15 Great Family Picnic Spots in the UK National Parks

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We've put together a list of 15 places for you and your family to visit - to reconnect with and be inspired by Britain's breathing spaces. Pack up some great local produce and you're set for the perfect picnic!

Brecon Beacons National Park

National Park Visitor Centre, Libanus
Offering postcard views of the two most iconic peaks in the Brecon Beacons –– Corn Du and Pen y Fan –– the National Park Visitor Centre is a perfect, easy way for the family to enjoy the national park. A tea room provides refreshment if you don't feel like packing a full picnic, and there are a number of relatively easy walks nearby.

Broads National Park

How Hill Green
Situated near the Toad Hole Cottage visitor centre this spot offers great walking nearby as well as access to the How Hill Nature Reserve. From nearby you can also jump aboard the Electric Eel boat trip for further exploration.

Cairngorms National Park

Loch an Eilein
You can't argue with a place that was once voted Britain's Best Picnic Spot. Take in dramatic views of surrounding Highland countryside, as well as the loch's island castle. Then go for a stroll on one of the area's 50 km of paths.

Dartmoor National Park

On a sunny day, the view from this iconic tor extends right to the coast at Teignmouth and there are some fantastic walks in the area. There are open grassy areas for children to play and the Haytor Visitor Centre at the bottom of the hill. If you feel really adventurous, you can follow the 17-mile Templar Way route, which takes you to the coast following a route used to transport granite from the moor.

Exmoor National Park

Simonsbath Meadows
Beautiful meadows running down to the River Barle. Car parking and toilets nearby and a good tea room! The famous 19th century sawmill at Simonsbath is open to the public on the third Monday of each month between 10am and 3.30pm. While you are in the area, visit famous Lynton & Lynmouth water-powered cliff railway.

Lake District National Park

Tarn Hows
Head to Tarn Hows (car park at SD326 996) for a picnic in one of the most picturesque areas in  the southern Lake District. You can also enjoy a short 3-kilometre circular walk around the tarn, where there are plenty of benches to relax on and enjoy the stunning views. A firm family favourite, this walk is also suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs users.

Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park

Possibly one of the most beloved spots of Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park, the small island of Inchailloch is steeped in history and beauty. A short ferry ride from Blamaha, limited camping is also possible on the island.

New Forest National Park

Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary
Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary features a purpose-built viewing platform overlooking a large meadow area where a herd of fallow deer regularly gather. There are also plenty of walking routes and a large picnic area amongst the tall trees. If you don't want to stray too far from your vehicle, it's an ideal place to take a packed lunch and just enjoy the forest atmosphere.

Northumberland National Park

Walltown Country Park
If the weather is right, there are few places you would rather be. Circular walks, and beautiful views of historic Hadrian's Wall and the breathtaking surrounding countryside make this the perfect place for a picnic.

North York Moors National Park

Dalby Forest
Situated on the southern slopes of the North York Moors, Dalby offers more than 8,000 acres of woodland to explore and enjoy, including play areas for children, barbecues for the family and plenty of waymarked cycling and walking trails for all abilities. Dalby Forest has a wide range of special events throughout the year, including Forest Live music concerts, guided walks and children's holiday activities.

Peak District National Park

Hartington Station
Perfect picnic stops for anyone wishing to stroll or cycle along the glorious traffic-free Monsal, High Peak and Tissington trails. Close to four pay-and-display car parks with toilet facilities.

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park

St Brides Haven Picnic Site
St Brides Haven is an attractive little cove with sand at low tide, shingle and pebbles. It has interesting rock pools, safe bathing and good snorkelling. Facing north-west, it's sheltered from the prevailing south-westerly winds, and offers good views across St Brides Bay.

Snowdonia National Park

Llyn Mair, above Plas Tan y Bwlch, Maentwrog
Set among the beauty of the Maentwrog Valley, this site is also relatively close to the Tan y Bwlch station for the Ffestiniog Railway. A network of more than 30 km of footpaths offers exploration of nature, wildlife habitats and rich historical heritage.

South Downs National Park

Petersfield Heath
Heaths are very rare habitats rich in wildlife but they're also fantastic open space for families to explore. Just a short walk from the centre of Petersfield –– in the heart of the South Downs National Park –– lies Petersfield Heath. Used by humans since ancient times, it is the perfect place to sit down, relax and enjoy a picnic. Try to spot one of the 21 Bronze Age barrows dating back to 1500 BC.

Yorkshire Dales National Park

Grassington National Park Centre
Surrounded by the hills of Wharfedale, but very handy for the bustling centre of Grassington with its stone cottages and cobbled square. A great spot to start or finish one of a choice of walks through woods or along the riverside or, more energetically, over Grassington Moor to see the lead mining remains.

More to see and do

The above locations are just a tiny selection of the great picnic sites available within the UK's National Parks. And, of course, there's a lot more to do in Britain's breathing spaces than just picnic. To find out more about what to do in a national park and where to go, check out our Visiting pages.