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No. 9 Eat a picnic in the wild

A family having a picnic by the lake at Stourhead, Wiltshire, are visited by an inquisitive duck
Family having a picnic by the lake at Stourhead, Wiltshire | © National Trust Images/Nick Daly

Why stay at home for lunch when you can eat in the wild? Pack a picnic next time you go on an adventure and enjoy tucking into your sandwiches surrounded by nature. It’s no. 9 on our list of ‘50 things to do before you're 11¾’.

Find the perfect picnic spot

Perfect picnic places come in all shapes and sizes, from the shade of a tree to a golden sandy beach. You don’t have to go far either, your back garden or local park can be just as fun as going further away.

Pick a sunny day when it’s unlikely to rain – no one likes soggy sandwiches – and plan your route. Are there other adventures you can have along the way? Could you try out more of our ‘50 things’ activities, like making some wild art or getting to know a tree?

Ideally, you’ll want somewhere comfortable to sit during your picnic, so pack a blanket, along with some plates, cups and cutlery.

What’s for lunch?

Before you set off, it’s time to raid the fridge. It’s amazing what you can create with just a few ingredients. Sandwiches, salads, pasta and fruit all make for a tasty lunch – and they’re easy to carry too.

Take inspiration from nature and try making a picnic using fruit and vegetables that are in season. In spring you could add peas and green beans to cooked pasta or make a salad using new potatoes. Lots of fruits are at their best in the summer, including strawberries and raspberries.

Pack a box of your favourites if you’re going exploring at this time of year. Or if you’re venturing out in autumn, you could try baking a batch of flapjacks flavoured with apples and pears, or have a go at picking some blackberries in the wild.

A family having a picnic by the lake at Prior Park. Somerset
A family having a picnic by the lake at Prior Park | © National Trust Images/James Dobson

Enjoy your picnic

It’s time to roll out the blanket and dive into your picnic. If you’ve been exploring all morning, you’ll probably have worked up a real appetite. But before you tuck in, why not try doing no. 24 in our ‘50 things’ and go barefoot so you can feel the sand or grass under your feet while you’re eating?

If you’re with family, ask them why they like eating outside? What’s your favourite thing about it? It might be the views, the feeling of being in the wild, the closeness to nature – or simply the food you eat on a picnic.

When you’re finished, pack up your picnic, remembering to take all your litter with you.

A mother helps a young child climb over a fallen log in the parkland, on a bright, wintry day.

‘50 things to do before you're 11¾’

Have fun exploring nature and the great outdoors with our list of ‘50 things to do before you're 11¾’.

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