Perfect picnic spots in the South East

With the warmer weather in full swing it’s time to make the most of nature as the days get longer. Instead of dropping a quick snack into your backpack, why not take the time to make a meal out of it? Gather up your family and friends, pack your favourite summer lunch and seek out the perfect spot to unroll your picnic blanket on a visit to our countryside and gardens in the South East.

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Check before you visit 

This article was created before the coronavirus crisis, and may not reflect the current situation. Please make sure you check web pages for individual places before you travel, to see where is open and where you may need to book, as well as the most up to date information about visiting

A family enjoys a picnic at Chartwell, a National Trust property in Kent

Kent 

Sink into a deckchair, place your picnic blanket or find a bench with a view to enjoy your picnic in Kent. From historic gardens to grassy meadows and vast parkland there's plenty of space for a summer picnic at the places we look after.

Enjoying a picnic

Berkshire 

Throw down your picnic rug on the lawn in front of a mansion or choose a shady spot under the trees this summer. By bringing a picnic you can beat the queues on busy days and enjoy lunch at your own pace at the places we look after in Berkshire.

Visitors by the lake at Claremont Landscape Garden, Surrey

Surrey 

Experience hillside dining at its very best at our places all across the Surrey Hills and take in the stunning views. Bring the whole family for an outdoor adventure with plenty of space to picnic and burn off some energy at Hatchlands Park, Claremont Landscape Garden and Winkworth Arboretum.

A family enjoying a picnic in Petworth Park

West Sussex 

There's plenty of Sussex gardens with shaded areas or parkland spots to enjoy a picnic this summer. Pack a picnic and head to the gardens at Standen. Or set up your picnic at Petworth Park with views of the historic parkland and grand mansion that inspired JMW Turner.

Family enjoying a summer picnic

In and around Hampshire 

Hampshire has many idyllic backdrops for a summer picnic, from the wildflower meadow at Uppark, to Hinton Ampner’s picturesque parkland. You’ll find plenty of quiet spots too, and places where you can settle in the shade. Or bring the whole family for an afternoon of games in the sun. Some of our places now have takeaway café treats on offer too, including ice cream.

Postern view of Bodiam Castle in East Sussex with the May blossom in flower

In and around East Sussex 

From picnics with a medieval castle backdrop to literary lunches, you can picnic with a view this summer in East Sussex. Choose the peaceful gardens of Bateman's or stake your claim by the moat at Bodiam for a truly magical day out.

Visitors enjoying a picnic at Morden Hall Park, Morden, South London

London 

Steal some sunshine on a picnic at our places in London. Tuck in to tasty homemade treats, or something scrummy from a National Trust cafes surrounded by natures delights.

The picnic orchard in blossom at Hughenden, a National Trust property in Buckinghamshire

Buckinghamshire 

The apple orchard at Hughenden has benches nestled among the trees, perfect for enjoying a spot of lunch or find a spot with a view on the Bradenham Estate where the downland and meadows are filled with butterflies in the summer.

Enjoying a picnic

In and around Oxfordshire 

The rolling countryside of West Oxfordshire is ideal for walking and picnics or visit the space and beauty of Stowe with a picnic in the tranquil landscape. What's more, you can add to your feast by dropping into the cafe to pick up sandwiches, drinks and tasty cake.

A family having a picnic on the beach

Isle of Wight 

What could be a better way to get back to nature than eating outdoors with great views all around? On the Isle of Wight, we have perfect spots to do just that. So, pack a hamper full of tasty treats and plenty of ginger beer, and head to one of our places this summer for a picnic.