With the promise of the elusive British summer just around the corner, our thoughts have turned towards the Great Outdoors and how we can make the most of the beautiful natural surroundings we are lucky enough to have in this country.
One of the best ways to get up close and personal with Mother Nature when the sun comes out has to be the quintessential British picnic. Whether your childhood memories of these momentous occasions comprise of idyllic summer afternoons spent sipping lemonade on a patchwork blanket, or are of the more colourful variety, with parents chasing wasps off the spread and the dog making off with the cocktail sausages, the British picnic is a rite of summer.
Here are the Pritchards team’s top 10 Bath picnic hotspots to create more golden memories you can treasure forever…
Best of Bath:
These formal gardens provide a welcome riverside oasis in the centre of Bath. Munch on your sandwiches whilst admiring sumptuous floral displays, picturesque trees and the River Avon flowing by. Visitors pay a small fee to enter but there are deck chairs and benches that can be used for free.
Part of the mighty green space that is the Royal Victoria Park, the lawn in front of the Royal Crescent offers a perfect picnic spot with a view of one of the best loved sights of the city. The gently curving crescent makes a perfect backdrop for those all-important Instagram photos and this attractive space is enjoyed by all ages, lending it a community atmosphere that is hard to beat.
Absorb the magnificent 18th century landscaped gardens at Prior Park, one of the most visually appealing picnic spots in town. This National Trust garden means that, unless you are a member, you will have to pay an entry fee, but features such as the sweeping valley, exceptional views, Palladian Bridge and curious wildlife makes the experience well worth the cost.
A particularly good spot for families with young children, thanks to the attached play area, cafe and public toilets, Alexandra Park offers a large, grassy space and blissful views out across Bath. While away the afternoon beneath endless blue skies and look out for the hot air balloons that regularly launch from Victoria Park and float over the city.
Another delightful feature of the Royal Victoria Park, Bath’s Botanical Gardens are a sublime treat for all ages. Expect nine acres of walks, rockeries and plant collections as well as interesting features such as a replica of a Roman Temple. You may well find your picnic approached by the charming squirrels and birds that populate the gardens, lending a suitably Disney ambience to your family day out.
Out of town:
Once-upon-a-time winner of the Warburton’s Picnic Awards, beautiful Ham Hill Country Park in South Somerset has plenty of glorious countryside to keep the avid nature-lover entertained for days. Tranquil woodland, grassy meadows and a rolling landscape left over from the Victorian quarrying days create an idyllic postcard-perfect backdrop for your picnic spread.
Families may enjoy a stop at the informative Blagdon Visitor Centre with its free exhibitions and interactive displays before a stroll along the nature trails in the beautiful grounds. Admire the glittering spectacle of Chew Valley Lake before choosing a choice location to pitch up and picnic.
For those that love to be beside the seaside, Porlock Weir on the Somerset coast is situated a one and a half-mile jaunt from the fishing village of Porlock and its peaceful harbour. Additionally, there is a four-mile-long stretch of shingle beach where lunch with a view of the water can be served.
If a meal with a view takes top priority, you could do no better than the top of Brean Down where a 97m high vantage point offers a spectacular panorama of Somerset and the Bristol Channel. Bear in mind the climb is a steep one from the car park, but it will make those picnic treats taste all the sweeter.
The most famous and largest gorge in the UK, Cheddar Gorge is a remarkable natural sight for all ages to enjoy. Reward your climb to the top with a tasty picnic spread and stunning views of the surrounds. Look out for the cheeky mountain goats that call the Gorge their home and drop by the quaint village of Cheddar to complete a perfect day out.
We feel extremely lucky to have these stunning hotspots on our doorstep. Which one will you be taking your picnic blanket to this summer?