Top spots for picnics at Calke Abbey

Picnic at National Trust Calke Abbey, Derbyshire

With over 600 acres of parkland to explore, there are plenty of spaces to enjoy a good old-fashioned picnic at Calke – whatever the season. Enjoy spring and summer days, autumn colours and crisp winter lunches in the park.

Park up and picnic 

At the far end of the main car park, there are several large picnic benches overlooking the Deer Park. This is a lovely spot to sit and gaze at the herd of Red and Fallow deer when they’re around, and you might even spot the rangers at work as they look after the herd.

There are more picnic benches at the top of the car park overlooking the meadow and ancient trees in the distance – a handy spot if you’re carrying a family-sized hamper from the car.

All our picnic benches are a short distance from the restaurant, shop and toilets in the Stableyards, and have easy access to the wider parkland so you can walk off those sausage rolls.

Peaceful picnics in the Pleasure Gardens

If you’re visiting the house or gardens, enjoy your picnic in the Pleasure Grounds that surround the house. Find a shady spot beneath the trees or spread out a picnic blanket on the sloping hill overlooking the front of the house.

There are also plenty of peaceful picnic spots in the gardens, with plenty of deckchairs dotted around where you can sit back and relax amongst the bright and fragrant flowers. During the summer holidays, the Garden of Imagination is the perfect place for family picnics inside the Walled Garden, which is transformed into a natural outdoor play area.

Get the family together for summer days outdoors
Picknic at National Trust Calke Abbey in Derbyshire
Get the family together for summer days outdoors

Eating al fresco at Calke Explore 

There are plenty of benches at Calke Explore where you can enjoy your sarnies overlooking woodland and wetlands; it's a great spot for families on an adventure, a stone's throw from outdoor natural play, walking trails and the Calke Explore facilities. 

Don't get grilled

Unfortunately BBQs are not permissible anywhere on the estate at the moment because of fire risks in historically sensitive and significant areas. Please help us to look after the green spaces at Calke, by taking your litter home with you.

Walk off those sandwiches

Calke Park is also a great place to explore post-picnic with lots of woodland trails and wide-open meadows to enjoy.

If you fancy a longer walk, take a wander down to the Limeyards and discover Calke's rich industrial history, or try the Tramway Trail, our recently extended circular trail passing through countryside, woodland and the occasional tunnel.