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Cheltenham Festival 2024 travel guide – what to do, where to stay and how to get there

Simon Calder’s Travel

With March comes the start of horse racing season, and as Cheltenham Festival jumps into action in Gloucestershire’s Regency town tomorrow, there’s still time to make travel plans.

This year there are 28 races to look forward to spanning Champion Day, Style Day and St Patrick’s Thursday on day three before Friday’s finale featuring the prestigious Gold Cup.

Irish trainer Willie Mullins is looking for a sixth consecutive year as the trainer with the most wins and celebrated jockeys including Paul Townend and JJ Slevin are back in the saddle for 2024.

Here’s everything you need to know about where to stay, how to get there and what to do off the track for punters planning a last-minute run at the races.

When is Cheltenham Festival 2024?

The annual races jump into action on 12 March

(Getty Images)

The Festival begins tomorrow Tuesday 12 March and concludes on Friday 15 March.

The first race is scheduled for 1.30pm each day, and the final race of the day is set to begin at 5.30pm.

What to do

Of course, the main event is the races and tickets are being sold to the general public across the four days with Best Mate Enclosure tickets still available from £52 per person.

For those looking to make a break of it off the track, check out Cheltenham’s historic arts and music scene at the Playhouse Theatre, relieve some racing tension at the Elan Spa at The Greenway Hotel or (weather permitting) navigate the mazes and gardens of Sudeley Castle.

Pittville Pump Room, Cheltenham’s finest Regency building and a fish and chip lunch on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway are also worth a spot on a Cheltenham itinerary.

Where to stay

Hole up in The Queens Hotel in central Cheltenham for big comfy beds, characterful art and classic British cuisine in a Grade II-listed English Heritage property.