22 June 2024

Top 5 Picnic Spots In The Lakes

Explore Your World

In Carlisle, we're so lucky to live so close to the Lake District National Park, but how many of us really make the most of it? We're guilty ourselves of not spending as much time in The Lakes as we should, so we’ve put together a list of the Top 5 Picnic Spots around Cumbria to help get us out and about more. So, gather the troops and pack your favourite picnic treats – we’re going on an adventure!

1. St Bees Beach, St Bees

St Bees Beach

On the edge of the beautiful Lake District, along the West Cumbrian coast, lies one of our favourite picnic spots. At St Bees Beach the sand stretches as far as the eye can see, and if you've chosen a good day, you should see the silhouette of the Isle of Man, right across the Irish Sea. A popular spot with both tourists and locals, this beach gets busy in the summer months, with walkers enjoying challenging routes over the cliffs to Fleswick Bay and on to Whitehaven, 4-miles north of the beach. For all the keen cyclists and walkers out there, you will have already heard of St Bees Beach, as it marks the starting point for the world-famous Alfred Wainwright’s Coast to Coast. 190-miles from St Bees to Robin Hood’s Bay in Yorkshire.

If you live in Carlisle but don’t fancy driving, why not get the kids onto the train from Carlisle City Centre to St Bees? It will take around an hour and a half to get there, and the beach is a short 15-minute walk from the station. Head down Station Road, then onto Beach Road and you'll smell the sea air as you meander through the village. As you reach the beach, you’ll probably come across a HUGE queue for the ice cream shop too! Hartley’s ice cream, no less! 

2. Castlerigg Stone Circle, Keswick

Castlerigg Stone Circle

Fancy some history with your picnic? Well this is certainly the place for you. Dating back to around 3000 BC and raised during the Neolithic period, it is believed that Castlerigg is one of Britain’s oldest stone circles. It is made up of 38 free standing stones, some standing up to 3-metres high. Take your picnic and enjoy panoramic views of the fells, including Helvellyn and High Seat. The perfect backdrop to enjoy a bite to eat.

Found not far from the A66, Castlerigg Stone Circle is easy to get to. There is car parking facilities at Castlerigg, however, they are limited. So it might be worth parking in Keswick and embarking on the 1.5 mile walk to get there.

3. Glencoyne Bay, Ullswater

Glencoyne Bay

Long, warm, sunny days make for perfect picnic weather, and Glencoyne Bay on Ullswater is another one of our favourite places to enjoy the best of summer. Glencoyn Bay is a small pebble beach on the shores of Lake Ullswater that gives you the perfect opportunity to soak up all of the dramatic scenery that Ullswater has to offer. Roll out the picnic blanket and sit back for a relaxing afternoon in the summer sunshine, listening to the sounds of nature. It really is the perfect spot for a picnic, a BBQ or even a paddle. The kids will love skimming stones across the water and may even be tempted to dip their toe in the water, but please don’t go too far out, the water gets very deep, very quickly. Whether it's the bright daffodils or the beautiful purple woodland geranium and the pink purslane flowers, there is always something new to see at Glencoyne Bay whatever the season!

Glencoyn Bay is around a 1-mile walk from the quaint village of Glenridding, which takes you alongside Ullswater. There is also a National Trust pay and display car park at the Bay for those who don't fancy the stroll.

4. Loweswater Lake, Loweswater

Loweswater Lake

One of the quieter locations in this list, is the shores of Loweswater Lake. It sits on the far west of the Lake District in the Vale of Lorton. A peaceful lake ringed by quiet fells and unspoilt woodland, a real undiscovered gem. Hardly anyone seems to make the trip to Loweswater, despite it being only a couple of miles from the much more popular Buttermere.

It’s a great place for all of the family to visit, with some great walking routes, and the chance to spot some red squirrels nestling in the coniferous trees around the water’s edge. One of the best walking routes is to park up at Fangs Brow and follow the public bridleway signs. Here you'll find a beautiful linear walk, with pit stop benches along the way, to enjoy the stunning scenery and whatever’s left in the picnic basket! At the highest point, on a clear day, you may even be able to spot the Isle of Man in the distance!

5. Penny Rock Beach, Grasmere

Penny Rock Beach

This spot is a fabulous place to spend some quality time outdoors when the sun is shining. Penny Rock Beach on the shores of Grasmere Lake, provides a clean gravel beach and superb views, making it a great place for a picnic. There is a lot to entertain the kids with, like paddling in the lake, seeing the ducks or maybe even make a leaf boat! It’s only a short walk from Grasmere Village to Penny Rock Beach, making it easily accessible.

While you're in Grasmere, why not head to the Grasmere Gingerbread Shop and sample some of their world-famous gingerbread. It’s a hybrid, somewhere in the middle of a cake and a biscuit, and is melt in the mouth delicious!

There really isn’t anything that compares to a picnic in the great outdoors, sandwiches ALWAYS taste better, your appetite is ALWAYS bigger and you never feel quite as guilty about that extra slice of cake! Summer is a beautiful time in Cumbria, the changing colours, the glorious sounds and beautiful scenery that surrounds us. So, dig out that picnic hamper, and go and explore your world.

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