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local_food_picnic.jpgLet's take it outside

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.

What's in our hamper?

Real_pie_pasty.jpgPies, pasties and sausage rolls from The Real Pie Company

Award-winners for a reason, these 'crammed to the crust' pastries are perfect for picnics.



New juice pressés by Folkington's

We've been looking forward to taking these drinks al fresco since they were launched last year.


High_Weald_Dairy_cheeses_3.jpgA selection of High Weald Dairy cheeses

These Sussex-made cow's, goat's and sheep's milk cheeses are great in sandwiches - and also in chunks!


barties-jars-resized.jpgChutney, relish and mustard by Bartie's Sussex Faire

Track down Bartie at a local market for a range of mouth-wateringly good preserves.


Try your local farm shop for artisan snacks and treats, find freshly-baked bread at a local bakery and pick up charcuterie from a deli near you.

Sheffield_Park_picnic_page.jpgPicnic at a National Trust property

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.

Find more information on the National Trust website.

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.

Two_bottles_of_Albury_Estate_wine_with_fizz_in_glass.jpgMake it sparkle

Make your picnic extra special with a glass of something sparkling from one of the UK's many award-winning vineyards. Some of our favourites include Upperton Vineyards, Albury Vineyard, Bluebell Vineyard and Biddenden Vineyard. Some vineyards will even allow you to take a picnic to enjoy among the vines on certain days - a truly romantic setting. Do check with indivdual vineyards before you go!

Stay safe

Picnics should be fun and relaxed, so follow these top tips to ensure your picnic doesn't turn sour!

Pack your perishable food in a cooler with plenty of ice, freezer blocks or frozen gel packs.
Keep food covered and in the cooler as much as possible, and keep the cooler in the shade.
Leftovers that have been uncovered or out in the sun for long periods should be thrown away. 

Take along clean utensils, paper napkins, rubbish bags, wet wipes and hand sanitiser.
Use a good insect repellent to keep mosquitoes, wasps and other insects at bay.
Ensure everyone is protected from the sun with sunscreen, hats and cover-ups.

Taking a barbecue? Pack a meat thermometer to reduce the risk of food being undercooked.
Never leave a barbecue unattended, and be sure to put it out fully before you dispose of it.
Check for local rules and regulations regarding use of barbecues in your picnic spot.