The best spots for a spring picnic

The best spots for a spring picnic

Mattiscombe Beach, Start Point- Devon

Walk along the rugged and rocky cliff-top footpath at Start Point and you'll be rewarded by a wonderful find- a secluded, sandy beach where, in springtime, pink-headed thrift grows on the cliffs, cirl buntings call out from the bushes and, if you time it just right, inquisitive grey seals frolic in the sunshine with you by the rocks.

And to go with it: If you stay at the 17th century manor house retreat, Buckland Tout-Saints, they can provide you with a wicker hamper filled with a mix of scones, mini cakes and fancies, and a savoury selection of finger sandwiches. The Afternoon Tea Hamper costs £29 for two. Stay overnight at Buckland Tout-Saints from £125 per room (based on two sharing) including full English breakfast.


Fal River, The Roseland Peninsula, Cornwall

This beautiful Cornish river with its secluded coves, tree-lined banks and picturesque views of rolling fields runs through an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty- the perfect setting for a stunning springtime feast.

And to go with it: Guests staying at The Nare luxury hotel can enjoy a picnic lunch aboard the hotel's classic motor launch 'Alice Rose'. Departing from Smuggler's Cottage, Tolverne, 'Alice Rose' picnics include delicious delights like smoked salmon, homemade bread with butter rosettes, local Cornish cheeses, Waldorf salad, fresh berries and Bakewell Tart – plus drinks from the well-stocked bar on board. A day trip with picnic aboard 'Alice Rose' costs £170 for two. Stay overnight at The Nare from £283 per room (two sharing) including full English breakfast.


Broadway Tower, Worcestershire, the Cotswolds

Take a scenic stroll to Broadway Tower for spectacular soaring views across the Evesham Vale into Wales.

And to go with it: Guests at Dormy House can look forward to Veuve Clicquot's Fizzy Hamper, prepared and presented in a wicker hamper (or a walking-friendly rucksack). Dormy delights include smoked fish, charcuterie, breads and chutney, seasonal quiche and salad, fresh pasties, scones, homemade jam, chef's cookies and seasonal fruit. There's even a chilled bottle of Veuve Clicquot champagne included. The Fizzy Hamper costs £85 for two. Stay overnight at Dormy House from £230 per room (two sharing) including full English breakfast.


Yarmer Sands, Thurlestone, Devon

The stunning South West Coast Path has rugged cliffs, old smugglers' haunts and secluded coves galore, but this small stretch with its fine sand and shallow water – perfect for paddling – is the best pick.

And to go with it: Indulge, between bathing and sandcastle making, with a hamper from Thurlestone Hotel , packed with local seafood specialities and, including home-baked Thurlestone ham, south Devon crab, soused mackerel with rhubarb and apple relish, West Country cheeses, home-made cakes and juices. The hamper costs from £38 for two. Stay overnight at Thurlestone Hotel from £280 per room (two sharing) including full English breakfast.


St James' Park, London

Escape the hustle and bustle of the capital and picnic on the grass in this picturesque royal park. From the central lake – home to a colony of pelicans (a gift from a Russian Ambassador in 1664) – you'll glimpse tree-framed views of Buckingham Palace.

And to go with it: The Goring's Luxury Hamper (prepared by executive chef Shay Cooper) is the perfect picnic companion. Inside, you'll find decadent delights such as oscietra caviar, Frank Hederman beech smoked salmon, Hereford beef and horseradish brioche rolls, an array of fine wines and Bollinger Champagne. The other picknickers in St James's Park will be looking on with wide-eyed envy. The Luxury Hamper costs £400 for two. Stay overnight at The Goring from £450 per room (two sharing).


Clach Thoull, Port Appin, Scottish Highlands

Follow the path to the end of the headland at Clach Thoull, and you'll find a perfectly-positioned bench from which to soak up the calming views across Loch Linnhe towards the isle of Lismore and the Morvern mountains beyond – watch for sailing boats, basking seals and foraging otters.

And to go with it: There are plenty of tempting local and homemade treats in The Airds' hamper. Choose from a range of sandwiches (cucumber, Scottish beef and horseradish, local Inverawe smoked salmon, and Isle of Mull cheese and chutney), homemade fruit cake and shortbread, vegetables crisps, fruit and a flask of tea or coffee. The homemade hamper costs from £30 for two. Stay overnight at The Airds from £295 per room (two sharing) including dinner and full Scottish breakfast.


River Stour, Dedham, Essex

The rolling farmland, meadows and ancient woodlands on the banks of the River Stour have inspired artists for centuries – in fact, the picturesque landscapes feature in many of John Constable's masterpieces. Take in the traditional English lowland landscape from your rowing boat while gliding from Dedham Mill to Flatford – it's an idyllic stretch of river for a picnic in the heart of Constable Country.

And to go with it: Maison Talbooth's hamper includes a selection of cold meats, cheeses, seasonal salads, juicy local strawberries and, most importantly, a bottle of Taittinger champagne. The hamper costs £100 for two. Stay overnight at Maison Talboothfrom £210 per room (two sharing) including full English breakfast.


Whitestone Woods, West Hoathly, Sussex

There's a particular spot on the High Weald Landscape Trail by Whitestone Woods which gives you splendid valley views towards Gravetye Estate and the North Downs. Take the footpath by The Cat Inn through woods and uphill to the open field beyond.

And to go with it: Bursting with fresh, seasonal produce, Gravetye Manor's picnic includes fruit and vegetables harvested from the hotel's own kitchen garden. Inside, picnickers will also find yummy sandwiches, homemade cake and a bottle of Nyetimber Classic Cuvée or Bluebell Sparkling English Wine from nearby vineyards. If carrying your own picnic is too tiresome, Gravetye Manor's Outdoor Butler is on hand to set it up for you. The picnic costs £80 for two. Stay overnight at Gravetye Manorfrom £250 per room (two sharing) including full English breakfast.