We live on the cusp of the Cotswolds and it is an area which is really worthy of its title of an area of outstanding natural beauty. Encompassing five counties; Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Wiltshire, the area is named after the Cotswold Hills which are the central feature.
As a landscape, the Cotswolds is as stunning as it is diverse with ancient villages nestled amongst the rich countryside. Each village has buildings and dry stone walls made from the limestone bricks that are characteristic of the area.
I never take living on the doorstep of such a wonderful area for granted and with many walks to do and places to explore, there is always something new to discover.
When it comes to picnics, the Cotswolds offer endless places to enjoy a relaxing meal with a view. I love a family picnic, there is something really magical about settling down on a blanket with great food and drink and even better company. If you are looking for some new picnic gear this summer, look no further than Wayfair as they have an incredible range of absolutely everything you would need for the perfect picnic with something to suit every budget.
This summer we have a new picnic cool box to take on our summer holiday picnics courtesy of Wayfair and it is the best thing ever. The Cricket Cooler is a 33-litre cool box but it is so much more. It is a good sized cool box, suitable for families with hungry kids and it also doubles as a cricket wicket. A great asset if like me, you have boys who bore easily. The rotating stumps are dual action, they can be used as a cricket stump and as a handle to transport the cool box as it also has rubber wheels. The box has a really sturdy lid which makes a perfect seat, as my daughter discovered and it also comes with its own bottle opener integrated into the side and also has a drainage tap at the base. How cool is that?
So where will we be taking our new coolbox this summer? Here is my top ten picnic spots in the Cotswolds.
The village of Broadway is a popular one with tourists and with it’s quaint selection of shops and a fantastic park, it is easy to see why. Our favourite spot, however, is Broadway Tower. The tower overlooks the village from the top of Broadway Hill and the view from the bottom and top of the tower are spectacular. There is lots of space around the tower to set up for a picnic and if you are lucky, the local herd of red deer might be wandering around too.
There is charge to climb Broadway Tower but you can find out a lot more about the history of the tower and also see which counties you can see in the distance from the top. You don’t have to climb up, the views from outside the tower are incredible and there are lots of places to set up for a picnic.
Bourton on the Water
Bourton on the Water is one of my favourite places to visit and I am so lucky that it is only a 30 minute drive from our home. The village is stunning and the shallow River Windrush gently runs alongside the main road making it one of the prettiest places in the area and also a great place to relax and unwind with a picnic.
There are lots of great family activities to do in Bourton on the Water too once you have finished your lunch. Get lost in the Dragon Fly Maze, visit Birdland Park and Gardens or the Cotswold Motor Museum which is where you will find Brum from the Ragdoll series (if you are old enough to remember him).
Copyright: phil_bird / 123RF Stock Photo
If you are in or around the regency town of Cheltenham, Leckhampton Hill is the place to go to get the best possible views of the area. From here, you can get a breathtaking view of Cheltenham and the surrounding Cotswolds and it is worth the climb.
Copyright: chrisatpps / 123RF Stock Photo
Birthplace and ancestral home of Sir Winston Churchill, Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire is as impressive as it’s history. Now the residence of the Duke of Malborough, Blenheim is a World Heritage Site and a hugely popular tourist attraction inside and out. The palace and gardens are fascinating to explore and when you have walked in Churchill’s footsteps, the gardens make the perfect place to stop and enjoy a leisurely picnic lunch.
There is a charge for entry into Blenheim Palace but it is well worth spending a day there as there is so much to see and do while you are there.
Pitville Park, Cheltenham
Cheltenham has many examples of Regency architecture but one of the most famous and eye-catching of them is Pitville Pump Rooms. Sadly the Pump Rooms are not open but around this impressive building is a lovely green space, perfect for picnics and play and not far from a lake and an impressive park which was refurbished a short time ago.
Hidcote Manor Garden, Chipping Camden
A popular National Trust property in Gloucestershire, Hidcote Manor is a wonderful place to take the children as the gardens are a beautiful landscape where children can run, explore, hide and generally enjoy the great outdoors. The viewas are also amazing and there are lots of shady spots with a view, perfect for a family picnic.
White Horse Hill, Uffington
The chalk horse cut into the White Horse Hill in Uffington, Oxfordshire, is a well-known landmark dating back to the Bronze Age and it has fascinated passers-by and tourists for many years. With an iconic view like this, why not take time to take it all in with a family picnic. With lots of other interesting places to visit nearby, this is a truly fascinating place to spend a day. And the sight of this mysterious creature never, ever gets old.
By USGS (World Wind (go)) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Those are a few of our top spots for a picnic in the Cotswolds, some you can stay just for the picnic whereas some are worthy of a day or two. There are other places too such as the Forest of Dean where there are endless walks, trails, cycling and lots to explore with some fantastic picnic areas. We haven’t been there very much at all, but definitely, plan to this summer. The Cotswold Water Park is another place that as yet has eluded us but with miles of lakes and even a man-made beach, many people have recommended it. Also worth a mention are Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park and The Cotswold Wildlife Park, both great family days out and very picnic-friendly.
This post is in collaboration with Wayfair