A Prized Picnic

Editorial

A quintessentially English picnic with a difference...

Bicester Village

This summer enjoy alfresco dining with the family with spectacular surroundings, you can’t beat a castle or a palace for a photo-worthy backdrop. Kenilworth Castle in Warwickshire boasts beautiful Elizabethan Gardens while the Great Lake in the landscaped grounds of Blenheim Palace offers an unforgettable spot. Naturally, you’ll want your outfit to be as enchanting as your chosen location.

STONOR PARK

Nestled in a Chiltern Valley the House dominates a magnificent view of the beautiful Deer Park and Woodland. The warm brick façade and Georgian windows conceal medieval buildings dating back to the 12th century. Visitors can view family portraits, old master paintings, artefacts and collections from around the world. 

2016 saw the official opening of Wonder woods play park designed for the very young upwards.  Activities range from sand pits and water to seesaws, slides and a 50 metre zip wire. Stonor is the ideal meeting place for families and friends to spend the day walking through the House and Formal Gardens. Spotting wild life and fallow deer in the parkland and hours of fun for the younger folk in the wonder woods adventure playground. Facilities and seating are close by including a dedicated picnic area on the banks overlooking the park. Bring along a picnic basket some refreshing beverages. Our summer season rounds up with our Henley Country Craft Show 24 to 27 August. From the 11 July to 9 September the play park is open 7 days a week, including the park and gardens, the House will be open Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday throughout the months of July and August. 

Please click HERE to view the website.

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Kenilworth Castle 

Enjoy a garden fit for a queen as you discover Kenilworth Castle’s sumptuous Elizabethan Garden this summer. 

Originally designed for the private use of Queen Elizabeth I when she visited the Castle, Kenilworth’s Elizabethan Gardens were faithfully recreated and offer a really beautiful addition to a castle adventure this summer. Elizabeth 1 visited Kenilworth in July 1575, so this is the perfect time of year to see the gardens at their best. 

Designed to engage all the senses, the sights, sounds and smells of the garden were almost enough to woo a queen.  The magnificent carved arbours; a bejewelled aviary; planting abundant in colour, perfume and fruits and an 18-foot-high fountain carved from dazzling Carrara marble are just some of the glories that make this the most complete picture of an Elizabethan garden anywhere in the world.  

Please click HERE to view the website.

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Blenheim Palace 

With over 2000 acres of ‘Capability’ Brown Parkland and beautiful Formal Gardens there are plenty of excellent spots to picnic with your family and friends.  

Perhaps the best spot to lunch is just inside of the Woodstock gates, deemed as ‘The finest view in England' by Lord & Lady Randolph Churchill in 1874. Lunch with a sweeping view of the Palace, Grand Bridge and Queen Pool and taking in the beauty and scale of this World Heritage Site.  

Head to the South Lawn to dine alfresco with the most impressive backdrop there is! Looking onto the South Front of the Palace you can admire the façade’s Baroque architecture before taking a walk through the Formal Gardens. Catch a cricket match here on a sunny Sunday afternoon.  

For the best view of the Palace, head over the Grand Bridge, veer right and set your spot on the banks of Queen Pool. Watch the wildlife on Queen Elizabeth Island (one of the country’s only Heronries) and see where the ancient Woodstock Manor once stood. Walk along the lake and see the famous ‘Harry Potter Tree’ too! Perhaps bring a copy of Harry Potter to read whilst you eat.  

Take your picnic through the Formal Gardens and lay your blanket on the lawn next to the Grand Cascade. This peaceful area in the depths of the gardens boasts views of ‘Capability’ Brown’s 18th Century creation and of the Great Lake.  

Especially for families, catch the Blenheim Palace Train to The Pleasure Gardens. Surrounded by fun activities and attractions for all ages there’s plenty to keep everyone amused after the sandwiches are eaten. Explore the maze, visit the Butterfly House, and watch the children blow off some steam on the Adventure Playground.  

Please click HERE to view the website.

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Tags: picnic day out destination blenheim palace kenilworth castle stonor manor oxfordshire The Bicester Village Shopping Collection

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