Top 10 prettiest picnic spots in Northants
Ain't no picnic like a Muddy picnic and with lashings of whipped cream on our strawbs all we need is the softest grass and the prettiest view. Here's our pick of the top ten spots in Northants. Did somebody say cocktail sausage?
There’s something a little bit Thornfield Hall (you’ve all read Jane Eyre, amiright?) about National Trust Lyveden, the eerie ruins of a never completed Elizabethan lodge, with its empty windows staring out across the moated gardens. There’s plenty of history here, but also some beautiful countryside views and lovely picnicable lawns. Please check for opening times before you travel.
The lovely grassy meadow at National Trust Canons Ashby is the perfect spot for a family picnic or a socially distanced rendez-vous with much missed friends, there are plenty of wooden picnic tables under the shady trees, or pick a spot on the grass to spread out your gingham cloth and pop your cork in the impressive shadow of St. Mary’s church. Please book in advance to visit.
This has to be one of our top spots in Northants for a picnic. An apparent wilderness that is, in fact, a very carefully curated magical woodland garden filled to the brim with floral displays and suitably huggable trees. There’s an open sided wooden chalet cafe, Uncle Geordie’s Shed, in case you’ve forgotten to pack you egg and cress sarnies, or alternatively, grab a luxury hamper en route from The Green Room in nearby Brackley.
The glorious Northamptonshire countryside surrounding Fawsley is truly bucolic and the lawns around the historic hall are a spectacular spot for an extra special picnic. Order a pre-packed picnic hamper from the hotel to enjoy in the grounds. Let me explain: this is no ordinary soggy-sandwiched packed lunch. You can choose from the Knightley Afternoon Tea Hamper, which includes such gems as avocado with gin compress cucumber, strawberry and elderflower tart and clotted cream scones, and the Fawsley Hamper, which includes leek & Thomas Hoe stilton tart with smoked haddock, pea & mint, or perhaps plump for the smoked salmon, quail Scotch eggs, rapeseed emulsion, herring roe and pickled radishes. No Tupperware allowed.
The grounds and gardens at Althorp are open for pre-booked visitors throughout August and offer a suitably grand spot for a picnic lunch, with glorious views and acres of open parkland. Althorp is a fabulous place to float around in broderie anglaise and a straw hat whilst wielding your F&M hamper.
Yours Muddily remembers the days before Delapré opened its hefty doors to the public, we young Northampton whippersnappers used to sneak in for a lunch time picnic on the abbey lawns. Shhh. Now it’s open to all no sneaking is necessary and the wide open grounds are simply stunning, with the park open daily to the public. Visit the Abbey for a quick cultural fix, before having a picnic lunch against the beautiful backdrop of the walled garden.
Stanwick lakes is a family favourite, with nature trails, walking routes, an epic zip wire, and plenty of play areas for the rugrats. There are a whopping 750 acres to explore here and Stanwick is a winner for picnic enthusiasts everywhere, allowing plenty of open space even during the busiest summer months.
This historic woodland is perfect for families, offering a range of waymarked trails and routes suitable for all ages and abilities and the kids will love the opportunity to explore and get mucky in the fresh air. There are plenty of picnic spots and a fantastic cafe overlooking the children’s play area.
A woodland walk, visit to the Canal Museum, nearby Rookery Farm, a walk up the towpath to the Blisworth Tunnel and even a trip on a narrow boat are just a few of the things you can do around Stoke Bruerne canal (please be sure to check opening times). Not only are there tables outside the museum, there are also plenty situated along the ponds and nature reserve. Perfecto.
We’re here for the flamingoes, obvs, but Coton Manor Gardens brings the Chelsea Flower Show slightly nearer to home in a much more chilled out setting. There is plenty of space to partake of a pique-nique, admire the manor house and grounds and pretend you’re the heroine in a Jane Austen novel.