A great Devon picnic spot is where you’re headed when the weather’s warm – just grab your hamper and find the perfect place for an alfresco lunch.
To celebrate the recent lovely sunshine this week’s guest bloggers, the team at Campsites.co.uk, grabbed a cup of tea (and too many biscuits) and set about identifying some of Devon’s top picnic spots – and the different types of picnicker that can be seen there.
So first, find out – which one are you?!
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1. The Gourmet
Easy to spot as their wicker hamper is large and contains a gingham patterned tablecloth, china crockery, real glasses, chunky cutlery and all manner of foodstuffs (usually from upmarket supermarkets, farm shops or food halls). There’ll also be a bottles of Prosecco, folding chairs and possibly a parasol. As a result their picnic weighs a ton and is difficult to move, so they rarely picnic far from the car (or they just open the hamper in the boot).
2. The Junk Eater
There’s no planning involved for this picnic lover (as it’s often a spur of the moment decision), they just visit the supermarket and buy everything they fancy, as long as it’s in plastic containers or a bag. Chances are it’ll be an eclectic mix of cakes, crisps of varying types, chocolate and large bottles of sugary drinks. Only some of these will be consumed, with the half eaten remains jammed into (or scattered around) the nearest bin to attract wasps and ants.
3. The Control Freak
Often one of the parents in a family group, this person has a very clear idea of what is going to be eaten, in what order and how it will be laid out. No divergence from this order is allowed. No ball games until the meal is over. Barked orders, reprimands, crying children and general disruption to the peace can all be expected. Will occasionally sulk if not listened to.
4. The One Who’s Terrified of Wasps
Wasps love a picnic, especially in late summer, but this poor picnicker always fails to remember this. “Don’t move, you’ll annoy it,” say their friends, but this will be of no comfort. Shrieking, flailing and/or fleeing the scene, leaving spilled food and drinks, are all tell-tale signs. Wasps like these people, which is why they are always attracted to them.
5. The Drunk
Slumbering gently, often under a wide brimmed hat, this al fresco diner has fully enjoyed the liquid element of the picnic and, as such, will now take no part in the tidying up. He (and it’s usually a man) was, however, very entertaining up to the point he fell asleep, so nobody really minds. Dry mouth, a headache and multiple insect bites will feature in his near future.
6. The Indecisive One Who Can’t Pick a Spot
The grass is always greener, softer, smoother and/or more level somewhere else. Following behind this individual will be one, or more, increasingly bored individuals saying things like “this spot looks fine”, “why can’t we just stop here” and “I’m really hungry”. Wherever they stop, they won’t be happy and if you are close enough you’ll probably be only too aware of this.
7. The Fidget Who Can’t Get Comfy
Insects, small stones, undulations and reduced blood flow all stand in the way of a perfect picnic for this positional perfectionist. In their quest for happiness they will unwittingly knock over drinks, upturn plates and annoy the other members of their group. Young children are great examples.
8. The One Who Arrives Empty-Handed
Occasionally there is a genuine reason for this, but it always seems to happen to the same person. Citing time/work/family pressures, they’ll arrive with nothing but an apology and then consume the majority of your favourite food and drink. Largely unaware of their surroundings, they may well fail to notice that you are tidying up around them (again). This can be because they are often fixated with telling everyone how ‘busy’ they are at the moment.
Top Devon picnic spots
It’s tricky to create a shortlist of the best places to picnic in Devon, but here are some to get you started. Where have we missed? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook
- Fire Beacon Hill
This area of lowland heath offers a birds-eye view of the surrounding countryside. On a clear day you can almost see from Berry Head to Portland, the entire length of Lyme Bay.
- Instow Beach
More sheltered than most of North Devon’s beaches and one of the best places to catch the sunset, this is the perfect spot for a romantic picnic.
- Burrator Reservoir (pictured above)
A lovely woodland setting with lots of footpaths and bridleways to follow for hidden spots to enjoy your buffet, and a great place to walk off your grub. More
- Spitchwick (pictured below)
Tuck into your delicious goodies on the bank of the River Dart, and then top off your afternoon with a paddle through the cool waters.
- Victoria Park near Bideford
A great choice for family picnics, with lots of lawn space and a shallow open air pool and adventure playground for working up an appetite.
Don’t forget – if you fancy a spot of al fresco people watching please do remember to take your litter (and any drunken friends) home with you.