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Best Picnic Spots in Southern England
Pack up your picnic basket, comfy blanket, and your favourite snacks and head out in the fresh air for some al fresco dining.
There are plenty of wonderful areas along the southern coast that are suitable for a family picnic, so we’ve handpicked some of our favourite picnic spots below. Whether you prefer a picnic in the park or on the beach, we’ve got you covered.
Image Credit: Julian P Guffogg / Open area, Alexandra Park / CC BY-SA 2.0
Alexandra Park (Hastings, East Sussex)
Alexandra Park is a Grade II designated site and is renowned as one of the best parks in the country for its tree collection. The lower park includes an adventure playground for the younger ones, the war memorial, an active boating lake, and a traditional bowls green. Plus, of course, plenty of green space that's perfect for a lovely family picnic spot.
Image Credit: Simon Huguet / Kingley Vale / CC BY-SA 2.0
Kingley Vale Nature Reserve (near Chichester, West Sussex)
Spanning approximately 160 hectares, the reserve is a haven for flora and fauna, homing a large variety of orchid, butterflies, birds, and buzzards; you might even be lucky enough to spot a herd of deer or roe. Climb to the top of Kingley Vale Hill and not only will you find the perfect spot for a picnic, but you’ll be rewarded with breath-taking panoramic views over Chichester and across to the Solent – a real picture-perfect moment, especially at sunset!
Image Credit: Nilfanion
Berry Head Hill Fort (near Brixham, South Devon)
Home to some of the English Riviera's best coastal views, Berry Head has an abundance of rare wildlife, history, and geological formations. Enjoy a picnic on the cliffs of Berry Head then walk along to the Berry Head Lighthouse to work off those sandwiches! You’re guaranteed exceptional views across Torbay and beyond.
Image Credit: Paul Hutchinson / Roundham Gardens / CC BY-SA 2.0
Roundham Gardens ( Paignton, South Devon)
If you fancy heading to the coast but wish to avoid sand in your sausage rolls, Roundham Gardens may just be the perfect picnic spot for you. There’s plenty of large green space to spread your blanket out on and relax, all while taking in the beautiful views of the English Riviera in either direction.
Walberswick Beach (Southwold, Suffolk)
If you love the sand in between your toes, and even more so when enjoying a family picnic, then you’ll love Walberswick Beach. Settle in among the sand dunes and drink in the surrounding, coastal views. It’s also completely dog friendly all year round, so you can take your four-legged friend along, too!
Image Credit: Roger Miller / Lake, Brockhill Country Park / CC BY-SA 2.0
Brockhill Country Park (Saltwood, Kent)
This beautiful park has a central lake, plenty of wildlife, open grassland and meadows, and all the space you need for a perfect family picnic. It is also a Site of Nature Conservation Interest and has three distinctive areas for you to explore: the Deer Paddock, The Lake, and The Valley. The park’s location and the variety of its landscape make it a great place to walk, so make sure you wear your comfy shoes to go exploring.
Frinton-on-Sea (along the Essex coast)
Choose to take a gentle stroll or bike ride along the Essex promenade to the peaceful, clean beach at Frinton-on-sea. Set up your picnic and enjoy the classic colourful beach huts and the stunning views across the North Sea. And while you may be aiming for a technology-free afternoon, this is sure to capture that perfect ‘instagrammable’ moment!
Corfe Castle (South Dorset)
A picnic spot fit for a King! (Or Queen!) This iconic fortress boasts 1,000 years of fascinating history and is a wonderful place for telling knightly tales over some tasty treats. You are guaranteed to be captivated by the ruins of Corfe Castle with breath-taking views across Purbeck.
Durdle Door (Dorset)
We couldn't end the list without featuring the stunning picnic spot that is the sandy beach at Durdle Door in Dorset, complete with amazing rock formation for a backdrop. Recently voted the "UK’s number one picnic destination" in a recent survey, you'll be hard-pushed to disagree with its supreme epicness.
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