Wicker basket packed? 10 perfect picnic spots
Dust off your wicker basket and roll out your tartan blanket. Who's with me?
Hurrah! Picnic season is upon us and with warmer weather back on the horizon, it’s time to fill up your basket with scotch eggs, sausages and crustless sandwiches before heading to one of these brilliant local picnic spots.
Market Bosworth Country Park, Bosworth
With its gorgeous open grassland, this park is perfect for family activities (bring your own ball) plus, there’s designated area for picnics and benches if you don’t fancy a soggy bottom from sitting on the grass. If you’re tempted to walk off your food, there’s heaps of popular tracks including one that leads straight to the pretty village of Sutton Cheney.
Rutland Water, Rutland
You’ll be spoilt for idyllic picnic spots at Rutland Water. Set in 4,200 acres of open countryside, you can grab some food from the Waterside Cafe on the south shore near Normanton Church (pic above). If you’re near Whitwell, there’s a car park here and a play area for the kids. You can hire bikes, jump on the Rutland Belle or follow one of the scenic walks.
Welland Park, Market Harborough
Another luscious local green park to enjoy with tonnes of fun facilities for the kids including a skate park, tennis courts, table tennis zone and more – enough to make a day of it we think. Don’t miss the rose and sensory gardens after which you can stop off in the open green spaces to enjoy your homemade sandwiches (or ones from the Cafe at Welland Park of course).
Abbey Park, Leicester
As far as city park go, this one ticks all the boxes. Split in two areas by the River Soar, find a spot on the grassy island in the middle of the park, or go over the bridge and tuck into your picnic. While it might be tempting to sit near the lake, we advise against it unless you want to be fighting for the last bite with the local resident ducks and swans. If you’ve got kids in tow, let them burn off energy in the play areas, explore Abbey ruins or Pets Corner. You might not be able to hire a rowing boar or a pedalo right now but we’re hoping they will be back soon.
Beacon Hill Country Park, Woodhouse Eaves
Enjoy wonderful view across Leicestershire, from the top of this popular park. At 248m, the summit of Beacon Hill Country Park near Loughborough is the second highest spot in Leicestershire so of course, boasts gorgeous views across the county and beyond so well worth the trek. It’s also a pretty magical spot to unpack your picnic basket (if you make it). If the dizzying heights don’t appeal, there’s lots of nice picnic spots further down too.
Aylestone Meadows, Leicester
Located along the banks of the River Soar, the park is a great spot for walking and cycling as well as fishing, canoeing and horse-riding. Beyond the activities, there’s plenty to admire from the mosaic of pastures, to small ponds. When you’ve finished exploring, pick a spot to enjoy your scotch eggs and sandwiches, before taking a walk along the river path.
Queen’s Park, Loughborough
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, the park has lots of facilities to enjoy including the swan maze, Charnwood museum, a bowling green, aviaries and more. If you don’t want to lug around a picnic basket, stop off at the Queen’s Park Cafe to order some tasty goodies.
Bradgate Park, Newton Linford
Tuck into a picnic while enjoying glimpses of the resident deer here. There’s 830 acres to enjoy here so you can keep a good distance between you and any other picnickers before hiking up the hills to enjoy the views, the rugged wilderness and the historic ruins of Bradgate House.
Watermead Country Park, Thurmaston
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.
Saltersford Valley, Swadlincote
This seven-hectare site tucked away in The National Forest has lots of open water areas known as ‘flashes’ as a direct result from mining subsidence that caused the brook to flood. That was then, but now it’s a safe and peaceful haven with a lush picnic area by the lake plus, free car park. Bonus! If you’ve come on a whim and not bought a basket of goodies with you, stop off at Grounds Cafe where you can grab some paninis and cakes.