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5 of the best picnic spots in Northumberland and beyond with breathtaking views

In honour of National Picnic Week, we’ve hand-picked some of the perfect places to go for a picnic in the North East this summer.

Written by Rachael Nichol
Published 24.06.2022


Admission: Adult, £2.50; child, £1.00

Where to park: High Force Hotel, Alston Road, Forest-in-Teesdale, County Durham DL12 0XH

Parking charge: 3 hours, £3.00; 6 hours, £6.00

Discover the force of nature at High Force, one of the tallest and most powerful waterfalls in England that’s home in the heart of the Durham Dales, County Durham, and in the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

A gentle and pretty walk leads through ancient Teesdale woodland to view the River Tees tumbling over a 21-metre cliff. The waterfall has been there for thousands of years but the rocks it reveals are far more ancient – with origins dating back over 300 million years. A beautiful backdrop for your picnic as you tuck into your sarnies whilst listening to the peaceful sounds of falling water and nature – and relax…


HLN TOP TIP: After your peaceful picnic why not stop in at High Force Hotel for a refreshing pint-pit stop or a delicious cheeky cheese scone?


Where to park: Roseberry Topping Public Car Park, Guisborough, Newton under Roseberry, Middlesbrough TS9 6QS

Parking charge: 2 hours, £2.70; 24 hours £4.80

As soon as the distinctive profile of Roseberry Topping appears on the horizon, you can’t help but be drawn to it. It’s no surprise then, that this unique hill has become an iconic in North Yorkshire with thousands coming to climb its slopes.

This short and challenging ascent walk, which winds through woodland before you reach the summit of Roseberry Topping, can be completed by all abilities in around half an hour. We have to say it isn’t an easy ride and you will really work up an appetite ahead of your picnic. But once you finally reach the top it will all be worth it when you’re treated to spectacular panoramic views that make you feel like you’re on top of the world.


Where to park: Bolam Lake Country Park, Newcastle upon Tyne NE20 0HE

Parking charge: One hour, free; two hours, £2.00; over two hours, £4.00

If you’re wanting to escape hustle and bustle of city life for a day, then Bolam Lake Country Park is perfect for you.  Home in the heart of the beautiful Northumberland countryside surrounded by historic landscapes and dramatic views, the park has lakeside, woodland and open grassed areas that are perfect for a picnic.

For many years Bolam Lake has been a popular place for sunny days out in the countryside. Take a leisurely stroll around the lake or explore the woodland and discover the wildlife which makes Bolam Lake so special, including red squirrels, roe deer and great spotted woodpeckers.


Where to park: Castle Car Park, Bamburgh NE69 7DF

Parking charge: All day, £2.00

Once voted one of Britain’s 10 best picnic spots by Kingsmill, Bamburgh Castle is surrounded by stunning scenery, including its nearby iconic white sand beach. The castle’s history stretches back to 420AD and is England’s second-largest inhabited castle.

Whether you want to have your sandwiches in Bamburgh Castle’s picnic area in the West Ward or take a stroll down to the beach find a spot where you can have a bite of lunch while enjoying one of the most historic and breathtaking views in the North East.


Parking: Northumberland National Park Car Park, Bellingham NE48 2JS

Parking charge: Free

If you’re wanting to chase waterfalls in Northumberland, then this one is for you. A wonderland three-mile woodland walk follows a stream which leads to you a stunning waterfall with rare plants and wildlife on the way.

Nature lovers, listen up. Hareshaw Linn is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, designated for its rare ferns and lichen and home to more than 300 different types of mosses, liverworts and lichen. A perfect, peaceful spot to crack open your picnic basket and spend a chilled day at – the best therapy you need.


Check out Grate Newcastle’s summer tasting event for some serious picnic inspiration next Thursday.

Get a taste of the summer with Moz, our very own fairy cheese god-monger, from Grate Newcastle who will be showcasing some of her finest summer cheese, Les Artisans de Jesmond will be joining for breads and delicious cakes, Hammond Charcuterie will be bringing their fabulous meaty delights perfect for picnic platter and Elder Beer Café will be running the bar with some interesting pairings.


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