We have three reasons to be happy this week folks… 

  • The weather, which is forecast to be hot, hot, hot
  • More of our ‘non-essential’ businesses opening up in town (full list here)
  • AND it’s National Picnic Week! 

Best picnic spots in Cheltenham

To celebrate we’ve shared below the best picnic spots in Cheltenham and our favourite nearby cafes and delis which are open and serving tasty picnic treats.  We hope our recommendations provide you with lots of al fresco dining inspiration to catch you up on lost time and help you make the most of the summer in Cheltenham.

*Please note children’s playgrounds and café seating areas are currently closed and many of the cafes mentioned below are only taking card payments due to current government advice to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  We thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

Pittville Park

Best picnic spots in Cheltenham - Pittville Park

We are very fortunate to have this incredible green space in Cheltenham, particularly within walking distance of the town centre. This award winning park features the spectacular Grade One listed Pittville Pittvillle Pump Room, boating lake and duck pond. There is plenty of space to spread out and enjoy a picnic with family and friends. Kids will enjoy exploring, climbing trees and feeding the ducks.

Places to buy refreshments in Pittville Park

Pittville Park outdoor cafe

You are spoilt for choice for places to purchase picnic treats here.  The new outdoor café at Pittville Pump Room is open daily from Monday 22 June serving takeaway morning coffee, brunch, light lunches, afternoon teas and ice creams.  The kiosk by the children’s playground; the popular Boathouse on the western side of the park; and the Central Cross Café, also all serve hot drinks, Marshfield ice cream and other delicious treats.

Sandford Park

Best picnic spots in Cheltenham - Sandford park

Located at the end of the High Street, Sandford Park is perfect for a quiet lunch break in the sun. If you wish to have space to sprawl out or play games with friends we recommend a picnic on the recreational side of the park, across College Road and adjacent to Sandford Parks Lido. The ornamental side of the park (featured above), with its pretty flower beds and fish ponds, is a great spot for a romantic picnic date.

Nearby places to buy refreshments, Sandford Park

Sandford Park has it's own cafe, near the childrens play area, however this is currently not open. Located within a short walking distance of town so you have a wide range of cafes and deli’s to choose from for refeshments including Farm House Deli on the High Street and Misters Café on Grosvenor Terrace.

Imperial Gardens

Best picnic spots in Cheltenham - Imperial Gardens

These centrally located gardens on the Promenade are absolutely spectacular at this time of year with landscaped lawns and stunning flowerbeds in bloom. It is the perfect spot to enjoy relaxing with family/friends after a shopping spree in town.

Places to buy refreshments in and around Imperial Gardens

Best picnic spots in Cheltenham - Imperial Gardens Garden Bar

The outdoor Garden Bar Café, located in the gardens to the back of the Cheltenham Town Hall, is open daily from Monday 22 June. You can expect freshly baked pastries, breakfast baps, pizza, sandwiches, salads, afternoon tea and lots of delicious cakes.  Being located in the centre of town you are also spoilt for choice with other nearby cafes offering a takeout service including Woodkraft, The Find and The Everyman Theatre Café Bar all located on Regent Street.

Montpellier Gardens

Best picnic spots in Cheltenham - Montpellier Gardens

Located at the top of Montpellier and the Promenade, within close walking distance of the town centre and surrounded by Cheltenham's regency architecture, is another stunning spot to enjoy a picnic.  The gardens are part of the Cheltenham Central Conservation Area which, at over 600 hectares, is one of the largest in the country.

Nearby places to buy refreshments in and around Montpellier Gardens

The Garden Café is located next to the children’s play area serving many delicious treats including ice cream. Across the road from the Gardens are many cafes and deli’s including Maison Chaplais serving breakfast baps and fresh pasta/pizzas; Pink Vintage serving artisan cakes; John Gordons, the independent wine and spirit merchant selling hot drinks, cakes and cocktails; Clementine Café serving a wide range of goodies; the Coffee Dispensary serving hot drinks and sweet treats plus Archie's of Cheltenham for nibbles and drinks.

Cox’s Meadow

Best picnic spots in Cheltenham - Cox's Meadow

Perhaps not a place that would immediately spring to mind for a summer’s picnic in Cheltenham is a flood plain known as, Cox’s Meadow. This wetland is a popular spot for local families and dog walkers due to the River Chelt that runs alongside it and a great foot path/bike path which leads you into neighbouring Charlton Kings.  

Nearby places to buy refreshments in Cox's Meadow

Best picnic spots in Cheltenham - Cox's Meadow

The onsite Meadow Café is a great spot to purchase hot and cold drinks, sandwiches, toasties, paninis and a selection of pastries.

We would love to see photos of you enjoying your picnics in Cheltenham and supporting our local businesses folks.  Please do tag us in on social media @VisitCheltenham.

For more information about making the most of your time in Cheltenham check out:

Our guide to visiting Cheltenham this summer

Businesses currently open in Cheltenham

Things to do outdoors in Cheltenham


Imperial Gardens
Imperial Gardens Cheltenham

The Imperial Gardens were originally landscaped and planted as a pleasure garden for the wealthy. Visitors can enjoy refreshments from The Garden Bar which offers serves pizzas, fries, breakfast baps, draught beer, light lunches, morning coffee, cakes and pastries, ice cream, wines, ciders, bottled beers and cocktails.

Montpellier Gardens
Montpellier Garden Cheltenham

Montpellier Gardens lie close to the town centre and are an important part of Cheltenham's regency landscape. The gardens can be split into two recreational zones. Most of the park facilities are in the southern section and includes tennis courts, a café, toddlers’ play area and toilets. You’ll also find a community art gallery, Gardens Gallery which exhibits local artists’ work for the public. If you’re lucky you may also caught a live concert on the bandstand during the summer months.

Pittville Park
Municipal Park
Pittville Pump Room Cheltenham across the lake

A fantastic blend of living history, open spaces, children's activities and of course a boating lake! The perfect place to spend a day...

Sandford Park
Sandford Park Cheltenham entrance

Situated at the end of the High Street, Sandford Park is one of Cheltenham's lesser known treasures. The tiny River Chelt, which takes its name from the town, flows through Sandford Park.

Cox's MeadowCox's meadow Cheltenham

Cox’s Meadow is a mixture of wetland and wildland.  Since the early years of the millennium it has been part of Cheltenham’s Flood Alleviation Scheme. The town is vulnerable to floods caused by run-offs from thunderstorms high on the nearby hills.

Cleeve Hill
Cleeve Hill overlooking Cheltenham

Cleeve Hill is located on Cheltenham’s North-Eastern edge, on the way to Winchcombe, affording breath-taking views of Cheltenham and the surrounding area...



  1. Jilly
    Help to keep Cheltenham beautiful by taking your litter home with you!!

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