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Real_Pie_abi_small_landscape.jpgPack a Real Pie

Pies from The Real Pie Company are amazing - packed to the crust with filling! As they can be enjoyed cold, they are just great for a picnic and are guaranteed to satisfy even the hungriest picnicker! 


We're delighted that so many National Trust properties are now allowing (and even encouraging) picnics. Work up an appetite before tucking into your meal with a walk through one of its fine country estates or stately homes - here are a few of our favourites:

Sheffield Park, Uckfield, East Sussex
A well-loved spot for a picnic, Sheffield Park's beautiful gardens have acres of space to put down your rug - overlooking the tranquil lake is a visitor favourite.

Box Hill, Tadworth, Surrey
With its spectacular views over the North Downs it's no surprise that Box Hill is one of Surrey's top picnic spots. A picnic scene in Jane Austen's Emma was set here.

Seven Sisters, near Eastbourne, East Sussex
The world-famous Seven Sisters chalk cliffs offer an incredible view over the sea, or pitch up on the beach below and see what the kids discover in the rock pools.

Devil's Dyke, near Brighton, West Sussex
Favoured by walkers and cyclists following the South Downs Way, the panorama from Devil's Dyke was once described by John Constable as 'the grandest view in the world'.

Winkworth Arboretum, Godalming, Surrey
Boasting a collection of more than 1,000 different shrubs and trees, Winkworth Arboretum comes alive with bluebells in spring and offers shady spots on hot summer days.


local_food_picnic.jpgTake it outside this summer

There are few things more satisfying than a warm summer's day spent in the open air enjoying an al fresco feast. Take a look at our suggestions for picnic recipes, places to visit and what to pack in your basket.


Picnic like a king 

At Hampton Court Palace, history is brought to life with costumed guides. This magnificent palace was famously one of Henry VIII’s favourite palaces, explore his State Apartments and those of King William III, then find a pleasant spot in the delightful gardens to tuck into your local food picnic!

Also look out for special events at Hampton Court including food festivals and the famous flower show (separate admission charges usually apply).

Sussex cheese please

Pack a good loaf of bread and a basket of cheese, pop in a few pieces of fruit and a homemade cake and you have all you need for the best picnic ever. Sussex boasts many local cheesemakers and one of the most well-known in High Weald Dairy whose cheeses include delightful Sussex Slipcote, Little Sussex, Sister Sarah, Brother Michael and new blue cow's milk cheese, Brighton Blue. All the cheeses are available on line. And if you fancy having a go at cheesemaking, you'll be pleased to hear that High Weald Dairy also runs cheesemaking courses. 

Priory_Farm_picnic_page_2.jpgFresh air at Priory Farm

Family-owned Priory Farm is set in an area of outstanding natural beauty at Nutfield near Redhill in Surrey. As well as a marvellous farm shop with twice-weekly visiting fishmonger, the farm has a gorgeous countryside walk and nature trail - The Discovery Walk. Although picnics aren't allowed on the walk itself, you can sit just outside the entrance (there's plenty of grass). There's no need to pack a picnic before you set off - the Farm Shop sells plenty of finger food and there's also a kiosk on The Discovery Walk selling refreshments.

Also on the same site is Priory Farm Nursery Cafe, which is a brilliant venue for all the family, with an enclosed play area and freshly-prepared food made from many local ingredients. You can stock up on your garden needs, too!

Picnic food recipes


Avoid mass-produced Scotch eggs - instead, dazzle 'em with these homemade delights! Click here for Scotch egg recipe.

What better to serve with your Scotch eggs than potato salad - click here for recipe.

Try this frittata recipe, which is made using Surrey's Norbury Blue cheese - it's delicious served cold for a picnic. Click here for frittata recipe.

Our recipe for slow-roast tomato tarte tatin makes an impressive and unusual picnic centrepiece. Get the recipe here.

Upperton_Vineyards_rose_114.jpgMake it sparkle

Add a little fizz to your alfresco meal with award-winning English sparkling wines from Upperton Vineyards, or enjoy lashings of ginger with Gran Stead’s Ginger Co’s soft drinks, which are super-refreshing when mixed with sparkling water.

Keep it safe

Planning a barbecue or garden parties when everyone helps out? Wonderful! But do ensure your helpers know the basic hygiene rules - and stick to them. A common mistake is cooking food and then putting it back on the same plate the raw food was on (which can happen when there are too many cooks), and not cooking thoroughly enough. Avoid getting the barbecue too hot, which burns the food on the outside while rendering it raw in the middle. We recommend investing in a meat thermometer – poultry needs to register at least 75C/165F to kill off any bacteria. And with any outdoor feast, it’s important to consider how you are going to keep food chilled for long enough. You really don’t want it sitting in the sun, so it’s best to bring it out of the fridge as needed and use cool boxes.   

  • Find more food safety tips on www.NHS.UK