M5, Junction 10; 11 minutes
Vegetarian or vegan options
Parking available onsite
Wide open spaces, lakes to walk around and an enormous adventure playground (complete with rabbits, guinea pigs, chipmunks, duck pond and an aviary); it’s well worth zipping off at Cheltenham to drop into Pittville Park. Central Cross Café, an award-winning neighbourhood haunt from ‘In the Park’, has adopted an old Victorian park pavilion – green and white timbers, ornate fascia boards and blooming floral displays – and sells scrummy fair-trade coffee, hot chocolate, freshly baked cakes, breakfast rolls, pastries, salads and sandwiches.
Free blankets are slung over the outside chairs in winter and you can borrow a picnic blanket in summer. There are newspapers to read and pick-and-mix biscuits for dogs. A smaller Kiosk by the play area sells hot drinks, ice creams, cakes, and lunch boxes for kids; a third, The Boathouse, is nestled by the lower lake and has indoor seating – you can hire a boat out in the summer. The cafés are firmly linked to their green environment so packaging is 100% compostable and cardboard and plastic is recycled. Parking is free for up to four hours.