There’s no better way to celebrate the longer, warmer days of summer than packing a picnic and catching up with friends and family.
The National Trust cares for some of the best spots in the Midlands for eating al fresco and taking in beautiful views.
For those whose picnic hampers have some room left, there’s always a tasty selection of seasonal treats to choose from at National Trust tea-rooms.
Here are some of the top picnic spots to choose from:
Attingham Park, Shropshire
There’s plenty of picturesque places to enjoy a picnic at Attingham Park in Shropshire. Head along the Mile Walk next to the River Tern, and choose a spot looking across to the Deer Park. The Walled Garden, Bee Lawn and Orchard also offer benches and space to spread your blanket and relax.
Brockhampton Estate, Herefordshire
From the damson orchards next to the manor house to secluded spots along the estate’s way-marked walks, Brockhampton offers a beautiful backdrop for an alfresco lunch.
Calke Abbey, Derbyshire
At Calke Abbey both ends of the main car park contain picnic benches – one area overlooks the deer park while the other overlooks the meadow. Picnicking in the Pleasure Grounds offers a view of the house, there’s Poker’s Leys meadow as part of Calke Explore and the Walled Kitchen Garden is another popular spot.
Canons Ashby, Northamptonshire
For a pretty picnic amongst wildflowers and wild grasses, head for the paddock at Canons Ashby. Some of the benches have a gap allowing wheelchair users to join the group. Over the last few years, the garden team have been working to improve the biodiversity of the plant life in the paddock, planting wildflower seeds and plugs, and June is the best time to see it. Please stick to the mown paths so that nature can enjoy the rest.
Charlecote Park, Warwickshire
At Charlecote Park there’s the chance to picnic in the paddock and relax by the river, watching the ducks and geese swim lazily by or spotting the deer and their fawns in the sanctuary from across the river. There are also picnic benches by the pop-up play area for families who prefer to spread out in the shade.
Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire
With 3,800 acres of beautiful parkland, there are plenty of great spots to enjoy a picnic with friends and family at Clumber Park. Popular places are the former mansion site or in front of the chapel, which is in easy reach of the main visitor facilities; or there’s the woodland play park and close to the lakeside.
Croome was Capability Brown’s first landscape garden and it’s the ideal place to relax with some tasty treats. Church Hill is a lovely place to take in the far-reaching views towards the house and the Malvern Hills or a short walk to the Rotunda gives great views to the outer parkland. Picnic benches near the wild play area means you can relax whilst the family have fun making dens in the wild play area or enjoy the nearby playground.
Shugborough Estate, Staffordshire
With sweeping views and lots of space, Shugborough Estate is a great place to enjoy a picnic. The Shugborough team particularly recommend spending a lazy afternoon on the riverside amongst the wildflowers.
The tennis court lawn at Stoneywell is a lovely sunny spot to picnic with some areas of shade. Visitors can spread their blanket and unwind whilst enjoying their al fresco feast with a beautiful cottage as a backdrop.
Tattershall Castle, Lincolnshire
There are benches and shady parasols just past the Guard House at Tattershall Castle where you can enjoy a picnic while taking in the view of the tower and often heritage planes taking off from a nearby airfield.
Every single visit supports the National Trust’s conservation work, looking after special places for people to enjoy for years to come.
Please check each property’s website for booking details prior to visiting.