Enjoy a picnic at Montpelier Gardens, a firework display at Glenfall House, or take to the water with the Boathouse as you celebrate the life of your loved one.
Hosting a wake in Cheltenham
A wake is an informal event that traditionally takes place after a funeral service and cremation or burial. It’s usually an informal event that involves family and friends gathering to share memories and celebrate the life of their loved one.
Traditionally, wakes would take place at someone’s home, or a community centre or pub, but they can take place anywhere. The people organizing the wake may want to honour their loved one by holding the wake at a place that was special to them, such as at the grounds of their favourite football team, for example.
Also, although wakes usually take place directly after the funeral service, they can be held at any time. They can also be as structured or as informal as the organizer would like. Wake organizers have the freedom to host the event that’s right for them, their family and friends, and their loved one.
If you’re organizing a wake in Cheltenham, there are plenty of unique venues where you can host the event in your own way, from a picnic at Montpelier Gardens to a boat ride courtesy of the Boathouse.
Find your funeral director in Cheltenham who will help you arrange a cremation or burial, and give you ideas for a wake, memorial or reception that's right for you.
Explore your options
If you’re choosing a celebration of life instead of a traditional funeral, you could consider direct cremation. This is where the cremation doesn’t have any attendees, and the crematorium will return the ashes directly to you or your loved ones.
Montpelier Gardens are in the heart of Cheltenham and are an important part of its Regency landscape. Most of the buildings surrounding the gardens are Grade I listed buildings, and the council has owned the gardens since 1983. It is also a part of the Cheltenham Central Conservation Area, one of the country's largest at over 600 hectares. There is so much to do at Montpelier Gardens, and it would be a great venue to hold a unique wake for your loved one.
Two recreational areas split the gardens, with most facilities located at the southern end of the park such as the cafés, tennis courts, a toddlers’ play area, and toilets. Meanwhile, the northern end is perfect for taking strolls and relaxing. There is a small arboretum in the north-western corner of the park, home to unique and fascinating trees. The Bandstand on the Broadwalk hosts regular concerts in the summer, and the Gardens Gallery exhibits new work every month.
Montpelier Gardens is also accessible by bus, on a few main bus routes into Cheltenham and Stagecoach bus routes also run along Montpelier Walk. There are two formal entrances to the park on Montpelier Walk, and you can also access the gardens from Montpelier Terrace and Montpelier Spa Road. There are no car parking facilities in the gardens, but on-street parking is possible on the surrounding roads.
Glenfall House is a regency villa dating back to the mid to late 18th century, with a charming, picturesque park and pleasure ground in a steep valley that dates back to the early 19th century. The terraced gardens were added later by Norman Jewson and Sidney Barnsley in the 1920s. Glenfall House hosts a wide variety of events, including memorial services and wakes. The staff are warm and friendly and cater to your every need. The serene surroundings and gardens are the perfect place to reflect on your loved ones and celebrate their life.
The staff can help you pay respects to your loved one in a creative but respectful way, such as photograph displays or unique artwork that has a connection to you, your family, and your loved one. They can also put together a special music playlist and even arrange a firework display to celebrate your loved one. On the day of the wake, you can just be there with your family and remember your loved one while the staff at Glenfall House take care of the details.
There are plenty of spaces at Glenfall House, including quiet spaces for you and your guests to sit and reflect on the person who’s died.
If you are expecting guests from further afield to attend, Glenfall also offers several accommodation options, and you can contact their team for more details on availability.
Their online calendar can tell you what dates are available, and they happily take short-notice bookings. Glenfall is also a pet-friendly venue.
Taking to the water makes for a truly unique wake, especially if you wish to plan a more intimate event.
Large boats can hold 5 people, while smaller boats hold 3 people. At least one adult must be present on the ship. Dogs are not allowed on the boat and cannot be left unattended at the Boathouse. Life jackets must be worn at all times and fitted correctly. They offer smaller life jackets for children, but unfortunately, the child will not be allowed on the boat if the life jackets are too big. Life jackets for children should fit children over the age of three years.
You can hire a boat every day from 11 am-4 pm, as long as the weather is suitable. During busy periods, you may only be able to hire a boat for half an hour.
Arrange a direct cremation with Farewill
We can help you organise a cremation service that's right for you. We'll help transport your loved one, handle all the paperwork and hand-deliver your loved one’s ashes to you.