Our First Choice for Literature

October 06, 2017 / Posted by Cheryl Brunwin / in Event planning / 2689 Views

For ten days every Autumn, Cheltenham is transformed into a literary lover’s dream. Over 600 of the world’s finest writers, actors, politicians, poets and opinion formers, gather alongside thousands of locals and visitors.  It’s The Times and Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival, celebrating the joy of the written word!

Launched in 1949 by the Cheltenham-born actor Sir Ralph Richardson, and the local poet Cecil Day-Lewis – the father of Hollywood actor Daniel Day-Lewis – is the longest-running festival of its kind in the world.


Every Autumn Cheltenham welcomes over 600 of the world’s finest writers and receives thousands of visitors to celebrate the joy of the written word. This year Hillary Clinton is appearing. She will be discussing her new book, What Happened. A personal account of her experience as the Democratic Party’s nominee for President of the United States in the 2016 election. We’re jam-packed with celebs too. Comedian’s Russell Brand, Harry Enfield, Robert WebbAl MurrayMatt Lucas, and Miranda Hart. Olympic diving medallist Tom Daley. Winner of The Great British Bake Off in 2015 Nadiya Hussain, and chef/writer Nigella Lawson. Actor Bill Nighy, Judy Murray, Michael Parkinson and more.

Use our quick-links to find out more about who and Whats On. Plan your day using the official Day Planner.


Our event management experts have also found you some great FREE EVENTS at this year’s festivals:

Join the Cheltenham Lit Crawl on Saturday, October 7 from 5pm until late. The idea was first created in San Francisco and combines a range of pop-up literary events from a Harry Potter Quiz to poetry. Make sure to stick around until the end for the after-party at Hotel du Vin.

The Times Crossword – Pop up to the Feast Cafe Bar in Montpellier Gardens, home of the Festival Village, and test your puzzle skills. Help will be at hand from The Times Crossword Editor Richard Rogan. From 11pm-12pm on October 9-13.

If you want to keep the kids busy during the festival there’s a Where’s Wally? and Famous Five Trail.

In association with Oxford University Press, the festival is running a series of introductory workshops. These include translation, clinical psychology and branding. There is a different workshop each day from October 9-13 in The Hustle at the Festival Village.

Weekends are also take care of with some of your favourite book characters including Maisy, The Gruffalo and Elmer will be at The Woodland Trust Wild Wood. Also expect Giant Jenga, mask making and a virtual trip through the tree tops.

For more details make sure you visit the official Whats On page.



We want to celebrate this world-famous annual event in our home town of Cheltenham. So, each day our team at First Choice Conference & Events, will share a favourite book, or current good-read with our clients, partners and friends via our social media platforms. We would love you to join in and share too!

Leave a comment below, or come visit us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and join in the festival fun!