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Surrounded By Local Beauties


A. Burchard recommends the latest glossy books.

Despite the current doom and gloom in the book world books about Cheltenham and its surroundings have sprung up in surprising numbers. Until recently local books had very much the DIY look, but publishers have recognized that going local is a great little money spinner. And here in Cheltenham amazing riches lie right on our doorstep.

CHELTENHAM, A new history by Anthea Jones, £24.99

This is an authoritative, well presented book and worth its price. The illustrations are lavish. Historical characters such as the muffin man, the street hawkers and views of Cheltenham through the ages are also depicted. GCHQ as well as the Cheltenham races are not forgotten.

CHELTENHAM by Stephen Morris, £16.99

Not only is this a very beautiful book, it is also great value for the money. There are stunning photographs of our streets and architectural detail few Cheltonians Stephen Morris, who comes from Liverpool, is a passionate photographer. This is the perfect coffee table book, as a gift or even better, to keep.

HEAVENLY LIGHT – St Mary’s, by the Revd. Andrew Dow, £4

One of Andrew Dow’s predecessors had found the oldest building in Cheltenham too old fashioned. He planned to close it and it was only thanks to devoted volunteers and the arrival of Andrew Dow that this treasure did not become derelict. In this illustrated volume Andrew Dow shows and explains the treasures that lie within the church. A visit is a must, so is the purchase of this little book.

COTSWOLD VILLAGES by Stephen Dorey, £6.99

This would be a lovely book to have if one plans day outings from Cheltenham. The book shows us wonderful places to visit. Stephen Dorey who set up Cotswold Library. is a professional photographer specializing in all things architectural. Don’t miss his visiting these villages this summer.

COTSWOLD SCENE by Chris Andrews, £11.99

Chris Andrews has made a collection of very atmospheric shots. Markets, bridges, villages and rural scenes have been captured in all their beauty.

CHELTENHAM IN ANTARCTICA, The Life of Edward Wilson, by D.M. Wilson and D.B.Elder, £9.99

For anyone in Cheltenham interested in the story of Scott’s fatal expedition to the South Pole this is a real find. Before freezing to death in a small tent together with Captain Scott, Edward Wilson, born and bred in Cheltenham, made a detailed record of the wildlife of the frozen wastes. Most poignant are the drawings and watercolours of the men on their perilous treck through snow storms.

PORTRAIT OF CHELTENHAM by Remy Whiting, £25.00

Here Cheltenham characters are captured, from Dancing Ken to children playing dolphin, hardy oldies at the open air pool or ladies with their favourite cars. With the link to Winston’s Wish as well as the National Star College, this book, despite the fact that it is just a slim paperback, hopes to raise money for good causes with its big price tag.


Fun for the kids and full of the history of Cheltenham too. The story from Roman times, all the way through the Tudors and on to Georgian times and beyond. GCHQ is also explained for young aspiring spies.


Totally surprising views. See the grounds of some of the great houses within easy reach of Cheltenham. The aerial views show the historic foot print of our small towns and how they expanded ovee centuries to the modern day.

The CHELTENHAM WORLD OF JUMP RACING, by Mick Fitzgerald, £25

With one of the greatest racing festivals in the world this book comes as no surprise. Great pictures of races, winners, triumphant jockeys, aeriel shots of the spectacular race track.

COUNTRY HOUSES OF THE COTSWOLDS, by Nicholas Mander. From the archives of Country Life, £25

Mander shows us the historical importance of our region.See the fabulous interiors of the great houses. The book is organised by period and style, all the way to the Arts and Crafts movement at Kelmscot Manor. Included too is the Prince of Wales’ famous Orchard Room at Highgrove as well as Rosemary Verey’s garden at Barnsley House.

THE COTSWOLDS TOWN AND VILLAGE GUIDE: The Definitive Guide to Places of Interest, £9.99

Go walkabout with this guide, perfect fot family outings.Explore our lovely landscape, rivers and streams. Whether you like wide open vistas or hidden path, you’re bound to find a country pub to rest your feet.