The recent weeks of glorious sunshine may have taken us by surprise, but there is no denying that summer is upon us and it is time to make the most of the great outdoors. Maybe we are biased, but we believe Cheltenham and the spectacular Cotswold countryside are the perfect destination for a summer weekend break. Cheltenham boasts 600 acres of historic parks and gardens, the most famous being Pittville Park, home to the famous Pittville Pump Room, which together with Montpellier Gardens and Imperial Gardens, was created in the early part of the 19th Century as ‘pleasure grounds’ attached to the spas. And now is the perfect time of year to see all the gardens in full spring time glory.
Not only do we have our own beautiful parks, but we have the splendours of the Cotswold countryside right on our doorstep. One of our favourite destinations is Sudeley Castle, near Winchcombe, which boasts 9 award-winning gardens, including a Secret Garden created by Rosemary Verey, a Wildflower Walk and a picturesque picnic area. For those who like their gardens a little more eccentric, then the unique Rococo Gardens, near Painswick, are a real gem. Originally laid out in the 18th century, the gardens are set in a hidden Cotswold valley and boast a fascinating combination of woodland walks, vistas, a restored kitchen garden and a unique maze.
Our top tip … why not head to the nearby Red Pepper Delicatessen, on Regent Street, to pick up some goodies for a delicious gourmet picnic.