6 great picnic spots in Yorkshire
PUBLISHED: 09:17 30 July 2019
From the most luxurious hampers to prized pies in prime locations, Yorkshire is picnic perfect. Rugs at the ready for some tasty days out
THE ON TOP OF THE WORLD ONE
What and why? The amazing collection of natural rock formations set amongst the dramatic moorland at Brimham Rocks make this a brilliant place for a picnic in summer. A huge river created the natural spectacle 100 million years ago, before dinosaurs walked the earth. Spend the day exploring the site, spotting the Dancing Bear, the Gorilla and the Turtle and then climb atop of one of the flat and high rocks to get an incredible view across the countryside to Nidderdale and the Vale of York. For those of you who fancy picking up a few extra treats for your hamper, the visitor centre sells bilberry jam and other refreshments.
Perfect for: History and geography lovers, or those who like bouldering. Brimham Rocks is 11 miles from Harrogate. Brimham Moor Road, Summerbridge HG3 4DW.
THE LUXURY ONE
The Swinton Estate
What and why? Not all picnics have to be a simple rug on the grass scenario, with jam sandwiches and cartons of juice. In Yorkshire, we are spoiled for choice for places that some might call a posh picnic. The Swinton Estate in Masham is definitely worth visiting for a luxury and unique experience. For £12.50pp, you can pick up a Rucksack Picnic full to the brim of freshly cut sandwiches and all the trimmings. The Swinton Hamper is £18.50pp with goodies such as walled garden chutney and Yorkshire cheeses. Or you can go Deluxe for £23.50pp and expect smoked salmon and hot soup. The Swinton Estate recommends the best spots on the 20,000-acre estate are Coffin Lake, Top Lake and Bothy Hut. For something seriously luxe, organise a private experience and take a cable ferry across to the Lake House. The island has a stone table and fire pit ready for outdoor picnics - the set up is beautiful.
Perfect for: Special occasions, romantic retreats or celebrations. Swinton Estate is situated half a mile from the small market town of Masham, eight miles from Ripon. Swinton Park, Masham HG4 4JH.
THE CULTURAL ONE
Yorkshire Sculpture Park
What and why? Yorkshire Sculpture Park is the leading international centre for modern and contemporary sculpture and is situated in the 500-acre, 18th century Bretton Hall estate in West Yorkshire. It's the perfect spot to relax with a picnic, especially as you have such variety of choice when it comes to deciding which dramatic backdrop to sit in front of. Few things are as delightful as watching your children enjoy themselves while learning about art and culture at the same time - there certainly won't be a shortage of picnic rug discussions here. In the open air, children are free to run around and there are many hidden treasures to hunt for, plus they are free to touch the sculptures too, unlike many other traditional galleries. There are also designated picnic areas around the site.
Perfect for: Families and culture vultures. YSP is located seven miles outside of Wakefield and 20 miles south of Leeds. West Bretton, Wakefield Wf4 4JX
THE COASTAL ONE
Robin Hood's Bay
What and why? There is a lot of science to say that being by the water, or being able to see the ocean, has a huge positive impact on our wellbeing. We're pretty lucky with our beautiful, rugged coastlines in Yorkshire too, so where better to pitch up a picnic than overlooking the stunning Robin Hood's Bay? The varied coastal area has industrial archaeological interest and the Jurassic rock formations are rugged and beautiful. Take the path to the left just below the Victoria Hotel and you'll find a number of picnic tables for something more set up. After your feast, you could visit the Old Coastguard Station or visit the Ravenscar Visitor Centre to discover more about the local history.
Perfect for: Romantic dates or a day of utter relaxation to reset the mind. Also perfect for those who have an interest in the Jurassic period, or industrial history. Robin Hood's Bay is a small fishing village within the North York Moors National Park, five miles south of Whitby.
THE QUINTESSENTIALLY BRITISH ONE
What and why? Discover the evolving history of Harewood House and explore the grounds, contemporary art, rare bird garden and farm experience too. With over 100 acres of award-winning gardens, there is no shortage of secret spots to set out your picnic. The house is included in your entry - perfect for a venture inside after your picnic to soak up the stately atmosphere of the 18th century building. Harewood House host events throughout the year, too Why not mix it up a little and take your picnic to a classic car rally, craft fair or outdoor theatre performance.
Perfect for: Country house buffs or a traditional setting. Harewood is seven miles from Leeds and Harrogate on the A61. Harewood House, Harewood, Leeds LS17 9LG;
THE HISTORICAL ONE
What and why? The atmospheric ruin of the 800-year-old Fountains Abbey, established by devout monks, is a beautiful and educational backdrop for an afternoon picnic. Perfectly manicured lawns stretch down to the riverside - your only dilemma will be finding the perfect spot. The gardens are beautiful and the deer park is lovely to while away time in - this is one for those who want to find a place to escape from the everyday and imagine a time before social media and technological advancements. I mean, it was featured in The Telegraph's most beautiful UK picnic spots, so what are you waiting for?
Perfect for: A dose of history and a family day out with plenty of the great outdoors to explore. Discover Fountains Abbey close to Ripon, 12 miles north of Harrogate. Fountains, Ripon HG4 3DY.
Luxe it up
Don't fancy preparing your own dinner? Fear not, as these places will prepare some posh nosh for you
Head to Betty's to pick up some produce for your hamper that couldn't be more quintessentially British if it tried. They love to use picnics as an opportunity for people to branch out a little and try things they may not normally eat. So expect a lot of the picnic products in store to come sliced or in small servings for people to share. With it being the establishment's centenary year, make sure to pack some of their Centenary Fondant Fancies and Cheeky Little Rascals.
Henshelwoods Delicatessen, York
You can't get much more choice than what is on offer from Henshelwoods Deli for their prepared picnic hampers. Opt for a Simple combination, a Simple Veggie or a Country Pate arrangement. If you're feeling fancy, go for the Mediterranean, complete with cured meats, cheese, olives, vine leaves and much more. They can include beer, wine and Champagne on request too. Perfect.
The Whitby Deli, Whitby
All of the picnics at the Whitby Deli come complete in a cotton tote bag with napkins and cutlery, so they are perfect for grabbing and going. You can expect a simple affair for two from £15, or something a little bigger for £20 - all of their picnic offerings can be pimped with prosecco too. Their luxury feasts serve four to six from £40 and include a hamper that folds down into a picnic mat. It will come stuffed with produce such as local smoked salmon, sourdough and a selection of meats. If you would rather create your own, this is an option too!