From forests and woodland to Britain’s dramatic coastline, with hillsides, fields and meadows in-between, your perfect family picnic spot may be closer than you think.
Let’s face it, food really does taste better outdoors. As well as planning your food, you will need to choose your perfect picnic spot. Here are a few ideas…
Go wild in the country
We are spoiled with so much stunning countryside in the UK, but if you want to enjoy the beauty of the county with a few welcome creature comforts then pay a visit to one of our accredited country parks.
Recognised country parks must have a natural or semi-natural landscape, be inclusive and accessible and not too far from public toilets (so no climbing over fences and watching out for the local wildlife required!).
Enjoy a picnic for the ages
The UK’s history doesn’t just make it one of the most colourful places to explore, it also makes it one of the most scenic.
Lay your blanket under the shadow of Europe’s biggest megalithic stone circle at Avebury in Wiltshire, feast your eyes on the ruins of Rievaulx Abbey in North Yorkshire or soak up the view from any number of amazing ancient places.
Chew the scenery
There’s even more beauty in Britain’s natural spaces. The heather and bracken of Bodmin Moor in Cornwall offer a dramatic backdrop to any outdoor meal, as do the North Pennines, from Northumberland’s Hadrian’s Wall into Cumbria.
In Wales, the Clywedog Valley and Trail has seven miles of great walking or take in the hills, woodland and Iron Age fort of Devil’s Dyke, East Sussex. What’s more, there’s plenty of opportunity to enjoy local delicacies. ‘Bacon badger’, anyone?
Just add water
There’s something about being close to the water’s edge that makes it perfect for a picnic, but if you fancy feasting your eyes as well as your tum then take a short boat ride to St Herbert’s Island on Derwentwater.
Once the home of its namesake, who made the island his hermitage, St Herbert’s also inspired Owl Island in Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin.
Dorset’s Brownsea Island is also dotted with idyllic picnicking locations – and this one’s home to real squirrels; approximately 200 of the UK’s remaining ‘reds’ live protected on the isle.
There’s something very English about a picnic on a manicured lawn under the beautiful backdrop of a stately home.
Go the extra mile with a picnic in the grounds of Highclere Castle in Hampshire, filming location for Downton Abbey, Castle Howard in Yorkshire, which featured in Brideshead Revisited, or Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire.
Then there’s real history to be explored at one of 100s of National Trust or English Heritage properties, too. Just don’t forget the croquet set!
In the city
If you thought the city was no place for a picnic then think again; urban green spaces are perfect for a peaceful stroll and a scenic picnic.
Both Roundhay Park in Leeds and the Kyoto Gardens in Holland Park, London have been recommended by parents as great family friendly picnic spots.
With Calton Hill in Edinburgh, King’s Heath Park in Birmingham and hundreds more urban oases nestled amongst busy streets, finding your picnic spot in the city is half the fun.