Cheltenham’s largest green space, Pittville Park, is to the north of the town and straddles Evesham Road. The park borders Tommy Taylor's Lane to the west and Pittville Lawn to the east, and the narrow southern section of the park stretches as far south as Wellington Road.
The park is probably best known as being the home of Cheltenham’s elegant Pittville Pump Room but it has many other features. The park has two lakes, a watercourse with ornamental weirs and pools, decorative gardens, aviaries, a variety of recreational spaces and small areas of woodland.
History of the Park
- The East Side
The eastern section of the Park was created in the 1820s by Joseph Pitt as the centrepiece of his Pittville estate, providing a private area of “walks and rides” for residents of the estate and visitors to the Pump Room. The Park contains 44 acres (17.8 hectares) of parkland, including an ornamental lake with elegant bridges and a wide variety of trees.
Opened in 1825, the park was originally enclosed by railings, and was a private facility until the 1890s when ownership was transferred to Cheltenham Borough Council.
The building which now houses the Central Cross Cafe dates from 1903. It was originally the entrance lodge to the park where visitors paid for admission until charges were abolished in 1954. The building retains many original features, including the spa tap from a small spa called Essex Lodge which occupied an adjacent site in the 1820s.
Activity areas available on this side of the park include the main children’s play area and the bird and rabbit enclosures. Toilets can be found in the eastern park just to the south of the play area, and refreshments can be bought from the Kiosk in the play area The Central Cross Cafe is in the southern section alongside Central Cross Drive.
- The West Side
The much larger west side of the present-day park was not part of the original Pittville Estate but was opened as a public pleasure ground in 1894. It has a more informal layout with a lake and some areas of woodland.
Activity areas available on this side of the park include boating on the Lower Lake, angling during the fishing season, a smaller children's play area, tennis courts, a pitch and putt golf course and a skate park. Hire of boats, fishing permits and refreshments are available from the Boathouse Cafe.
For extremely energetic visitors a short beginners orienteering challenge has been developed for Pittville Park. The challenge uses both sides of the park and route maps are available from the Central Cross and Boathouse Cafes.
The Kiosk and Central Cross Cafes are in the Eastern Side of the park. The Kiosk overlooking the children's play area is open:
09:00 – 17:00 7 days a week all year
It serves drinks, snacks and ice-cream.
More information go to Web: The Kiosk
Serves breakfast, lunches and food for picnics
For more details and full opening hours go to Cafe website link below:
Location: Central Cross Café, Central Cross Drive, Cheltenham GL52 2DX.
+44 (0)1242 234907
The Boathouse Cafe
Thie Cafe is in the Western Side of the park on the A435 road, hidden on the shore of Pittville Park's Lower (Boating) Lake. Address: The Boathouse, Pittville Park A435, Cheltenham GL52 2AP.
For more details and full opening hours contact
Tel: +44 (0)1242 519215
Web: The Boathouse Cafe
Friends of Pittville
The Friends of Pittville is a volunteer organisation dedicated to helping Cheltenham Borough Council with the upkeep of the park. One of their major projects was the restoration of the 1833 wrought iron main gates into the park. They have also have planted wild garlic and primroses in areas on the west side of the lake, and transplanted cowslips from the old Dunnalley School wildlife area.
To discover more about the Friends go to Web: Friends of Pitville
Contact & Further Information
Google Maps - Pittville Park