Berkshire’s best parks for a spring picnic, including one with England’s longest bench
The weather has been amazing in Berkshire recently, especially considering we’ve just come out of winter. Highs of up to 20C were recorded in the county last week and some weather reporters have predicted the hot weather will continue into April.
This flurry of good weather means it’s the perfect time to get out and enjoy a picnic. With sausage rolls, breadsticks, scotch eggs and ice cream galore, who doesn’t love a good picnic?
Luckily, for those of us who live in Berkshire, there are plenty of spaces perfect for a day of relaxing in the sun on a picnic blanket. Whether it’s a hidden gem in the center of Reading or a huge country park in the sticks, we’ve got you covered for some of the best picnic spots in the county.
READ MORE : The open-air cinema at Ascot Racecourse is releasing tickets for No Time To Die, Grease and West Side Story
Forbury Gardens and Palmer Park are both incredible green spaces in the center of Reading, but for those looking further afield, Berkshire also has country parks well known for their beautiful scenery in the form of wildlife and trees. rare species of birds. Our exclusive list of picnic spots in Berkshire includes areas in Wokingham, Newbury, Bracknell and Reading and one of the parks even contains England’s longest picnic bench.
Forbury Gardens, Reading
Located in the heart of Reading, Forbury Gardens is a popular space to visit, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Situated opposite Reading Crown Court, the Roseate and the Abbey Ruins, Forbury Gardens offers wonderful views over Reading.
The small park is ideal for a picnic and is full of manicured benches and greenery. The middle of the park features a giant statue called the Lion Maiwand and a bandstand, which has been used for various concerts and events. The park is commonly used by people soaking up the sun on their lunch break and there is a small cafe where you can buy a coffee or an ice cream.
Palmer Park, reading
Located next to one of Reading’s busiest streets, London Road, Palmer Park is the perfect picnic spot for those living in the heart of Reading. The park enjoys a large expanse of greenery given its position among rows and rows of houses and busy roads.
A path runs through the entirety of the park, flanked by tall trees and another path runs through the middle of the park which is set amongst large fields on either side, a perfect place for a family picnic. Palmer Park also has tennis courts and plenty of play and activity settings for young children.
The old park also has a small library and a former school which has now been taken over by Tutu’s Ethiopian Table, which sells delicious coffees and cakes as well as Ethiopian lentil vegetable dishes and more. Palmer Park Gymnasium is currently being redeveloped and when completed will promise the people of East Reading a new swimming pool. Another area that can be explored is Reading Cemetery which is just beyond Palmer Park at Cemetry Junction.
Dinton Pastures National Park, Wokingham
Dinton Pastures is a country park in Wokingham which offers a wide variety of activities for adults and children. This is the perfect place for a picnic as there is plenty of greenery, as well as cafes to buy food.
The park is truly an area of natural beauty and the lake is teeming with flora and fauna. There is something for everyone at the park, as cycling, walking, playing on the playgrounds and canoeing are all on the programme. For those who want a coffee or a piece of cake, the park has a Dragonfly Cafe, a DAC Coffee Shop, and a Riverside Kiosk open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.
Victoria Park, Newbury
Victoria Park in Newbury is run by Newbury City Council and is said to be the “jewel in their crown”. It is a relatively small park located near the center of Newbury.
The park includes a bandstand, tennis court, pétanque club, boating lake, skate park and a statue of Queen Victoria – after whom the park is named. The area is mostly made up of large green meadows, brilliant spaces for picnicking and playing football or any other type of sport.
People often visit the park to walk their dog or to soak up the sun at lunchtime. The park hosts annual events and is a true community center for the town of Newbury.
Lily Hill, Bracknell
Lily Hill is a park in Bracknell which includes many woodlands, as well as formal gardens, which people use in the summer for picnics. The area is set amongst 23 acres of public open space and is just one mile from Bracknell town centre.
For those wishing to purchase a hot drink, there is a cafe called Ziggy’s which is well known for its toast and iced coffees. There’s plenty to see in the park, including Edwardian-style water gardens, a field of wildflowers and a historic mansion.
Lily Hill is managed by the Bracknell Forest Council, which maintains the beautiful landscape and rare trees which include a collection of hybrid rhododendrons and azaleas. Those wishing to picnic in Lily Park will also spot England’s longest picnic bench, which is available and has been carved from a single piece of wood.
If you want to keep up to date with the latest events and news, sign up for our dedicated What’s On newsletter – it’s absolutely free.