Picnic table by forest path

Stunning picnic spots near you in the North East

Slap on the suncream and ready the hamper, British summertime is calling. Here are the perfect spots for a socially distanced picnic in the North East of England this summer.

Ancient Woodland near Wooler

1. Wooler Common and Woodland Park, Northumberland

Munch on your sandwich in lands that were raided by marauding Scots between the fourteenth and sixteenth century. Both picturesque and educational, a visit to this mixture of mature woodland and open common is truly unforgettable.    

2. Simonside, Northumberland

This picnic location is known for its rugged beauty and awesome adventures. A 430m climb after lunch will reward you with panoramic views, revealing the whole Northumbrian coastline. This is a skyline that even your imagination can’t match.

View from Simonside Hill, Rothbury, Northumberland
Forests of Rothbury 3 Simonside
Mark Savage

3. Hepburn Wood, Northumberland

Work up an appetite by exploring the walking trails of this lesser-known nature spot. Sweeping vistas and tranquil landscapes await you. Try to spot the prehistoric features whenever you pause for a scotch egg break.

New to our forests? Check out the Forest Code.

4. Thrunton Wood, Northumberland

Straight out of the pages of a fairy tale. Follow winding trails through majestic trees and open moorland before discovering a perfect place to perch. Enjoy your lunch as the sun beams down upon the surrounding lofty crags.  

View of Cheviots from Thrunton Woods red walking trail, Rothbury
Holystone Woods, Rothbury

5. Holystone Wood, Northumberland

Feeling hungry? Satisfy your cravings for delicious picnic food and tranquil treescapes in the former grounds of a twelfth century nunnery. Often a quiet and secluded spot, you may see more wildlife than you do people!

Pssst… you're stepping into someone else's kitchen! Please remember that the nation's forests are home to a vast array of local wildlife. Take your picnic rubbish home with you so they aren't in danger from it.

6. Hindhope Linn, Northumberland

Don’t go chasing waterfalls, unless they’re located in this outstanding spot at the northern end of Kielder Forest Drive. This is a picnic destination that ticks all the boxes. Views? Check. Valleys? Check. Very likely that you’ll get wet? Check.

Hindhope Linn Kielder Forest
Kielder Castle

7. Kielder Castle, Northumberland

There’s never a dull moment at this popular picnic site. Make a day of it by exploring the nearby maze and lakeside walk. Remember to keep your eyes to the skies, as sightings of Northumberland’s only breeding osprey population are common here.

8. Warksburn, Northumberland

This atmospheric picnic spot is overlooked by two famous Totem Poles which have been standing for 50 years. Still undecided whether this is the ideal place for you to nibble on lunch? The pre-Roman earthworks and rumoured local gold deposits just might sway you.

Family sat on a picnic bench enjoying a picnic

You are welcome to hire our barbecues where you can, but to prevent forest fires and reduce waste, please do not bring any other barbecues into our forests.

Chopwell Wood bench under trees

9. Chopwell Wood, Gateshead

Boredom doesn’t exist when there’s 360 hectares of landscape to explore. Pause to take a rest on picnic tables that are scattered throughout this mesmerising mixed woodland. Bring along good food and good company… we’ll take care of the rest.

10. Hamsterley Forest, County Durham

This forest is as full to the brim with trees as your belly will be with sandwiches. After you’ve admired the woodlands sprawled along the sides of the sheltered valley, get stuck in to all the amazing activities on offer.

Waterfall under a bridge
Guisborough North York Moors
Photo credit: Isobel Cameron

11. Guisborough Forest, North Yorkshire

Family holiday cancelled? Visit Guisborough for a fun-filled daytrip and delicious picnic instead. Stepping into this woodland is like stepping off a plane. Sun is not guaranteed, but escapism and relaxation are.

12. Sneaton Forest, North Yorkshire

Charming and serene. The adjectives to describe the stunning steep valleys lined with conifers and broadleaves are endless. The Falling Foss waterfall and boulder from the 1700s also make for a stunning addition to your picnic backdrop.

Sneaton Forest trees

Snap your snacks! Share your picnic photos on FacebookInstagram or Twitter. Remember to tag us and use #ForestFocus.

Broxa Wood

13. Broxa, North Yorkshire

Location can make or break a picnic. From seeing the unusual tree species that call this place home, to listening out for the summer wildlife, this forest truly is a feast for the senses. Speaking of feasts, have you packed the picnic basket yet?

14. Dalby Forest, North Yorkshire

Whether you love solo picnic adventures or group lunches, this nature-rich outdoor space will serve you well. From glacial valleys in the south, to upland plateaus in the north, there are memories to be made in this unique landscape of epic proportions.

Dalby Forest sunrise through the trees
Dale Sutherland-Roberts
Sun beams through trees

15. Allerthorpe Wood, North Yorkshire

Grub’s up! Bring along a baguette as you bask in the sun like the adders at Allerthorpe. The flat terrain is perfect for a low-intensity stroll, a lovely leisurely activity for after you’ve eaten.  

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