This week is National Picnic Week and the boys and I have already managed to eat outdoors a few times this year, aswell as last Sunday at our nearby National Trust property, Arlington Court. I LOVE taking my boys on a picnic. It brings back such fond memories of my childhood because we had a lot of picnics, and it was always a great excuse to spend quality time together as a family and with our extended family as well.
I have been taking my two on picnics since Jenson was a baby, so Burton would have been about two years old, and they love them as much as I do now.
As soon as the weather is dry we will find any excuse to pack a bag full of food and go and find somewhere to eat al fresco. Living here in North Devon we really are spoilt for choice when it comes to picnic spots, because we have the beaches, the woods and forests, the moors, the many parks, the cycle path, a nearby reservoir and of course even our own back garden!
However, I think my favourite picnic spot has to be our local National Trust property, Arlington Court, which is where we spend a lot of our time during the school holidays due mainly in part to me being a member, hence free admission. However, what I really like about the National Trust is the fact that there are just acres of land for the boys to run around freely and explore, where they can enjoy climbing trees, crossing a stream, or maybe go on a bluebell or gruffallo hunt
We also enjoy the activities that the National Trust put on for children such as den building, treasure hunts and whittling to name but a few. We often go and meet friends and family there too, and we always enjoy a picnic because all of that exploring makes for very hungry boys!!
Our favourite picnic spots at Arlington Court vary depending on how far we have walked while we have been exploring! However, we usually find ourselves under a tree so we have plenty of shade overlooking the glorious views of the countryside, or facing the glorious fully bloomed bushes and plants as their colours never fail to make me smile. Arlington Court has so many wonderful vistas that I am hard picked to select just one because we rarely picnic in the same spot twice!
When it comes to having a picnic, here are my top tips for ensuring a perfect one:
- Invest in a cool bag – there are so many shapes and sizes available but they really do help keep your food and drink cool
- In hot weather, place your drinks bottles in the freezer the night before your picnic, as these will keep the food cold inside your cool bag. It also ensures that the drinks do not get warm by lunchtime
- If your children like yogurts, buy ones that are sold in tubes or pouches, and again freeze these the night before and they will keep the food inside your children’s lunchboxes cool
- Take a plastic bag with your to collate all of your rubbish to take home, as many picnic spots will not have litter bins
- Invest in a roll up picnic rug, with a waterproof backing, then you can stop and eat anywhere
- Take a bottle of antibacterial hand wash to clean little hands before eating
- Take some wet wipes for cleaning up faces and hands after eating
- I think anything goes when it comes to picnic food – the important thing is to get out and and about in the fresh air and enjoy eating outside with the ones you love.
- If it is a hot day, find a picnic spot in the shade, maybe a big leafy tree or inside some woods
For more ideas on having the perfect picnic this summer, please check out the Little Higgidy Picnic Guide which is full of tasty recipes and tips for ensuring your al fresco dining goes smoothly. The guide also features bloggers, including myself, revealing their favourite picnic spots from all across the country.
Where is your favourite picnic spot?
This post was written in collaboration with Higgidy