It’s National Picnic Week this week, so we thought we’d introduce you to our top five favourite picnic spots. Food always tastes better out in the fresh air, after all, so grab your picnic hamper and follow us!
Sidmouth, our nearest seaside town, is full of picturesque places to wander and to sit a while. We particularly like Connaught Gardens, named after The Duke of Connaught, Queen Victoria’s third son, with its large lawns and wonderful views of both Sidmouth Esplanade and the dramatic red cliffs of Jacobs Ladder Beach. Head towards the bandstand to find a large expanse of green grass just waiting for your picnic spread. Dogs on leads are welcome but watch out for seagulls!
For a picnic with a strong sense of history, the Neolithic Hembury Fort (below) is just off the road to Honiton and a short drive from Forest Glade. Cross the road from the car park to find the footpath. With all the undulating mounds and dips you’d expect of a former iron age hill fort, you can build up an appetite with the 15 minute walk through the wooded ramparts to emerge up on the top of the fort. With excellent views and a large, grassy area, you can munch your scotch eggs with Dartmoor in the far distance.
Speaking of Dartmoor, there are no end of picnic spots all across this infamous National Park. Whether you’re looking for shady woodland, or the heights of a rugged tor, you’re spoilt for choice. Those seeking out ancient signs of life will enjoy hunting for the numerous stone rows and hut circles that make perfect little picnic spots. We particularly like the very pretty Venford Reservoir and the long stone rows of Merrivale, each of which has parking nearby.
The Grand Western Canal meanders through the Devon countryside from Tiverton to the Somerset border. Why not hire a rowing boat to explore the entire 11 miles and enjoy your picnic out on the water? There’s plenty of wildlife to look out for. We recently spotted a kingfisher on the section near Sampford Peverell. If you prefer to stay on dry land, there are picnic benches at the Canal Basin in Tiverton and at various spots along the canal’s length, such as Canal Hill in Halberton.
Exeter Cathedral Green is a very popular picnic spot in the heart of our nearest city. There has been a cathedral on the site for nearly one thousand years. This spectacular Gothic building provides a wonderful backdrop and, being in the bustling heart of Exeter, it’s a super place to people watch.
Of course, if you prefer keeping things simple, what could be better than spreading out a picnic blanket outside your tent or caravan when you’re here with us at Forest Glade? We have lots of provisions and bakery items in the park shop.