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June is the month of National Picnic Week (18-26 June 2022) so there is no better time to pack up your hamper, prepare those sandwiches, rustle up some cakes, and chill the bubbly for a traditional English picnic.

No picnic is complete without the perfect alfresco surroundings so we’ve put together some picturesque outdoor eating spots in Hampshire where you can roll out your blanket on the grass or sand at one of the top picnic spots in the county.

For wildlife spotting – The New Forest

You’ll be spoilt for choice of picnic spots in the New Forest National Park, from open heathland to pretty rivers and ancient woodland perfect for seeking out a shady spot on a hot summer day.

Try Rhinefield Ornamental Drive near Brockenhurst to dine amongst ancient and magnificent trees or Wilverley Plain for a wide-open space where the whole family can run around and enjoy some games together.

Wherever you pick for your picnic in the New Forest, you’re likely to spot some of the National Park’s wildlife but remember not to feed them however tempted they may be by the contents of your hamper!

For rolling hills with sweeping views – South Downs National Park

For the ultimate countryside views while you tuck into your sausage rolls, head for the rolling hills of the South Downs National Park.

Queen Elizabeth Country Park, located within the South Downs, is home to the highest point of the national park at Butser Hill with panoramic picnic views of the surrounding countryside. The Park also has designated picnic and barbeque areas.

For an awesome historical backdrop – Winchester Cathedral or Odiham Castle

The green space in front of Winchester Cathedral is always a joyful place on a sunny day, where families, city workers, and street artists congregate to enjoy lunchtimes under the cathedral’s majestic silhouette.

Pick up some healthy and sustainable salads from the Open House Deli and some tasty takeaway treats from The Winchester Orangery to give your picnic a tasty local twist.

In the north of the county, follow the Basingstoke Canal to find Odiham Castle. Sit amongst the tranquil ruins and imagine the time when King John also ate and stayed here during the days leading to the signing of the Magna Carta.

Seaside picnic
The Forest Foodie, Lymington 

For dining on the water – Lymington

Hampshire’s coastline is the perfect place to take to the water for a picnic with a difference. For a luxury picnic experience, charter a boat from Solent Rib Charter or Escape Yachting in Lymington to explore the coastline, discover secret coastal spots, and dine on the water.  

The Forest Foodie delivers delicious picnic hampers and seafood platters packed with locally sourced, fresh produce to holiday cottages, locals and yachts around Lymington and the New Forest.

For a traditional seaside experience – Southsea

Southsea Common was once awarded Warburton's Best Picnic Spot, and not only is it an accredited national picnic location, they’ll be plenty to keep you entertained – Southsea Common is also home to beach volleyball courts, Southsea Tennis Club, pitch and putt, Southsea Splash Pool, and Southsea Skatepark.

Southsea has traditional British waterfront charm, with a fresh air of trendiness brought by the increasing number of independent shops and eateries that now reside in this special slice of seaside England.

After your picnic, have some traditional seaside fun at the Clarence Pier Amusement Park and South Parade Pier, or go on an undersea safari at the Blue Reef Aquarium.

For sand between your toes – Highcliffe, Barton on Sea, and Milford on Sea

If you enjoy sand between your toes and don’t mind a bit of it in your sandwiches, then head to one of Hampshire’s beaches for a picnic with splendid sea views. The beaches at Highcliffe, Barton on Sea and Milford on Sea have views out to the Isle of Wight and their waters are perfect for a post-picnic dip.

Picnic by the River Test
Wilds Events, The Greyhound, Stockbridge 

For a picnic packed with local produce – Stockbridge

The Test Valley town of Stockbridge is a hub for local food and produce with the crystal waters of the River Test running beneath its pretty High Street dotted with local restaurants, pubs, and delis.

Stock up on local produce at the Thyme & Tides Deli or have a home-made locally sourced Kingfisher hamper prepared for you by Wilds Events before finding a spot by the river to tuck into your tasty local feast.

For riverside beauty – Whitchurch, Bucklers Hard, or the River Hamble

Follow the attractive waymarked Mill Trail along the River Test from Whitchurch which passes five historic mills – including the Whitchurch Silk Mill – and pick a picnic spot on the banks of the River Test along the way.

Situated on the banks of the Beaulieu River, Buckler’s Hard is a beautiful place to enjoy a summer’s afternoon. Pick a spot to sit down and take in this pretty and historical shipbuilding village where ships for Nelson’s Navy were built and discover the fascinating story of the village in the Maritime Museum.

The River Hamble Country Park between Southampton and Portsmouth is a stunning riverside place for a picnic with abundant wildlife to enjoy.  If you’re feeling adventurous, pack your picnic into a drybag and hire a stand up paddle board to find a secret picnic spot along the river’s banks.

Make a weekend of it

Make the most of your picnic by booking a night or two to stay in Hampshire.

Hampshire has a variety of places to stay – from quaint self-catering cottages to holiday centres and the best glamping sites. If you are looking to get the family together or maybe treat them to a getaway – we are sure that you will find the perfect break in Hampshire.

Visit our accommodation page and browse a range of hotelscampsitesglamping sites, and self-catering properties

We’d love to see your photos of picnicking in Hampshire on our InstagramTwitter, or Facebook pages.  Tag us in your pics by using #VisitHampshire.


New Forest
Towns & Villages
The New Forest

With its forests, heathland and lovely coastline, the New Forest National Park in Hampshire is one of the largest areas of unspoilt open countryside in southern England. Famous for its ponies, deer and wildlife and popular with walkers, cyclists and horse-riders, the New Forest offers tranquillity, entertainment and fun in equal measure.

South Downs
Towns & Villages
Walking in the South Downs

Escape to the South Downs and become revitalised in this peaceful and relaxing part of Hampshire. Hampshire’s South Downs has quite a different feel from the rest of the new National Park. With its steep wooded hills and hidden valleys of watercress farms, lavender fields, vineyards, hop gardens and trout-filled streams, its picture-perfect villages and peaceful market towns. This is one of the loveliest parts of rural England.

Queen Elizabeth Country Park
Country / Royal Park
Mountain Biking at Queen Elizabeth Country Park

With over 2,000 acres of downland and woodland, Queen Elizabeth Country Park is the ideal place to explore, keep fit and enjoy the great outdoors.

Winchester Cathedral
Cathedral / Minister
Winchester Cathedral

Nestled in the heart of Hampshire, one of Southern England's most historic buildings, Winchester Cathedral boasts centuries of English heritage, magnificent architecture, priceless treasures and works of art.

Odiham Castle
Castle / Fort
Odiham Castle

Known locally as ‘King John’s Castle’, Odiham Castle is located within a tranquil site adjacent to the Basingstoke Canal.

Solent Rib Charter
Boat Hire
Solent Rib Charter

Solent Rib Charter own Europe's largest fleet of Ribs and is the market leading provider of Rib Hire, Rib Charter, Commercial Rib Charter and Bareboat Rib Hire services. Their Ribs are fast, fun, safe, new and immaculately presented. Ribs can be supplied for corporate events, private parties and to the commercial sector. Solent Rib Charter have worked tirelessly to delight their customers since they were established in 2001.

Escape Yachting
Escape Yachting

Escape Yachting is a skippered yacht charter company. They focus on high quality, professional service on our sailing days, weekends and holidays. Escape Yachts is passionate about sailing and sharing that enthusiasm with those who sail with them. The guests range from complete novices to Yachtmasters - so you need not worry about your levels of experience.

Towns & Villages

The Georgian market town of Lymington is set on the coast in the beautiful New Forest National Park, between Southampton and Bournemouth. Famous for its sailing history, there are two large marinas filled with fishing boats and yachts, as well as two sailing clubs. The town’s narrow streets are lined with pretty period cottages and houses, as well as plenty of local pubs and restaurants.

Southsea Common
Municipal Park
Ladies Mile, Southsea Common, Portsmouth

Southsea Common is a vast open space that was purchased from the War Department in 1922. It is ideal for kite flying, picnics and informal ball games.

Southsea Tennis Club
Sports Ground
Southsea Tennis Club

From beginners to improvers and competitive players, Southsea Tennis Club offers something for everyone. The only tennis club in Southsea, it is superbly located at Castle Courts on Southsea Common, close to the seafront and opposite The D-Day Story.

Southsea Splash Pool
Adventure Park / Playground
Splash Pool, Southsea

Head to the splash pool at Southsea for safe fun in the water along the seafront.

Southsea Skatepark
Sports Ground
Southsea Skatepark

Southsea Skatepark is possibly the oldest and most iconic Skatepark in the UK and celebrated their 40th birthday last year!

Clarence Pier Amusement Park
Clarence Pier Amusement Park in Portsmouth

Clarence Pier Southsea is one of the largest amusement parks on the south coast and boasts all manner of amusements, rides and activities for the whole family.

South Parade Pier
South Parade Pier

Southsea's traditional family seaside pier was fully restored and reopened 2017 with amusements, entertainment, shopping, fishing and more to enjoy.

Blue Reef Aquarium
Blue Reef Aquarium in Portsmouth

Looking to visit the amazing Blue Reef Aquarium in Portsmouth? If so, click here to get the latest information direct from the official Portsmouth tourism site.

Towns & Villages
Barton-on-Sea Beach

Barton-on-Sea boasts superb coastal walks, including the start of the Solent Way which spans the length of Keyhaven Nature Reserve. With its magnificent cliffs, sweeping coastal scenery and pretty water meadows, it is a little piece of the New Forest which is perfect for outdoor explorers. With a range of accommodation providers, the area is a great place to go for a short stop or longer break.

Towns & Villages
Milford on Sea Beach

Milford-on-Sea is a traditional village offering a range of shops, breathtaking cliff top walks with spectacular views, great beaches and thriving wildlife. Part of the New Forest National Park, this area is perfect for exploring cliff top walks, wildlife and seeing some of the South’s best coastline.

Whitchurch Silk Mill
Water Mill
Whitchurch Silk Mill

A gem of industrial heritage in beautiful, rural Hampshire, Whitchurch Silk Mill is a 19th century water mill that weaves English silk fabrics using 19th century machinery. The Mill is open to the public and is one of Hampshire's hidden gems.

Buckler's Hard
Buckler's Hard

Escape to the beauty spot of Buckler’s Hard, where history and stunning scenery come together for an unforgettable trip out in the New Forest countryside. Once a bustling shipbuilding village where ships for Nelson’s Navy were built, the charming village of Buckler’s Hard now a peaceful haven. Relax with a cuppa and a slice of cake, take a ramble beside the Beaulieu River, or delve into the village’s history in the Maritime Museum.

River Hamble Country Park
Country / Royal Park
River Hamble Country Park

The River Hamble Country Park is a place to play, picnic, relax and explore. Have a ramble around our fantastic ancient woodland and enjoy all the seasonal changes from bluebells in spring to the fantastic autumn colours. Discover the abundant wildlife from curlews along the river and skylarks in the fields, plus an amazing array of wildflowers, insects and reptiles.

Towns & Villages

Situated on the River Test and surrounded by picturesque rolling countryside, Whitchurch is Hampshire’s smallest town and home to Britain's only working Silk Mill.