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Six of the best: National Trust picnic spots


Monday 17 Apr, 2017

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All are cared for by the National Trust, a charity which looks after 775 miles of coastline; more than 2,400 square kilometres of land; and more than 500 historic houses, castles, parks and nature reserves in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Grab some sandwiches and your National Trust touring pass and settle down at one of these scenic spots.

Studland beach, Dorset, south-west England
Enjoy a good old-fashioned day out on this golden sandy beach, which stretches for four miles. It's an ideal place to enjoy the simple pleasures of a beach picnic and building sandcastles. And with shallow bathing water, it's perfect for paddling. Just sit on the beach, or take a walk down to one of the most famous landmarks on the south coast - a towering chalk formation known as ‘Old Harry Rocks'. Did the rocks get their name because, as legend has it, the devil took a nap on them, or were they named after the notorious local pirate Harry Paye? Either way, they provide a picture-perfect picnic spot. Studland is around an hour and 20 minutes by road from Southampton. 

Flatford, Suffolk, east England

Flatford Mill is right in the middle of Dedham Vale, part of the rolling landscapes on the Suffolk/Essex border that inspired the works of famous English painter John Constable. This is great walking countryside, so why not pack a rucksack full of treats and head out onto the trail? There are plenty of spots along the way to relax by the water's edge and enjoy your feast. Or you can even hire a boat from the nearby boathouse and row down river to see the beautiful surroundings from a new perspective. Flatford is around two hours from London by road, or you can catch the train from London to Manningtree station (55 minutes), and then hire a bike.

Dinefwr Park and Castle, Carmarthenshire, Wales

Settle down for sandwiches at Dinefwr Park and keep an eye out for the resident fallow deer that have been roaming the land for 1,000 years. Dinefwr is an 800-acre estate near to the Brecon Beacons National Park. A nature reserve, it is home to many species of Britain's native wildlife, including badgers and otters, as well as some of the oldest trees in Britain. Stop beneath a 400-year-old old oak tree, or next to a flower-rich hay meadow, enjoy your picnic and watch the world go by. Dinefwr is under an hour's drive from Swansea. The nearest train station is Llandeilo, a mile away from Dinefwr, with trains from Swansea taking around an hour.  

Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire, central England

Escape the hustle and bustle and take the time to get closer to nature at Clumber Park. The huge estate was home to some of England's dukes for more than 300 years and was once part of the famous Sherwood Forest - still only a 30-minute bike ride away. The park is fantastic for cyclists and walkers, with more than 20 miles of open trails to explore. Enjoy a shady picnic in the woodlands or overlooking the glittering lake - home to more than 200 species of birds. Clumber Park is less than an hour's drive from Sheffield.

Borrowdale and Derwentwater, Cumbria, north-west England

Just five minutes' walk from the quaint market town of Keswick, the Borrowdale Valley is a great place to get an introduction to walking in the Lake District. There are plenty of trails up onto the fells, or you can stick to exploring the pebbly shores around Derwentwater. Brandelhow on the western edge of the lake makes the perfect picnic location, with far-reaching views across the water. Keswick is in the north of the Lake District. It's less than an hour's drive from Carlisle.

The Argory, County Armagh, Northern Ireland

Deep in the green County Armagh countryside is a place where the mist rolls down to the River Blackwater and time stands still. The Argory is a home built by members of the Irish gentry in the 1820s - the mansion's interiors have remained virtually unchanged since the 1900s, and it is surrounded by woodland. Settle down by the river to enjoy your picnic and keep a look-out for a darting kingfisher. The small birds are bright blue and orange, hunting fish from riverside perches. The estate is less than an hour's drive from Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland.

 



For more information contact:

  • VisitBritain Media Team





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Brandelhow
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Clumber park
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Flatford mill
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Old Harrys rocks - Dorset
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Studland