Get social! 7 perfect picnic spots (plus food)
It's official, picnics are THE hottest social event of the season. Dig out your hamper and waterproof blanket, and order a bite before you find a bench with your bestie.
The Workhouse, Brixworth
The picnic pick up: You can stock up on all your favourites in this former actual workhouse in Brixworth village, from sweet treats and milkshakes to coffee, pastries and sourdough toasties filled with oozy goodness. Pack it all into your rucksack and head to the park.
The picnic spot: Woods, meadows and grassland as well as hard-surfaced paths: Pitsford Water and adjoining Brixworth Country Park, have something for all levels of ability. The walking tracks and nature reserves are all open to visitors, with plenty of picnic areas with tables if you don’t fancy a damp bottom from sitting on the grass.
Common Ground at Delapré Abbey, Northampton
The picnic pick up: Pooch-friendly Common Ground deli opened its doors in the old stables at the end of 2020, aimed at dog-walkers yearning for a caffeine fix. With cakes and sandwiches as well as hot food on offer for humans, your canine companion won’t be overlooked, as there are plenty of doggy treats too.
The picnic spot: Whilst the Abbey itself is currently closed for lockdown, the the walled garden and grounds at Delapré are still welcoming visitors. There are 500 acres of parkland to explore within a short walk of Northampton town centre, and there’s some fab sculpture in the gardens to gaze at while you pop in a Scotch egg.
Re: Store, Flore
The picnic pick up: Takeaway that’s virtuous, you say? Naturalment. Re: store is a zero waste re-fills store and coffee stop with a conscience, so everything here is responsibly packaged and thoughtfully sourced. You’ll find coffee from Yellow Bourbon Coffee Roasters, pastries and brownies from The Good Loaf and freshly baked vegan cakes from The Loving Chef and you can even order in advance so your munchies are ready when you are.
The picnic spot: The Nene Way and the Macmillan Way long distance walking routes intersect here as you head south to Weedon Bec past the village church. Choose a spot to spread out your rug, we love the the edge of the glorious grounds of Flore Park for serene countryside views.
Uncle Geordie’s Shed, Evenley Wood Garden
The picnic pick up: Grab your coffee and cake from Uncle Geordie’s Shed at the edge of the woods, an open sided chalet serving home cooked grub. If you’re after something heartier, try their quiche, jacket spuds or toasties.
The picnic spot: A 60 acre fairytale woodland garden with a meandering stream flowing through and vast collection of rare and unusual trees and shrubs. This time of year sees swathes of colourful spring bulbs popping up through the leaf litter to herald the warmer weather. It’s pay to enter, and check before traveling as the garden may be closed in high winds.
The Deli, Castle Ashby
The picnic pick up: Nab some supplies at the lovely deli in the village’s shopping courtyard. They’re currently offering a click and collect service which includes their luxe range of hampers and deli boards. Think speciality cheeses, pâtés and freshly baked sourdough, with locally made Saxby’s Cider to wash it all down with.
The picnic spot: Head to Castle Ashby Gardens, an absolutely gorgeous spot for a potter. There are 35 glorious acres of elegantly groomed gardens and rugged wilderness to explore here at the family seat of Lord and Lady Northampton.
Forge Coffee, Culworth.
The picnic pick up: Forge Coffee goes from strength to strength, having started out three years ago in Culworth and now with a second site in Evenley, there are rumours of a further expansion on the cards and it’s not hard to see why they’ve been so successful. Cool vibes, community spirit and oh so good coffee and pastries.
The picnic spot: Find a bench or spread out your rug on the pretty village green opposite and enjoy the the view of chocolate box cottages and gardens.
The picnic pick up: There are a few stores currently open for click and collect at Rushden Lakes, including good old M&S, and some restaurants remain open for takeaway. We reckon a few plates of sushi and some bao buns from newly opened Chi ought to do the trick.
The picnic spot: A 270 hectare nature reserve adjoining Rushden Lakes shopping village, you might not be able to hire a canoe or a pedalo right now (they’ll be back at the end of March), but you can explore the water meadows and woodlands and spot a few nesting water fowl.