Cheltenham Imperial Gardens
While I was in Cheltenham for my work experience at the Superdry Head Office, the Imperial Gardens was a place at the top of my list of places to visit.
Approaching the gardens, we were presented with a sea of colour dispersed across the greenery. The garden was somewhat smaller than I imagined; it is positioned at the rear of the Town Hall and has beautiful terrace townhouses houses encompassing three sides which were bright white, crisp and really added to the picturesque nature of the setting. Another stunning piece of architecture enclosing the park was the Queen’s hotel that I discovered is a Grade 2 listed building; it was the grand pillars and vast arches that caught my attention, creating a very regal and prestige feel to it.
As well as the surrounding geometry created by the architectural structures, the garden was peaceful to stroll through and there was so much open space, making such a lovely place to sit on the grass, admire the myriad of colourful flowers and take in the sensory overload of the surroundings.
I was in some ways surprised by how well maintained the flower beds were which showed me how well respected the open space is. I have since discovered that approximately 25,000 bedding plants are used to produce these magnificent floral displays. The gardens have also retained some of their original Regency features including the balustrade stone steps, and the central fountain.
We also wandered over to the adjacent park, the Montpellier Gardens. This one was slightly bigger, but without the flower beds. Instead, we spotted an old Bandstand and a garden gallery. The Bandstand was constructed in 1864 and quickly became a popular facility with regular concerts. I imagine this open space continues to play an important part in the lives of residents and visitors today. While we were there, there was a lively cycling festival in full swing which added to the vibrant atmosphere. Permanent features include play areas, a skate park, tennis courts, garden cafe and plenty of benches and space to sit. Everywhere we walked, there just seemed to be such a positive and friendly vibe.
Considering that I was a little worried about my upcoming work experience week, this was the perfect place to go; it had a calming effect and made me relax.