10 pretty perfect picnic spots
It's time to dig out the wicker basket and fill it with al fresco goodies, the weather has never been so accommodating Mudsters. Enjoy the fresh air and remember to tell us your picnic gems
The weather is still glorious so make the most of the great outdoors this summer, pack that wicker basket and chill the Sancerre. Delicate small bites and glass of vino or Tupperware heaven with stodgy scotch eggs? Whatever your picnic faves, Muddy contributor Holly Lamb has picked out Northants’ best picnic spots so you’ll always have the perfect location.
Rushden Lakes, Rushden
Perfect for a picnic, (probably following the perusing of M&S shelves for a superfood salad or scotch egg), Rushden Lakes has a beautiful nature trail which makes it an ideal spot to settle down and relax. With Camper Cones now stationed lakeside in their vintage VW, have a seat on the over enlarged deck chairs and enjoy a well-earnt treat after your walk.
Delapre Abbey, Northampton
Perhaps Northampton’s best-kept secret, the grounds are simply stunning, with the park open daily to the public. Kids admission is free- certainly an added bonus! Why not visit the abbey itself for a quick educational/ cultural fix, before having a picnic lunch that you can easily grab from the Orangery café? The walled garden also offers fairy-tale backdrop for the afternoon of snacking.
Stanwick Lakes, Wellingborough
A family favourite located in Wellingborough, Stanwick lakes offers just about everything: nature, walking trails (certainly for those who don’t want to risk the zipwire), as well as never-ending play areas for the rugrats. With 750 acres available, there is no doubt as to why Stanwick is suitable for picnic enthusiasts even during the busiest summer months.
Salcey Forest, Northampton
Located between Northampton and Milton Keynes, this woodland area is great for families, or even for a quieter retreat without the kids. 3 different trails are on offer (the Woodpecker trail being 6 miles) making the locations for a picnic pretty much endless. Salcey also welcomes pooches. The Forest Café caters for all ages, offering soups, sandwiches, sweet treats and just about every form of coffee one can imagine.
The Canal at Stoke Bruerne, Towcester
A Woodland walk, Canal museum, the Rookery farm and the Blisworth Tunnel: just a few of the things you can do at the Stoke Bruerne canal this summer. Feeling like a picnic, well why not take a chug down the canal on a boat trip before eating? If you are feeling slightly more daring there is also pond dipping and even fishing. Not only are there tables outside the museum, there are also plenty situated along the ponds.
Brixworth Country Park, Northampton
With a view of Pitsford Reservoir, a scenic picnic is most definitely on the cards at this park. You can even hire bikes to soak up all of these views across the reservoir. Stop off before at the Brixworth Co-op for food, or if it’s BBQ weather go to the butchers that are nearby for some tasty burgers and sausages on the barbie in true British fashion.
East Haddon, Daventry
If you are feeling a little more spontaneous venture to East Haddon, a small village near Daventry, settle in a field, (which there are plenty of) and marvel at the view of the Althorp Estate whilst enjoying a picnic. Select an up-hill spot for the best views and have the picnic for dinner to enjoy the sunset. (Maybe too romantic for those with the kids in tow).
Coton Manor Gardens, Coton
The Bluebell Wood is definitely worthy of an Instagram snap or two, but the abundance of flowers does not end there. From roses to snowdrops and their Wild flower meadow, 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 have a picnic and admire the manor house and the ten acres of gardens that surround it.
Sywell Country Park, Northampton
This park in Ecton (East Sywell) also has a beautiful reservoir and gardens. Their new summer event for Tots offers a themed walk and some arts and crafts, probably best attended after devouring the picnic. (Booking is essential). The park is open all day, everyday with free admission.
Harpole farm (PYO Strawberries), Northampton
This farm, just off the Upper High Street in Harpole, allows you to pick your own strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and gooseberries. Be sure to check their Facebook page for regular updates about opening times and the amount of fruit available as it varies daily. The freshly picked fruit makes for excellent pudding, so bring the savoury and forget the sweet as this farm has it covered.