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Picnic

Make the most of National Picnic Week at these amazing local spots

This week (18-26 June) marks National Picnic Week and as we enjoy warmer temperatures, it’s a perfect opportunity to dig out your hampers, prep your favourite foodie delights and enjoy a picnic with family or friends.

If you are trying to decide where to go, Northern Ireland has an array of beautiful locations right on our doorstep, so whether you prefer the beach or the countryside - you don’t have far to go!

Here’s some top spots around Northern Ireland, to give you some food for thought:

Belfast

Botanic Gardens – Located close to Queen’s University, Botanic Gardens is a relaxing sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of Belfast City Centre. With tropical plants, a Rose Garden, the iconic Palm House as well as the Ulster Museum, Botanic Gardens offers more than just a pretty location for a picnic.

Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park – One of Belfast’s most popular parks, located in the south of the city, it covers more than 128 acres and offers a perfect picnic spot for all ages. With their impressive Rose Garden starting to burst into bloom, along with a walled garden, Japanese-style garden and a children’s playground, there is something for everyone.

County Antrim

Carnfunnock Country Park – An action-packed spot on the Antrim Coast, a picnic is an essential add-on when making the most of a family day-out at Carnfunnock. It’s a mix of woodland and gardens with spectacular views of the coast. It also offers an adventure playground, miniature railway, mini golf, outdoor games and much more.

White Park Bay – As well as your picnic, make sure you pack your bucket and spade for White Park Bay beach. A beautiful sandy beach, White Park Bay is a secluded area that allows you to soak up the beauty of the North Coast. Enjoy long walks, building sandcastles or exploring the ancient sand dunes at this beauty spot.

County Armagh

Loughgall Country Park – A perfect area to enjoy the outdoors, Loughgall Country park offers a range of activities from golf to walking, fishing to tennis as well as a children’s play area and picnic areas. So, if you enjoy an active day-out, Loughgall is the perfect spot for you!

Slieve Gullion – For those wanting to work up an appetite, Slieve Gullion is Armagh’s highest peak, offering views across the surrounding countryside and the picturesque landscape of south Armagh. The younger adventurers can also enjoy an adventure playpark as well as The Giant’s Lair, a children’s story trail.

County Derry~Londonderry

Downhill Demesne – Mussenden Temple was named recently in the Top Ten most Instagrammable picnic spots in the UK, so we couldn’t miss it off our list. An iconic building perched on the clifftop overlooking Downhill Beach, Mussenden Temple is set within Downhill Demesne. Enjoy clifftop walks and explore the ruins of the 18th-century mansion, before enjoying your picnic in the sheltered gardens of Hezlett House.

St Columb’s Park – Located at the end of the Peace Bridge, in the historic city of Derry~Londonderry, is the tranquil St Columb’s Park. Offering a mix of woodlands and parklands, St Columb’s Park contains the ruins of a medieval church, an 18th century manor house, as well as modern amenities including sport pitches and a leisure centre.

County Down

Tollymore Forest Park – A family favourite for generations, Tollymore Forest Park is a fantastic picnic location at the foot of the Mourne Mountains. Fuel up before embarking on a variety of picturesque treelined trails with stunning views. No trip to Tollymore is complete without a walk across the famous stepping stones.

Pickie Fun Park – Located in the new city of Bangor, Pickie Fun Park is a great location for younger kids. As well as the famous pedal swans, visitors can also enjoy the Pickie Puffer steam train, cool off in the splash pad, or get competitive on the mini golf course.

County Fermanagh

Lough Navar Forest – If you enjoy the thrill of a stunning panoramic view, Lough Navar is the perfect spot for people of all abilities. Whether you take the scenic 10km drive up to the top, or prefer to get your walking shoes on and embrace all elements of the expansive bog, heath, open water, native woodland and coniferous forest, Lough Navar is one spot not to be missed when out for a picnic.

Florence Court – The beautiful Georgian Florence Court offers a perfect backdrop for those wanting a more relaxed setting for a picnic. Make the most of your visit by exploring the gardens, take a walk through the walled garden or keep an eye out for the famous Florence Court Yew. And with various trails available, not just walkers can enjoy the grounds but cyclists and horse riders.

County Tyrone

Dungannon Park – Centred around a stream-fed lake, Dungannon Park is a 70-acre oasis, offering visitors the chance to learn how to fly fish. If you are wanting to get a bit more active, there is a network of interesting pathways, treasure, and orienteering trails as well as tennis courts and children’s play area.

Gortin Lakes – This short off-road walk is perfect for a quick catch up with friends or family with a flask and some snacks. Offering fantastic views of the Sperrins, the walk takes you around two lakes and with several benches along the way, it gives the perfect opportunity to enjoy the views while chatting over a cuppa.

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