A round up of the best picnic spots in Cheltenham and our recommended nearby cafes serving tasty picnic treats. We've started with the most popular places to enjoy a picnic in Cheltenham and made our way through to picnic spots a short drive from the town centre, for those who wish to avoid crowds. 

You may also find our guides to Places to Eat Outdoors in Cheltenham & Beer Gardens in Cheltenham helpful for making the most of the hot weather.  Bon appétit!

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 the huge playground including water play area, exploring the area around the boating lake, climbing trees and feeding the swans and 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 - Pittville Pump Room Heritage Cafe is open daily serving takeaway morning coffee, brunch, light lunches, afternoon teas and ice creams.  The kiosk by the children’s playground; the popular Boathouse Cafe 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, Meadow Cafe in Cox's Meadow 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 in the summer. 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 and The Find 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 Chaplais Kitchen 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; or the Coffee Dispensary serving hot drinks and sweet treats.

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.

Alternative picnic spots a short drive from Cheltenham Town Centre

Cotswolds Way on Cleeve Hill overlooking Cheltenham

If you are looking to avoid the crowds we can throughly recommend nearby Cleeve HillLineover Wood near Dowdeswell Resevoir, Crickley Hill and Leckhampton Hill. If you click through onto these links you will find car parking information and everything you need to know to plan your visit.

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:

Things To Do Outdoors in Cheltenham

Whats On Guide Cheltenham

Beer Gardens in Cheltenham

Places to Eat Outdoors in Cheltenham


Imperial Gardens
Imperial Gardens Cheltenham

The Imperial Gardens were originally landscaped and planted as a pleasure garden for the wealthy. Today approximately 25,000 bedding plants are used to produce the magnificent floral displays enjoyed by thousands of visitors every year.

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...

Leckhampton Hill and Charlton Kings Common
Leckhampton Hill and Charlton Kings Common in Cheltenham

Leckhampton Hill and Charlton Kings Common lie within the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The main aspect of the hill is visible from many parts of Cheltenham. It is a cherished landscape feature for residents and visitors.

Crickley Hill Country Park
Natural Wildlife Site
Crickley Hill Cheltenham

Visit part of the beautiful Cotswold countryside at Crickley Hill Country Park.  Managed jointly by the National Trust and Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, the park is a haven for nature and home to many birds, reptiles and mammals and is recognised as a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its wonderful variety of wildflowers. Rising above the city of Gloucester, Crickley Hill it also boasts breath-taking views over the Severn Vale, the Brecon Beacons and Black Mountain.

The Boathouse Cafe, Pittville Park
Al Fresco
Boathouse Cafe Pittville Park Cheltenham

A much loved cafe in Pittville Park Cheltenham, located on the edge of the boating lake near the skate park and tennis courts with an outdoor and indoor seating area. Bursting with nostalgic charm. Enjoy freshly ground coffee, delicious ice cream and homemade sandwiches and cakes.

Central Cross Cafe
Al Fresco
Central Cross Cafe Cheltenham

The former ice cream hut in Pittville Park is now a multi-award winning park café. New for summer 2021 they have introduce a Sundae Shack serving ice cream sundaes with delicious Marshfield ice cream...

Pittville Pump Room Heritage Café
Pittville Pump Room Heritage Café

The Heritage Café at Pittville Pump Room is open daily. Located within a spectacular grade one listed historic building. A popular spot for locals and visitors to enjoy delicious refreshments whilst soaking in the beautiful surroundings of Pittville Park and Lake.

The Garden Bar, Imperial Gardens
The Garden Bar, Imperial Gardens

The Garden Bar, Orangery and Skillicorne Garden are located in Imperial Gardens, alongside Cheltenham Town Hall, a popular place to hang out with family and friends in all weathers. The stylish Garden Bar Orangery is an elegant place to dine with uninterrupted views over Imperial Gardens, exterior decking for sunny days and signature orange tree.

The Garden Café
Al Fresco
Garden Cafe, Montpellier Gardens, Cheltenham

Situated right in the heart of Montpellier Gardens, the café provides respite for many from the hustle and bustle of the town centre. With homemade sandwiches, wraps, freshly ground coffee and Teapigs teas...

The Boathouse Activities (Boat Hire, Tennis, Pitch & Putt), Pittville ParkBoathouse Cafe Pittville Park Cheltenham

The Boathouse is the place to hire rowing boats plus book pitch & putt golf and tennis courts. You can also plus purchase fishing licenses from here. The Boathouse organise their own events for children and families including Welly Walks and nature trails.



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

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