This green and pleasant land sure does have some scenic picnic spots. Together with the National Trust, The Resident picks out 5 of England’s most picturesque, from Cambridgeshire to Cumbria…
All photography courtesy National Trust Images
The National Trust has started to open some gardens and parklands in England and Northern Ireland following government guidance, though many require advanced booking. All National Trust places in Wales remain closed and all National Trust houses remain closed for now.
1 Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal, North Yorkshire
A view cannot get much better than a stunning 800 year old abbey as the backdrop for a picnic. After relaxing and eating, you can explore the stunning Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, Victorian church, visit the Jacobean Manor House, or see the Medieval Deer Park, which is home to over 500 wild Red, Fallow and Sika deer.
2 Wimpole Estate, Cambridgeshire
Located just eight miles from Cambridge, Wimpole is the the perfect afternoon picnic spot. An entire day could be filled exploring the estate’s mansion, garden, farm and parkland. Admire the views of the recently restored Gothic Tower at Wimpole Estate with a picnic in the north park. The 18th-century tower, designed to look like a picturesque medieval ruin, makes a divine backdrop for any picnic. You’ll be able to see right across the estate as you enjoy the peace and tranquility of your surroundings. Afterwards, take a stroll through one of the many gardens to walk off some of the sweets you had at lunch.
3 Stowe, Buckinghamshire
Stowe is a place of such scale and beauty that it has attracted visitors for over 300 years. This timeless landscape, created by the celebrated gardener Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, is full of beautiful viewpoints, winding paths, lakeside walks and classical temples. Have a picnic in the gardens, enjoy the views, and then stop into one of the cafes for some indulgent chocolate cake. Afterwards, take a walk through Stowe House and enjoy the beautiful architecture of the temple.
4 Beningbrough Hall, York
Beningbrough Hall gardens are full of secret nooks and crannies, where you can find a secluded picnic spot enclosed by flowers and wildlife. If you’re hoping to build an appetite first you can borrow a bike for the day. There’s a selection of bikes on offer, and even one with a picnic-carrying carriage so you can tow along your lunch to your perfect destination, or take a long trek through the sensational gardens. Get out of the sun for a bit, and check out over 100 paintings on loan from the National Portrait Gallery.
5 Borrowdale and Derwent Water, Cumbria
Within a few minutes walk from market town Keswick, the Borrowdale Valley is a great place to get an introduction to walking in the Lake District. There are plenty of trails to adventure on, or you can stick to exploring the pebbly shores around Derwent Water. Brandelhow on the western edge of the lake makes the perfect picnic location, with far-reaching views across the water and loads of space for the kids to run around in. Go check out the Bowder Stone, a huge boulder with a unique story, Castlerigg stone circle, an early nomadic meeting place, or Force Crag Mine, an old mining industry.
For more picnic ideas, check out nationaltrust.org.uk
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