Picnicking is one of the UK’s most enjoyable summer traditions and Hampshire offers plenty of luscious green open spaces, which are great for getting outdoors and enjoying the warmer weather.
Ahead of National Picnic Week (13th – 21st June) Hampshire’s Top Attractions, a collaborative marketing group of over 50 attractions has compiled some examples of why Hampshire is perfect picnic spot - whether a family picnic, romantic picnic or a celebration.
For families and individuals who love a spot of al fresco dining, while taking in the salty sea air and spectacular views, there are three picnic areas to choose from at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. Porter's Garden is a quiet leafy sanctuary, while Port Arena allows visitors to enjoy a picnic lunch while marveling at history in the flesh. For simpler tastes, take a pew outside Boathouse No.7, sit back and admire the fantastic architecture. You can also enjoy your packed lunch outside at Explosion, Museum of Naval Firepower, Royal Marines Museum and Royal Navy Submarine Museum. Enjoy sea views and fresh air whilst you dine in the great outdoors!
You are also very welcome to take picnics to enjoy outdoors at Fort Nelson and during the summer there is an ice cream and drinks kiosk open on The Parade.
In the New Forest Exbury Gardens offers 200 acres of horticultural variety, with two designated picnic areas, although visitors are welcome to use other areas within the Gardens - perhaps watching the steam train chug across the top of the Rock Garden, or the views of the distant Beaulieu River from the Home Wood. Beaulieu’s picturesque parkland provides picnic tables as well as an undercover area for all-weather dining. There are also picnic benches at the bottom of Buckler’s Hard high street, where you can picnic while watching boats on the Beaulieu River go by.
You can take your picnic to The New Forest Wildlife Park and enjoy either outside the coffee shop or within the park - although we advice not to eat in the deer enclosure as the deer also love a picnic!
The Hollycombe Steam Collection in Liphook is wonderfully atmospheric with the fairgrounds sights and sounds of yesteryear. Picnic in the woodland gardens with the sound of organ music and steam drifting by on the breeze in the background.
For something a little difference, The Museum of Army Flying is a great option with picnic tables and large grassed area overlooking the active Army Air Corps airfield, in the middle of the stunning Hampshire countryside. There is also an outside ‘helicopter-themed’ play park and access to the Apache Café (open daily from 9am to 6pm), all of which can be accessed without a Museum admission ticket. Or if trains are more your thing you can picnic at the Watercress Line, both Alresford and Ropley have picnic areas where you can watch the trains go by.
Osborne House on the Isle Of Wight is another popular spot and if you have forgotten to pack a picnic, you can buy a picnic hamper full of Isle of Wight produce and a blanket from the shop before heading to Queen Victoria’s private beach (not forgetting a sneaky ice cream the beach café).
A romantic picnic spot is alongside the River Test in the gardens or the Riverside Café at Whitchurch Silk Mill.
After a hands-one experience at Winchester Science Centre , enjoy a picnic either outdoors or indoors in the dedicated picnic space. In addition there is an outdoor picnic space set within the beautiful South Downs National Park and from 1st July 2015 onwards a new outdoor play area adjacent to the picnic area will open for visitors! Or why not visit Marwell Zoo where you can take away from Cafe Graze and picnic on site – just bring a blanket!
For more ideas on where to go or what’s on in Hampshire go to www.hampshireattractions.co.uk
Note to Editors:
Hampshire’s Top Attractions is a marketing consortium of over 50 attractions in Hampshire and Isle of Wight working together to promote family attractions and days out.
National Picnic Week is 13th-21st June 2015.
Harry Hampshire (Hampshire’s Top Attractions new mascot) enjoying a picnic, Marwell Zoo, Osborne & Explosion Museum.
The Marketing Collective manages the marketing for Hampshire’s Top Attractions. For more information contact Jo Andrews on 023 8000 1655 or email