Summer’s almost here and what better way to enjoy the all-too-brief sunshine by going for a good old-fashioned picnic?
We’ve put together a list of the best spots to take your picnic blankets and cricket sets to in 2009. Take a look – if you are in the area they are well worth checking out. But we also want your suggestions for the best places to take the family for some al fresco munch.
Comment on this blog post with your ideas and we’ll send the three best suggestions one of these fancy new Play and Stay picnic rucksacks, containing:
- Four spoons, knives, forks, plates, mugs, wine glasses and napkins.
- Cheese/bread knife
- Waiter’s corkscrew
- Butter dish
- Thermo-lined cooler section at the back
So, here are our suggestions. Give us yours, along with your reasons for nomination, in the comment section below:
In the northernmost part of Sherwood forest and less than 40 miles from Alton Towers lies the beautiful and Idyllic Clumber Park. With 3,800 acres of open green space, more than 20 miles of cycle routes to get lost along and Europe’s longest double avenue of lime trees, the park offers peace, tranquility and adventure all in one spot.
Photo by D-Kav
Located just outside Tunbridge Wells in Kent, Groombridge Place and Gardens is one of the best places to spend a day with the family this summer. Although it is not the cheapest park in the area (tickets can cost as much as £10 per adult in peak months), there is so much to see and do when you arrive. For older children there are a number of big swings and for the younger children there are a number of play parks. A walk through the Enchanted Forest will bring you face-to-face with dinosaurs of varying ferocity and there are even two bird of prey shows at set times throughout the day at no extra charge. The Drunken Gardens offer a welcome rest at the end of the trail and were the inspiration and setting for the famous Sherlock Holmes novel, The Valley of Fear. It may be over an hour’s drive from Windsor, but it’s well worth checking out if you have the time.
Photo by J. Lane
The grounds and gardens of this 18th century mansion are another stunning place near Alton Towers to enjoy a family picnic this summer. There are 820 acres of man-made park and four walks of varying lengths for you to wander along. With superb child-friendly facilities such as baby change rooms and hip-carrying infant seats for hire as well, Kedleston Hall is a great place to go on your summer holiday.
Photo by Fredspickchers
Less than a ten minute car journey from Thorpe Park is Richmond Park – the largest Royal Park in London at almost 2,500 acres in size. It is home to more than 650 free roaming deer and offers a myriad of landscapes including hills, woodlands, ponds and gardens. There are a number of facilities designed to make your day out easier (cafes, lodges and refreshment points) and there’s also a playground great for the little ones to let off steam in. Hire bikes, get a fishing permit or try your hand at a spot of golf – there’s enough fun and games here to last for days.
Box Hill is an outstanding area of woodland and chalk downland located near to London and LEGOLAND Windsor. Better suited for the active family, this park has some truly breathtaking views over the South Downs from its many nature trails. After a steep incline, you will find a visitor centre at the summit which offers a great place to stop for a picnic. Box Hill is awash with day-trippers in the summer months, make sure you get there early.
The Runnymeade Pleasure Grounds is a relaxing riverside park with access to walks along the River Thames and local countryside. The park is a great spot for a family picnic and has a number of attractions to keep you all entertained including a playground, paddling pool, cafe and boat cruises. It’s only three miles from Thorpe Park and might just be the best way to relax after all those thrill rides.