As weather starts to get a little warmer and the COVID restrictions begin to relax allowing us to meet up with friends and family outdoors, it sounds like the perfect excuse to organise a picnic.
I've pulled together some ideas of places to go, whether it is just your close family or as part of a group, as well as some food suggestions and recipes if you'd like inspiration to give you some variety if you need it.
Where to go:
Birmingham Botanical Gardens
There is plenty of space on the lawns and benches provide the perfect spot for a picnic within the 15-acre site. There is a cost for entry though and you should check the closing times before you plan your visit.
Cannon Hill Park
There is plenty to do here if you are taking your family on a picnic. Attractions include MAC arts centre, wide open spaces, two lakes, tennis courts, golf putting course and playgrounds.
Bancroft Gardens, Stratford-Upon-Avon
Stratford’s riverside spaces by the Avon, offer a great place for a picnic as the swans glide by. The area can get very busy in summer.
Shakespeare's New Place, Stratford-Upon-Avon
Once it reopens, the gardens at Shakespeare's New Place are a lovely quieter spot for a picnic when Stratford Town Centre gets busier. Charge for entry.
Sheldon Country Park
300 acres of open space. Also within the park is the 17th century Old Rectory Farm, which is open to visitors every day of the year and has free admission (the farm had not announced a planned date for reopening at the time of writing). If your children are fascinated by planes you can watch them land and take-off at Birmingham airport. There's a great viewing area in the park that's located at the end of the runaway.
Coombe Country Park
Picnics and barbecues are both welcome at Coombe Country Park on the outskirts of Coventry. There are picnic benches dotted throughout the park and slabs available for barbecues to be placed on. Open fires are not allowed anywhere in the park.
With plenty of space around the park, this is a great place for a picnic. The adventure playground, trails and other family activities mean that you can make a day of it. The dog is welcome too!
National Trust properties
Baddesley Clinton, Packwood House, Charlecote Park and Upton House all offer local picnic opportunities with lots of open space and the essential National Trust tea room to top up on snacks.
Abbey Fields, Kenilworth
Large park with good sized playground suitable for all ages of children.
Ryton Pools Country Park
One of Warwickshire's country parks with lots of trails for bike rides and walks to build up your appetite before you settle in a spot to tuck into your picnic.
Jephson Gardens, Leamington Spa
Centrally located, this park is easy to get to and is a lovely space to explore and walk with the family.
St Nicholas Park, Warwick
The fantastic range of facilities here make it a great place to visit with children, Fairground rides, playground, crazy golf and pedalos on the river (check for info about reopening dates) are all poplar attractions.
Burton Dassett Hills
Unspoilt, rolling hills. Whether you are walking or flying a kite, the magnificent views from these hills are breathtaking. The site comprises a series of rugged hilltops affording spectacular views in all directions and Fox Covert, a small woodland with a surfaced footpath.
Food and recipe ideas:
Finger foods are the best option for picnics so that they can be eaten easily by everyone without making a mess or needing to bring along extra utensils etc.
Why not try one of our recipes:
- Sausage and chutney rolls
- Cheese and ham puff pasty swirls
- Rocky road
- Banana and chocolate chip muffins
- Crumble topped cheese and ham muffins
- Gluten-free pea and mint falafels
Or take a look here for some healthy, fun ideas.
If you are planning a trip out for picnic, we have these top tips that may help make it all go brilliantly!
- Prepack children's food into a small box - it will help to minimise the waste and make it all easy to transport
- Use a small, pocket sized picnic blanket - cut down on the things you need to carry
- Try a back-pack style cool bag - keep your hands free for managing the kids!
- Avoid single use plastics - try these plastic-free cutlery sets
- Take a lightweight folding table - keep things organised and off of the floor
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Local Mum of two boys and editor of Raring2go! in Solihull and South Warwickshire.