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Wicker basket packed? 14 best picnic spots

Thornton Reservoir, Nat Forest, Leics

Pic Credit: https://www.nationalforest.org/visit/activities/thornton-reservoir

This peaceful and picturesque location offers a network of trails and footpaths around the reservoir and the neighbouring woodland areas. The flat 2.5 mile circular track is perfect for a stroll after a long, lazy picnic.

Aylestone Meadows, Leics

Located along the banks of the River Soar, the park is a great spot for walking and cycling as well as other activities including fishing,
canoeing or horse-riding (some may temporarily be unavailable). Beyond the activities, there’s plenty to admire from the mosaic of pastures, to small ponds. Pick a spot to enjoy your mini Scotch eggs and sandwiches, then take a walk along the river path.

Burrough Hill, Melton Mowbray

Enjoy your picnic after exploring the well-preserved Iron Age hill fort, a prominent local landmark. Plenty of picnic benches dotted around too or bring your blanket and grab a spot to enjoy the views. Follow the trails and enjoy hiking, walking and even some bird watching. Pay and display car park £2.50 all day.

Watermead Country Park, Thurmaston

Pic Credit: https://www.leicscountryparks.org.uk/

A great place to go for a bike ride, walk and picnic. It’s peaceful and pretty with great lake views, wildflower meadows, a thriving nature reserves and woodland walks where you can scramble around with the kids/dog/on your own and feel at one with nature. All-day parking costs £2.50

Bosworth Heritage Picnic Area, Bosworth

A beautiful country park in the south west of Leicestershire which includes a network of surfaced trails that lead from the Bosworth Battlefield Centre around a wonderful farmed landscape, connecting with the Ashby Canal and the Battlefield Railway at Shenton station. Numerous spots to put down your picnic blanket and enjoy country park life. Please note, the Heritage Centre, toilets, and 1485 Tithe Barn Cafe are closed.

Market Bosworth Country Park, Bosworth

Pic Credit: https://www.leicscountryparks.org.uk/

With its gorgeous open grassland, this park is perfect for family activities (bring your own ball) plus there’s lots of paths for walking and jogging and a designated area for picnics. Enjoy the splashes of colour from the wild flower area. For seasoned walkers, enjoy the path south to the village of Sutton Cheney, walk the towpath of the Ashby canal or ride on the Battlefield line railway which terminates at Shenton station. Parking £2.50.

Saltersford Valley Picnic Area, Swadlincote 

A seven-hectare site tucked away in The National Forest which has lots of open water areas known as ‘flashes’ resulting from mining subsidence that causes the Saltersford Brook to flood.  A lovely picnic area can be found by the lake plus, free car park. Bonus!

Shady Lane Arboretum, Leicester

One of the most popular open spaces on the eastern edge of the city because of its botanical, wildlife and historical features plus it’s pretty place to park down for a picnic. Located on Shady Lane – hence the name – there are over 500 species of trees to admire and the Nature Area boasts rare wild flowers, river birds, owls and woodpeckers. Don’t miss Piggy’s Hollow, the site of a former medieval moated manor house.

Beacon Hill Country Park, Woodhouse Eaves

Pic Credit: https://www.leicscountryparks.org.uk/

Enjoy wonderful view across Leicestershire, from the top of this popular park. At 248m, the summit of Beacon Hill Country Park is the second highest in Leicestershire and boasts panoramic views across the county and beyond so well worth the trek. It’s also a pretty magical spot to unpack your picnic basket, but if the dizzying heights don’t appeal to you, there are lots of spots further down.

Bradgate Park, Newton Linford

Tuck into your picnic while enjoying glimpses of resident deer as well as the rocky outcrops, gnarled old oak trees and the historic ruins of Bradgate House. There’s 830 acres to explore so you can keep a safe distance between you and any other picnickers before hiking up the hills to enjoy the views.

Rutland Water, Rutland

Pic Credit: Discover Rutland

You’ll be spoilt for idyllic picnic spots at Rutland Water. Set in 4,200 acres of open countryside, you can even enjoy a bike or boat ride before settling down to eat near Normanton Church, or go further inland to the Hambleton Peninsula. Car park charges £3.70 for up to 3 hours.

Welland Park, Market Harborough

Another luscious local green park to enjoy with tonnes of facilities inc a skate park, tennis courts, table tennis zone and more. While all the facilities may not be open, you can still admire the rose and sensory gardens. Public toilets are open and there are two car parks both with a 4-hour waiting limit – plenty of time to laze around in the open grassy spaces enjoying your homemade sandwiches (or shop-bought ones).

Abbey Park, Leics

As far as city park go, this one ticks all the boxes Obviously the play area and Pet’s Corner and work out ares is shut, but you can park yourself on the grassy island in the middle of the park or further along by the bridge. Pet’s Corner is closed as is the play area and boating.

Queen’s Park, Loughborough

Pic credit: Charnwood Gov

Boasting Green Flag status – a mark of excellence awarded to parks and green spaces, there’s plenty to admire while tucking into your sausage rolls. First opened in June 1899 to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, it’s easily accessible. There’s lots of facilities to enjoy including the swan maze, Charnwood museum, a bowling green, aviaries and more but not everything is open. The play area’s sandpit is being replaced and general improvements are being made so this are and the toilets are not open until mid-August.

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