You’ll need sausage rolls, Scotch eggs and plenty of sandwiches. And cakes too, naturally. And perhaps a flask full of tea, or even a bottle of wine. To celebrate National Picnic Week, here are a few of its top places to tuck into a basketful of goodies while soaking up spectacular scenery.
1. Barafundle Bay – Pembrokeshire, Wales
Half a mile on foot from the nearest car park, Barafundle Bay has a sense of splendid isolation. This together with its golden sand, crystal clear waters and lush green landscapes beyond the beach give it a magical, almost tropical feeling. Now, do you want to picnic high on the cliffs, on the beach, or out in the dunes? Decisions, decisions.
2. Brownsea Island – Dorset, England
Brownsea Island is another little paradise at a comfortable remove from everyday life. In addition to idyllic woodland, heathland and its very own lagoon, it’s also something of an outpost for the rare red squirrel. This native British breed are smaller, and (arguably) even cuter than their American grey rivals. They’re also much shyer, so your picnic is more likely to remain yours.
3. Rievaulx Abbey – North Yorkshire, England
Once one of Britain’s wealthiest abbeys, Rievaulx is today a stately ruin hidden away in the North York Moors National Park. These buildings have stood since 1132, so they’ve certainly seen some history. The atmosphere, combined with the gorgeous natural surroundings, is perfect for a tranquil afternoon picnic.
4. Devil’s Dyke – East Sussex, England
Look at that view! Devil’s Dyke is a deep v-shaped valley on the South Downs Way, and this photo is taken from the hills above. Said to have been dug by the devil himself, in fact it’s just an extremely pretty spot in the heart of the Sussex countryside. Climb to the top and enjoy the view as you tuck into sandwiches, or find a good place to start feasting down in the valley itself.
5. St Herbert’s Island – Derwentwater, Cumbria, England
So-called after its onetime occupant, the 7th century hermit St. Herbert, this 5-acre wooded island is set in the centre of one of the Lake District’s most beautiful lakes. Part of the fun here is of course the boat ride out, and as you leap onto the shore with your picnic, you’ll feel like you’ve set off to bury treasure. It takes on an extra level of poignancy when you imagine its late lonely inhabitant living a quiet life here more than a thousand years ago.