7 places for the perfect picnic in Dorset

Durdle Door Beach

View of the iconic Durdle Door, an impressive limestone arch along Dorset's Jurassic Coast - Credit: Wojtek Skora/iStock / Getty Images Plus

It's time to break out the ice packs and picnic blankets. From March 8th, you will be able to have picnics in outdoor spaces with anyone in your household or with someone from another household on a one-to-one basis. 

Make sure to follow all government guidelines, such as staying local and practising social distancing, to minimise the spread of coronavirus. Some locations mentioned are currently closed but will re-open to the public shortly.

Bennetts Water Gardens

The Waterlily Pond at Bennetts Water Gardens in Weymouth, Dorset

The Waterlily Pond at Bennetts Water Gardens in Weymouth, Dorset - Credit: Bennetts Water Gardens

Travelling to the famous Water Gardens in France, where Monet painted his stunning water lilies pond series, is out of the question at the moment. Luckily, Bennetts Water Gardens is home to a replica Japanese Bridge that stretches over a pond filled with water lilies. So, if you're a Monet fan, this is the ultimate picnic location.

Bennetts Water Gardens is looking to reopen on the 22nd of March. 

Highcliffe Castle 

A view of Highcliffe Castle in the morning sun.

A view of Highcliffe Castle in the morning sun. - Credit: SamCastro/iStock / Getty Images Plus

A stunning example of Romantic architecture, this 19th century-built Castle and its beautiful grounds are an ideal location for a spot of picnicking.  With free entry to the grounds and The Castle Kitchen providing take away tea, coffee, snacks and sweet treats, this is a picnic that requires minimal preparation. 

Black Down Hill & The Hardy Monument  

The Hardy Monument stands atop a hill with a carpet of Bluebells

The Hardy Monument stands atop a hill with a carpet of Bluebells. - Credit: Chris Downer/Geograph

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Black Down is a hill on the Purbeck Ridge, a natural formation made of chalk. The treeless summit is a popular viewing point and houses the Hardy Monument. This 72ft high structure was built in tribute to Sir Thomas Hardy, who was a commander during the Battle of Trafalgar. On a clear day, the view from Black Down stretches for miles with Chesil Beach and the Dorset downs observable. 

The Cobb in Lyme Regis  

The Cobb, Lyme Regis

The Cobb, Lyme Regis - Credit: Terry Ife

This location is for all the Jane Austen fans who will no doubt recognise this location from Persuasion. While it’s not recommended to frolic around like Louisa Musgrove, who jumps down the steps and gets a concussion, The Cobb has magnificent views of Lyme Bay and the English Channel. 

Hambledon Hill   

Rolling chalk hills rise over agricultural fields and pasture in North Dorset's Blackmore Vale, the

Rolling chalk hills rise over agricultural fields and pasture in North Dorset's Blackmore Vale, the area of the Stour Valley known to Thomas Hardy as the "vale of the little dairies". - Credit: JoeDunckley/iStock / Getty Images Plusdon Hill

A picnic atop the prehistoric hillfort of Hambledon Hill will give you the most stunning views of the Blackmore Vale bellow. Moreover, as this iron age fort is also a National Nature Reserve, there will be plenty of flowers to enjoy from Spring through Summer, and the hills tend to come alive with a diverse range of butterfly species around this time too.

Durdle Door 

Durdle Door Beach

View of the iconic Durdle Door, an impressive limestone arch along Dorset's Jurassic Coast - Credit: Wojtek Skora/iStock / Getty Images Plus

This famous location along the stunning Jurassic Coast is often voted the best picnic spot in the country, so it is quite likely that many people will travel down to this beach to marvel at the natural limestone arch when lockdown fully lifts. So, with Spring just around the corner and the weather sure to start warming up, now is the opportune time to picnic at Durdle Door before it becomes one of the hottest tourist spots in the country again. 

Corfe Castle  

Ruins of Corfe Castle, Dorset, England. A very popular tourist destination

Ruins of Corfe Castle, Dorset, England. A very popular tourist destination - Credit: capdesign/iStock / Getty Images Plus

If you’re a history buff, why not take a spot of lunch in the shadow of the dramatic ruin of Corfe Castle that was built by William the Conqueror in the 11th Century.  

Views of the Castle ruins are best appreciated from either the East Hill or the grounds around the Castle itself. The National Trust owns the Castle, so charges to visit will apply if you are not a member, but the view is well worth a visit. 

Hive Beach 

A view of Hive Beach and the Seaside Boarding House in Burton Bradstock, Dorset 

A view of Hive Beach and the Seaside Boarding House in Burton Bradstock, Dorset - Credit: Richard Green/Geograph

Dramatic cliff edges and a gloriously sandy beach makes this location practically perfect for a delicious picnic and perhaps an afternoon dip in the sea. 

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