Saturday 25 January 2020

16 of the best picnic spots in Gloucestershire

Soak up picturesque views, mess about by the river or relax in beautiful parkland, with SoGlos's handpicked selection of the best picnic spots in Gloucestershire.

Whether you’re looking for panoramic views, a riverside setting, sandy shores or stunning gardens, pack a hamper and head to one of Gloucestershire’s best picnic spots.

Perfect for romantic day trips, family outings or friend-filled celebrations, SoGlos has handpicked 16 of the best picnic spots in the county, so roll out the blankets and tuck in…


1. Pittville Park

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As the largest park in Cheltenham, Pittville Park offers an abundance of outdoor space to enjoy a picnic with all the family.

With play areas, a skate park, aviaries and rowing boats to hire on the pretty lake, there’s plenty to entertain all ages, along with two cafés – perfect for a post-picnic ice cream.


2. Cannop Ponds

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Stock-up on picnic essentials and make a beeline for Cannop Ponds, a series of man-made lakes in the Forest of Dean. The grassy area is ideal for picnickers and offers a pretty setting to savour an outdoor lunch while spotting the abundance of local birdlife.

Make a day of it and take your bikes to explore the Family Cycle Trail, a circular route that takes in nearby villages and alternative picnic sites.


3. Coaley Peak

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With breathtaking views of the Severn Valley, Coaley Peak, near Stroud, is a picture-perfect spot, whether you want to pitch up on one of the picnic tables or bring a blanket to sit in the wild flower meadow.

It’s also a popular stopping point for walkers along the Cotswold Way National Trail, which passes through the site.


4. Westonbirt Arborteum


Soak up the impressive array of trees while tucking into your sandwiches at the family-friendly attraction, near Tetbury.

Little ones can work up an appetite at one of the many play areas and there’s a café where you can pick up some nibbles to go with your picnic.


5. Cowley Manor


If you really want to impress someone or fancy a lavish summertime treat, head to Cowley Manor, near Cheltenham, to picnic in style.

With idyllic picnicking spots set amongst Cowley’s 55 acres of parkland, lakes and meadows, the hotel provides the lavish homemade spread, including sourdough loaf, salads, charcuterie, fruit, freshly baked cakes, chilled drinks and more.


6. Rodborough Common


With views over the Severn Estuary, the National Trust site, near Stroud, offers a beautiful spot to lay down your blanket and spend a relaxing afternoon.

And, as home to sweet local favourite, Winstones Ice Cream, indulging in a scoop or two from the parlour shop is a given when picnicking at the Common.


7. Hidcote Manor Garden

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If you’re a fan of horticulture, pack a picnic and combine an alfresco lunch with a visit to the stunningly colourful Hidcote Manor Garden in Chipping Campden.

The National Trust garden offers the chance to see rare shrubs, trees and plants from around the world in an impressively secluded setting that will most definitely inspire green-fingered enthusiasts.


8. Cotswold Country Park and Beach


When the sun is blazing and you’re looking for a sandy spot to recreate that holiday feeling in Gloucestershire, head to Cotswold Country Park which boasts the accolade of having the largest inland beach in the country.

Little ones will enjoy the paddling beach and playground, while the option of barbecue hire is the perfect addition to a summer’s day outing.


9. Farncombe Estate

The sweeping 400-acre grounds of Farncombe Estate, near Broadway, is home to luxury boltholes Dormy House and Foxhill Manor, and offer a splendidly romantic spot to enjoy a picnic.

The Fish Hotel, the latest addition to the estate, can organise a tasty hamper full of treats and will even set up a table and bring the food out to you.


10. Beechenhurst Lodge


If you’re planning an outdoor celebration this summer head to the barbecue and picnic areas at Beechenhurst Lodge. The Glade site, complete with a large gas grill and picnic tables, is ideal for family large gatherings in the picturesque Forest of Dean setting, while Colliers View has two metal barbecue hearths at your disposal.


11. Sandford Parks Lido


There’s no nicer way to cool off on a hot day than a dip in the pool at Cheltenham’s Sandford Parks Lido, followed by a picnic on the lawns.

The Lido hosts open-air theatre and music screenings throughout the summer, offering a lovely excuse to pack a hamper and indulge in an alfresco evening of entertainment.


12. Lower Slaughter Manor

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If you want someone else to do the picnic prep for you, Lower Slaughter Manor, based in the pretty Cotswold village of Lower Slaughter, offers two delicious menus for picnickers to choose from. As well as the option of upgrading to include a bottle of wine or Champagne – perfect for a summer birthday treat.


13. Robinswood Hill Country Park


With 250-acres of countryside, there’s plenty of open space at Gloucester’s Robinswood Hill Country Park for you to pause for a peaceful snack at one of the many picnic spots.

If you’re feeling energetic, the views from the summit, which stretch as far as the Severn Bridge and the Malvern Hills on a clear day, are worth the effort.


14. Bourton-on-the-Water


The banks of the River Windrush, which runs through the centre of the quintessential Cotswold village of Bourton-on-the-Water, offer an idyllic location for an outdoor lunch and the perfect spot for people watching and duck-feeding.

If you want to add some tasty snacks to your hamper then head to one of the village’s many delis, cafes and ice cream parlours.


15. Stratford Park


Make your way to Stratford Park, Stroud’s 56-acre green space, which has been recognised nine times with a Green Flag Award for excellence.

The park also hosts an array of recreational facilities, including play areas, a leisure centre and skate park, as well as Museum in the Park – after you’ve polished off the picnic.


16. Crickley Hill

A photo posted by Josh Denley (@joshd2603) on


Crickley Hill is a National Trust site located on the outskirts of Cheltenham in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, offering stunning views of the Severn Vale, Robinswood Hill and even the Brecon Beacons and beyond.

Head to the picnic sites to enjoy an alfresco feast before exploring the many walking trails that take in woodlands and sections of the Cotswold Way.


By Anna Marshall

© SoGlos
Tuesday 16 April 2019

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