Spectacular Summer Picnic Spots in the UK

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Temperatures are set to soar in the UK over the next week… could summer finally be here? In anticipation, we’ve selected some spectacular picnic spots all across the UK. From canals in the capital to a glacial lake in Snowdonia, there’s somewhere to suit everyone. So dig out the hamper and get packing – the sun won’t stick around forever!

Little Venice, London


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Thanks to the Great British climate, many picnic plans have to be decided at the last minute, which can lead to hours of travel time wasted. If you’re a capital dweller though, then you don’t have to embark on an epic journey to set up a serene al fresco spread – there are plenty of sprawling spaces available in the city.

One of the most popular spots for a picnic in London is actually Little Venice, which is the area around where the Regent’s Canal and the Grand Union Canal meet in Maida Vale. Lined with leafy trees and charming buildings, it feels like the London depicted in Richard Curtis’ well-loved films. Many of the colourful canal boats are actually cafes and restaurants where you can enjoy cream teas and cocktails, but when the sun is shining, a day is just as delightful when spent on the banks or in the nearby gardens with homemade sandwiches and scones. If you’re feeling flush, you could even hire a GoBoat picnic boat!

Levisham Moor & Hole of Horcum, Yorkshire


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While it might sound like a fiery realm from The Lord of the Rings, this natural amphitheatre in the North Yorkshire Moors National Park offers one of the country’s most awe-inspiring panoramas. The ‘hole’ is half a mile wide and 400ft deep and is the source of many myths and legends – one of the most popular claims that Wade the Giant took a handful of the earth to launch angrily at his wife. The official walk is around five miles long, however you could easily adapt this to your abilities and time constraints.

We recommend heading to the crumbling Skelton Tower for your picnic. Perched on a moody headland, it offers wonderful views, plus you might even spot a steam train chugging along the North Yorkshire Moors Railway – a most wholesome accompaniment to a wedge of local parkin and a flask of Yorkshire Tea.

Ae Forest, Southwest Scotland

There are scores of splendid lochs in Scotland beside which you could picnic happily with your beloved, but if you’re looking for a slightly more unusual setting then we recommend heading to the Forest of Ae and its surrounding area instead. While the forest is popular with mountain bikers, it also offers a number of sylvan hiking trails and fairytale picnic settings – from the banks of the meandering river to the verdant hills. The nearby town of Castle Douglas in Dumfries & Galloway is a designated ‘food town’ and an ideal stop-off for stocking up on local delicacies before you embark on your adventure. Pack some of Scotland’s saccharine tablet, and if you’re so inclined, some Irn-Bru, and you’ll be skipping up and down the hills easily!

Cei Llydan, Snowdonia

With its dramatic peaks and glacial lakes, picnic lovers are spoilt for choice in Snowdonia. We’ve chosen Lake Padarn – one of the largest natural lakes in Wales – as a particularly fantastic place to lay out your blanket. You’ll find it all here: glassy water, eerie castles, rugged mountains, and even a vintage railway! In fact, the Llanberis Lake Railway is one of the best ways to see all of the sights – it travels all the way through the Padarn Country Park and boasts epic views of Mount Snowdon. Be sure to pack some homemade Welsh cakes or a spread of the country’s award-winning cheeses and oatcakes in order to experience an authentic feast for all the senses.

Padley Gorge, Peak District

The Peak District is another no-brainer when it comes to a day out that centres around a fabulous picnic. Padley Gorge is a magical spot for families in particular, featuring shimmering rock pools that can be paddled in, rickety wooden bridges, and higgledy-piggledy trees decorated with fuzzy green moss. Pick up some beloved Bakewell Puddings to round off your feast – these sticky and sweet jam-filled cakes wouldn’t look out of place in some of the most legendary children’s stories, from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to the Teddy Bear’s Picnic. Oh, and don’t leave without seeking out the mysterious coin tree…

Bloody Bridge Coastal Route, Northern Ireland


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The Bloody Bridge Car Park in County Down has recently been revamped and now features public art pieces as well as picnic benches that offer uninterrupted views of the wild Irish Sea and the majestic Mourne Mountains. As you might have already guessed, the area has a dark history – the bridge itself was the site of a massacre in 1641 and the river was a popular smuggling route. Don’t be put off by its dishonourable past though, this part of Northern Ireland is replete with breathtaking vistas and rare dragonflies and butterflies.