Granted: there’s no guarantee the good weather will last. However, summer is in sight and we’re bound to have at least the odd weekend when eating outdoors is an option. There’s an abundance of idyllic picnic spots across the UK, but here are the top choices, depending on what kind of lunch you’re looking for.
BEST FOR FAMILIES
Just 20 miles south of London, National Trust-run Box Hill has family and dog-friendly walks with magnificent views across the Surrey Hills. Children can practise their balancing and den-making skills along the Natural Play Trail, spot 17 species of orchid and 38 species of butterfly including the impressive Purple Emperor.
BEST FOR DRAMATIC SCENERY
An unspoilt wilderness of wildflower meadows – aglow with colour in the summer months – Swaledale provides the most absorbing back-drop to a blanket-based lunch. Spread out beside the fast-flowing River Swale, within sight of one of its dramatic waterfalls or medieval bridges, and relish the remoteness.
BEST FOR ANCIENT HISTORY
This, the world’s largest prehistoric stone circle, originally erected around 4,500 years ago, is as good a spot to enjoy a Scotch Egg as any. Partially encompassing its namesake pretty village, including a pub and a chapel, Avebury is a henge with a fascinating history.
BEST FOR SEASIDE
Crab Quay, Cornwall
Love the idea of a picnic but can’t be bothered with the preparation? Pick up a tailor-made, online-ordered hamper from Picnic Cornwall and head to nearby Crab Quay, a hidden spot below Pendennis Castle near Falmouth. Tuck into cheese and charcuterie, crab sandwiches, cakes and fizz, all sourced from Cornish producers, and enjoy the boats going by.
BEST FOR GARDEN LOVERS
Since the Victorian glasshouses were erected on the impeccably-kept lawns back in the 19th century, al fresco eaters have been drawn to this green space in the city’s West End. Kibble Palace – the most magnificent of the transparent structures – houses the national collection of tree ferns and is absolutely worthy of a wander, pre- or post-picnic.
Article by Mischa Mack