Five Perfect Picnic Spots in the Lake District
16th April 2015
5 favourite picnic spots. Some of them are a short hop from the car whereas others require a bit of a walk, but all of them are worth a visit.
It should go without saying, always take all your rubbish home with you, even fruit peel, and don’t light BBQs on the ground, build bonfires or do anything else which might damage the environment.
This can be a short or a long walk depending on what sort of mood you’re in.
If you want to make a day of it take the steamer from Glenridding all the way to Pooley Bridge and follow the lakeside footpath back to Howtown. It’s a fair old walk but stunning views the whole way.
If you’re not in the mood for a long hike then simply take the steamer to Howtown. Follow the lakeside path towards Glenridding and at the top of the steps turn right.
If someone else has nabbed the bench ahead of you then fear not – you have 2 options still open to you.
Option 1 – return along the footpath, keep going past the top of the steps and grab the second bench you see OR if you’ve packed a picnic rug (or have a jacket handy) you can take a wander up the flanks of Halin Fell and find yourself a nice little spot on the grass, just be sure to keep an eye on any boiled eggs or tomatoes lest they take flight and roll away down the hill.
Perfect picnic spot just behind a tree and with some of the best views in the Lake District.
Don’t let the “Skelghyll Lane” name fool you; these days it’s a rather lovely old farm track winding around the bottom of Wansfell and is also part of the old Roman Road which leads up and over High Street to Penrith.
This pretty little spot is a relatively gentle hike from Town End where you’ll find a couple of laybys for parking, or a slightly steeper hike from Ambleside. From either direction it’s only about a mile and for the views you get over Windermere it’s well worth the effort.
There are no benches here so be sure to take a rug if you don’t like sitting on rocks or grass.
As it’s such a short walk from Ambleside it makes for a perfect summer evening picnic. You can watch the sun begin to set over the fells and still be back in town within half an hour or so before it gets dark.
Fell Foot Park
If a hike and a picnic rug isn’t your idea of a picnic then how about a proper park with picnic benches, toilets and a cafe? Fell Foot Park is on the most southerly point of Windermere and is owned by the National Trust. There’s a large pay & display car park though if you’re a member it’s free.
This place gets very busy during the summer months but at around 5pm it empties and you can often have the place to yourself. There are toilets, plenty of places to sit and, if you visit during the day, some attractions for the kids (details will be on their website). It’s also a popular place for taking a dip in the lake though remember this is still open water and boats etc. will be passing through.
Walna Scar Road Car Park
The car park is along a steep single track road on the hills just to the south of Coniston. It’s free to park but can get busy with hikers.
Beyond the car park the broad track continues and there are many lovely open grassy spots where you can set up a decent picnic and enjoy views down over Coniston Water.
Because it’s higher up and rather exposed it will generally be a little breezier here than in the picnic spots on the lake shore.
This one is a bit of a steep walk.
Head to the northern end of Thirlmere and take the road across the dam. There you’ll find a small car park. Look up and you’ll see Raven Crag looming above you.
Follow the road away from the lake. You’ll soon find a signed footpath leading up into the forest, it rises steeply. When you reach the broad track at the top, double back on yourself up onto the crag and keep going until you see 1 of the best views in the Lake District for such a short walk. Despite its lofty status there is a broad, flat, grassy area protected from most of the wind and absolutely perfect for a picnic.
So there you have it, five lovely picnic spots in the Lake District.
All we need now is a long hot summer!
Courtesy of ‘Cumbria Rambler’.