A classic British pastime, the humble picnic is coming into its own as the weather starts to warm up.
Whether you opt for the classic finger sandwiches or go a bit rogue and have leftover pizza, nothing beats a picnic.
After all the time we’ve spent indoors lately, a day trip to the beautiful Forest of Dean – combined with a delicious meal amongst the bluebells could be just the ticket! As @VisitDeanWye says, the Forest of Dean has “some of the best displays in the country”!
For those keen to stretch their legs
We’ve all been cooped up this year, so what better day activity than a relaxing ramble (or a hearty hike)?
Pack your potato salads and hummus! A beginner trail like the one up to Beacon Bimble provides a lovely afternoon stroll, with beautiful views at the top – an ideal place to lay out your checkered blanket.
Alternatively, plenty of options start in the surrounding villages. Ross Town Walk will take you past the eye-drawing River Wye, so you can pause to watch the babbling brook with lunch.
For the bird watchers
Whether you’ve been spotting sparrows for years or fancied taking up the relaxing hobby to get you through lockdown, there are some truly spectacular bird-watching spots in the UK.
One of these is Nagshead Nature Reserve, in the Forest of Dean.
Nestled amongst the greenery, you might spot an elusive Hawfinch, an acrobatic Crossbill, or perhaps a woodpecker drumming out its characteristic rhythm.
Those who want to combine a gentle hike with some bird watching might also enjoy Symonds Yat Rock. Here, from April to August you might catch sight of a Peregrine Falcon.
Both sites have beautiful picnic areas, as well as stunning views across the English countryside. Pack a hearty lunch to fuel your activities and you’re all set!
For the foodies
What better way to enjoy a day out in the sunshine than to indulge in some local fare? A picnic basket bearing homemade sandwiches and summer fruits is lovely – but pick up some local artisan produce to go with them and it’s a delight.
From a drizzle of wildflower honey over some deliciously mature Gloucester cheese to a fresh, fruity G&T: welcome to the elevated picnic.
Why not stop by Smart’s Traditional Cheesemaking before heading to Cannop’s Ponds to enjoy your perfect picnic in an idyllic spot?
Or for the truly adventurous, embark on a fungi-finding expedition before settling down to scoff your spoils.
For the history buffs
There is no shortage of history in the Forest of Dean: sprawling castles collide with natural phenomena and industrial landmarks, all surrounded by the rolling hills and dales that characterise the UK’s countryside.
For a truly spectacular picnic spot, head up to one of the castles – bonus points for pretending you’re a Duke/Duchess.
Head up to Chepstow Castle on a sunny day to roam the Roman walls primed with a plentiful picnic for afterwards that’s fit for a King!
Of course, you can always combine a touch of history with a ramble: there are plenty of historic hikes that take you on routes ‘round the Forest. Lancaut Loop starts at Chepstow Castle, and St. Briavels Loop takes in the ancient gaol-turned-youth hostel!
Whether you’re a historic hiker or a peaceful picnicker, the Forest of Dean has an option for everyone. Explore our site to start planning your trip now.