It’s June which means summer is here and it’s the perfect time for enjoying the great outdoors and some amazing seasonal flavours. Lucky then that National Picnic Week is taking place from 15th to 21st June!

National Picnic Week is an annual event which aims to provide tips, hotspots and a host of other picnic related information to help the nation get out into the fresh air and embrace this quintessential British pastime.

We’re lucky here in Sidmouth to have so many beautiful locations we can lounge in the sun and dine alfresco, from the amazing parks and gardens in and around the town to the Natural Landscape (formerly known as AONB) and the beach to host the perfect picnic.

Feeling the urge to grab a blanket and a basket full of tasty treats? Here are our top suggestions for a picnic location.

Whitecross Picnic Site

The clue is in the name! You can find Whitecross Picnic Site at the end of the East Hill Strips, it’s within an area of woodland with wonderful views across East Devon and with purpose-built benches if you don’t want to bring a blanket.

Connaught Gardens

Right in the centre of town and located above Jacobs Ladder Beach, Connaught Garden is full of seasonal plants and during the summer, you can enjoy the sounds of the town band while you soak in the atmosphere.

Blackmore Gardens

Another of Sidmouth’s central gardens, this is a peaceful place to hide away from the bustle of the town centre.

Knapp Copse Local Nature Reserve

This beautiful stretch of wilderness has lots of lovely spots for stopping for a picnic and as part of the Natural Landscape (AONB) you’ll find plenty to inspire you.

Sidmouth Town Beach

The beach is always a lovely place for a picnic, there’s something about the sound of the waves lapping against the shore and the experience of shielding your sandwiches from the seagulls. It can get pretty busy on the beach during the summer months, but it is still one of our favourite places for a picnic.

With those suggestions in mind, let’s get on to the picnic itself. According to the British School of Excellence, there are some rules surrounding picnic etiquette.

Firstly – if you are getting together and have been invited to a picnic, be sure to mention any food allergies at the time of invite, not on arrival. Also check if you should bring something, no one wants left overs or for there not to be enough to go around!

Next – choose your spot carefully, you want a nice mix of shade and sunshine and you want to be a polite distance from others, so everyone can enjoy the space.

Make sure to take one serving at a time, it is rude to pile things onto your plate while others are picking.

Avoid food that is unnecessarily messy to eat or particularly pungent.

Keep your feet away from the food at all costs and never put your shoes on a rug!

Always take your leftovers and rubbish away with you when you’re finished and make sure to leave the area as you find it.

Finally, all that is left to do is suggest some top spots for grabbing tasty treats for dining al fresco. East Devon is full of local produce that really show off those summer flavours.

  • Rabbit&Co
  • Sidmouth Gin
  • Arches Beach Café
  • The Bagel Shop
  • The Dairy Shop
  • Waves Beach Kiosk
  • The Courtyard