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Be inspired every day with Living North
Places to go
March 2021
Reading time 5 minutes

As we begin the roadmap out of lockdown, outdoor meet ups are back on our weekly agendas

Whilst the Stay at Home message is still in full force, from today (8 March) we’re allowed to leave our homes for recreation outdoors with one other – and, finally, it doesn’t have to be for exercise. If, like us, you’re packing your picnics and heading out for fun, we’ve got inspo for some of the best picnic spots – and it doesn’t always have to be the park. We’re sticking local for now, but adding some further afield to our summer wish list. Blankets and baskets at the ready.

Bolam Lake Country Park, Belsay
Tie your feast in with a woodland walk around the lake before settling on the pier.

Saltwell Park, Gateshead
Ideal for families, this popular Victorian park often has a bouncy castle or train rides. Although it’s a busy spot there are plenty of benches and grassy areas to spread out on.

Embleton Bay, Northumberland
A stunning seaside spot for your picnic. Pop open the prosecco with Dunstanburgh Castle as your backdrop – just think of the Instagrams.

Rosebury Topping, North York Moors
Prefer to work off your sausage rolls? Climb up Rosebury Topping and reap the rewards of a fabulous view.

Allen Banks and Staward Gorge, Bardon Mill
There are ample spaces to stop for lunch around this pretty woodland walk to Plankey Mill, with the opportunity to paddle in the river too.

Jesmond Dene, Newcastle
Pack a picnic and tackle the steep bank down to the base of Jesmond Dene, then relax. Just be aware you’ll have to walk back up to get out before you reach for that last Scotch egg.

King Edward’s Bay, Tynemouth
This small sandy bay, enclosed by cliffs and grassy banks, is a sheltered spot to sit fireside with a picnic.

Little Church Rock, Simonside Hills
There’s nothing better than the reward of a picnic after a challenging climb. The views from the top make for a pretty setting too.

Souter Lighthouse, South Tyneside
Another picnic where you can enjoy a brisk walk first to get your appetite going. Kick off your stroll in South Shields then make your way along the seafront.

Cawfields Quarry, Hadrian’s Wall
Parking, picnic benched, public toilets and a pretty good view too. This picnic stop is as practical as it is impressive.  

Hethpool Linn, College Valley
Unless you’re lucky enough to live in such a stunning setting, this is one for the post-lockdown list. Pretty inaccessible and a long car drive from almost everywhere, Northumberland’s achingly beautiful College Valley is a sure bet for a picnic away from the crowds.

Fountains Abbey, Ripon
For a picnic with a side of history, set yourself up on the grass at the foot of the Abbey, or enjoy a stroll through Studley Royal Water Garden.

Brimham Rocks, Harrogate
Perch on a picnic bench and enjoy your sandwiches after a stroll and clamber over the rocks. The kids will love this spot.

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