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Windsor, Cheltenham and Bath – honeypot locations in the UK with plenty of cultural, historic and creative things to do.

From vibrant festivals to awe-inspiring castles and gardens full of stunning displays, you will not be short of things to see and explore when you visit. Our onsite experts recommend you visit these top places.

Windsor Castle



It would not be a trip to Windsor without a visit to this world-famous castle and resting place of her late Majesty. Explore the State Apartments, the Semi-State Rooms and St George’s Chapel, which has hosted the nuptials of many royals. Make sure you book your tickets in advance and check opening times ahead of your visit or take a look at our Discover Royal Windsor package.

Cheltenham racecourse


Cheltenham Racecourse

Known as the home of jump racing and for the famous Cheltenham Festival – four-days of world-class racing combined with high fashion, a visit to Cheltenham Racecourse is a must. Experience the thrill of racing and soak up the history with the stunning Cotswolds hills in the background. As well as race events, the popular venue also plays host to a number of music, theatre and comedy events throughout the year. It is also possible to arrange a behind the scenes racecourse tour if there are eight or more of you.

Thermae Bath Spa



Thermae Bath Spa is the UK’s original, natural thermal spa.  Dating back to Roman times, the springs were first used in around 43 AD.  Today, they are a popular spot for tourists to Bath and a must visit if you are seeing the city for the first time.  The Francis Hotel is just a short stroll away, relax in the baths, relax back at the hotel, look after your wellbeing.

Walks with Hawks falconry experience



Meet kestrels, hawks, owls and eagles on this fascinating falconry experience in Cheltenham. Take a 90 minute stroll with beautiful birds of prey and watch them soar, swoop and land on your arm as you feed them titbits.  Voted no. 1 on TripAdvisor and about a 15 minute drive from The Queens Hotel, we would really recommend this up close and personal experience with some beautiful birds.

Person having a massage at Bath Massage company



Located just a couple of minutes walk from The Francis Hotel, Bath Massage Company has been providing the best holistic massage and reflexology treatments in the heart of Bath for nearly 15 years.  Whether you have specific ailments, problem areas or just want to unwind and relax while staying in the city, each treatment is designed especially for you and tailored to suit your individual needs.  Loosen stubborn knots, relieve muscle tension or just enjoy an overall body relaxation to ease and soothe away aches and pains.  Speak to the team about an appointment or book using the link. 

Windsor Racecourse



Famed for its beautiful setting and friendly and intimate atmosphere, a trip to the Windsor Racecourse is sure to add excitement your trip. Hosting a number of flat races from April to October along with social events during the season, the unique track forms a figure of eight with Windsor Castle as it’s back drop.



Edible Art Masterclasses

Damien Wager is the pastry chef sensation behind Edible Art and his local patisserie can be found just around the corner from The Queens Hotel in the Montpellier District. Throughout the year he runs a host of hands-on masterclasses, offering the chance to master the art of creating sweet treats including the ever-popular macaron, patisserie tarts and chocolate creations.

Dryham House grounds near The Francis Hotel Bath



Just a short drive from Bath you will find Dyrham House and Gardens, a National Trust property dating back to the 17th century. Boasting impressive Baroque architecture and exquisite interiors, visitors can marvel at the elaborate plasterwork, exquisite tapestries, stunning paintings and explore the picturesque gardens. Book our Coronation package which includes tickets to Dyrham House and Gardens for your chance to explore and escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

Marching band outside Castle Hotel



Up to two or three times per week, the changing of the guard at Windsor Castle passes right in front of The Castle Hotel doors .  It takes place in the morning around 10am and days will vary in summer and winter. Just a quick hop outside the hotel to watch it pass by or pick a prime spot in Leaf Bar to enjoy from the comfort of the hotel.  A delightful procession and plenty of Instagram photo opportunities. 

Bath Abbey


Bath Abbey

With a history that dates back to 675 AD, Bath Abbey is a spectacular piece of architecture to behold in the heart of Bath. Step inside to marvel at the King Edgar and the Great East Windows, the fan vaulted ceiling and Birde’s Chantry Chapel.  Immerse yourself in a tour of this fascinating, historic building or gaze at interactive displays and period costumes in the Abbey’s brand new Discovery Centre, opening March 2023.

Windsor & Royal Borough Museum



Cross the road from The Castle Hotel and delve straight into history with a visit to Windsor & Royal Borough Museum. Situated within Windsor Guildhall you can explore across the centuries with their fascinating collection. Including Stone Age flints, Roman tiles, First World War letters and so much more.

Kim Bailey Stable Tour



Thorndale Farm on the edge of Cheltenham in Andoversford is home to champion national hunt horse racing trainer Kim Bailey.  We highly recommend a behind the scenes tour and breakfast at the Kim Bailey stables to see the champion horses up close. Watch them on their early morning gallop before heading to the farm for a delicious breakfast.  Speak to the team about organising a stable tour during your stay.

Soul Spa



At The Francis Hotel, we are thrilled to partner and recommend Soul Spa, located in the heart of Bath’s spa quarter and a short walk from the hotel.  Their innovative therapies and sound baths allow you to totally relax, breathe and let go.  Totally recharge your batteries with a couples experience or try and pulse heating mat session. Need to book?  Speak to the team during your stay and we will help you book an appointment.

Savill Gardens Flowers



An absolute must-see during your trip is the tranquil beauty of Windsor Great Park’s Savill Gardens. Discover plants from all around the world over 35 acres of beautifully designed gardens. Spend a relaxing day in this stunning natural haven all-year round with their seasonal displays.

Lemon posset and Woodchester Sparkling wine



Recently voted producers of one of the world’s best Sauvingnon Blanc with their 2021 vintage, we are proud to hold a close partnership with Woodchester Valley vineyard in the Cotswolds.  Guided Tours and wine tasting events are available all year round and you will be taken by an expert on a tour of the vineyard to understand the intricacies of wine making before sitting down to taste some of the Woodchester fine wines.

The Royal Crescent bath



The Royal Crescent is one of Bath’s most iconic landmarks and may be recognised as the film set for the Netflix hit Bridgerton. It was built between 1767 and 1775 and designed by John Wood the Younger.

This impressive landmark is arranged around a perfect lawn overlooking Royal Victoria Park and forms a sweeping crescent of 30 Grade I Listed terrace houses.

Many notable people have either lived or stayed in the Royal Crescent since it was built, and some are commemorated on special plaques attached to the relevant buildings.

Cotswold Farm Park


Cotswolds Farm Park

Founded in 1971, Cotswold Farm Park is a total countryside experience for all the family. Meet over 50 rare breeds of British farm animals, hold little chicks and pedal on tractors. There is something for all ages to enjoy while learning all about farming. You will also find outdoor play areas, bouncy pillows, a muddy kitchen, and plenty of food and drink outlets along with a farm shop. You might also spot owner Adam, who frequently presents on BBC’s Countryfile.

Legoland in Windsor



There is fun for the whole family at one of the UK’s most popular family attractions and it’s only a seven minute drive from The Castle Hotel.  Enjoy wild rides, tootle along in miniature cars and boats, take a wander around a miniature version of the UK or get drenched in Drench Towers.  Regardless of your age, there is magic and memories to be shared.

Montpellier District Cheltenham



The Queens Hotel is located in the heart of the trendy Montpellier District of Cheltenham.  Here you will find vintage boutique and unique designers, artisan bakers and local butchers, street cafes and the Imperial Gardens to wander.  Find a comfy corner, grab a book and watch the world go by.

Fly away balloon experience Bath


Fly Away Ballooning

The Francis Hotel has entered into a very special partnership with local hot air balloon flight specialists; Fly Away Ballooning.  During April – September, take to the skies in a vibrant hot air balloon and get a true bird’s eye view of Bath and its surroundings.  One of the most extravagant and amazing ways to experience our city.  After your flight, enjoy a stay at The Francis Hotel on our unique package.

The Cotswolds Way


The Cotswolds Way

Take in the beauty of the Cotswolds by exploring the 102-mile footpath of The Cotswolds Way. Running between the market town of Chipping Campden in the north and the city of Bath in the south, whether you walk the whole route or wander along parts of it, there are many beautiful locations along the way to discover. Sample the shops and cafes in Broadway, one of the Cotswolds most popular villages. Stop off at Bourton-on-the-Water – the Venice of the Cotswolds.

Bath Skyline walk



The Bath Skyline walk is a lovely six-mile circular route above the city line giving you a bird’s eye view of our World Heritage City.  Take the walk in a clockwise direction and encounter an Iron Age hillfort, 18th century follies and, in spring, watch the lambs frolic in the fields. It will take between 3-4.5 hours but is a great way to explore the local area and give your pup a run out too as the walk is really dog friendly.

Windsor Great Park



Windsor Great Park offers over 5,000 acres of verdant countryside for families, couples and solo travellers to explore. Horticulturalists will adore the Savill Garden, with its unique floral displays and impeccably designed gardens, and Virginia Water Lake is a tranquil place to walk (or run) around, while taking in the 100ft Totem Pole and stunning waterfall. The Long Walk is one of Windsor’s most photographed sites – and home to over 500 deer.

Roman Baths



Follow in the footsteps of the Romans and dive into their fascinating history with a visit to The Roman Baths.  You can explore the Roman Baths complex, walk on the original Roman pavements and see the ruins of the Temple of Sulis Minerva.  For younger visitors, they will be enchanted with the adventures of Hoot the Owl as they follow his activity trails.  Slightly older children can immerse themselves in Roman history as read by Michael Rosen.

Pittville Park Cheltenham



Enjoy a joyful day out in the fresh air at Pittville Park. Opened in 1825, it is the city’s largest ornamental park and is less than a 30-minute walk from The Queens Hotel. If you are looking for a peaceful walk, there are lakes and 44 acres of parkland to explore, or for family fun, there is a children’s play area, tennis courts, and aviary and even a skate park. For history buffs, head to the grade 1 historic Pump Room.

Royal Victoria Park



From The Francis Hotel, it is just a short stroll to Royal Victoria Park. There is an abundance of things to see, do and explore. For fitness fanatics, 57 acres of gardens to run around, work out in and work up a sweat. For kids, there is a huge adventure playground with zip lines, climbing frames and slides. Enjoy a round of mini golf or thrash your partner at tennis. For leisure seekers, enjoy a picnic under the gaze of the circular Royal Crescent, admire the many gardens and take in the peace and quiet.

Windsor and Eton Brewery beer served at The Castle Hotel



Since 2010, Windsor & Eton Brewery have brought brewing back to the heart of Windsor with the goal to make beer the city’s top attraction. Whether it is for one of their Duke Street Experience Brewery Tours or live events such as Open Mic or Comedy Nights in the Unit Four Brewery Taproom, they are well worth a visit. You can even try some of the Brewery’s delicious produce at The Castle Hotel bar or Leaf restaurant before you visit.

Windsor Boat Trip



Take to the water to see more of this stunning city. A boat tour is the perfect way to sit back, take in and reflect on the enchanting scenery of Windsor. We will arrange a trip along the Thames for you with a brilliant local company as part of our Discover Royal Windsor Package.

Pulteny Bridge Bath


Pulteney Bridge

Pulteney Bridge is one of the most romantic and photographed bridges in the UK and located right in the heart of Bath.  It is a fine example of Georgian architecture dating back to the 1770s. A Grade I listed building and one of only four bridges in the world that has shops and restaurants spanning both sides.  It is well worth a visit during your time in Bath.

Ian Coley Clay Shooting Break The Queens Hotel Cheltenham


Ian Coley Shooting School

Whether you are a novice looking to try a spot of clay pigeon shooting for the first time or an experienced shotgun enthusiast, put a visit to the Ian Coley shooting school on your itinerary when visiting Cheltenham. Ian Coley is renowned in the shooting world, with his school being one of the best in the UK. Set in mature woodland and offering over 24 shooting stands, it is ideal for all abilities.

Bath Festivals 2023


Bath Festivals

Bath Festivals is a 10-day city-wide event taking place every May in the heart of Bath.  Each year the event brings together the best authors and musicians across 130 events, talks, readings and concerts in over 50 venues in the city.  Launching with a free Party in the Park in Queen Square, The Francis Hotel is proud to be one of the main accommodation partners to the festivals and host to a couple of events.

Everyman Theatre


Everyman Theatre

In the heart of Cheltenham, you will find the Everyman Theatre which has been entertaining Cheltenham since 1891. Full of history, the main auditorium is an architectural masterpiece designed by Frank Matcham. Throughout the year it puts on a wide range of productions from dramas, operas, ballets and music events to family pantomimes and community projects.



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Explore our locations in more depth and get our expert recommendations by rifling through our latest news and articles.  There’s insight, ideas and little hidden gems for you to uncover.

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