Plessey Woods near Morpeth is one of our favourite places to spend a Summer's day with friends. There is a small cafe, visitor centre and gift shop (although check opening times), ice cream van and little play park near the entrance which is surrounded by fields of grass perfect for ball games. You can then walk through the woods following the various trails through the meadows and by the River Blyth. Parking is now free too. Plessey Woods Website.
Carlisle Park in Morpeth is a lovely place to spend a hot day with rowing boats to hire, ducks to feed, a large outdoor paddling pool and sandpit, 2 play parks and various sports pitches as well as the more formal William Turner gardens, 'Ha Hill' and aviary and woodland walks, there is so much to keep you entertained. Carlisle Park Website.
Love this photo from Carlisle Park from New Girl in Toon
We are actually heading to Cragside for a picnic this weekend as hubby has decided he would like a 'picnic by a lake' for his birthday. The grass by the lake outside of the tearooms at Cragside makes a beautiful setting, especially when the fountains are set to 'dance'. Afterwards, we like to climb the hill to the lovely play area (you can drive if you're not feeling up to the hike) where the children can burn off some energy and we can enjoy a nice cup of coffee as we watch. Entry fee's apply.
Druridge Bay Country Park
If you take a trip to Druridge Bay Country Park you will have the best of both worlds - you can enjoy the nature and countryside setting next to the Ladyburn lake where you'll also find a visitor centre, cafe and play area or pop across the car park to the glorious beach which goes on for miles and is often deserted. Druridge Bay Website.
Wallington Hall is another National Trust property where you can enjoy a perfect picnic. The walled garden near the entrance is a lovely sheltered place to enjoy a picnic and play games and the lawn beside the main hall provides glorious countryside views. Afterwards yo can take a stroll around the lake, build dens in the dedicated 'den zone' in the woods, enjoy the indoor play zone or play in one of the three fantastic parks dotted around the grounds. Entry fees apply. Wallington Hall Website.
We have only recently re-discovered Alnmouth beach but oh what a gem it is! Miles of deserted beaches with picnic benches and an ice cream van dotted along the grass verge - we will definitely be packing a picnic and spending the day at the beach this Summer. Alnmouth Beach Website.
We've already enjoyed a picnic at Warkworth Castle this year and find it's grounds to be particularly suited to al fresco dining. The grass in front of the Castle keep really is the perfect setting to enjoy a Fentimans lemonade (available chilled from the gift shop). Entry fee applies. Warkworth Castle Website.
Although there are some fabulous dining options available at Alnwick Garden (the Treehouse and Pavillion cafe are both fantastic), a picnic should not be overlooked. It is wonderful sitting on the grass outside the Grand Cascade and enjoying a scone whilst watching the fountains dance. Some friendly ducks will probably waddle past and your children can play on the garden tractors as you pack your picnic away before exploring the rest of the garden. Entry fees apply. Alnwick Garden Website.
Our favourite spot for a picnic on Hadrian's Wall is Chesters Roman Fort. There are plenty of picnic tables near the entrance and the countryside setting is gorgeous. Plus you can grab a hot drink from the recently opened tearoom. I love walking down to the viewing platform by the river too. Entrance fees apply to some sites. Chester' Roman Fort Website.
So that concludes our guide to the best picnic spots in Northumberland. Have I mentioned any of your favourites or missed any?