Top spots for picnics

Enjoying a picnic

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.

Picnic benches

At the far end of the car park, not far from one of our popular bird hides, we have 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 – great for wildlife spotters.

There are more picnic benches at the top of the car park – 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.

Come on in for a picnic
Open gate, family at picnic table on grass

Eating al-fresco

If you prefer to spread your feast over a picnic blanket, there are plenty of spaces around the park where you can pitch up and picnic. Many of these open areas have no facilities, so bear this in mind when you’re planning your day out.

Ragg’s Close is a popular spot for picnics and play. This open bowl of parkland can be found just after the park entry point – simply park the car and spill out onto this stretch of undulating grass. Enjoy a big picnic and some good old-fashioned garden games in the sun. 

The Pleasure Grounds

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. Kids can have a go at rolling down the really big hill!

The Pleasure Grounds are a short walk from the Stableyards, where you’ll find the restaurant, toilets and shop. You can stock up on extra snacks and buy a picnic blanket if you forget to bring one.

Don’t miss the deckchairs in the gardens, where you can sit back and relax in amongst the bright and fragrant flowers or inside the pretty Walled Garden.

Relaxing in Calke's deck chairs
Deck chairs in Calke garden, Calke Abbey, National Trust, Midlands

Calke Park

Calke Park is also a great place to explore post-picnic with lots of woodland trails and meadows. Take a wander down to the Limeyards, walk the Tramway Trail or go wildlife spotting in our wetland area where we have another bird hide.