7 places for the perfect picnic in Dorset
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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
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.
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
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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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.