Created By: Cheltenham Local History Society
This walk explores the historic public gardens of Cheltenham which are a legacy of the town's popularity as a fashionable Georgian spa. A key part of the 19th-century spa experience was to be seen "promenading" and the central gardens were built in close proximity to the newly developed spas to facilitate this.
Today Imperial Square and Montpellier Gardens still play an important role in Cheltenham's cultural life and leisure activities being the locations for many of the town's famous festivals. On sunny days local residents and visitors alike are still drawn to "promenade" around their many flower lined paths.
The walk starts in front of Cheltenham Town Hall in Imperial Square, and takes you around Imperial Gardens before moving on to Montpellier Gardens and finishing outside the Queens Hotel.
Much of the area where Imperial Square now stands was originally an uncultivated marsh. Development was begun on the south side by solicitor Thomas Henney, who opened the Sherborne, or Imperial, Spa in 1817-18, approached by the newly-laid-out Promenade.
Montpellier Gardens were laid out in 1831 as pleasure grounds for the Montpellier Spa and have always been a popular location for public entertainment.
This walk takes you on a gentle stroll around the two parks and adjacent roads whilst providing the historical background to some of the present - and past - features and events. Refreshments are available at the Imperial Garden Bar or the Montpellier Garden Cafe.
The walk takes about an hour to complete but you can shorten it by choosing the "Skip" option to select the next point of interest you'd like to go to. 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 for the detailed information to open up.
An audio version is available under Settings where you can also toggle-on "Auto Map Rotation" to assist with navigation.
TO START THE WALK, PLEASE STAND IN FRONT OF CHELTENHAM TOWN HALL AND SELECT "START TOUR". NOTE THAT YOU CAN DO THE TOUR IN REVERSE BY STANDING IN FRONT OF THE QUEENS HOTEL AND SELECTING "START TOUR"
This walk is provided by Cheltenham Local History Society and was created by Jill Waller and Andrea Creedon. If you would like to find out more about the history of Cheltenham, please go to our website cheltlocalhistory.org.uk