BRITAIN’s top 10…picnic spots

    Mussenden Temple and Downhill Beach, Northern Ireland. Credit: National Trust Images/Robert Morris
    Mussenden Temple and Downhill Beach, Northern Ireland. Credit: National Trust Images/Robert Morris

    Read our round-up of the best spots in Britain to indulge in a little al fresco dining. Hampers at the ready.

    Forest of Dean. Credit: Visit Britain/Adrian Houston
    Forest of Dean. Credit: Visit Britain/Adrian Houston

    1. Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire
    This ancient forest was a royal hunting forest in medieval times and later was where much of the timber from the navy’s Tudor warships came from. Today it is a tranquil land dotted with walking and cycling trails and you can take your pick of picnic spots.

    2. New Forest, Hampshire
    You really are spoiled for choice in this wildlife haven in the south of England but our choice would be for Bolderwood, which is one of the best places in the region to spot deer – there’s even a deer-spotting platform overlooking a meadow.

    Box Hill. Credit: Visit England
    Box Hill. Credit: Visit England

    3. Box Hill, Surrey
    Forming part of the North Downs, this summit is a great spot to take in the views of the surrounding Surrey Hills – although it’s a steep climb. Box Hill is also home to the Adonis blue butterfly and the bee orchid, so keep your eyes peeled.

    4. Wellington Country Park, Berkshire
    Set amid 350 acres of beautiful parkland, Wellington is a great picnic spot for families, with lots of attractions, including a miniature railway, adventure playground and a giant game of snakes and ladders.

    5. Loch an Eilean, Scotland
    F
    or the ultimate escape, step back in time at this loch hidden in the Forest of Rothiemurchus in Cairngorms National Park. With the dramatic backdrop of a mysterious Highland castle to fuel the imagination, and bountiful wildlife, including red squirrels and Scottish crossbills, this is the perfect place to unwind.

    Mussenden Temple and Downhill Beach, Northern Ireland. Credit: National Trust Images/Robert Morris
    Mussenden Temple and Downhill Beach, Northern Ireland. Credit: National Trust Images/Robert Morris

    6. Mussenden Temple and Downhill Demesne, Northern Ireland
    There are few coastlines in Britain as dramatic as that of the northwest of Northern Ireland, which is home to the former demesne of the Bishop of Derry, perched some 120ft on a clifftop with views out to Donegal and Magilligan Island. The building is distinctly non-British, styled as it is on the Temple of Vesta in Tivoli, near Rome, and this spot comes under the Binevenagh Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

    7. Barafundle Bay, Pembrokeshire
    Described by many as the best-kept secret in Pembrokeshire, this beautiful sandy beach is up there with some of the best in the world. Once you climb over the sand dunes there are no facilities, which just makes the whole experience that much nicer.

    Richmond Park. Credit: Visit Britain
    Richmond Park. Credit: Visit Britain

    8. Richmond Park, London
    The largest of the eight London Royal Parks, Richmond Park is also a vast nature reserve that is home to herds of fallow and red deer, which roam its acres of parkland. A beautiful oasis of calm in the metropolis of London.

    Red and Fallow deer.
    Avebury Stone Circle. Credit: National Trust Images/David Noton
    Avebury Stone Circle. Credit: National Trust Images/David Noton

    9. Avebury Stone Circle, Wiltshire
    This World Heritage Site is perhaps one of the country’s more unusual picnic spots, but why not eat your picnic in the middle of a 4,000-year-old stone circle, which is reportedly the largest in Europe? There are few places where our prehistory is so evident and the on-site museum is simply fascinating.

    10. Brownsea Island, Dorset
    Offering views across the Purbeck Hills, Brownsea Island is tucked away in the enormous Poole Harbour – the second largest natural harbour in the world. It’s long been popular with outdoor types (particularly scouts) and a new clifftop walk provides lots of wonderful locations to sit down and picnic.

    Related articles

    Britain’s scenic coasts
    Britain’s photos of the week: Northern Ireland
    Britain’s top 10 summer events
    Top 10 royal residences

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