With a hint of spring in the air and the beginnings of bulbs and blooms bursting into life, it’s the perfect time to do a round up of our favourite activities to enjoy in and around Tewkesbury, Cheltenham & the Cotswolds over the next few months.
This is one of our favourite times of year to visit the stunning Batsford Arboretum, near Moreton-in- Marsh. With swathes of snowdrops, aconites, hellebores & cyclamen giving way to drifts of daffodils and magnificent magnolia blossom in March, then billowy cherry blossom in mid-April, there’s botanical beauties to brighten up the days until we reach the warmer summer months.
It’s dog-friendly, and great for a wander around its 56 acres, before stopping for a browse in the plant centre or a pick-me-up in the café…and with indoor and outdoor seating areas, you’re covered no matter the weather.
For more info, take a look at http://www.batsarb.co.uk/
We can’t put together a blog about things to do in spring in the Cotswolds without mentioning one of the racing highlights of the year – Cheltenham races 2022, with the Cheltenham Festival taking place Tuesday, 15th – Friday, 18th March.
With 28 races (14 of which are grade one races) across the four days, Cheltenham is widely regarded as the crown jewel of jump racing, and the Festival week as the pinnacle of the Cheltenham racing calendar. With three enclosures, a “shopping village” with 70 individual and boutique shops and some great dining options, there’s something for everyone. If you’re really looking to push the boat out, then take a look at The Orchard – with private and exclusive pods accommodating 12-20 guests, it’s a truly decadent way to soak up the infamous race atmosphere, whilst enjoying top-end shopping, a live DJ and taking in the sights from your own private balcony.
There’s few things that herald the arrival of spring more than the first snowdrops poking their heads above the barren winter ground, and there’s few places in England better to see them than Colesbourne Gardens. Situated between Cheltenham and Cirencester, Colesbourne Gardens has over 300 varieties of snowdrop on show during the short season. With over 10 acres of private gardens and woodland walks, there’s a breath-taking mix of other spring favourites too, such as hellebores, cyclamen, a variety of flowering shrubs, as well as a number of Champion trees listed in the Tree Register of the British Isles.
You’ll need to be quick though –weekend open days and weekday guided tours are only on until the end of February.
Cheltenham Jazz Festival
Kickstarting the run of four annual Cheltenham Festivals, this year’s Cheltenham Jazz Festival is set to be bigger and better than ever.
Taking place from 27th April – 2nd May, it’ll be the 25th Cheltenham Jazz Festival, featuring international headline acts, cutting-edge jazz and unique collaborations.
Artistic Curator, Gregory Porter and Associate Curator, Jamie Cullum will be joined by a host of guests including Emeli Sandé, a special 25th Jazz Festival celebration with the BBC Concert Orchestra, Moses Boyd, Nubya Garcia and many more.
Tickets to see the most popular artists do sell out quickly, so it’s worth considering becoming a priority member for advanced tickets & discounts. And of course, if you’re looking for somewhere to stay whilst visiting the festival, we’re just 20 minutes away and will happily sort taxis for you to make the most of your night (or day!) out.
Morton Hall Tulip Festival
The annual tulip festival at Morton Hall, near Stratford-Upon-Avon, is a rare opportunity to see more than 100 tulip varieties in borders, pots and cut flower marquees, whilst also supporting costume-making at the RSC.
With bulbs supplied by Bloms Bulbs, winner of 68 Chelsea Gold medals, who will be on hand to answer any questions you may have, and lunches & refreshments available in the East Terrace Garden café, it sounds to us like a pretty perfect day out, supporting a very worth cause.
The gardens are only open Saturday 30th April – 2nd May, 10am – 5pm
For more info and to book tickets, visit:
Tulip Festival at Morton Hall Gardens | Royal Shakespeare Company (rsc.org.uk)
Gloucestershire & Warwickshire Steam Railway
The Gloucestershire & Warwickshire Steam Railway restarts on 5th March 2022, and offers a picturesque 28 mile round trip, taking in fabulous views of sleepy hamlets & villages between Broadway Cotswolds and Cheltenham Racecourse.
If you opt for a Day Rover ticket, you can hop on and off as many times as you like and travel whatever distance suits you. You could stop off in Winchcombe and have a potter around this ancient Anglo Saxon town, visit Hailes Abbey, originally founded in 1246 by the Earl of Cornwall and, of course, take a look around Broadway – one of our favourites Cotswolds villages, jam-packed with independent shops, cafes and restaurants.