Here in the Lake District, we have had some fantastic weather. With the exception of one or two wet days, it’s generally been very dry. So dry in fact, that the lakes and rivers have started to shrink quite noticeably. There’s even been some sightings of the sun! As a result, it’s a perfect time to enjoy a Lake District picnic.

So, grab your bread from Brysons of Keswick, your cheese from Cartmel Cheeses, and your chutney from the Hawkshead Relish Company and make yourself a delectable feast to be enjoyed at one of these fabulous picnic spots.

1. Tarn Hows

Tarn Hows

The ever-popular Tarn Hows is beautiful all year round and its pushchair and wheelchair friendly route around the edge of the Tarn means it’s accessible for all. There are some delightful spots along the circular route where you can stop and enjoy a sandwich. There are some areas on the shore of the tarn – ideal for those who like to paddle – some in the surrounding woodland – perfect for when needing a shady spot – and some on the slightly elevated section of the path with fabulous views of the tarn.

2. Loweswater

Loweswater

This small and humble lake in the western Lake District is often overlooked in favour of its more famous neighbours, Crummock Water and Buttermere. It is therefore perfect for those looking for a slightly quieter picnic spot. On the south-western edge of the lake you will find Holme Wood. Here there are picnic spots aplenty. Some on the lake shore and others amongst the woodland. It is also in these woods that you will find a National Trust bothy, where there are benches outside and a tree swing adjacent to the lake shore.

3. Aira Force

Aira Force

If you love waterfalls, then you will love Aira Force. This majestic waterfall plunges down 70ft with a roar. The falls are now owned by the National Trust, but in the eighteenth century they were owned by the Howard family of Greystoke Castle. The family created a pleasure garden around the falls, planting thousands of ornamental trees and creating the twisting and winding paths the lead up to the falls and back down.

The area directly by the waterfall isn’t ideal for picnics, thanks to the small viewing platform and the amount of people who will be walking by. However, the former gardens are a delight to explore, with unusual trees and plants providing a delightful shady canopy where you can relax with your picnic on a warm summer’s day.

4. Fellfoot Park

Lake Windermere

Fell Foot Park lies on the southern tip of Lake Windermere and was once a Victorian garden brimming with Rhododendrons. Today, it is owned by the National Trust and is open throughout the year for members of the public to enjoy. From here, you can hire a row boat to take on the lake, or simply enjoy a stroll through the former gardens. There’s a wild play area for children, and if you prefer someone else to make your lunch for you, there is a café with indoor and outdoor seating. The park has plenty of open space, so there is enough room for picnics without feeling overcrowded.

5. Wray Castle

Wray Castle

Wray Castle (acceleratorhams / Bigstockphoto.com)

Wray Castle stands proudly overlooking the western shore of Lake Windermere. It is a perfect picnic spot for families with children. Outside, there are a good collection of picnic benches, a natural play area, and a path leading down to the lake shore where there are is plenty of open space to enjoy a picnic.

As you can’t always depend on the Cumbrian weather, Wray Castle offers an opportunity to escape from the rain. Inside this National Trust property you will find further play areas for children, an indoor picnic room, and exhibition rooms. You can even get a Windermere Lakes Cruise to the jetty by the castle if you want to avoid the drive along winding back roads.

6. Castle Crag

Castle Crag

Nestled in the picturesque valley of Borrowdale, Castle Crag is a humble summit, just 290 metres above sea level. The stroll up is fairly gentle, largely through farm pastures, before reaching the former quarried section.

Here you can spend some time exploring the former works, and perhaps follow the hundreds of previous visitors who have attempted to create towers and other structures from the loose pieces of slate that have been left behind. At the summit, you will find outstanding views of Derwent Water and Borrowdale, giving you the perfect vista for your picnic for very little effort.

7. Stagshaw Gardens

Stagshaw Gardens

Within walking distance of Ambleside, Stagshaw Gardens were created by a National Trust land agent in 1957. The gardens, adjacent to Skelghyll Woods, feature a fabulous collection of rhododendrons, camellias and azaleas, with a pretty babbling stream running through, and various secluded benches dotted along the way.

In the adjacent woods, there is the Ambleside Champion Tree trail, a waymarked short walk that will take you to some of the highest trees in the country. Again, there are several picnic benches to be found here. Best of all, despite its proximity to Ambleside, the area tends to be quieter than other nearby picnic spots.

8. Buttermere

Buttermere

Buttermere has become an increasingly popular tourist destination in recent years. However, it still retains its natural beauty thanks to the lack of boats and other tourist facilities in the area. The village has just a handful of buildings, and the small lake is surrounded by fells that rise steeply.

Most visitors to the area tend to stay close to the village, so if you are happy to walk a bit further, then take the lakeside path around the shore. There are some pretty pebble beaches along the way, particularly at the north-eastern side, where you can feast on a picnic whilst immersing yourself in the tranquillity of the lake.

9. Hardknott Fort

Hardknott Fort

If you want to have a picnic in a fairly remote spot, but don’t want to walk to far to get to it, then do consider a visit to Hardknott Fort. This ancient Roman fort was created under the rule of Hadrian in the 2nd century, and is located on a steep hillside near the start of Hardknott Pass.

The road up from Eskdale is extremely steep, but the views from the fort are possibly worth the risk to your car’s clutch. There is parking near the fort, so you don’t have to try and ascend the winding road that leads up there, but of course, it’s worth a try if you are feeling fit.

10. Easedale Tarn

Easedale Tarn

A walk from Grasmere along Sourmilk Gill to the lofty heights and back is around five-miles in total, so this is a picnic spot for those who like to combine a tasty lunch with a good workout. The route passes several plunge pools along the way, where you might spot some hardy outdoor swimmers.

At the tarn itself, high in the fells, you will feel far removed from the hustle and bustle of modern life. Surrounded by an imposing amphitheatre of fells, the tarn was formed by a retreating glacier, and was very popular with tourists in the Victorian era. Dotted around the tarn are some impressive boulders that make wonderful high seats for your picnic. It is a bit of a wind trap though, so do hold on tightly to those sandwiches.