The top ten picnic spots in Lancashire and the Lake District
PUBLISHED: 08:31 30 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:41 26 May 2020
Graze while you gaze at the view from some of the best picnic spots in Lancashire and the Lake District
Castlerigg Stone Circle
Located just outside Keswick, this beautifully yet eerie ancient circle is one of Britain's most impressive prehistoric monuments. It is Cumbria's answer to Stonehenge and is certainly the region's most visited stone circle.
This plateau forms the raised centre of a natural amphitheatre with views of Helvellyn, Skiddaw, Grasmoor and Blencathra - four of the five tallest peaks in the Lake District.
This dates back to mediaeval times but it was later transformed into a fine Tudor house of such opulence that the owners had to sell it to pay the builders.
In 1835 it was bought by a mill owner, who restored it and added follies.
Apart from the fascinating interior with some William Morris items, there are nine acres of woodland gardens and picnic facilities.
Around five miles west of Ambleside, outside the village of Elterwater, Loughrigg Tarn is one of the Lake District's hidden gems. The stunning views take in miles of rolling fells and the beauty of the Langdale Pikes.
The tarn is an oasis of tranquility with clear blue water and a summer time show of beautiful water lilies. Wordsworth loved it and so do we.
With spectacular views of Bowland, the Yorkshire Dales and the Ribble Valley from its 577m summit, Lancashire's natural monument is not for the infirm or faint-hearted.
But once you get to the top of Pendle Hill you'll realise it was well worth the effort. Just make sure your picnic isn't too grand - humping a hamper to the summit is not recommended.
The wonderfully named Crook O'Lune is a popular beauty spot on a horse-shoe bend in the River Lune to the north-east of Lancaster.
There are many pleasant walks along the wooded river banks and into the surrounding countryside. The Lune Millennium Way connects this site to Lancaster City centre with the new Millennium Bridge and Bull Beck picnic site to the east.
Orrest Head Crag
A yomp up Orrest Head from Windermere will give you an appetite for that picnic. It was the first summit visited by Lancashire walking legend, Alfred Wainwright.
He wrote: 'Those few hours at Orrest Head cast a spell that changed my life.' We can't guarantee that but it's a great spot for lunch.
Slap bang in the area described by Ruskin as the 'Gateway to Paradise', this castle near Ravenglass is one of the Lake District's award winning family attractions.
If you have children or grandchildren in tow, Muncaster has more than enough to keep them out of mischief. For the grown ups, there are 18th Century gardens and a family picnic area.
Singing Ringing Tree
High above Burnley is some of Lancashire's most appealing countryside with majestic views from the aptly-named Crown Point.
This has its own picnic site and the 'Singing-Ringing Tree' - a unique musical sculpture in the form of a tree bending against the wind. As the wind blows, this striking form produces a low and mellow hum - music while you munch.
Beacon Fell is eight miles north of Preston in the Forest of Bowland area of outstanding natural beauty with moorland and woodland covering 185 acres - all open to the public.
There are spectacular panoramic views and lots of well marked walks and a bike track. There is a also a cafe if your own butties lose their allure.
Calf Hey Reservoir
This was once a thriving valley with pubs, church, shops and around 1,300 inhabitants. Then they built the reservoirs, flooding the valley.
Calf Hey is one of three local reservoirs and there's a lovely picnic area and viewpoint situated in the picturesque Haslingden Grane. Visitors can still spot some of the ruined buildings from before the First World War.
Have we missed your favourite picnic spot?
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