In 1801, Henry Thompson purchased land at the end of the Promenade in Cheltenham with the intention of building a spa and developing the area to include shops and a place to enjoy a gentle stroll. His son, Pearson Thompson, continued his work and development persisted into the mid 19th century. The result was what is now known as “The Montpellier District,” affectionately referred to as “a village within a town.” The area is home to a number of boutique shops and restaurants, all of which are fine examples of Regency architecture. The impressive buildings are surrounded by the picturesque Montpellier Gardens.
The Montpellier District begins at the southern end of the Promenade with access via the A46 ring road or Lansdown Road. There are no car parks in the district; however, there are a number of car parks in the centre of Cheltenham within walking distance. The nearest are the Rodney Road car park to the north of the district with 111 spaces or the Bath Terrace car park to the south of the district with 160 spaces – both of which are pay-and-display. Alternatively, there are on-street pay-and-display parking spaces throughout the district with the option to pay by mobile phone.
Both Montpellier Walk and Montpellier Terrace are serviced by several bus routes operated by Stagecoach and Traveline Midlands. Additionally, Cheltenham Spa Rail Station is 20-minutes away on foot.
Shopping in the Montpellier District is a pleasant experience and far removed from that of the typical British high street. Small independent retailers supply luxury and bespoke goods in beautifully constructed buildings.
Alongside fashion and gifts, the Montpellier District is home to a range of suppliers of art and photography pieces, interior designers and health and beauty stores, ensuring there is plenty for the shopper to peruse.
A number of clothing stores are located within the district, offering designer and couture wear as well as vintage and children’s clothing. Some include:
- Boutique 3 – Clothing, shoes and accessories from premium designers
- Carousel – Second-hand children’s wear, as well as maternity wear
- Silks – Specialising in women’s occasion wear
Home Ware & Gift Shops
Home ware and gift shops abound in the district, supplying unique items and providing an excellent choice for visitors seeking gifts for their loved ones. Some include:
- Pink Vintage – One off vintage items and restored furniture
- Kitchener – Supplier of unique cookware items
Restaurants, Bars and Cafés
After spending a few hours browsing the shops, visitors can relax in one of the several cafés, bars and restaurants that are situated in the Montpellier District, such as:
- Gusto – Serves brunch, lunch and evening meals. It has been featured in Harpers Bazaar and has provided catering to celebrities, including Take That
- The Montpellier Brasserie – Serves locally sourced produce in a vibrant setting
Visitors may choose to finish their visit to the Montpellier District with a stroll around the Montpellier Gardens. The park is owned by the Cheltenham Borough Council and has a number of features to entertain the entire family, including a toddler play area, tennis courts and an arboretum. There are public toilets within the park, as well as a small café serving hot and cold refreshments, such as ice creams and homemade cakes. Additionally, during the summer months, the bandstand within the park is often host to free music concerts.