Summer, newfound freedom, and socialising – three things we’ve been eagerly and patiently waiting for this year. With pandemic restrictions lifted, there’re plenty of outdoor activities we can dive right into.
Picnics are a great way to connect with nature while spending some quality time with your loved ones. Whether you fancy a trip to a sandy beach or a remote part of the wilderness, you can lay down your blankets and set up your food and drink for great conversation and even better weather.
Here’s how you can host the perfect family picnic.
Apart from the scenic location, food and drink are among the most important considerations. Tasty finger food and picnic bites will transform any picnic into an unforgettable event. While you should include easy nibbles for the kids, such as sandwiches, sausage rolls, and crisps to keep their energy up while they venture off and play, pack something a bit more sophisticated for the adults. Think salami, mozzarella, smoked salmon, prosciutto, and stuffed tomatoes – whatever makes it extra special for yourself, family, or friends.
Along with food, you need fantastic drinks. For teetotallers, there are plenty of exciting soft drinks available out there beyond the usual choices – think ginger beer, rose lemonade, cloudy lemonade, and cherry cola. For the adults looking for a tipple, bring a spirit to complement these fizzy drinks or your favourite bottle of cava to enjoy in the gleaming sun. Juice and water will be great to keep the children hydrated too.
Picnics are about spending quality time with your loved ones and unwinding away from the hustle and bustle. If you’re out away from home, make sure you check the weather so there aren’t any nasty surprises. If you’d like to avoid itchy midge bites the next few days, avoid boggy and damp areas and hotspots near lakes, as you may find when the sun starts to settle, you’re among a swarm of annoying and nippy insects.
If you’re taking the kids, consider their needs too. Will they want a playground to run around in or sandcastles to build? Can they happily sit and interact with adult guests, or do they want to go on adventures of their own and come back covered in mud stains? Pack activities for yourself and your children, such as a football, frisbee, or racket sports equipment to have some quality family time.
Music is great in all situations too, so don’t forget to pack your speaker. Be mindful of other picnickers if you’re playing music outdoors though – not everyone wants to eat their sandwich to BTS.
Who loves to picnic the most?
We examined regions in the UK searching for picnics over the last year, looking into searches per 100,000 people.
Surprisingly, Newcastle-upon-Tyne had the highest picnic-related searches at 564 per 100,000 people, and London came last with 269 searches per 100,000 people. It seems that Newcastle is making the most of its enviable picnic spots – popular places to picnic in the city include:
- Paddy Freeman’s Park
- Jesmond Dene
- Heaton Park
- Exhibition Park
- Leazes Park
For those in London who are looking to ignite the trend of picnicking and are curious as to where to lay down that tartan blanket, the best places to picnic are:
- Primrose Hill
- Kew Gardens
- Richmond Park
- Crystal Palace Park
- Holland Park
- Victoria Park
- Battersea Park