The Woodland Trust’s top five Swallows and Amazons woodland picnic sites

Swallows & Amazons
Woodland Trust

Summer has arrived and it’s time for picnics with delicious food, fun games and most importantly – beautiful locations! Visit any of these Swallows and Amazons inspired Woodland Trust locations this summer and settle down for a sausage roll or two – discovering nature, adventure and wilderness at the same time.

For more ideas, see the Woodland Trust

1. Magical Lake District

Great Knott Wood

On the south west shore of Lake Windermere, Great Knott Wood is brilliant for exploring and having a picnic steeped in history - some of it is more than 400-years old.  A number of Victorian water tanks amongst the trees once supplied water to nearby hotels. There are lots of fabulous footpaths to explore too – and all just a stone’s throw from one of the country’s most magical lakes.

2. Follow in the footsteps of the Vikings

Hartburn Glebe

Hartburn Glebe near Morpeth is in a steep sloped valley with a river running through it. At the curve of the river is a deep pool known as the Baker’s Chest - folklore has it that silver and valuables were hidden there during Viking raids. There’s also a wonderful little grotto to explore and some brilliant wildlife too, such as badgers, squirrels and otters. Can you spot them?

3. Wild freedom in North Yorkshire

Hackfall Woods

There is something about the wild freedom of Hackfall Woods that simply inspires creativity. Set in a deep 350ft gorge in North Yorkshire, the site was bought in 1731 by John Aislabie, famous for his landscaping and gardening work at nearby Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal. It’s a perfect place to settle down for a picnic amid a stunning natural environment.

4. The foothills of the Peak District

Bow Woods

Bow Wood near Matlock is blessed with beautiful silver birch and oak trees. Set on a sloping site, it faces south and west across the River Derwent Valley. At the top of the wood is a little peak known as Wickey Tor – a great place to sit and enjoy stunning views across the valley and into the picture perfect Peak District National Park.

5. A wonder of central England

Top Ardles

Created at the turn of the millennium, Top Ardles, at Ravensthorpe in Northamptonshire is flourishing young woodland at only just 10 or so years old. Sloping down to the Ravensthorpe reservoir, the site has beautiful views, with wide rides lined with a mixture of trees. It’s a lovely spot to sit and take in life.

Are you a family in love with adventure? Visit: Woodland Trust Nature Detectives




The Woodland Trust is a charity registered in England and Wales (No. 294344) and in Scotland (No. SC038885). A non-profit making company limited by guarantee. Registered in England No. 1982873

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