There’s no better way to mark the start of the warm summer months than with a picnic with your family and friends. The UK is home to some perfect picnic hotspots, whether you want to lay your best blanket in a city park, on a pretty beach or out in the countryside.
If you plan to enjoy a picnic with your little ones, you can keep them entertained by printing out our fun game of I-spy - play while you picnic!
Check out our guide to some of the best picnic spots in the UK that can all be found just a stone’s throw from our stations, making it easy to hop on a train with your favourite picnic blanket and crack open your hamper of goodies.
The Marl in Cardiff
Distance from station: 2 miles
Perfect setting for… families with kids & groups of friends
With a marine view over the bay, this 9.5 acres of land offers adventurous picnickers a great spot to explore. There are heaps of activities to enjoy at The Marl, from the skate boarding park and tennis court to a football pitch and a children’s play area filled with plenty of toys to enjoy. If you decide to take your dog with you, this is a great green area for a walk with your four-legged friend. Plus, there’s also plenty of space to ride your bike if you fancy a spin on your wheels to work off all those tasty snacks!
The kids can let off some steam, you can soak up the peace and quiet in the great outdoors and the best thing about an al fresco meal on a blanket is that it’s the perfect way to spend a sunny afternoon – from a romantic date to a family day out!
Don’t miss… rent a canoe at the Cardiff Bay Water Activity Centre and go for a row along the River Taff.
Morrab Gardens in Penzance
Distance from station: 0.9 miles
Perfect setting for… romancing couples & small groups of friends
Another one of the best picnic spots in the UK is down in Cornwall. Home to colourful sub-tropical flora and lush Mediterranean plants, the peaceful Morrab Gardens is just a short 10-minute stroll from Penzance Train Station making it an ideal spot to enjoy a picnic in the summer. If you don’t fancy a blanket on the grass, you can eat your picnic in the Grade II listed bandstand, which offers a shady retreat if the weather is hot. For an authentic Cornish experience, you should head to one of the many bakeries and pick up a freshly baked pasty for your picnic.
There’s also a flowing fountain to enjoy and when you’ve finished relaxing in this pretty garden, there are plenty of nearby shops to browse.
Don’t miss… go for a swim at the nearby beach to burn off the pasties!
Castle Park in Bristol
Distance from station: 0.9 miles
Perfect setting for… couples looking for a quiet picnic spot
Bristol Temple Meads Train Station is a busy hub and less than one mile away is the beautiful green outdoor space called Castle Park. With the Floating Harbour on the southern border, this park is the perfect setting to enjoy an al fresco picnic in the warm summer months. In between sandwiches and cocktail sausages, you can wander around the pretty tree-lined common and appreciate the park’s creative statues.
Don’t miss… head over to the tethered balloon near the bandstand that provides ascents to visitors looking to enjoy a bird’s eye view of the city.
Port Meadow in Oxford
Distance from station: 0.8 miles
Perfect setting for… families, groups of friends & romancing couples
This particular picnic hotspot offers a little something for all its visitors. This sprawling meadow is situated next to the flowing River Thames and everything from cattle to horses graze here. It’s the perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle of Oxford’s thriving city centre and nibble on a picnic while surrounded by a sea of golden buttercups, white clover and yarrow.
For those with an adventurous side, you can cool down with a dip in the water. Romantics can spend hours chilling out in the field that is sprinkled with colourful blooms, while exploring families will enjoy burning off some energy with a walk down the Thames towpath. The meadow’s diversity makes it one of the best picnic spots in the UK.
Don’t miss… the nearby wetland that is home to spectacular flocks of resident and migrating birds, including teal, lapwing, plovers, swans and geese.
There are so many interesting sights to see and activities to do throughout the UK in the summer and you can learn more about each destination by reading our handy destination guides. You can also take advantage of great savings, when you book your Advance train ticket with CrossCountry.