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Here’s our top 10 favourite British spots to have a picnic

What better way to spend your day in the sun than a good old-fashioned picnic?

Burghley House
Burghley House

1. Burghley

LINCOLNSHIRE: Burghley House sits in 2,000 acres of land, most of which is open from 8am-8pm with free entry. Theres plenty of room to find a secluded spot for your picnic, and plenty of trees for some much-needed shade.

You can pay for admission (8 for adults, 5.30 for children) to the Garden of Surprises and the Sculpture Garden. See

Stay at the Bull and Swan a 5-star inn featured in this years Michelin Eating Out Pub Guide. Rooms cost from 99 including breakfast. See or call 01780 766 412.

Forest comforts in Hampshire
Forest comforts in Hampshire

2.New Forest

HAMPSHIRE: If you want to be in the forest, in a clearing, by a stream or surrounded by flowering heathers, the New Forest is the perfect picnic spot.

Book a Family Adventure Day in Beaulieu with and get bikes with trailers to discover 100 miles of trails. Or take a family canoe tour up the Beaulieu River for 100.

Rent Megs Cottage, in the village of East Bolder. It sleeps two, has direct access to the forest and two great pubs close by. A one-week stay in July costs 515. See

Room with a view in the peak district
Room with a view in the peak district


DERBYSHIRE: The first of the Capability Brown-designed gardens is set in the Peak District and boasts 1,000 acres of grounds including 100 acres of gardens.

The parkland is free to enter and there is a farm shop so that you can stock up on the freshest local ingredients for your picnic. Dogs are allowed, but must be kept on leads because of grazing sheep.

Tickets for the formal gardens are 12 for adults and 7 for children.

Theres also a working farmyard and adventure playground that costs 6 for one person or 22 for a family of five. For the ultimate luxury outdoor packed-lunch treat, splash out on the Picnic in the Park package at the four-star Cavendish Hotel at Baslow, on the Chatsworth Estate.

You will get one night at the hotel with dinner in its Gallery Restaurant, breakfast, and a hamper filled with a freshly made feast and a half bottle of Laurent-Perrier Champagne.

A couple of tickets for Chatsworth are also thrown in and you get to keep the picnic hamper.
The package costs 385 per couple, but you can also get the hamper for two and Chatsworth tickets for 89.

For more information, see or call 01246 582 311.

Post joust ice cream at Warwick Castle
Post joust ice cream at Warwick Castle

4.Warwick Castle

WARWICKSHIRE: The grounds of Warwick Castle are perfected for sun seekers but there are also plenty of shaded areas, including woods right on the banks of the River Avon.
There are also you guessed it, he was a very busy man some Capability Brown-designed gardens.

You can stay in the grounds of the castle with a bit of medieval glamping.
A Kings Tent costs 300 a night, but sleeps four with a four-poster bed and two single beds. There is also real armour to try on and (slightly less medieval) free wifi.
You can also stay in a Warwick tent, which also sleeps four but without the armour or the four-poster bed, from 160 per night.

Both packages include two-day priority castle tickets, breakfast served in the banqueting tent and medieval evening entertainment featuring Jesters School, Knights School and the chance to try your hand at archery.
An evening all-you-can-eat Medieval Banquet is an additional 16.95 per adult and 7.95 per child.

See Day tickets to the castle and grounds are from 18.45 for adults and 16.20 for children if bought online.

Stone circle panorama at Castlerigg
Stone circle panorama at Castlerigg


CUMBRIA: The stones at Castlerigg might not be as massive as those at Stonehenge, but you can get right up to them and the view from the circle is jaw-dropping.

It sits in a natural amphitheatre in a dip in the surrounding fells. The mountains of Helvellyn and High Seat dominate the backdrop to the stones.

Castlerigg is one of the countrys oldest stone circles dating back to around 3000BC.

It is free to visit and you can take your dog if you keep it on a lead sheep graze around the circle. Archaeologist John Waterhouse described it as one of the most visually impressive prehistoric monuments in Britain.

Its five minutes drive or an easy walk from Keswick, where you can hire Poachers Cottage, which sleeps four, from 596 a week. And theres a pub almost next door for entertainment.

Call 01228 599 960 or see

Wildflower meadow on the picturesque Dartmoor
Wildflower meadow on the picturesque Dartmoor


DEVON: Dartmoor is one of Britains wildest and most visually stunning landscapes. There is open moorland, rivers with waterfalls and shady forests.

And if you really want to picnic in the wilderness, there are plenty of places in the 368-square mile National Park where you can really feel like youre in the middle of nowhere.
Thats probably because you are in the middle of nowhere.

But if you want somewhere a little more cultivated, and still with easy access to Dartmoor, try the Moorland Garden Hotel which has its own wildflower meadow.

Staff will pack you a hamper filled with West Country treats prepared by the hotels head chef, Rob Murray.

The Gourmet Picnic Hamper costs 48 for two. The special picnic package costs from 148 per room per night (based on two sharing), including a full Devonshire breakfast and picnic for two.


Fabulous cityscape from Greenwich Park
Fabulous cityscape from Greenwich Park

7.Greenwich Park

LONDON: The capitals selection was always going to be a choice between Greenwich Park and Primrose Hill the two capital spots with the finest views.

Greenwich Park shades it because of its views of the City and Canary Wharf and The Queens House which is at the bottom of the hill the park sits on.

If you ever tire of the view, there is plenty to do while you are at the park.

You can visit the Royal Observatory, parts of which are free to enter ( or race down the hill to the Cutty Sark (12.15 for adults and 6.30 for kids,

You can also walk along the Thames or take the Greenwich foot tunnel under the Thames to the Isle of Dogs.

Stay at The Pilot, a great Fullers pub and restaurant with some lovely, quirky bedrooms from 70 a night (for two). See or call 020 8858 5910.

Beach picnic at Coverack
Beach picnic at Coverack


CORNWALL: Coverack, on the east side of the Lizard Peninsula is a fantastic spot to work up your appetite.

You can do a bit of walking or try windsurfing or sailing before enjoying a picnic on the beach.

You can even dive around rocks known as the Manacles where you can find shipwrecks.

The pretty curving cove has the fishing village at one end and plenty of golden beach.
Just off the coast path you will find Poldowrian Garden which has the remains of a 5500BC prehistoric settlement.

Stay in The Farmhouse at Little Pednavounder, which sleeps six, from 640 per week. Call 01244 352 300 or see


AVIEMORE: Cairngorm Mountain is home to the UKs highest funicular railway, so if you dont fancy hiking up to the top, you can get there in ten minutes.

Work up your appetite with a bit of mountain biking (guided from 25 for adults and 20 for children), or walk down to Loch Morlich.

If you go wildlife spotting look out for black grouse, ospreys, hares, red squirrels and wild reindeer.

See or call 01479 861 261. Stay at the Hilton Coylumbridge from 69 for a double room with breakfast. See or call 01479 810 661.


OXFORDSHIRE: This 300-year-old country house is more like a palace and was the birthplace of Winston Churchill. It has 2,000 acres of parkland and beautiful formal gardens some of which were designed by you guessed it Capability Brown.

Perhaps the best spot to lunch is just inside the Woodstock gates, deemed The finest view in England by Lord and Lady Randolph Churchill in 1874.

Blenheim Palace offers picnics, available to order, or to select from the estates Oxfordshire Pantry. The Churchill Deluxe Hamper for two includes sandwiches, smoked salmon blinis, cured meats, pates, cheeses, brownies and clotted cream, salads, fruit and a couple of small bottles of prosecco.

Entrance to the park and gardens is 13.80 for adults and 6.70 for children. Picnics are 58 for two. See or call 0800 849 6500.

Stay at the Feathers Hotel, a five-minute walk from Blenheims gates from 199 for a double room with breakfast. See or call 01993 812 291.

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