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Picnic Ideas and Easy Picnic Food

When is National Picnic Week 2023?

National Picnic Week 2023 runs from 17 to 25 June. From selecting the perfect location to packing your picnic basket, we're here to ensure you have a fun, stress-free, and eco-friendly outdoor feast.

Plan the Perfect Picnic
Picnics can be delightful experiences for everyone. Whether you choose a beach, forest, National Trust site, local park, or even your own garden, the key to a successful picnic lies in the planning.

Mouthwatering Picnic Recipes
For a twist on your picnic, consider our delicious and easy-to-make recipes for Scotch eggs, quiches, homemade hummus, flatbreads, sausage rolls, and chicken club sandwiches. And don't forget dessert! We've also got simple picnic recipes for rock cakes and flapjacks that everyone will love.

Make Your Picnic Eco-Friendly
A perfect picnic is more than just good food and company. It's about appreciating nature and reducing our carbon footprint.

Environmentally Friendly Picnic Tips
Choose reusable cups, plates, and cutlery to minimize waste. Opt for resealable containers and ensure bottles and packets are sealed when not in use. Not only will these measures reduce rubbish, but they'll also keep pesky bugs at bay.

Essential Items for Your Picnic Checklist

Looking forward to a delightful outdoor meal? As well as packing your favourite picnic foods, there are other essentials you need to consider. Our comprehensive picnic checklist ensures you've got everything covered:

  • Cooler for Food and Drinks - Keep your food and beverages fresh and cool, preventing spoilage. Don't forget to pack some ice packs!
  • Bottle Opener - Essential for opening bottles of soda or your favourite craft beer, a bottle opener is a must-have.
  • Condiments - Pack your favourite condiments like mustard and ketchup to add extra flavour to your picnic meals.
  • Napkins - For cleanliness and convenience, napkins are a picnic essential.
  • Baby Wipes - These aren't just for babies; they're great for cleaning up spills and messy hands.
  • Hand Sanitiser - In our new normal, hand sanitiser is crucial. Ensure you have a bottle handy to keep germs at bay.
  • Picnic Blanket - The foundation of your picnic, a comfortable picnic blanket is key.
  • First Aid Kit - A simple first aid kit with plasters, antibacterial wipes, and bite and sting relief is essential for handling any minor accidents.
  • Suncream - Protect your skin from the sun’s rays with a good SPF suncream.
  • Rubbish Bag - Last but not least, carry a rubbish bag for easy clean-up. Remember to leave your picnic spot as clean as you found it.

How to Plan Your Picnic for the Best Experience

Wondering when and how to set up your picnic for maximum enjoyment? Here's a handy guide:

Optimal Time for a Picnic
The best time for a picnic depends on your schedule and preferences. However, summer picnics tend to be the most enjoyable. If you're planning to combine your picnic with a countryside stroll, aim to find a shady spot around 1 PM to avoid the midday sun.

Preparing for the Weather
Remember, the unpredictable British summer weather can be a spoiler. Make sure to check the weather forecast in advance – no one likes a rained-out picnic! Consider packing a large umbrella, which can double as a parasol, to be prepared for any weather conditions. Also, bring along plenty of water to ensure everyone – including your furry friends – stays hydrated. And if you suffer from hay fever, don't forget your medication!

Fun Activities to Amp Up Your Picnic
If food, sunshine, and excellent company aren't enough, consider incorporating some of these fun activities to make your picnic more memorable:

Cards and Board Games
After you've finished eating, clear the picnic area and lay out your favourite game on the blanket. Just remember to keep the competition friendly and fun!

Water Balloon Fights
Nothing beats a water balloon fight on a hot summer's day. Make sure to fill them beforehand and remember to pick up any balloon pieces afterwards to keep your area clean.

Leaf Collecting
Encourage children to explore nature by setting tasks like leaf collecting. It's an educational and fun activity that helps kids appreciate the outdoors.

Organised Games
Plan some classic outdoor games like Tag or Stuck-in-the-mud. They're a great way to burn off those extra calories from indulging in delicious picnic foods!

Enjoying a Picnic with Your Dog
Planning a picnic and want to bring your furry companion along? Here's how to ensure your outing is enjoyable and safe for both you and your pet.

Ensure Dogs are Permitted
Before planning your outing, check to ensure that dogs are allowed in the picnic area. Some parks may have restrictions or specific pet-friendly zones. Remember, regulations are in place to ensure everyone's safety and enjoyment. Unleashed dogs can be a concern, especially in areas with livestock. Not adhering to these regulations can lead to fines or even prosecution.

Keep Your Dog Entertained
While dogs love being outside and exploring, they might get bored while you're enjoying your picnic. Pack essentials like a bowl for water, dog-friendly treats, a favourite toy to keep them busy, and pet-safe sun cream. Yes, dogs can get sunburn too! Don’t forget poo bags for clean up; leaving no trace applies to our furry friends as well.

Be Mindful of the Temperature
Dogs can suffer in hot weather, so ensure they have shade and plenty of water. Never leave your pet in a car on a hot day, dogs die in hot cars. Checking whether your dog can accompany you before setting off is always the best choice.


How to Choose The Ideal Picnic Spot

When planning for a picnic, the choice of location is key. Remember, the ideal picnic spot caters not only to your needs but also to the needs of everyone joining your outing. Here's a guide on how to find that perfect picnic spot for National Picnic Week 2023.

Know where you're going "to go"

Especially when organising family gatherings, proximity to facilities like public toilets can make all the difference. This is particularly critical when little ones are joining in. Therefore, it’s worth investigating the locations of public amenities before setting your heart on a particular picnic destination.

Parking Near Your Picnic Spot

Assess the parking facilities around your preferred picnic area. Distance from the car park to your picnic spot is also important. Is it manageable for everyone in your group? Are there any considerations such as buggies or wheelchairs? Also, find out if parking is free or paid - some car parks have a pay-and-display system requiring either change or a mobile app for payment. An online search beforehand can help avoid any surprises.

Choosing the Perfect Picnic Spot

While it might be tempting to settle for the first appealing spot, take time to assess your surroundings. Are there grazing animals nearby? If so, it's best to relocate. Other factors to consider are the availability of shade from the sun, the accessibility of your chosen spot (ensure you're not blocking paths), and whether the ground is even enough for sitting or laying your picnic blanket.

Picnic Etiquette

Always leave your picnic area as you found it - clean and tidy. Litter can pose a hazard to wildlife. Therefore, responsibly dispose of all rubbish, leftover food, and dog mess either in the bins provided or take it home with you.

Picnic food ideas

Here's a selection of RSPCA Assured recipes to make sure your picnic goes well. We can't guarantee the weather will be good though.

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