A Walk on the South Side - from Cheltenham to The Suffolks

Delve into the historical legacy of one of Cheltenham's most charming suburbs - The Suffolks

A Walk on the South Side - from Cheltenham to The Suffolks

England GL52 2AY, United Kingdom

Created By: Cheltenham Local History Society

Tour Information

This walk explores The Suffolks, one of the early southern suburbs of Regency Cheltenham. Built around a handsome square, the area takes its name from the Earl of Suffolk, who owned much of the land until the 1820s.

The elegant mansions, villas and terraces were superimposed upon an ancient agricultural landscape and depended upon domestic trades and commerce. Together with the social and economic changes of the intervening two centuries, this has created a diverse urban legacy.

Tour Information

Beginning in front of Suffolk House flats in Suffolk Square, the circular route takes us into Suffolk Parade, with its mix of boutique shops, cafes and restaurants. From there we will walk through the residential area to reach the impressive buildings of Cheltenham College in Bath Road, before returning along Suffolk Road to the starting point. Along the way we will look at some landmark buildings and touch upon their history. The area is very well provided with places of refreshment, for breakfast, lunch and dinner – and all points in between!

The walk takes about one hour but can be shortened by choosing the “Skip” option to select the next point of interest. If you'd prefer to select your own route, just select "Free Roam Mode" when you start the tour. Please note that you need to be within 50ft of each Point of Interest to open the detailed information. Please swipe left on Point of Interest images to see historic photos of the same location.

An audio version is available under Settings where you can also toggle-on "Auto Map Rotation" to assist with navigation.


This is a co-production of Cheltenham Connect and Cheltenham Local History Society, created by Stuart Manton and Andrea Creedon. For more in-depth information on the area covered by the walk please see the website www.cheltenhamsouthtown.org.

Tour Map

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What You'll See on the Tour

The Suffolk House flats were constructed in 1936 in the modernist style and replaced a Regency house of the same name. This was formerly the location of Gallipot Farm which, from at least the Middle Ages, sat in isolation about half a mile ... Read more
St James' Church was built in 1825-30 on the proprietary system, whereby funds were raised by selling shares. Each shareholder (or ‘proprietor’) received pews in the church according to their shareholding and could rent these out to oth... Read more
The Daffodil Picture House, the first purpose-built cinema in Cheltenham, was opened in 1922 by Frederick Sims, the owner of a baker’s shop next door. It had 750 seats, including some doubles for use by courting couples. The building has ... Read more
Designed by John Forbes, the architect of the Pittville Pump Room, the oldest part of the building dates from 1822. One of the first landlords was Mr James Carter, who celebrated the birthday of Princess (later Queen)  Victoria, in 1837, b... Read more
The Cheltenham Proprietary College for Boys opened in a house in St George’s Road in 1841, relocating to these new buildings in 1843. The school and its playing fields occupy a large part of the former Sandford common field, stretching aw... Read more
Now part of Cheltenham College, Thirlestaine House was largely built between 1820 and 1823 by an amateur architect named James Robert Scott as his private residence. The mansion, which originally consisted only of the central portion, has b... Read more
This building sits at the corner of Suffolk Road, which was once an ancient farm track across the Sandford and Westall open fields. Two centuries ago, then called Commercial Road, it marked the southern limit of Cheltenham.   Formerly know... Read more
This building was formerly the site of numbers 9 & 10 Northwick Terrace, once a continuation of the Regency row to the left as we face the building.                                In 1851 number 10 Northwic... Read more
The Suffolk Arms dates from 1824 and is probably the oldest building in this street. The land upon which it sits was once part of a field called New Grotten, which belonged to Charles Brandon Trye, Lord of the Manor of Leckhampton.     ... Read more
In the early 19th century hereabout were masons’ yards, where limestone from the Leckhampton quarries was worked. The site remained vacant until Albert Stone, owner of the Bon Marche drapery store in Bristol, purchased this building in 18... Read more
This shop was in the same trade longer than any other in Suffolk Parade. From at least 1838, beginning with Mr John Lapidge, it was a grocery and tea dealership.   By 1860 Mr Charles Malvern was the grocer and in 1887 Mr C.J. Davies, who w... Read more
This site witnessed a remarkable continuity of trade and an important social and technological transition. The modern office block standing here conceals a history associated with road transport for more than 140 years.   In 1830 this prop... Read more
Before returning to Suffolk Square you may wish to cross Suffolk Road and take a short stroll along Park Place from the traffic lights. The fine villas here were the first to be developed for the gentry to the south of Suffolk Road from abo... Read more
You have now reached the end of your walking tour.    Stroll back along Suffolk Square and enjoy a well-earned rest on one of the benches in Montpellier Gardens.   Or return to the heart of the Suffolks to browse the shops and cafes ... Read more


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