be running daily through to the 19 December.

For more festive events inspiration, including the Cheltenham Ice Skating Rink, check out our helpful guide - Christmas Events in Cheltenham.

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Cheltenham Christmas Market 2021

We welcome you to join us at the NEW Cheltenham Christmas Market, running daily from Saturday 20 November to Sunday 19 December.

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Cheltenham Ice Skating Rink

Experience the magic of ice skating in Cheltenham this festive season from 18 November 2021 - 2 January 2022, at Gloucestershire’s only all-weather ice rink. Tickets are now on sale! Pre book your tickets to avoid disappointment.

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