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The UK's most accessible picnic locations

21st June 2019

A picnic is an inexpensive way to spend an afternoon, but if you use a stair lift in your home to help with low mobility, you may be wondering what spots across the UK are accessible to you. Spending time out in nature can be incredibly beneficial, and one of the simplest ways to relax in the great outdoors is by arranging a picnic. Alfresco dining whilst tucking into a few of your favourite dishes not only is a lovely way to spend time with your partner but can be a fun-filled activity that your grandchildren will be sure to love too.

From northern National Trust properties and country parks to riverside locations with breathtaking vistas, discover some of the most accessible picnic locations that you should visit this summer.

Blenheim Palace

Danielle from the luxury blanket brand Tolly McRae loves heading out for a picnic during the summer. We asked what her favourite location was, and she shared this with us: “My favourite location to picnic is Blenheim Palace which is really close to where Tolly McRae is based in Oxfordshire. It’s absolutely beautiful and has lots of different areas so you can choose where to picnic according to what’s best for you, from majestic manicured lawns, to meadows, the lakeside or the pleasure gardens which have the famous maze, mini golf and an adventure playground (ideal for families). The palace, park and grounds at Blenheim have great facilities so there’s always somewhere close by when nature calls, a great shop to browse and a few cafés / dining choices too.

“My picnic rug is my must-take item for any picnic. It’s one of the very first ones Tolly McRae produced and 5 years and numerous outings later, it’s still going strong. The rug is plenty big enough for all the family to sit on and serves as a base if we want to drop the food and then have a little wander or go play a game. The best thing is that it’s pure wool so if it gets chilly or windy, we can sit on a bench and use it to cover our knees too.”

When speaking about her favourite picnic foods, we asked Sam from Devon Haven who can’t help but long for a Devonshire cream tea whilst having a picnic: “We don't think that fresh scones, fruity jam and thick clotted cream can be beaten!”

Rosliston Forestry Centre

Situated in The National Forest, the Rosliston Forestry Centre is perfect if you’re looking for an accessible picnic location in Derbyshire. Spanning across 200 miles, the forest boasts a variety of different walks for you to enjoy, in addition to a number of spots that are fantastic for picnics. In addition to The National Forest, there is also a forestry centre, where you can find activities for people of all ages, as well as a falconry centre and fishing lake.

If you’re planning a picnic, the centre and National Forest is a great place to do so, with picnic tables located across the site. Additionally, in the Sensory Garden, barbeques are permitted if pre-booked. Danielle shared this piece of advice for those who are planning a picnic this summer: “At the moment I’d say to check the weather and prepare accordingly to make sure you’re not going to get too hot, sunburnt or cold and wet. Take plenty of sunscreen, plenty of water, and lots of layers so you can add/take off as needed. Foodwise, I’d say invest in some cool packs and a good cooler, so the picnic stays fresh and edible, and always take a spare bag to put the rubbish in.”

Roliston Forestry Centre has been designed with accessibility in mind. Not only does it offer free parking for disabled blue badge holders, but many of the routes available are wheelchair friendly. If you’re visiting the forestry centre, both mobility scooters and wheelchairs are available, although a voluntary contribution is asked.

In addition to an accessible playground, Roliston Forestry Centre also has a disabled toilet with a shower and an adult changing bed and accommodation which has been specially designed for wheelchair users. 

Scarborough Seafront

There’s nothing quite like a day at the beach, snacking on a sandwich or a delicious cake baked at home. Fortunately, Scarborough Seafront is a great place to do this, with the Yorkshire town offering so much to do whilst here. Miles of golden sands and ample parking make this a good spot for those with low mobility, however, there are no picnic tables here, so a blanket and beach chair would be necessary for those who have trouble sitting on the floor.

Scarborough Seafront has been awarded five stars for accessibility thanks to the three and a half miles of flat promenade that runs alongside the beach. In order to gain access to the sand, there is ramp access which is a great option for those in a wheelchair. Plus, a Changing Place can provide you with peace of mind throughout the day.

Newquay Zoo

If you’re planning a day trip with your family, then Newquay Zoo is an ideal option. Most of the park’s paths are wheelchair and pushchair accessible, although some won’t be manageable for those in a manual wheelchair. Despite this, the majority of the zoo’s 13 acres are easy to manoeuvre around, bringing you up close and personal with the animals, with an accessibility map available to offer you guidance.

This is a great picnic spot, with benches situated throughout the park. If you’re visiting with children, enjoy your lunch near the play area, as disabled toilets are located nearby, as well as at the front of the zoo. Newquay Zoo also has a Changing Place open to visitors, with a hoist system and changing bench.

There are disabled parking spaces available at the zoo, however, you will need to register with Cornwall Council if you plan to use these. For those who are in need of a wheelchair, these can be prearranged with Independent Living Newquay, who offer both manual and electric scooters.

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.