12 Alfresco picnic spots
What can top a delicious picnic on a summer's afternoon? Pack the scotch eggs and fizz and head for these supremo snacking spots for a fabulous alfresco picnic in a gorgeous beauty spot.
Pack your scotch eggs and lashings of ginger beer – we’re heading to these 12 outdoor beauty spots across Glos and Worcs to enjoy lunch al fresco.
Read the Muddy guide to the best snacking spots near you, including takeaway cafes, artisan drive throughs and even hampers on demand if you’re packing light.
Let’s go …
Jolly Nice, Frampton Mansell, Stroud
Have a picnic in the perfect spot without even having to lift a pinky. The cedar-clad Jolly Nice drive-through was born during lockdown out of necessity but it has gone on to become one of the best takeaway spots for miles around. I make a special trip at least once a week for their Green Smoothies and Pulled Mushroom Buns! Rock up, order from the kiosk, then park up and picnic in one of the loveliest bucolic views complete with rolling fields and grazing cows. The menu is totes delicious, from sandwiches and vegan sausage rolls to their famed flapjacks and freshly roasted coffee.
Cotswold Country Park and Beach, South Cerney
A picnic spot with swans gliding by, chilling out on a golden sandy bank imported from Padstow??! Yes please. It’s what awaits you at the lovely Cotswolds Country Park and Beach. Bring your cool bag, pick a spot and enjoy the UK’s largest inland beach. Or go the whole hog and book out one of the brilliant BBQ pitches too.
Bathurst Estate, Cirencester Park, Cirencester
Love to picnic and people watch? Then this spot is perfect. The stunning Bathurst Estate is the backdrop and there’s a main, wide, tree-lined grassy promenade right through the middle where you’ll find a picnic bench or rustic log to sit on and crack out your picnic. Watch the Cotswolds catwalk of dogs and their owners as they stroll past (you’ll often see Lady Bathurst walking her dogs). Or, get your picnic from the Beano Trailer, a fabulous silver Airstream, near the entrance which serves up delicious barista coffees, gluten-free hot chocolates, homemade cakes and ice-cream (and doggy ice cream).
The Coln Rover, Bibury, Cirencester
When William Morris described Bibury as the most beautiful village in England he was obvs talking about lush picnic spots. Get a takeaway bap or coffee from the newly improved Bibury Trout Farm or take your own and find a spot on the water-side wall and watch the trout blowing bubbles in the pretty River Coln. If you find there are too many tourists, head 5 mins up Awkward Hill, through a gate and you’re inopen farmland, perfect for shaking out any blanket and having a wonderful, peaceful picnic a deux. Bliss…
Cowley Manor, Cheltenham
If you’re gonna picnic, go large by heading to Cowley Manor to picnic in style. Select a picnic for two online, pick a favourite spot on the lawn (or book a Bell tent) and work your way through a quintessentially British alfresco feast, including sourdough loaves, salads, charcuterie, fruit, freshly baked cakes, chilled drinks and more (cost £50). Picnics at Cowley’s 55 acres of parkland, lakes and meadows are open to hotel guests and also day visitors so book one today.
Rodborough Common, Stroud
A stroll around Rodborough Common is one of Muddy’s favourite go-tos all year round – it’s picnic paradise with 300 acres of rolling National Trust land and views of the Five Valleys. There are benches dotted around but better still take a blanket and just spread out where you wish. I suggest basing yourself next to Winstone’s Ice Cream Parlour, in the heart of the Common, for max ice-cream action.
Pittville Park, Cheltenham
As the largest park in Cheltenham, Pittville Park offers a gorgeous and easily reachable meet-point. Pick a prime spot outside the picturesque Pump Room, or head towards the lake and spot the swans. The park’s cafés are both open for takeaway treats too – spot-on for a post-picnic waterside ice cream.
Westonbirt Arboretum, near Tetbury
Soak up the impressive array of trees while tucking into your sandwiches at the family-friendly Westonbirt Arboretum, near Tetbury. Work up your appetite with a stroll along the treetop walkway, then head to the café where you can pick up some extra bites to go with your picnic.
Robinswood Hill Country Park, Gloucester
With 250-acres of countryside at Gloucester’s Robinswood Hill Country Park you won’t be crowded on picnic meet up here! Hike to the summit, with views which stretch as far as the Severn Bridge and the Malvern Hills on a clear day, or head for the bespoke picnic area with takeaway cafe for snacks.
Broadway Tower, Broadway
Broadway Hill is always a lovely spot to meet a friend, great views, a stone’s throw from pretty Broadway high street so easy to park and picnic, and boasting a Shepherds Hut takeaway which is serving up hot drinks and snacks at the weekends from 10 -3 (Morris & Brown cafe and shop are now open.) Combine your get together with a lovely circular 20 minute walk around the site (see website for map).
Worcester Woods Country Park, Worcester
With two nature reserves, and 100 stunning acres of woodland and meadows the Worcester Woods Country is a great spot for your alfresco feast. It’s easily accessible off the motorway, and at the award-winning Orchard cafe, there is a fantastic range of delicious, homemade food available all day. Sit out on the sun terrace (pretend it’s summer!) and if you’re picnicking with the pooch you can also get water, treats and doggy ice-cream here.
Croome House, Upton-on-Severn
The National Trust’s Croome is a gorgeous place to visit and has dedicated picnic benches. You’ll find them near the Visitor Centre or head to the south lawn by the house where you’ll also be in easy reach of the café. But one of the best tips is to nab one of the National Trust deckchairs scattered around the lakeside and peace out with your pal and your picnic. You might even spot the elusive heron that sometimes makes an appearance.