The best places to park your picnic in Suffolk and Cambs
Pack your scotch eggs and lashings of ginger beer - I'm heading to these 19 outdoor beauty spots across Suffolk and Cambs to enjoy lunch al fresco.
A beautiful wicker basket packed with fizz and crustless sandwiches or a glorified packed lunch with mountains of Tupperware and sausage rolls (guilty!). Fear not, our Muddy guide to lovely picnic spots will at least ensure the location is perfect and so is the food with £500 of free Ocado deliveries (well hello M&S Deli range).
Midsummer Common and Jesus Green
Ticks all the boxes for the stress free picnic option. This lovely city location by the river has plenty of grass for your spread and you can easily meander into Cambridge for a post-picnic shop or to admire the colleges. Once full up with handrolled spinach and feta filo borek, take a walk along the river path and ogle the Cambridge Uni rowing teams in action.
Cambridge University Botanic Garden
Another favourite city spot for a picnic is the Cambridge University Botanic Gardens. Unbelievably there are 40 acres of gardens, lakes and wildflowers areas to choose from for your picnic here and plenty of benches if you’ve forgotten to pack a picnic rug.
Anglesey Abbey, Lode
This National Trust property is a brilliant place to while away a summer’s day with the family. The glorious gardens are the perfect backdrop for a picnic (I’m thinking pesto halloumi kebabs) with some of the best spots to head being South Glade, the Pinetum or the Arboretum if you need some shade. The East Lawn has plenty of space to run around and is near the visitor centre if you need to top your picnic up.
Jubilee Gardens, Ely
Watch the boats bobbing around on the river as you munch on your sarnies from this peaceful waterside park in historic Ely. There’s plenty to keep little ones entertained once the sugar kicks in too – a toddler play area, water feature, bandstand, bug hotels, bird boxes and log piles situated throughout the gardens.
Wimpole Hall, Wimpole
You can always count on a National Trust property for good places to picnic, but Wimpole Hall is a cut above the rest, having just won the accolade of being one of the most Insta-worthy picnic spots in the UK!. We love to lay down our blanket on the lawns outside the main house, although if you’re feeling energetic and want to get away from the crowds head to The Folly, a restored 18th century Gothic Tower, which is a picture perfect place to picnic. Burn off the calories with a visit to the Home Farm and play area afterwards.
Wandlebury Country Park, Cambridge
This summer is a great time to take picnic to Wandlebury Country Park because this beautiful spot south of the city has just had an extra 30 acres of gorgeous meadowland with city views added to it. The Gallops was originally used for training racehorses, but now we reckon it’s an ideal spot take things a little slower and enjoy a leisurely picnic instead.
Milton Country Park
Another country park, this time to the north of Cambridge, Milton Country Park is a pretty place to picnic with plenty to keep you occupied for a family day out, including lakes, playgrounds, long walks and a cafe in case you need seconds. The Orchard is a particularly pleasant place to eat in summer.
Want to picnic surrounded by wildlife? Then head to RSPB Fowlmere that has a nice shaded picnic spot at the entrance to the boardwalk. Once you’ve had your fill you’ll have energy to walk around the reserve spotting birds and fish in the pretty stream. The walk is the perfect length for little legs or kids on bikes too.
From Scuadamore’s Mill Lane Boatyard
Hire a punt from £25.50 per 90 mins and fingers crossed you can watch your husband mess up with the pole and fall in the water (oh, just me?). Head along the tranquil upper river towards Grantchester Meadows and you’ll enjoy stunning views of the city and colleges behind you in the distance while you glide past the greenest part of the city. Moor up by the meadows when you get peckish and enjoy your picnic in stunning surrounds.
Nowton Park, Bury St Edmunds
There are 200 acres of open space to explore in this lovely park and picnic spots include an arboretum, two ponds, a wildflower meadow, a Cherry glade, and the stunning lime avenue. There’s also a designated picnic area if you simply want to sit and get started on the grub, plus a play area and a maze.
Ickworth Park, Horringer
Plenty of great places to park your picnic around the National Trust’s Ickworth Park. Our favourite spot is the croquet lawn in the Italianate Garden by the stunning Rotunda, or the lawn outside the Earl Bishop’s summerhouse in the Walled Garden, which has fabulous views across the Canal Lake.
Picnic spots don’t get much more idyllic than those in Constable Country. Flatford Milll is a good place to set up camp to make the best of this gorgeous part of Suffolk. Enjoy an al fresco feast under the shade of a tree alongside the meandering River Stour, with cattle grazing in the background and the gentle lap of rowing boats passing by.
Clare Castle Country Park
This country park in the pretty town of Clare has lots of lovely flat spaces to lay out your picnic rug as well as the remains of a 13th century castle for kids to run around, an out of use railway station plus tracks, and a canal complete with swans.
Lackford Lakes is run by the Suffolk Wildlife Trust, so you can enjoy the sound and sight of many birds, insects and animals including kingfishers while you picnic. There are plenty of little picnic spots dotted around the reserve as well as a designated picnic area by the raised pond on the blue trail.
Abbey Gardens, Bury St Edmunds
If you like a nice manicured picnic area, this is the place for you. Choose a spot in between the colourful flower beds with the stately Cathedral in the background. After lunch you can explore the Abbey ruins, play area, treehouse and pond.
Moor your boat and then enjoy a picnic in the sun on Beccles Quay. Don’t have a boat?! Don’t worry me neither, just head here on foot in deck shoes and white shorts and no one will ever know. Talking of white shorts, don’t get grass stains by nabbing one of the many picnic benches that line this area of the River Waveney.
Nicholas Everitt Park, Oulton Broad
Fancy getting active with your picnic? This park in the heart of Oulton Broad has numerous water sports and land based activities like tennis, bowling, play equipment, crazy golf, trampolines, and a boating lake.
Dunwich Heath and Beach
So many wonderful beaches to choose from for a picnic in Suffolk, but if you want to combine countryside, coast and enjoy a long walk with some shade then Dunwich Heath is the place to head for your picnic. Plenty of wildlife to spot in the forest too as well as the chance to have a paddle in the sea if the weather’s warm.
Iken Cliff Picnic Site, Woodbridge
Watch wading birds on the mud flats and the sun sparkling over the vast expanse of the River Alde from this picnic site. It’s a really peaceful spot and an excellent starting point for some long walks or even a canoe along the river.