Venue

This years venue is once again Gas Green Community Centre, Baker Street Cheltenham, GL51 9HG. It played host to the 2007, 2008 Grand Tribunals and 2010 and has so far always proven adequate for our needs. We will be here for the whole Tribunal this year rather than moving around from place to place though as in previous years.

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Download the pedestrian map of Cheltenham - PDF - includes venue, public transport links, pubs and local services.

Access [Edit]

The venue is wheelchair accessible and suitable, and almost all other peripheral venues – restaurants, the cafe for Sunday breakfast, etc are wheelchair accessible. if you have any questions regarding mobility issues feel free to contact CJ.

The pub we are meeting in after the Friday meal however may have access issues, so let me know if this is a problem so I can arrange special access.

Facilities [Edit]

Facilities at Gas Green include a kitchen and toilets. A room may be set aside for changing upon request, contact CJ.

There is no fixed WiFi. 3G mobile broadband reception is good in many (but not all) rooms.

Luggage, coats and umbrellas can be left in the lobby, but it is unsupervised. We have never had any thefts from this venue, but if you have valuables such as passports, travel tickets or electronics, it would be sensible keep those with you.

The nearest childcare/creche service that operates at the weekend is Tick Tocks, Wymans Lane, tel. 01242 300193. Advance booking is recommended.

There is a very large late-night Tesco supermarket only a couple of minutes' walk away on Tewkesbury Road, at the junction with Colletts Drive GL51 8JQ. This Tesco also has a petrol station.

There are numerous take-aways including chips, pizza, kebabs, Chinese and Indian along Lower High Street, about 7 minutes' walk from the venue (sat nav postcode GL50 3HU ). For posher sandwich bars and coffee chops try Montpellier Street around GL50 1SW, about 5 minutes drive from the venue. Drive-through McDonalds and KFC can be found along Tewkesbury Road near the junction with Kingsditch Lane (sat nav postcode GL51 9DT ).

About Cheltenham [Edit]

Cheltenham is a large Regency town of around 100,000 people which grew as a Spa holiday retreat for the wealthy in the 1700s. The town is generally considered "posh" although the Gas Green venue is in a more affordable part of town. There are several well-maintained parks, boutique shopping along the Promenade and Montpellier, and a wide selection of hotels.

Although it nestles at the foot of the steep Cotswold hills, the town itself is relatively flat with a few gentle slopes. Pedestrian, cycle and bus routes make it easy to get around.

Further afield is Gloucester with its superb cathedral (whose cloisters were used for the Harry Potter films) and numerous pretty Cotswold villages including Broadway and Bourton On The Water.

Taxis [Edit]

The largest taxi firms in Cheltenham are:

Starline: Tel. 01242 250250
Spa Tax: Tel. 01242 807666
Central Taxis: Tel. 01242 228877

Cheltenham is very well served for taxis and private hire, there are several other good firms.

Road [Edit]

From Birmingham, Midlands and North: Take M5 Junction 10

From Bristol and South West: Take M5 Junction 11

From Oxford: Take A40 signposted Cheltenham and Gloucester

From London, South and South East: Take M4 Junction 15 signposted Swindon, then take the A419/A417 dual carriageway signposted Cirencester, Cheltenham and Gloucester.

Cheltenham itself has a large one-way inner ring road. If you get stuck or lost on this inner ring road, follow signs to Tewkesbury.

The nearest petrol station to the venue is Tesco, Colletts Drive GL51 8JQ. This is manned until late at night and has automated pumps open 24/7 which accept major bank cards (i.e. Visa and Mastercard but not American Express).

Sunday Road Closures - St Georges Road [Edit]

The roads around Cheltenham Ladies College and the Library - St Georges Road, Bayshill Road, St James Square and St Georges Place - will be closed for resurfacing on Sunday 19 August. This does not significantly affect Grand Tribunal.

  • The Inner Ring Road is not affected.
  • By car, this means you will not be able to get from the Inner Ring Road past the Ladies College to St Georges Road, past Waitrose and on to Gloucester Road. This would otherwise be one of the more convenient routes from the Town Centre to the Gas Green Community Centre venue. Instead, continue on the Inner Ring Road past Boots Chemist and then remain straight on to North Place past The Parrot Inn, and turn left at the traffic lights onto Fairview Road / St Margarets Road.

Airports [Edit]

The most convenient airport for Cheltenham is Birmingham, which is around 45-60 minutes drive entirely along motorways, and which has its own railway station (change at Birmingham New Street for Cheltenham Spa).

Other airports include Bristol, which has no railway station nor direct motorway link and is around 60-90 minutes drive. Cardiff and Heathrow are also options. All of the aforementioned airports have car hire.

For those coming from the North of England, Scotland or Ireland, a flight to Birmingham and an onward train ticket to Cheltenham Spa may well be much cheaper than a train for the whole journey.

For airport transfers, try Cheltenham Airport Cars tel. 01242 698080 or IPort Cars 01242 700011.

Note that the nearby Gloucestershire Airport at Staverton is for private jets only, the only scheduled services being to the tax havens of the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

Rail & Bus [Edit]

Cheltenham Spa railway station provides direct connections to Birmingham New Street, Bristol and Cardiff. There are a few direct connections to London Paddington, although on some routes you may need to change at Swindon.

There is no direct railway connection to Oxford due to the Cotswold hills getting in the way. From Oxford, change at Worcester.

Cheltenham Spa is about 30 minutes walk from the Gas Green venue. Bus route D will take you from the station to the town centre, from there take bus route 41 or 42 to the large Tesco supermarket on Tewkesbury Road which is only two minutes' walk to the venue.

Route D: Warden Hill to Bishops Cleeve, stopping at the railway station and at Clarence Street in town centre. Every 10 minutes.

Route 41/42: Cheltenham to Tewkesbury & Northway, stopping at Clarence Street in town centre and at Tesco supermarket on Tewkesbury Road (near Gas Green). Every 15 minutes.

Route C: Town Centre to Springbank, stopping at McDonalds, High Street in town centre and at Tesco supermarket on Tewkesbury Road (near Gas Green). Every 15 minutes.

All of the C, D, 41 and 42 services are run by Stagecoach and you can get a day pass for less than £4 to cover unlimited travel around Cheltenham. All of these bus routes have level access ramps and wheelchair spaces.

Sunday D Bus Diversion - St Georges Road [Edit]

The roads around Cheltenham Ladies College and the Library - St Georges Road, Bayshill Road, St James Square and St Georges Place - will be closed for resurfacing on Sunday 19 August. This does not significantly affect Grand Tribunal.

http://www.stagecoachbus.com/serviceupdatedetails.aspx?Id=5333

  • Buses 41, 42 and C - the buses which connect the Town Centre to the Tesco Tewkesbury Road Gas Works stop near Gas Green - are not affected.
  • Bus D - the bus which connects the Railway Station with the Town Centre - will continue to run and continue to serve the Railway Station and Town Centre as normal, but will take a slightly different route (will not serve Waitrose) probably delaying it by a few minutes. If you are unfamiliar with this route, you probably won't even notice. Annoyingly this different route may take it briefly closer to Gas Green and Tewkesbury Road, but it probably won't serve any of those stops.

Climate [Edit]

Cheltenham in August is typically warm, but prepare for wet weather; a lightweight rain mac or umbrella is probably essential. Sad but true, and I note this for our international visitors.

Festivals [Edit]

Cheltenham is perhaps best known for its many Festivals, none of which fortunately clash with our event. Check out the website at http://www.cheltenhamfestivals.co.uk/

The main festival in Cheltenham is the Gold Cup horse racing festival in March. Other festivals include science, literature, music and jazz (according to the Cheltenham Festivals association, jazz is not music).

Game and Bookshops [Edit]

While you are in town you may wish to do some shopping. I can't cover all the shops, but I can give a few details on shops that may be of particular interest to out delegates.

Cheltenham only has one (as far as I know) RPG stockist. Proud Lion is a comic shop that has an upstairs room with a good selection of modern euro-games (really good boardgames if you don't know the term) and an RPG section. It also does comics (it's primarily a comic shop), graphic novels and movie memorabilia. Do check it out and tell Ben you are in town for Grand Tribunal.
It's marked on Andy's map above; the website and blog with much of interest is here – http://www.proudlion.co.uk/

Cheltenham has a LOT of excellent second hand book shops, as well as discount book shops and charity shops with good book selections. The following are all excellent, but there are many more.

Grand Tribunal is held by kind permission of Atlas Games. "Grand Tribunal" and the "Grand Tribunal" logo are trademarks of Trident, Inc. d/b/a Atlas Games, used with permission.

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