Perfect picnic spots in Northern Ireland

Summer is the season for picnics. With miles of coastline, acres of countryside and gorgeous gardens, we’ve got the picture-perfect places to picnic with family and friends this summer. From golden sandy beaches to the shade of your favourite tree or bench, there's no shortage of places to unpack your picnic basket and dish up the feel-good factor with our places near you. If your picnic hamper tastes a little light, there are also plenty of ways to make it extra-special with the delicious local, seasonal food on offer at our National Trust cafés.

Mussenden Temple at Downhill Demesne

Downhill Demesne, County Londonderry 

For a picnic with a view, you can't beat Mussenden Temple at Downhill Demesne. With panoramic views of the famous Antrim coast this clifftop walk is the ideal place for kite flying. Take shelter in the shaded Black Glen woodland and let go in search of small lake hidden in the valley.

flowerbed in bloom at Castle Ward

Castle Ward, County Down 

Admire the classical architecture of the mansion house as you roll out a picnic rug on the beautiful front lawn. Alternatively, take a stroll along the shore, relax by the quayside with a picnic and see if you can spot any wildlife on Strangford Lough.

Autumn at Minnowburn bridge, County Down

Minnowburn, County Down

Close to Belfast, Minnowburn is an idyllic picnic spot in the heart of Lagan Valley Regional Park. Enjoy riverbank, meadow and woodland walks, follow the natural play trail and see if you can spot a kingfisher as you picnic by the water’s edge.

The harbour area and bridge in Cushendun.

Cushendun, County Antrim 

You’ll struggle to find a more picturesque picnic spot than the coastal village of Cushendun. This quaint historic village has been in our care since 1954 and is steeped in character and folklore with white washed cottages lining the harbour. A designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this is a great spot for rock pooling and if you’re lucky, you might just see Scotland’s Mull of Kintyre as you look out across the North Channel.

 Family walking in the grounds at Florence Court

Florence Court, County Fermanagh

With miles of walking trails, the beautiful park, gardens and surrounding forest offer fantastic opportunities for all the family to enjoy. Take a stroll into the forest to visit the mother of all Irish Yew trees, visit the thatched summer house or just relax with a picnic in the peaceful gardens surrounded by space and nature.

Picnic lunch with salad, fruit and cakes at The Argory

The Argory, County Armagh

Work up an appetite with a stroll along River Blackwater and up through Lime Tree avenue. Let the kids run wild in the woods, before exploring the fabulous gardens. Picnic on the rolling lawns in front of this Irish gentry house or seek shelter and solitude in the shade.

Picnic with a view at the Giant's Causeway

Giant's Causeway, County Antrim

This iconic World Heritage Site offers plenty of unique picnic opportunities. From the stone columns, to the lesser-explored coastal path, you are guaranteed a picnic with a view.

Picnic at Murlough National Nature Reserve

Murlough Nature Reserve, County Down 

Summer and the seaside go hand in hand and where better to soak up the sun than Murlough National Nature Reserve. Follow the trails and boardwalks through the ancient dunes, before emerging onto the sandy Blue Flag beach with its crystal clear waters that are perfect for swimming. Pack a picnic along with your bucket and spade and enjoy a family day by the sea.

Two children at fountain in Mount Stewart

Mount Stewart, County Down 

The famous gardens at Mount Stewart are particularly spectacular during summer when the beds come alive with scent and colour. Wander round the lake, lounge on the lawns or take your picnic basket and explore the wider demesne trails. If you're lucky you may spot one of the red squirrels foraging for food as you feast on your picnic.

Relax and let the world go by at Rowallane Garden

Rowallane Garden, County Down 

A mix of formal and informal garden spaces, Rowallane is dotted with picturesque picnic spots. Roll out a rug by the lake or find a quiet spot among the trees. Dogs will love the freedom of the exercise area and kids of all ages can have fun spotting bees and butterflies in the gardens.

Perfect picnic spot Crom

Crom, County Fermanagh

This 2,000 acre demesne, set in the tranquil landscape of Upper Lough Erne is one of Ireland’s most important conservation areas, and one of its prettiest picnic spots. Unroll your rug at the edge of Lough Erne or soak up the view from one of the picnic tables.


Bake some sweet strawberry squares

Get your tastebuds tingling with our fresh and fruity strawberry squares recipe. Watch the video to learn how to make these moreish squares that are perfect for packed lunches and picnics. They're also great for a sneaky mid-morning snack or after-dinner treat.