How To Arrange The Perfect Picnic For The May Bank Holiday
The May Bank Holiday is a great opportunity to get together with friends and family in the open air. With hundreds of beautiful picnic spots across the UK, it’s easy to find one close to you.
Choose one of English Heritage’s sites for your day out and you can eat your picnic in the grounds of a church, abbey, or stately home. Get close to history at the Iron Age Chysauster Ancient Village in Cornwall, or at Grime’s Graves, Norfolk’s neolithic flint mine.
A castle makes a splendid backdrop for a picnic, and there are usually spectacular views from the grounds. Richmond Castle in north Yorkshire overlooks the Dales, while Conisbrough Castle, in the south of the county, has plenty of grassy space for games and relaxation. For sea views, try Calshot Castle or Portchester Castle, both near Southampton.
If you’re in London, you don’t have to venture far to find green spaces. Eltham Palace in southeast London, Tilbury Fort in Essex, and Lullingstone Roman Villa in Kent are all within easy reach of the capital.
English Heritage members enjoy unlimited visits to sites all over the country, and can bring up to six children for free. Members receive a handbook and magazines to help make the most of days out.
The National Trust’s properties include beaches and nature reserves, as well as historic sites and buildings across England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
Enjoy the views from Kent’s One Tree Hill or the Iron Age hill fort of Oldbury Hill. Take a walk on Surrey’s Leith Hill, or grassy Runnymede, where Magna Carta was signed. At Whipsnade Tree Cathedral in Bedfordshire, hundreds of trees have been planted to form the shape of a mediaeval cathedral, providing plenty of picnic spots.
The clifftop setting of Birling Gap in East Sussex’s South Downs gives views of the Channel, while Cornwall has an abundance of seaside locations, including Crantock, Holywell, and Lizard Point.
Work up an appetite with a walk through Upper Wharfedale or Hardcastle Crags, both in North Yorkshire, or picnic among wild plants, animals, and birds in nature reserves like Dinefwr in Carmarthenshire, Blakeney in Norfolk, or Orford Ness in Suffolk.
Join the National Trust for free access to hundreds of properties, along with a handbook so you can plan your trips, and regular magazines and newsletters.
No picnic would be complete without a hamper full of goodies. Take the work out of picnic preparations with ready made pies from Pieminister, quiches by Higgidy, or Waitrose Handcrafted Deep Filled Pork and Apple Sausage Rolls. If you’re making sandwiches, try buying finger rolls or a selection of wholemeal and seeded rolls, and filling with Le Rustique camembert, Tickler extra mature cheddar, or Waitrose game and sloe gin pâté.
Reward yourself for all that walking with a sweet treat. Waitrose sells a tempting selection of bitesized mini cakes in handy tubs, including flapjack bites and cornflake cluster bites. If you prefer a healthier option, there’s fruit in convenient pre cut and packed portions, including pineapple, melon, pomegranate, and coconut.
For a more sophisticated take on fizzy pop that children will still enjoy, choose sparkling fruit drinks from Galvanina, Cawston Press or Belvoir Fruit Farms, or go traditional with ginger beer.
There’s a perfect coastal, woodland or countryside picnic spot for everyone, whether you prefer to explore ancient ruins, go paddling and rockpooling, look for wildlife, or simply admire the landscape and feel on top of the world.