Instead of interrupting your day in the great outdoors to head inside for some food, you could roll up a blanket, fill a basket with some delicious local ingredients, find a beautiful picnic spot and enjoy your meal ‘al fresco’.
In Northumberland, you can choose from castles and cobbles, sea and sand or hills and herds as your picnic backdrop. Castles such as Warkworth, Etal, and Bamburgh all have grounds that make stunning picnic spots, and your food can be followed by some exploration of these centuries-old sites. If you want a picturesque walk before your picnic, park up at Craster and bundle your picnic together for a stroll to Dunstanburgh Castle.
You could also picnic on the beach, where the sand is your cushion and the soothing sound of the waves is your soundtrack. Druridge Bay, Alnmouth Beach, Warkworth Beach and Lindisfarne Island are all excellent options, and at Lindisfarne you have the option to buy some local mead for a post-picnic treat.
If you want to re-connect with nature and listen to the silence of Northumberland’s landscape, then there are many places to stop along Hadrian’s Wall and Kielder Water & Forest Park. Breamish Valley in Northumberland National Park is also a particularly stunning spot for an outdoors meal, and you could then walk to Linhope Spout Waterfall to see the crashing water and, if you’re lucky, some red squirrels and other rare wildlife.
Wherever you choose to picnic, make sure it packs a punch with local Northumberland produce. From a salad made with locally-produced cheese, salmon sandwiches on beaches just a mile or so from the smokehouse where it was smoked, and fresh crab harvested from the sea in front of you. We have collated a few itineraries with suggestions for where to lay your picnic rug, ideas for your outdoor feast, and even recipes using local ingredients inspired by the surrounding coast and countryside. Just scroll down to have a look.