As the sun beats down on our glorious English countryside, what could be nicer than packing up a picnic hamper and finding a secluded spot away from the madding crowds for lunch with a view? Here are our 7 best picnic spots in the New Forest, just in time for National Picnic Week
Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary
Bolderwood is situated in the heart of the New Forest along the Ornamental Drive. With a purpose build platform overlooking the large meadow, you’ll be able to take some wonderful photographs of these lovely animals. Between April and September you are also able be able to see the deer being fed between 12.30pm and 2.30pm. With plenty of area to run around, explore and learn all about the deer, this is a great place to bring children to enjoy your picnic.
Lepe Country Park
At Lepe Country Park you can enjoy the best of both worlds; vast woodland areas at the top of the cliffs and stunning views across the Solent to the Isle of Wight. Whether you choose a typically British beach picnic whilst watching the birds and boats or you sit amongst the wild flower meadows, this picnic spot is one of beauty.
A beautiful waterside spot full of tranquillity, Hatchet Pond is situated near Beaulieu and perfect for picnics and a gentle wander, with sunsets that are not to be missed! The largest area of fresh water in the New Forest, surrounded by heathland that is grazed by cattle, ponies and donkeys. Just beware of the wildlife… They may want to share your picnic!
This is a spectacular spot for bluebells when in season, often listed as one of the best bluebell woods. Being an un-grazed area, this helps the bluebells to flourish. In the summer months, Roydon Woods is filled with butterflies dancing in the sunlight and birds singing sweet songs. Feel at one with nature when you bring your picnic to Roydon Woods.
Exbury’s beautiful gardens cover over 200 acres of the New Forest. An outstanding collection of azaleas, camellias and rare trees bloom during the Summer months, creating a stunning haven. With shady riverside walks and perfect picnic spots next to ponds, Exbury Gardens is a fantastic picnic spot.
Walk among ancient oak trees before enjoying your picnic in the cooling shade they provide. There are plenty of opportunity to see deer and other wildlife here. Head over to Wilverley Plain to roam the expansive grassy plains.
Owned by Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, this river has been conserved by the Montagu family for over four centuries. Beginning near Lyndhurst in the centre of the New Forest, the river flows south-easterly across the forest to the small picturesque village of Beaulieu. Below Beaulieu the river passes through the village of Buckler's Hard before entering the sea through the Solent. With the lower ends of Beaulieu River not served by footpaths, consider taking your picnic on a boat trip with you. This is a peaceful haven surrounded by wildlife from kingfishers to kestrels to seals, this is one of our favourite picnic spots.
Thanks to The Montagu Arms, you won’t even have to spend hours hunting for that battered old picnic basket or making your own sandwiches. We have a created a fabulous picnic hamper that’s bursting full of delicious goodies, complete with crockery, cutlery – and even a picnic blanket. Make sure you order yours this summer!
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