A warm summers day in Bath deserves a picnic. Kicking off your shoes, wriggling your toes in the grass, munching on delicious treats and talking the hours away is the perfect picnic picture. In honour of ‘National Picnic Week’, we have a few picnic hot spots to share, all in and around the city centre.
Parade Gardens provide the perfect spot to sit by the river looking out over the weir. The formal gardens add a touch of occasion, with beautifully maintained floral displays and large trees shading the edge of the lawns. There are plenty of benches and deck chairs, with lots of people having large family picnics on the lawns. Visitors have to pay a small fee to enter the gardens, but it is worth the investment.
From east to west Victoria Park comes alive on summer evenings, stretching from the front of the Royal Crescent across to the Botanic Garden. People end up scattered all over the lawns; some playing music, others kicking a ball about and groups of friends having barbecues. With the right weather conditions the open lawn next to the Botanic Garden is also a launch location of the local hot air balloons, which means you can spend the early evening relaxing whilst watching the balloons inflate and then gently float away.
Alexandra Park is another of our favourite locations for long summer afternoons. The view across Bath is great, allowing you to see the evening hot air balloons take off from Victoria Park and float across Bath. The centre of the park has a large area to stretch out in, where all you can see is sky and tree tops. There is also a play area for the children, a café for last minute supplies and public toilets that are open during day light hours.
For the quiet and secluded picnic there is a solitary bench and an open area of grass that shares a view with Bath’s Sham Castle. As the name suggests, it is not a real castle but a folly, so it is a public space and free to use. Sham Castle sits alongside the Bath Golf Course and it is conveniently a stop on the skyline bus tour. If you walk up the hill the view is worth the effort, and after your picnic you can continue to walk along the Skyline walk.
For the metropolitan speedy picnic Queen Square is right in the heart of Bath, surrounded by city life and often the focus of festivals and events. It is a great place for a lunch time pit stop, perched on a bench eating whatever delicacy you have manage to forage in Bath’s delicatessens or sandwich bars.
The ultimate picturesque picnic can be found at Prior Park, a historic landscape garden owned by the National Trust. Unless you are a member you will need to pay entry, but a picnic will extend your stay and optimise the value. Our favourite spot is at the bottom of the valley, where there is a sunny lawn by the lake that looks across to the bridge. There is also a café that serves tasty cakes and sandwiches for impromptu picnics.