Picnic spots to lust after: The best places in the UK to set down the blanket

Picnic spots to lust after

The best places in the UK to set down the blanket

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Long may this good weather continue! There really is nothing like the UK in the summertime.


The enveloping heat has been reminiscent of many a Mediterranean holiday. As a result dining al fresco has become the order of the day. And that has meant picnics – and lots of them. 

As a bit of a connoisseur of picnics – or rather someone who has been trying to ‘ace’ them for more than five decades now – here are some tips for perfecting your picnic location-wise:

Forget the beach

Yes, the beach is lovely when it’s warm but it’s also full of other people’s kids – and sand. Egg and sand sandwiches, anyone? So, how about heading somewhere a bit more genteel, like the grounds of a stately home? Or a beautiful woodland you have to walk through first? Then again, the side of a loch is always spot-on if you’re after some serenity. How about:

Chatsworth House, Peak District

Ponds, rolling green hills, beautifully manicured lawns and a fabulous mansion to have a nose around in. What could be better post-picnic?

Put your blanket down on the grass anywhere you like over the Park’s seven miles. You won’t disturb the deer – they’ll be in the woodland. If you’re lucky you may get a glimpse.

Lydford Gorge, Devon

Lydford Gorge in Devon boasts ancient oak trees – whose presence creates instant awe. But there is more here to discover too.

The area is famous for its huge potholes and one in particular – the Devil’s Cauldron – is a sight to behold.

Take the walk alongside the stream to reach it, and whip up a healthy appetite at the same time.

Loch Lomond, Argyll, Scotland

As well as having Scotland’s largest loch in front of you as you munch away, there are also some spectacular mountains to gaze upon – Ben Vorlich and Ben Lomond, for starters. 

You’ll also find several small islands sitting in the loch – many of which you can take a water boat cruise out to.

And, if walking is your thing then you can lust over the gorgeous 18th and 19th centuries cottages in nearby Luss. The entire village of Luss doubled as the set for the Scottish soap opera Take the High Road for many years.

Grasmere, Lake District

The village of Grasmere is one of the prettiest places in the Lake District and it’s surrounded by beautiful walking country. The top of Easedale Tarn is one of our favourite picnicking spots. To get there you’ll walk along the wonderfully-named Sour Milk Ghyll and various small waterfalls.

It’s a five mile round walk but when you get back to the village you can always carb-up again at Sarah Nelson’s ancient Grasmere Gingerbread Shop.

Other picnicking spots we love, but don’t have enough space to write about here, are:

  • Wellington Country Park, Berkshire – miniature railway, anyone?

  • Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire – simply stunning at any time of the year.

  • Richmond Park, London – who can forget Fenton, the Youtube sensation, chasing the deer across acres of parkland?

  • Port Meadow, Oxford 

  • Whitby Headland, Yorkshire – why wouldn’t you want to picnic at an ancient ruined Abbey made famous by Bram Stoker?

  • Brill in Buckinghamshire

So, how many of the above can you tick off then?

Do you have a favourite picnic spot in the UK?

We would love to hear about it.

Jill Stevenson

Jill is a writer and Parsley Box reader from Ayrshire in Scotland. She loves nothing better than exploring the coast with her dog Sox, every afternoon – even when it rains and snows.