Six best picnic spots in York

Get that wicker basket out… an extract from The Picnic by Thomas Cole. Image: Wikipedia

Get that wicker basket out… an extract from The Picnic by Thomas Cole. Image: Wikipedia
Get that wicker basket out… an extract from The Picnic by Thomas Cole. Image: Wikipedia
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The love of open air dining is embedded deep in the British psyche and nothing can stand in the way of the great British picnic. Drizzle, sunstroke, damp bums, soggy sandwiches, and insect bites are all worthy sacrifices in the quest for a summertime al fresco feast.

Don’t forget the ginger beer and a rosy apple to complete the ultimate Enid Blyton fantasy. So pull up a blanket and share a sausage roll as YorkMixts our six best picnic spots.

 

Homestead Park

Homestead Park. Photograph: Wikipedia
Homestead Park. Photograph: Wikipedia

Clifton’s answer to Kew Gardens. Homestead Park provides plenty of well-maintained flower gardens, landscaped green areas, and an ornamental pond as an idyllic backdrop for your open air jaunt.  There is also an array of children’s playground equipment to keep the little terrors entertained while you scoff scotch eggs.

Riverside

Clifton Ings. Photograph: © Gordon Hatton
Clifton Ings. Photograph: © Gordon Hatton

There are numerous green areas along the River Ouse in which to lay out your blanket including the grassy stretch by Tower Street or Clifton Ings further along the riverside. Relax and watch the boats cruise by as you Instagram pictures of your cava and strawberries.

York Cemetery

York Cemetery. Photograph:  © DS Pugh
York Cemetery. Photograph: © DS Pugh

Sounds a bit morbid but York Cemetery is actually a tranquil, nature-lovers paradise. The 24 acres of land are filled with thousands of beautiful monuments and graves amongst the trees and overgrown brambles.

Nestled within the wild flowers and plentiful wildlife is a charming Grade II* listed chapel which is still in use. So if solitude and quiet is what you crave head down to Cemetery Road for a meander round the graveyard and a peaceful picnic.

Museum Gardens

Museum Gardens. Photograph: © Martin Norman
Museum Gardens. Photograph: © Martin Norman

In the summer the Museum Gardens are unquestionably the beating heart of the city. Here you can spot all varieties of local clientele including young families, strolling pensioners, swooning couples and teenagers necking White Lightning.

After your al fresco dining feel free to admire the hospitium, feed seeds to the pigeons and squirrels, peruse the ruins and have a gander in the Yorkshire Museum itself.

Deans Park

Dean's Park. Photograph: VisitYork
Dean’s Park. Photograph: VisitYork

What better place to lie your stomach and sip on a cooling drink than in the shadow of one of world’s most beautiful cathedrals? Dean’s Park is an oasis in which to take a break from the city’s hustle and bustle. Conveniently there are always a few adolescents with a guitar or iPod speakers knocking around if you fancy a bit of mood music.

Rowntree Park

Rowntree Park. Photograph: YorkMix
Rowntree Park. Photograph: YorkMix

Rowntree Park is only a short walk from the city centre, right by the River Ouse. It has recently undergone a £1.8 million refurbishment so alongside the peaceful woodland walk and ornamental lake there are also tennis courts, basketball courts, a skate park, and a children’s play area to keep visitors busy.

If you are too busy to prepare a picnic then never fear as there is also a café onsite. The park often boasts a prolific amount of goose poo, particularly near the lake, so a picnic blanket of some description is a must.