No better way to enjoy a summer day
When the weather's good, there's no better way to spend the day than a picnic with your family - especially if your picnic spot is exceptional.
There are so many country parks & gardens to choose from, you can stay as long as you like, and there are often plenty of wildlife-spotting opportunities. Here's our list of the top 10 picnic spots in Britain:
Your family will definitely work up an appetite at Avon Valley Country Park. Covering 50 acres of beautiful countryside adjoining the River Avon, this country park has plenty to offer both children and adults. Children will love the adventure park, which has a mile-long junior assault course, and if you want a more relaxing day, there are peaceful riverside trails to walk with beautiful picnic spots along the way.
Web: Avon Valley Country Park
Wellington Country Park is set in 350 acres of beautiful Hampshire countryside, making it a perfect picnic spot to enjoy with your family. Children will love the miniature railway, adventure playground, giant snakes and ladders, play trail and crazy golf, and the beautiful nature trails and lakeside walks make a perfect relaxing day. There are also BBQ areas, and camping areas if you want to prolong your stay.
Web: Wellington Country Park
Where: West Lothian
Beecraigs Country Park in Scotland is a great place for a family day out. Situated in the Bathgate Hills close to the town of Linlithgow, Beecraigs stretches over 913 acres and is an idyllic picnic spot as well as offering a wide range of outdoor pursuits including archery, canoeing, kayaking, orienteering and skiing. There is also a beautiful deer farm and fishery, as well as a camping and caravanning site, so you can stay a few days and enjoy all the park has to offer.
Web: Beecraigs Country Park
Visit the splendid Ragley Hall, home to the Marquess and Marchioness of Hertford for nearly 350 years. Set within 400 acres of playground, Ragley Hall is the perfect picnic spot and family day out. There's a Kids Zone, adventure playground with a 3D maze, trampoline and climbing frames, and a peaceful picnic area by the lake, where you might see a few peacocks roaming around.
Web: Ragley Hall
This little-known Welsh beach has been described as the best-kept secret in Pembrokeshire, and has been ranked among the best beaches in the world. This small, clean and quiet beach has sand dunes, a steady drop into the sea, and wonderful rock pools and caves for children to explore once the tide has gone out. It's the perfect picnic spot for all the family, and one that will have you returning again and again.
If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of London for a picnic with your family, Somerset House is the place to go. This 18th century Neoclassical palace has a huge courtyard where you can sit and relax, and there's plenty of space for children to run around - they'll love ducking in and out of the fountains. Once you've finished eating, take a look around the spectacular building and the exhibits and collections inside.
Web: Somerset House
For more unusual picnic spots, go to Avebury, where you can have your picnic in the middle of a 4,000 year old stone circle - the largest in Europe. Avebury Stone Circle encompasses part of the village of Avebury. Visit the museum in the Barn Gallery, where interactive and audio-visual displays bring to life the story of the stones and the people who strove to uncover their past - a fascinating day out for all the family.
Web: Avebury Stone Circle
The Clywedog Valley & Trail is a 7-mile walking trail, dotted with picnic spots where you and your family can stop and relax. Stop at the Minera Lead Mines - a testimony to the area's industrial heritage with an engine house, surface workings and small museum. Along the trail you'll find a giant reconstruction of a mole tunnel, complete with worms, and a children's play area, so there's no danger of them getting bored.
Situated next to the fabulous Horniman Museum, the Horniman Gardens are a wonderful place for a family picnic. Offering spectacular views of London, the 16-acre garden puts on free shows for children at the bandstand in the summer months. Afterwards, take the children into the museum, where a full range of events and activities take place for different audiences including storytelling and art and craft sessions for children, and courses and workshops for adults.
Web: Horniman Museum & Gardens
Halfway along the South Coast of England, at Poole in Dorset, is the world's second largest natural harbour. Just inside the entrance to that harbour lies the largest of its five islands, Brownsea Island. This was the birthplace of scouting, and is now a beautiful nature reserve. Kids will love the scouting exhibitions and taking part in the Smuggler's Trail to the treasure chest, and there's a new cliff-top walk which has created ideal picnic spots for all the family to enjoy.
Web: Brownsea Island