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NEWS RELEASE No: 1488223 AUGUST 2011

Perfect Picnic Spots

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Westonbirt Picnic Area Credit Rob Cousins

If you go down to the woods today... pack up the picnic basket, grab the blanket and head down to experience some of Forestry Commission England’s best sites for eating al fresco.

Whether it’s with family, friends or just the two of you our sites offer everything you need to picnic in peace within beautiful surroundings.  

Spend a day exploring our forest parks and woodlands, and take the opportunity to stop for lunch at one of our Top Ten picnic spots:

  1. Fineshade woods, Northants.  Picnic benches are available along the trails and next to the visitor centre, or for the kids you can picnic next to the new Tree house play equipment
  2. Westonbirt Arboretum, Gloucestershire.  The picnic area is located on the Grade I Listed Downs area, between the Old Arboretum and Silk Wood, and near to the main facilities.  It provides plenty of room to relax and for the kids to play.
  3. Mallards Pike, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire.  Voted the best place to picnic in the south west last year and with a wonderful view over the lake, you can watch the wildlife while you enjoy your picnic on one of the several picnic benches.
  4. Wendover Woods, Buckinghamshire.  Take an easy stroll along the all ability trail to reach the Chiltern's highest point, where you can relax with a picnic and enjoy the spectacular views.
  5. New Forest, Hampshire.  With five designated picnic spots, all offering benches and toilet facilities, and opportunities to picnic more informally throughout the forest, you will be spoilt for choice here.
  6. Adderstone Field, Dalby Forest, North Yorkshire.  A large open area with pine and beech woods on either side, Adderstone Field is an ideal place to soak up the sun whilst eating lunch.
  7. Delamere Forest, Cheshire.  With picnic sites at all the car parks in the forest, Delamere is the perfect place to escape the crowds and find peace in the heart of the forest. 
  8. Hamsterley Forest, Durham.  You can explore the forest along the four mile Forest Drive, lined with informal picnic areas which provide a tranquil backdrop to your stop.
  9. Thetford Forest, Suffolk.  Around High Lodge forest centre there are 35 picnic benches and tables, so you have a great selection of places to set down the picnic basket and relax. 
  10. Alice Holt Forest, Farnham, Surrey. A picnic place for everyone, whether you want a fun packed family picnic on the grassy meadow where children can play, or a more peaceful lunch at one of the many benches located amongst the trees

Pam Warhust, Forestry Commission Chair says:

“Our sites are a perfect venue for a tranquil and relaxing picnic with fantastic facilities amongst stunning scenery.”

“Over half the population lives within six miles of one of our forests or woods, so why not make a day of it and get out and enjoy them this summer” 

Many of our sites also offer barbeque facilities and hire, for more information visit our website



  1. The Forestry Commission is the government department responsible in England for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment.  Forestry makes a real contribution to sustainable development, providing social and environmental benefits arising from planting and managing attractive, as well as productive, woodlands.  Further information can be found at

  2. Forestry Commission England supports the UN’s International Year of Forests and Love Forests –

  3. For more information on our Top Tens visit our website

Media Contact: Faye Thomas, , 0117 3721085