Gingham blankets, ginger beer and gorgeous views
ngland does pretty well when it comes to good picnic spots – and let’s face it, food tastes so much better with a nice view. Head to Brownsea Island in Dorset , for example, and you can munch on your sarnies while gazing out towards Old Harry Rocks – they’re the two bright white chalk stacks jutting out of the sea. This car-free island is home to red squirrels too, so try not to leave any nuts behind.
Meanwhile, if you’re more in the mood for some country house romance, how about a picnic in
, Cheshire? Remember that scene in Pride & Prejudice when Colin Firth stripped down for a quick dip in the lake at Pemberley? That took place right here. Of course, we wouldn’t recommend that you dive in yourself, but you could always bring your own Mr Darcy along for a romantic lunch in the grounds of the 1,400-acre estate.
Another place that’s rather special – albeit a tad more rugged – is Corfe Castle in Dorset, which dates back a whopping 1,000 years or more. Perched on a hill overlooking the nearby village, this crumbling Norman fortress inspired Enid Blyton to write the Famous Five books – so if there’s anywhere to picnic on lashings of ginger beer and ham sandwiches, this is clearly it.
For a picnic with a difference try eating with an elephant. Unpack your summer time fayre, lay out your rug and admire an astonishing range of topiary at Clipsham Yew Tree Avenue in Rutland.
Take a stroll down the avenue of more than 150 trees, each with its own design – including animals and an astronaut, and marvel at this impressive feat of topiary which began in 1870, when the Head Forester decided that the carriage drive to the old Clipsham Hall needed ‘sprucing’ up.
Of course the north of England isn’t short of a scenic picnic spot or two, and we’ve got a bit of a thing for the Lake District . If you’re thinking of some picnic action in this part of the world, it’s got to be on the banks of Lake Windermere, but at Fell Foot Park , you can combine this with sweeping Victorian lawns and an adventure playground (ideal for when the kids get restless). Yep, you can’t beat a good al fresco feed…