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. Fill your hamper and follow in the footsteps of Jane Austen’s Emma, who famously picnicked at Box Hill, or set up on top of Devil’s Dyke for views of the rolling South Downs. At Polesden Lacey you can buy picnic items from the café or pre-book at Basildon Park and we'll do the hard work for you.

Visitors enjoying a picnic by the lake at Sheffield Park

Sheffield Park and Garden, East Sussex 

During the summer holidays - 15 July to 10 September - families can join our Summer Party Trail, where you’ll find out what it was like to be one of the children invited to the Earl’s grand summer picnics.

Davidia involucrata

Winkworth Arboretum, Surrey 

Draped in lush greens and exotic flowers, Winkworth becomes a peaceful hillside haven in the summertime. Enjoy a culinary feast from your picnic hamper whilst surrounded by a feast of rare and exotic summer colour in full bloom.

A group of friends enjoying a picnic

Ashridge Estate, Hertfordshire 

A picnic is a great way to socialise on a sunny day and we have lots of lovely spots to eat whilst enjoying the countryside. Head to Monument Green for a central spot close to our visitor centre or make your way to our meadow where there’s lots of open space for family games.

The garden in the summer at Basildon Park, looking out over the Thames Valley

Basildon Park, Berkshire 

With shady spots for quiet contemplation of a magnificent view or dappled woodland glades for a spot of den-building, Basildon's parkland is perfect for picnics. You can even save yourself some time and pre-book a picnic to be collected from the Stableyard when you arrive. Choose from a list of delicious items and all you need to do is collect it.

A family having a picnic on the beach

Isle of Wight 

What could be better 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.

Flower-filled garden meadow at Uppark

Morden Hall Park, London 

Morden Hall Park is the perfect place for a picnic. Bring your blanket and your basket and pick your spot. Just make sure the cheeky heron doesn't share your lunch.

A view of the north-facing side of the house at Mottisfont, Hampshrie, looking over lawns

Mottisfont, Hampshire 

It’s the perfect season for picnics, and our grounds offer some idyllic spots to enjoy an al fresco lunch while you visit. There are picnic tables and benches dotted around our grounds, and plenty of spaces to spread out a blanket.

A family enjoying a picnic in Petworth Park

Petworth, West Sussex 

Find your perfect spot for a picnic in the huge expanse of parkland at Petworth. Find a shady spot in the Orangery to snack on fresh treats from the Audit Room Café. Enjoy the serenity of our stately mansion nestled in the South Downs and catch a glimpse the fallow deer that live here.

Enjoying a picnic

Polesden Lacey, Surrey 

The South Lawn at Polesden Lacey is a glorious setting for a picnic. Go for a saunter through the formal gardens afterwards and pretend it's all yours. The café at Polesden Lacey stocks delicious take-away picnic food to top up your hamper and there’s jazz on Sunday summer afternoons.

A view of the Temple of Ancient Virtue at Stowe Landscape Gardens, Buckinghamshire

Stowe, Buckinghamshire 

Pick up a tasty lunch to go from Stowe's cafe and find a beautiful picnic spot in the sunshine of the Elysian Fields or the shade of one of the classical temples. Forgotten your rug? Just borrow one of ours.

Boys setting up skittles in the meadow at Emmetts Garden, Kent

Emmetts Garden, Kent 

Our meadow makes the perfect spot for a summer picnic with glorious views over Ide Hill. Grab a table or bring your own blanket and relax with delicious food under sunny skies. There’s post-picnic fun to be found with garden games in the discovery cabin, a tepee amongst the trees and adventures in the wild play area.

The ancient avenue of lime trees at Hinton Ampner

Hinton Ampner, Hampshire 

Take in the view of the rolling hills of the South Downs at Hinton Ampner from the comfort of your own picnic blanket. Pack up your own hamper or pick up something yummy from our tearoom, made with produce from our own Kitchen Garden.

Flower-filled garden meadow at Uppark

Uppark House and Garden, West Sussex 

Pitch up for the day, borrow our lawn games from the toy chests and have your picnic amongst the wild flowers of Uppark House and Gardens. Discover some of our team’s favourite spots; relax at the Gothic Seat, spread out in the South Meadow Take or enjoy the peaceful surroundings of the garden behind the East Pavilion.

View of Scotney Castle from the estate

Scotney Castle 

The 780 estate is just made for picnics, scenic walks and mini-adventures. Country paths lead to breathtaking views of the fairy tale ruin. Venture further still to seek out a shady spot in the ancient woodland. With cows gently grazing and birds overhead, it's a slice of picnic paradise.