Cheltenham, also known as Cheltenham Spa, is a spa town in Gloucestershire on the edge of the Cotswolds. It stands on the River Chelt, from which it got its name, and the first record of it was in the 9th century. However, Cheltenham became well known as a health and holiday spa resort in the 18th century due to the mineral springs discovered there. The spa water can still be sampled today at the historic Pittville Pump Room.
The town is said to be the ‘most complete Regency town’ in the country, as much of this architecture still stands today. There are several listed buildings in Cheltenham including the town hall, municipal offices, and the synagogue.
Cheltenham is well-known for its many cultural festivals, just some examples of which are the literature, jazz, science, paranormal, folk, cricket, and food & drink festivals.
The biggest festival however is the horse racing Cheltenham Festival, including the Gold Cup competition, the prize money of which is second only to the Grand National. Horse riding has been a large industry in the town since 1815, and the festival attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. The racecourse is home to National Hunt racing.
Other sports represented in Cheltenham are cricket, football, and rugby. It also has one of the biggest croquet clubs and is the home of the Croquet Association. There is also a lot of sports activity at Sandford Park Lido, including swimming and water polo.
The museums and art galleries in Cheltenham host many exhibitions throughout the year. Art can be seen around the town including a piece by Banksy and statues like Neptune’s Fountain and a life-sized bronze Emperor penguin. There is also a large theatre scene – Cheltenham has four theatres, including the Grade II listed Everyman Theatre. Some famous names in the arts who were born in Cheltenham are composer Gustav Holst, Rocky Horror creator Richard O’Brien, and opera singer Dame Felicity Lott.
In addition to a fair-sized population of over 116,000, almost 2 million people visit Cheltenham every year. This can make parking in the town quite difficult and expensive, if you don’t know where to look. On this page, we’ve gotten together all of the free parking options in town – see the map below for a quick look, or read on for more information.
Free Parking in Cheltenham
Table of Contents
We all know residential streets in our own hometowns that are unrestricted to park on for free, saving us the money of parking in town. This can be harder to do if you’re unfamiliar with an area which is why we’ve put together the following lists of residential streets in Cheltenham with no parking restrictions. The lists are organised in which direction the streets are from the city centre, and include postcodes and walking distances.
Parking to the north Cheltenham puts you nearer to the Racecourse (further out streets are better for this). A northerly direction is also more convenient for Pittville Park and the Pump Room, and Cheltenham Town FC’s home ground.
• Stoneville Street GL51 8PH – 0.8 miles
• Charles Street GL51 9HH – 0.8 miles
• Hudson Street GL50 4HF – 0.9 miles
• Folly Lane GL50 4BT – 0.9 miles
• Sydenham Road GL52 6EF – 1 mile
• West Approach Drive GL52 3AD – 1.1 miles
• Walnut Close GL52 3AG – 1.2 miles
• Culross Close GL50 4NF – 1.2 miles
• Saville Close GL50 4NE – 1.2 miles
• Monica Drive GL50 4NQ – 1.3 miles
• Cleevemount Road GL52 3HG – 1.3 miles
• Hill Top Road GL50 4NW – 1.3 miles
• Cleevelands Drive GL50 4QB – 1.4 miles
• Paddocks Lane GL50 4NX – 1.4 miles
• Welland Lodge Road GL52 3HH – 1.4 miles
Though there are less options for parking to the east of Cheltenham, these are some of the more convenient roads to park in as they’re all within a mile walk of the town centre.
• Hewlett Road GL52 6AZ – 0.8 miles
• Duke Street GL52 6BS – 0.8 miles
• Brighton Road GL52 6BA – 0.8 miles
• Westdown Gardens GL52 6AX – 0.9 miles
• Jersey Avenue GL52 2SZ – 0.9 miles
• Kings Road GL52 6BH – 0.9 miles
• Cranham Road GL52 6BQ – 1 mile
If you park on one of the further-out streets in a southerly direction, you will have easier access to the University of Gloucestershire park campus and Cheltenham General Hospital. As you walk into town you will pass Sandford Park and Montpellier Gardens, as well as the Imperial Square & Gardens and Cheltenham town hall.
• Southwood Lane GL50 2QH – 0.5 miles
• Lypiatt Road GL50 2QJ – 0.5 miles
• Andover Street GL50 2EL – 0.7 miles
• Painswick Road GL50 2ER – 0.8 miles
• Ashford Road GL50 2EW – 0.8 miles
• Gratton Road GL50 2BS – 0.9 miles
• Francis Street GL53 7NY – 1 mile
• Edward Street GL50 2DA – 1 mile
• Upper Norwood Street GL53 0DU – 1.1 miles
• Fairhaven Street GL53 7PL – 1.2 miles
• Naunton Way GL53 7BQ – 1.2 miles
• Fairfield Avenue GL53 7PN – 1.2 miles
• Naunton Lane GL53 7BT – 1.3 miles
Parking to the west is less convenient if you’re looking for proximity to the town centre. However, these roads are more closely located to the Cheltenham Spa train station.
• Sussex Avenue GL51 8AW – 1.2 miles
• Roman Road GL51 8AA – 1.2 miles
• Devon Avenue GL51 8AP – 1.2 miles
• Norfolk Avenue GL51 8DE – 1.4 miles
• Hillfield GL51 7BQ – 1.5 miles
• Milton Road GL51 7ES – 1.6 miles
• Oldfield Crescent GL51 7BA – 1.6 miles
• Swanswell Drive GL51 6LP – 1.7 miles
• Shakespeare Road GL51 7HR – 1.9 miles
When parking in residential streets, remember that you do so at your own risk. Be sure to check around for signs restricting parking before leaving your vehicle. Remember to observe on-street parking walls such as: don’t obscure driveways, junctions, or entrances; keep noise to a minimum, particularly at night; and never park on double-yellow lines or reserved parking spaces.
Free Overnight Parking in Cheltenham
If you’re staying in Cheltenham, you might wonder where you can keep your car overnight. The following two streets are unrestricted to park in from 6pm-8am every day of the week:
- Montpellier Street GL50 1RS
- Promenade GL50 1NW
More streets become available to park in after 8pm every evening, and remain so until 8am the next day:
- Crescent Place GL50 3PG
- Clarence Street GL50 3NX
- Wellington Street GL50 1XZ
- Grosvenor Place South GL52 2RX
- Gloucester Place GL52 2RJ
- Grosvenor Street GL52 2SQ
- Rodney Road GL50 1HT
- Cambray Place GL50 1JS
There are also some official car parks that are free overnight, from 8pm-7am Sunday-Friday, and 8pm Saturday-9am Sunday, as follows:
- St James’ Street GL52 2SH
- Bath Parade GL53 7HN
- Rodney Road GL50 1HT
- Royal Well GL50 3DS
- High Street GL50 3HQ
Cheapest Paid Parking Options in Cheltenham
Sometimes, we prefer to pay for parking as it provides more convenience and security than parking on a street. Cheltenham has several options that aren’t bank-breaking, and we’ve made a list of the best value car parks in town to save you the time. Listed in order of distance from the geographical centre of the town, they are:
- Sherborne Place GL52 2RS – £2.90 for 2 hours
- North Place GL50 4DT – £2.40 for 2 hours
- St Georges Road GL50 3DT – £2.90 for 2 hours
- Chelt Walk GL50 3PR – £2.90 for 2 hours
- West End GL50 3HU – £2.50 for 2 hours
- Bath Terrace GL50 2BA – £1.50 for 2 hours
- Commercial Street GL50 2AZ – £1.50 for 2 hours
Cheltenham is a charming old town with lots of beauty and culture. We hope that the information on this page helps you to park up easily and freely so you can enjoy your time there with no worries.