Here are our top 10 picnic spots…enjoy!
We’ve written a great deal about the local area and places to visit. They have been chosen because they’re beautiful, unique, quiet and special. You can picnic in all of them.
For those of you who need a quick guide… here’s a list of our favourites.
Tanners Lane beach, near Lymington.
Pebbly, sandy, silty, good views of the Isle of Wight. Can be windy. Dogs can be off lead all year. Walk right and keep going for 1/4 mile for the best spot. Walk for another 1/4 mile and you’ll see almost no one and have the place to yourself. Read our full guide here.
Blackwater and the the Tall Trees trail. Lyndhurst area.
The picnic options here are excellent. And the trees are really tall. Come here for some ‘forest bathing’ and plug into the strongest vibes for a natural-healing session. http://newforestescapes.com/blog/forest-bathing-anyone/
Buckler’s Hard, near Beaulieu.
Sit on the lawny river bank and watch Britain’s only private river go by. The museum is good for older people. The boat trip is downriver and back. Slow and pretty. Read our Insiders Guide to the Beaulieu River area here.
Roydon Woods, Boldre, near Brockenhurst.
Frequently on the UK’s ‘Best Bluebell woods’ list. Well worth exploring in May/June and the bluebells won’t disappoint.
Hurst Spit, Keyhaven.
We love picnicning on the roof of Hurst Castle. The top of the keep is slightly protected from the wind and the views are outstanding. You can see for miles on a good day. On a bad day – don’t go! Get here by boat (every 20 mins from Keyhaven) or earn your lunch and walk it.
The beach here is pebbly giving way to sand at mid-low tide. The beach itself if 2 miles long with Hurst Castle at the most southern end. Forage for delicious samphire here in late summer.
There are fabulous walks in all directions. You’ll find beautiful ancient oaks trees to climb, sit under and enjoy the bird song.
Lepe Country Park
Lepe is a great spot for a blustery walk and there’s a play trail for the kids. Get tired or need a cuppa? Try the new cafe there. It’s good but go elsewhere when it’s busy. You need to pay for parking here.
You do have to pay to get in here but it’s worth it. There are 200 acres of internationally regarded gardens. We love going in Spring to see the daffodil ‘lake’ and the extraordinary collection of flowering trees. The magnolias there are superb. Check for half price entry days – like Mothers Day.
Knightwood Oak and surrounding area, near Lyndhurst.
The oak and beech forests here are ancient and magnificent. You’ll find plenty of tracks to explore and streams to dip your toes into. Stop, switch off and listen to the breeze in the trees. Just lovely.
Picket Post for a picnic in the car whilst watching the sun set. Near Ringwood.
Getting to the forest late? Stopping to watch the sunset? This spot is too close to the road to be in our favourites but the sunset from here is pretty special and there are almost always wild ponies about too.