Some of the region's best picnic experiences...
In light of the heatwave to strike England, a burst of heat we have been adoring (but also complaining about under our breath in typical #VeryBritishProblems fashion), it’s only logical that we put together a guide of picnic spots where you can enjoy a scotch egg or 2 with family and friends.
To thoroughly enjoy what’s in store, why not travel with West Midlands Railway? We’re big advocates for enjoying your picnics car free. Avoid the woes of traffic jams (not so fun in the sun), receive a well-earned pat on the back for being environmentally conscious and the biggest bonus to note – those champagne flutes can take centre stage in your picnic basket!
Due to the flexibility of West Midlands Railway off-peak open returns, the summer fun needn’t ever be hampered. With journeys like Birmingham to Stratford priced at £8.10 return or Birmingham to Sutton Coldfield at £4.40 return, all those extra funds will allow your picnic basket to be very fruitful indeed.
Nearest station: Sutton Coldfield (10-15 walk away)
Just a short 10-15 minute walk from Sutton Coldfield station, Sutton Park covers a luscious landscape of 2,000 acres, offering a wealth of wilderness only 6 miles north of central Birmingham.
As well as offering many a fantastic picnic spot, it’s a working, grazed landscape where cattle and wild ponies can be seen roaming freely during the year. What more could you want?!
St. Paul’s Square
Nearest station: Jewellery Quarter
Nestled in the leafy tranquillity that is the Jewellery Quarter, St. Paul’s Square is just a 10 minute walk from the station, offering a serene city centre option for the more metropolitan picnickers among you.
With plenty of shade and benches available, it’s a great option to munch on the staple of a rather more luxurious picnic: chocolate dipped strawberries (if in fear of them melting in the sun, of course).
Winterbourne House & Gardens
Nearest station: University
A blooming haven (pun intended), Winterbourne Gardens can be found in the heart of Edgbaston, just a 10 minute walk from University station.
The 7-acre botanic gardens are maintained by University of Birmingham, with the historic house of museum exhibition rooms with interactive exhibits that bring its history to life. With many benches dotted around the gardens, picnics are welcome as well as the glorious Edwardian tearooms if you’re still feeling a bit peckish, post-picnic.
Nearest station: Bournville
The quaint home of the famous Cadbury family, Bournville is a chocolate box town well worth considering when some serious picnicking is the only thing on the agenda for the day.
Just 10-15 minute walk from station, have a stroll through Bournville Green, on-looking the once Quaker village. Head to Bournville Park for prime picnic spots and a rather idyllic stream to sit alongside.
Nearest station: The Lakes
The sum of 3 man-made reservoirs, Earlswood Lakes are the perfect spot to explore waterside wildlife whilst tucking into some delicious grub.
Just a 10 minute stroll from the station, the surrounding scenery is captivating, with the chance to stretch your legs along the towpaths after devouring the contents of your picnic basket. Often known as a spot for avid boaters and water sportsman, it’s a great spot to watch the world go by.
Nearest station: Stratford-upon-Avon
With the station just a 15 minute walk away from the riverside, the land of Shakespeare is an obvious choice when it comes to enjoying a picnic soiree.
Start the day right by gathering your picnic provisions in the town, and head towards the River Severn, where many picnic spots can be found. Why not work off those extra sausage rolls by hiring a rowing boat and seeing Stratford-upon-Avon from water level? Demand your rowing companion speaks only in verse, to really get in the spirit of it all.
Nearest station: Shrewsbury
Set in 29-acre parkland, The Quarry sits in what’s known as a majestic loop of the River Severn, just a 15 minute walk from Shrewsbury station.
Harking back to the 16th Century, The Quarry has been Shrewsbury’s most important site for recreation to date. A spot steeped in revelry, it would be rude not to honour such historical fun and enjoy the best picnic you’ve ever had.
See some more regional parks & gardens, canal stops and cycle routes here
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