It’s time to dust off the picnic basket, find a blanket and grab a bottle of wine. The 18th of June is International Picnic Day, a day when people around the world will be heading to local parks and gardens, with baskets filled with appetising delights. Whether you’re planning a romantic picnic with a bottle of champagne and somebody special, or a fun-filled picnic for the whole family, here are some fabulous places to spread your picnic blanket this summer.
The Dandenongs, Victoria, Australia
If you’re celebrating International Picnic day in the Melbourne area, why not head out to the Dandenong Ranges for the day? The Dandenongs is a region of low mountains, picturesque green valleys and dense forest, located 35km east of Melbourne. There are delightful little towns and lookout areas where you can stop for a picnic. The Dandenong Ranges National Park has beautiful scenic drives that follow winding roads through the mountain ranges. The park also has dedicated picnic areas at Fern Tree Gully Picnic Ground, Olinda, One Tree Hill or in Sherbrooke Forest. Just note that there are no dustbins in the park so you need to take with you whatever you bring into the park.
Miscou Island, New Brunswick, Canada
The island of Miscou is located in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and is the perfect spot for a picnic if you’re looking for unspoilt nature and spectacular beaches. You can have lobster for lunch at the Miscou Lighthouse, and then pack your picnic basket and start exploring the rest of the beautiful island. If you’re looking for quiet picnic spot away from the crowd there are plenty of secluded little spots along the beach where you can enjoy a romantic picnic for two.
Stourhead Lake, England
Stourhead is a National Trust estate located in Wiltshire England, and home to some of the most magnificent gardens in the country. You can enjoy a marvellous view of the perfectly manicured gardens from the Temple of Apollo. The most magnificent part of the estate is the artificially created lake, that shimmers like a mirror on warm summer days when the air is still. It’s no surprise that families enjoy picnics here and if you forget to pack a blanket, there is even a shop on the estate that sells picnic baskets and blankets.
Champ de Mars, Paris, France
It may be crowded in the summer time, but who wouldn’t want to have a picnic with the Eiffel Tower as a backdrop? The Champ de Mars is a large expanse of public green space that stretches between the Eiffel Tower in the northwest and the École Militaire to the southeast. Before you pack your picnic basket, visit the largest open-air market in Paris, Marché Bastille, where you’ll find an amazing selection of tasty French cheese and wine.
Napa Valley, California, USA
If you think a good wine is what makes a picnic perfect picnic, and you’re in California on International Picnic Day, maybe you should head to Napa Valley. Thanks to the wine grown in the region it’s one of the world’s premier tourist destinations. Many Napa Valley tour companies not only offer tours of the wineries, but also include a gourmet picnic lunch. Sampling gourmet culinary delights, coupled with a good wine, overlooking the vineyards of Napa Valley is a great way to spend International Picnic Day.
Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden, Cape Town, South Africa
Nestled in the shadow of eastern slopes of Table Mountain, the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is considered one of the most beautiful botanic gardens in the world. The 36-hectare garden is part of a huge 528-hectare estate of protected forest and “fynbos” (Afrikaans for fine bush) which is home to a variety of animals and birds. The magnificent garden forms part of the Cape Floral Kingdom, which is a World Heritage Site. You can walk along the marked hiking trails, or just find a quiet spot on the lawns to spread your picnic blanket and just lounge for the entire day.
If you’re lucky enough to be staying in a villa in Tuscany, you’re in the perfect place to enjoy International Picnic Day. With fabulous historic cities like Florence, Pisa, Siena and San Gimignano, it’s no wonder that the region is so popular with tourists. Tuscany is famous not only for its artistic heritage, traditions and history, but also for its beautiful landscape, top quality olive oil, and fabulous wines like the famous Chianti. Join in the rich culinary tradition by enjoying a picnic of local delights in the beautiful open countryside.
Butchart Gardens, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Butchart Gardens are nothing less than a spectacular display of colour and fragrance, and a must-see for anybody visiting the Canadian city of Victoria in British Columbia. Located on Vancouver Island, the Butchart Gardens are a delight for the senses. You can wander around the Sunken Garden, past the Rose Garden and around the Japanese Garden. When you’re ready to eat, you can enjoy a picnic in one of the designated picnic areas. If you visit the Butchart Gardens on a Saturday in the summer, you can order a gourmet picnic basket that can be enjoyed with an evening of music and fireworks on the concert lawn.