We’re celebrating National Picnic Week, and with the summer stretching out before us, here’s a look at some superb spots to lay down a blanket and crack open the ham sandwiches.
The outdoors campaign runs from 15th to 24th June and aims to promote areas of natural beauty and encourage us to enjoy some great food against beautiful landscapes. Here are some ideas for group travel organisers to choose from:
1. An RHS garden
For the quintessential English country garden experience, the Royal Horticultural Society is offering delicious picnics and cream teas at special rates for groups across its gardens this summer. Picnics In The Garden is an alfresco option for groups until the autumn, providing flexibility to enjoy lunch in your favourite spot at one of the RHS sites. Prices include a range of freshly made sandwiches, homemade cakes and shortbreads, tea, coffee, soft drinks or perhaps a prosecco for a bit of summer fizz.
2. Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire
With over 2000 acres of ‘Capability’ Brown Parkland and beautiful Formal Gardens, there are plenty of excellent spots in which to picnic at Blenheim with your group. The estate says the best location for lunch is just inside of the Woodstock Gates, deemed ‘the finest view in England’ by Lord and Lady Randolph Churchill in 1874. You can enjoy a sweeping view of the palace, Grand Bridge and Queen Pool, taking in the beauty and scale of this World Heritage Site – perhaps with a pork pie in hand.
3. Glyndebourne Festival, Sussex
Running from May to August each year is the Glyndebourne Festival, which offers a programme of operas to be enjoyed while dining al fresco in your fanciest outfits. The scope of the festival is broad and has presented works by a wide range of composers including Monteverdi, Handel, Rossini, Tchaikovsky, Janá?ek, Strauss, Stravinsky, Verdi and Wagner. Groups can enjoy pre-booked picnic hampers stuffed with goods like chicken terrine, crab salad and raspberries and cream.
4. The New Forest National Park
In southern England, the New Forest has plenty of picturesque spots where you can combine lunch with a walk around parts of the National Park. Particular spots of choice might be Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary where a herd of fallow deer can often be spotted in the summer months, and Knightwood Oak – said to be the largest, oldest and most famous oak tree in the whole of the New Forest.
5. Kyoto Gardens in Holland Park, London
Holland Park is a 22-hectare park in west London, which is situated around the ruins of Holland House. The garden is a traditional Japanese garden with tranquil tiered waterfalls and a pond full of koi carp. There are stone lanterns, Japanese maple trees and you might even spot a peacock or two wandering around, adding to the atmosphere. Great for a group picnic, especially if you want to break up a day exploring some of London’s top sites.