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Any opinions on Cheltenham?

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I'm thinking of visiting some cathedrals on my way north from Oxford - some or all of Gloucester, Worcester and Hereford. When I looked Gloucester up in Lonely Planet I was surprised to find it advising me to stay in Cheltenham and day trip instead of sleeping in Gloucester. I had not previously considered Cheltenham as a destination, but LP seemed quite enthusiastic, making it sound like a less-touristed Bath, although without the Roman Baths.

I'll be traveling by public transport, and besides Gloucester it seems that I could also visit Tewkesbury and maybe somewhere in the Cotswolds by bus, and Worcester by train. I'm not pushed for time, so would three or four nights in Cheltenham be a good idea?

I'd also like to get some walking in, nothing too energetic, two or three hour hikes. Any advice on that? I'll probably stop off in Ludlow or Shrewsbury after Cheltenham.

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