Perfect picnic spots
There’s no better way to celebrate summer than packing a picnic and catching up with friends and family. With miles of coastline and acres of countryside, we have some of the best places in the country for eating outside and enjoying the view.
Here are some of our perfect picnic spots to stop for a tasty treat:
Blickling Estate, Norfolk
Blickling Hall is one of England's great Jacobean houses, once the home to Henry VIII’s second wife, Anne Boleyn. The beautiful parkland houses a glorious lake and woodland, offering plenty of picnicking spots. The whole family can also hire bikes and segways to explore the park or even play a game of croquet on the lawns.
Flatford: Bridge Cottage, Suffolk
Flatford Mill in Suffolk is right in the middle of Constable country and Dedham Vale. This is great walking countryside so you can take the family out, walk the dog or simply step back in time and absorb the places Constable knew and loved. You can even hire a boat and enjoy a row down the river.
Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire
Whether it is cycling, orienteering or a gentle stroll in this spacious park, there are plenty of opportunities to have fun with all the family at Clumber Park, followed by a relaxing picnic by the lake. The kids can also hang out on the climbing forest in the play park, complete some of the ‘50 things’ activity list or pick up a family tracker pack to see what they can find.
Croome was Lancelot 'Capability' Brown's first landscape garden and it’s the ideal place to relax and unwind. There are plenty of activities to keep the kids entertained too, including a natural play area with den building and an exciting programme of walking trails to explore. When it comes to picnicking there are spots by man-made lakes and rivers, next to statues, bridges, follies and classical temples and rolling lawns.
Plas Newydd, Anglesey
For stately surroundings it must be hard to beat Plas Newydd. The backdrop of the Menai Strait and Snowdonia’s mountains are unrivalled too. Stroll through the ornate terrace gardens and wander along the shaded woodland trails to find a perfect spot for a picnic. Afterwards you can walk up the steps to discover what the treehouse has to offer, after being rebuilt last year, it’s now bigger and better than ever.
Barafundle is a jewel of a beach set between limestone cliffs and backed by dunes and woods. Enjoy a real bucket and spade, sand-in-your-sandwiches experience here in the summer on this Pembrokeshire seaside spot – officially recognised as one of the world’s finest stretches of beach.
Fell Foot Park, Cumbria
Enjoy a scenic picnic on the shores of Windermere at Fell Foot Park. With views of the Lakeland fells, an adventure playground for the kids and splashing shoreline adventures on the beach or in a boat, Fell Foot is a great, family friendly location to play, explore and relax.
The glorious sandy beaches of Formby are perfect for family picnics, coastal walks, dog walking, horse riding, wave jumping, kite flying or just lazy days at the beach. Bring along a picnic and enjoy the breath-taking sea views. A coffee cart and ice cream van are onsite most days, so why not enjoy a tasty treat while you watch wading birds on the shoreline.
Florence Court, County Fermanagh
There is something for all the family to enjoy at this beautiful park, gardens and surrounding forest. There are miles of glorious walks and cycle trails, a playground for the children and the opportunity to discover more about nature with adventure tracker packs. Take a stroll into the forest to visit the blacksmith’s forge and carpenters workshop or simply relax with a picnic in the peaceful gardens whilst enjoying the mountain scenery.
The Argory, County Armagh
Deep in the green County Armagh countryside, is a place where the mist rolls down to the River Blackwater and time stands still. Enjoy strolls among the arbours, peaceful views of the river and let the kids run wild in the woods and adventure playground. On a sunny day, take a walk around the fabulous gardens and enjoy a coffee under the porte-cochère whilst taking in the surrounds of what was originally a working farmyard.
Ancient trees, bubbling brooks and rolling lawns frame this lovely old house. Crafted from a medieval priory, Mottisfont is full of surprises that the whole family will love to discover, from hidden doors, fun mysteries and a room where nothing is what it seems. Outside you can explore the riverside walks, the national collection of old-fashioned roses, build dens and bring a picnic to share.
Sheffield Park and Garden, East Sussex
This big outdoors estate with four lakes in its centre is a great space for the kids to run around and enjoy days out this summer. Sit down for sandwiches amongst beautiful summer flowers, enjoy cricket matches on the historic pitch or explore the garden with family tracker packs and parkland trails.
Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal, North Yorkshire
What better way to enjoy a warm summer’s stroll than by cool water at this World Heritage Site. Enjoy lunch on the edge of Studley Royal deer park – ancient woodland, dating back to the Middle Ages, and today it is home to over 500 wild red, fallow and Sika deer. See if you can spot them while stopping for a bite to eat.
Souter Lighthouse and The Leas, Tyne and Wear
Take a walk along The Leas – a two and half mile stretch of the north east coastline. Finish by calling into Souter Lighthouse Galley Coffee Shop for a light bite or a hearty meal. Traditional dishes such as Panackelty or singin’ hinnies can all be found on the menu alongside more regular favourites including the humble scone.
Studland Beach, Dorset
Take the children for a fabulous day out on this golden sandy beach that stretches four miles from South Haven Point to Old Harry Rocks, with shallow bathing water perfect for the little ones. Be sure to bring buckets, spades and picnics for a blissful day on the sands. You can also visit the nearby ruins of Corfe Castle to discover over 700 years of history and relive childhood memories by seeing the inspiration behind Enid Blyton’s Kirren Castle in the Famous Five.
Lydford Gorge, Devon
Enjoy a picnic in the orchard or woodland at Lydford Gorge. Take a break in the orchard and visit the tea-rooms nearby. You can top off your day with tasty treats such as home-made cakes and ice-creams and let the children enjoy the play area. Work off your picnic with an exhilarating walk to see the 30 metre high Whitelady waterfall and the bubbling Devil’s Cauldron.
For admission fees, please visit individual property websites. Some parking charges may apply.