A Cheltenham Christmas

27 12 2009

What’s the best thing about Christmas in Cheltenham? Not the lights, not the shops. For me it’s this:

The Promenade on Christmas Day, blissfully deserted right the way up to the Queen’s Hotel.

It’s not just because I’m a reclusive curmudgeon that I like Cheltenham best when it’s deserted. It’s actually a very magical experience to hear the natural sounds of the town which are normally drowned out by traffic and bustle. Stand by a manhole cover in the Promenade in the empty stillness and hear the muffled rushing of the River Chelt passing unseen beneath the pavement.

The municipal offices, or rather the terrace of 1822-3 known as Harward’s Buildings, photographed on Christmas Day and almost unrecognisable in the absence of parked cars!

The High Street with not a soul in sight.

Deflated Santa, Lower High Street

Balls. Imperial Square