The Ultimate British Picnic

Is there anything quite like the swooshing, happy flight of your picnic blanket as it settles on the ground to demonstrate our quintessentially British ability to whip up a sun-soaking afternoon of food and friends with little-to-no notice? Between the months of May – September it seems, whether the sun makes an appearance or not, as long as it’s not raining … we’re there. Pimms in hand.

July is officially National Picnic month and here at Cath Kidston, we take our picnics very seriously. So, we took a deep dive into google searches to unpack both the nation’s must have snacks and best loved picnicking spots our isle has to offer.

 

The Nations Favourite Picnic Foods:

Number 1 – Sandwiches

Baps, barms or butties – the British do love a good sandwich, that’s a given … but the big question is, what are our favourite fillings?

1 – Ham
2 – Cheese
3 – Cucumber (yes, the afternoon tea staple)

 

Number 2 – Crisps

If they actually make it to the picnic spot untouched, it’s a tremendous display of willpower on everyone’s behalf. They come in all shapes, sizes and seasonings and the flavour-debate is one of the most harmlessly contentious you can bring up amongst friends and family (that and the cream and jam on a scone one) but it’s the classics that reign victorious in the hearts of the British people

1 – Prawn Cocktail.
2 – Salt & Vinegar.
3 – Cheese & Onion

 

Number 3 – Cake

Come on, now, you didn’t think we’d have a food post and not mention cake? Possibly due to lockdown-mania, it’s banana bread that is proving the most popular baked good with an enormous 201,000 searches. Victoria sponge and lemon drizzle come a respectable close joint-second.

 

Number 4 – Must have sides

To finish off our ultimate picnic are the must-have sides.

1 – Potato Salad
2 – Quiche
3 – Sausage rolls (of course).

 

Number 5 – A bit of fizz

While our personal preference for a bit of fizz would be more along the lines of a gin and tonic, google reveals that as a nation, our picnics aren’t complete without a cooler bag full of our favourite fizzy refreshments.

1 – Coca Cola wins hand down
2 – Joint second and third place is Lucozade and Scottish favourite Irn Bru.

 

The Nations Favourite Picnic Spots:

 

Britain is blessed with rolling hills, secret gardens, picture-perfect parks and bursting green spaces – really, we’re never short of somewhere to set our picnic blanket for the afternoon. But a few top tips never hurt, either, right?

 

We analysed survey data from National Picnic Week where picnickers voted for their favourite hotspots up and down the UK. Voted for their outstanding natural beauty to their historical significance, these are the top picnic spots in each region.

London

Hampstead Heath, City of London

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Spanning 790 acres and boasting beautiful ponds, rambling hills, ancient woodlands, a playground and a lido, it’s no surprise that Hampstead Heath is a popular picnic spot for Londoners to visit year-round. If you’re looking to set up somewhere with a view, head up to Parliament Hill viewpoint and take in the view of London’s skyline.

London

Hampstead Heath, City of London

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South East

Lily Hill Park, Bracknell

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Lily Hill Park is a Green Flag awarded open space which offers 56 acres of restored heritage parkland and formal gardens for you to explore. Take a stroll back in time and visit the Edwardian garden, create and inspire at the story-telling throne or set up your picnic at the longest picnic bench in England. Perfectly picturesque, it’s even a popular photography and filming location.

Instagram - Credit to @throughthenurseslense

South West

Dancing Ledge, Dorset

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The Jurassic Coast is one of the most stunning locations in Britain when it comes to natural beauty – but head to the Dancing Ledge if you’re looking for a location with a little bit of romance. Whilst this spot may be more of an adventure and take a little more time to get to, the sea breeze, cliff top views and the sound of the waves will be so worth it.

West Midlands

Ryton Pools Country Park, Warwickshire

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Ryton Pools Country Park is located just outside the village of Ryton on Dunsmore in Warwickshire, England. Offering 100 acres of ancient woodland, winding paths and packed with a variety of flora and fauna, this stunning park is perfect for a day out with the family. There are also four natural pools, one of which spans across 10 acres, and the whole park is suitable for wheelchair access.

Instagram – Credit to @cmangles

East Midlands

Sherwood Pines

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Sherwood Pines is the largest public forest set within the great Sherwood Forest. Spanning over 3,300 acres Sherwood Pines offers everything you need to enjoy a fantastic day outdoors with the family, including biking trails, walking paths through mixed habitats and varying terrains, a play area, a Go Ape Tree Top Adventure and Forest Segway!

Instagram – Credit to @mwsmudge

Yorkshire

Roseberry Topping, North Yorkshire

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Standing at staggering 1,049 feet, Roseberry Topping is the second highest hill in the North York Moors, second only to Urra Moor. Its summit has a distinctive half-cone shape with a jagged cliff, which has led to many comparisons with the much higher Matterhorn in the Swiss-Italian Alps. This picnic spot is ideal for avid walkers who’ll enjoy the trek to get there and be rewarded with the stunning views of the Yorkshire countryside.

Instagram – Credit to @nothernwild.co.uk

East Anglia

Sheringham Park, Norfolk

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Sheringham Park is the perfect place to go picnicking on a sunny afternoon, thanks to its sunny views of the coastline. Sheringham Park offers 1000 acres of beauty with an abundance of wildlife – you can even watch the deers, as three species are known to roam the park.

Instagram – Credit to @arainbowmum

North West

St Herbert’s Island, Cumbria

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St Herbert’s is one of the four islands which make up Derwent Water, which is located in the Lake District National Park in the North West of England. It is the largest of the four, covering four to five acres. St Herbert’s has been a destination for religious pilgrimages since the 7th century. Enjoy a picnic by the lakeside on a warm summer’s day.

Instagram – Credit to @admslvn

North East

Gibside

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Gibside is a beautiful estate in the Derwent Valley, located in the North East of England. This Georgian landscape garden with an industrial past is run by the National Trust and is the perfect setting for a traditional British picnic. Sprawling 600 acres, Gibside features a neo-classical chapel and is a wildlife hotspot.

Instagram – Credit to @lordjimmy84

Wales

Colby Woodland Garden, Pembrokeshire

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Colby Woodland Garden is a National Trust-run garden located in a secluded valley in Pembrokeshire, Wales. This scenic picnic spot offers an idyllic setting thanks to its Walled Garden and Woodland Garden. You’ll also discover a natural playground with fallen trees, rope swings and stepping stones – keeping the young ones entertained for hours and hours.

Instagram – Credit to @sianaschultz99

Northern Ireland

Downhill Demesne, Country Londonderry

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Downhill Demesne offers the perfect location for a serene picnic. What’s not to love? Beautiful gardens leading to one of the oldest standing buildings in Northern Ireland – a picturesque, thatched-roof cottage which dates back to the 17th century. If all that and coastline views aren’t enough, then why not go on an adventure in the surrounding woodland that’s just waiting to be explored?

Credit to National Trust

Scotland

Glenkiln Sculpture Park, Dumfries and Galloway

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Located seven miles west of Dumfries, Glenkiln Sculpture Park was once the home of six sculptures. However, after one of the sculptures was stolen in 2013, the remaining sculptures were all removed for security purposes. Glenkiln Cross is the only sculpture that still stands. Even so, the moorland setting around Glenkiln Reservoir is a scenic wonder.

Instagram – Credit to @chrislowsy

So, there you have it, these are just some of the most scenic spots throughout the UK to enjoy a picnic this summer. If the weather isn’t holding up, don’t worry, you can picnic come rain or shine with our top tips for a Picnic at Home and don’t forget to stock up on those picnic essentials from hampers to blankets – we’ve got it all.

 

Methodology

 

We analysed search volume data of some of the most searched for picnic foods and beverages, to identify which were the most popular. We divided those search terms into food and beverage categories and selected the top three items from each category with the highest number of searches to big our ultimate picnic.

 

We then used National Picnic Week survey data results to discover the most popular picnic spot in each region of the UK. Data correct as of 2018.*

 

Sources

The Resident – Source

Images sourced from public instagram profiles are credited to the owner of the profile which we sourced the item from, others are from Unsplash and the Downside Demesne image is from National Trust.