Best Picnic Spots UK

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best picnic spots uk

Best Picnic Spots UK

We’re blowing away the winter cobwebs early by packing a picnic and roaming the National Trust’s most idyllic picnic spots

Where better to spread out a blanket than in an historic park? Or perhaps an intriguing island or in the grounds of an atmospheric abbey or castle ruin?

Here are the top 10 National Trust recommendations of the best picnic spots UK. Providing it’s not snowing, eh?

picture: John Miller

Aberdulais Falls, Neath, Port Talbot

A picturesque gorge, a famous waterfall and wheel plus a plethora of wildlife – that’s the backdrop for picnickers at Aberdulais. Sample a slice of industrial history with an Elizabethan copper smelting works. There’s also a pioneering Victorian tinplate works. And you come right up to the present day with an environmentally-friendly, hydro-electric scheme. And for dessert? Try the lemon drizzle cake in the Library tearoom.

picture: Nick Meers

Blickling Hall, Norfolk

Lying at the heart of a richly planted garden and sweeping parkland setting, Blickling is one of England’s great Jacobean houses. The extensive park features a vast lake and beautiful woodland, with plenty of picnicking opportunities. After tucking in, discover the unusual pyramid-shaped Mausoleum in the medieval park. Enjoy the breathtaking views from the Doric temple. You can get active by hiring bikes or simply take a relaxing game of croquet on the elegant lawns.

“A picturesque backdrop”

picture: David Levenson

Corfe Castle, Dorset

The majestic ruins of Corfe Castle in Dorset make a remarkable spot for a picnic. Here you can discover over 700 years of turbulent history. Including the torture, treachery and imprisonment of the Civil War. The ruined castle was also the inspiration for Enid Blyton’s Kirren Castle in the ‘Famous Five’. So don’t forget to pack a hamper with lashings of ginger beer.

picture: David Levenson

Clumber Park, Notts

Enjoy acres of space to roam free at this former ducal park. Put down your blanket and lay out your spread by the lakeside. Nearby there are woodlands or you can stroll around the rolling countryside which provides a picturesque backdrop. The open grounds make Clumber the perfect place to enjoy simple summer activities. Enjoy a bike ride, play games or take a gentle stroll.

picture: Arnhel de Serra

Croome, Worcestershire

This stunning 18th-century park was a revolution in garden design and the first complete landscape of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown. Croome is the perfect summer picnic spot with trails and walks for people of all ages. There are elegant temples, statues and wrought iron bridges to admire and acres of parkland and lakeside gardens to explore. A relaxing circular path around the pleasure garden offers walkers the chance to see the temple greenhouse, pavilion and grotto; walks into the wider estate provide spectacular views across to the Malvern Hills. Restored, former RAF buildings contain a 1940s-themed tea room and shop to round off your visit perfectly.

“Views of mountain scenery”

picture: ©NTPL Joe Cornish

Fell Foot Park, Cumbria

Enjoy a scenic picnic on the shores of Lake Windermere in the surroundings of Victorian Fell Foot Park. With its breathtaking views of the Lakeland fells, an adventure playground for the kids and rowing boats to hire, Fell Foot is a great place to relax with family and friends. You can also enjoy tasty local treats in the Boathouse Café.

picture: John Millar

Florence Court, Co. Fermanagh

Visit Florence Court and explore this great Irish estate. The beautiful park, gardens and surrounding forest offer fantastic opportunities for all the family to enjoy. There are miles of walking and cycle trails. There’s a playground for the children plus the opportunity to discover more about nature with adventure tracker packs. Take a stroll into the forest to visit the original mother of all Irish yew trees. Visit the blacksmith’s forge, carpenters workshop or simply relax with a picnic in the peaceful gardens and enjoy stunning views of mountain scenery.

best picnic spots uk

picture: Arnhel de Serra

Mottisfont, Hampshire

A picnic at the heart of this tranquil rural estate will not disappoint. The grounds of Mottisfont is alongside the fast-flowing River Test. The location reflect layers of history. These include the Gothic remains of the original 13th-century Augustinian priory. With the handsome old house as a back-drop, large expanses of lawn and generous shade provided by the majestic plane trees, Mottisfont is a must for picnic lovers.

picture: John Millar

Nostell Priory, West Yorkshire

Seek out your favourite corner of this delightful house and grounds to stop off for a well packed picnic. Discover the grounds by following the gardens’ sensory trails. Or explore lakeside walks, the newly planted orchard, vegetable beds and an adventure playground. Surrounded by a large park, and with delightful distractions for a family day out, Nostell makes the perfect picnic stop off.

picture: John Millar

Sheffield Park and Garden, East Sussex

This magnificent informal landscapegarden, with four lakes forming the centrepiece, is a great outdoor space for families to enjoy. Sit down for sandwiches amongst spectacular summer flowers, while taking in the mirror-like reflections in the lake or enjoying a cricket match on the historic pitch.

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