The UK’s Best Picnic Spots to Enjoy a Cocktail

The UK’s Best Picnic Spots to Enjoy a Cocktail

With the sunny days finally making their long-awaited appearance, Britons are flocking to their local parks for some wholesome summer moments spent with friends and family.

While everyone enjoys a picnic in the sun, full of delicious food and cooling sweet treats, the occasion is made extra special by indulging in a refreshing cocktail or two.

At NIO, our ready-to-drink premium cocktails are made to be enjoyed on a relaxing Saturday afternoon surrounded by your favourite people. So, we decided to find out where the top 20 best picnic spots are in the UK for an al fresco drinking experience, to complement the scenery, facilities and location each spot has to offer. To do this, we collected a list of public parks in the top 100 cities in the UK and filtered them down by removing any parks below 4 stars and had less than 250 reviews, with the best park ranked based on facilities and walking distance. Keep reading to find out the results

1. Peace Gardens, Sheffield

The beautiful Peace Gardens in Sheffield came out on top of our list of the 20 best picnic spots in the UK. With a 4.5 rating, 10 public toilets nearby and 15 shops within walking distance, it has plenty of comfortable amenities while being extremely picturesque. This serene and natural setting is the perfect place to enjoy a bite to eat and a cocktail.

2. Regent's Park, London

As one of the Royal Parks of London, Regent's Park is a popular location with 410 acres of grounds - meaning you'll easily find an excellent picnic spot for a leisurely afternoon. With a lake, tennis courts, playground, cricket ground, rose gardens and wildlife, there's plenty to do and see.

3. St George Park, Bristol

St George Park in Bristol is a large suburban park featuring plenty of green areas for al fresco dining and drinking, a peaceful pond to walk around, a children's playground and many architectural features. This park has a rating of 4.5 and has 17 shops and 2 public toilets nearby.

4. Wimborne Model Town & Gardens, Bournemouth

Wimborne Model Town and Gardens in Bournemouth is a fascinating scale model of how the town looked in the 1950s. While you do need to pay to get in, it offers a fun day out for the family and plenty of picnic spots, plus a cafe of its own.

5. Queen's Park, Glasgow

Queen's Park in Glasgow is a beautiful green space that spans 148 acres and offers something for everyone, from walks to spot wildlife, gardens and perfectly manicured lawns to enjoy a picnic and some drinks. A popular and busy spot, it has a rating of 4.5 and is a favourite among locals.

6. Dean's Park, York

Dean's Park is one of York's most loved places due to its outstanding views and peaceful escape from the city centre. The perfect place to relax and enjoy some food and cocktails, this park has a rating of 4.6 and has 12 shops and 5 public toilets nearby.

7. Queen's Park, Leicester

Queen's Park is a historic and award-winning park that is beautifully maintained and wonderful to walk around and relax in as you connect with nature while enjoying a delicious cocktail. With a 4.6 rating, this park offers plenty of things to do and see with friends and family.

8. Myrtle Park, Bradford

Myrtle Park in Bradford is a huge green space with plenty of wildlife and a peaceful meadow that's perfect for an afternoon picnic. With a ranking of 4.4, this park also hosts a variety of events, such as art shows.

9. Ormeau Park, Belfast

Ormeau Park in Belfast is the oldest park and one of the largest parks in the city and a popular spot for locals and tourists. With a wide variety of wildlife, horticulture, woodlands, sports facilities and spaces for concerts, it's perfect for a brisk walk or a relaxing picnic before enjoying the nightlife.

10. Forest Recreation Ground, Nottingham

Large and well-maintained, the Forest Recreation Ground in Nottingham is a popular place for friends to play sports, go for a walk or enjoy a picnic in the warmer weather. With a rating of 4.4 and with 15 shops nearby, this park is a peaceful getaway to relax and unwind.

11. Regency Square, Brighton

Regency Square is a small green square in Brighton that was built between 1818 and 1824, so it holds a lot of history. Located by the seafront, enjoy a stroll on the beach and browse the 10 nearby shops before stopping for a picnic lunch and an invigorating cocktail with friends.

12. Cae Glas Park, Sale

Located in the Oswestry town centre, Cae Glas Park is a lovely open green space that's popular with dog walkers and features facilities such as beautiful flower beds, a crazy golf course and a children's playground. A fun space for the whole family to enjoy a picnic while the adults sip on cocktails.

13. Grange Gardens, Cardiff

Grange Gardens is a small yet beautiful park in the heart of Grangetown, Cardiff. Originally opened over 120 years ago, this park retains many of its historic features and is a great place for both tourists and locals to visit and enjoy a lunchtime picnic before hitting the shops.

14. Bury Knowle Park, Oxford

Perfect for adults and children, Bury Knowle Park in Oxford is a stunning family-friendly green space with a backdrop of the historic Bury Knowle House. With a Narnia-themed play area, plenty of seating areas for picnics and drinks, sculptures to admire and even a zip line, you can expect a great day out here.

15. Imperial Gardens, Cheltenham

Imperial Gardens, which can be found at the back of the Cheltenham town hall, features plenty of flower beds, making it a lovely spot for a picnic in the spring and summer months. There's also an orangery to walk around, many paths to explore, and an outdoor bar where you can sit and enjoy the views with drinks, but feel free to bring your own ready-to-drink cocktails too.

16. Queen Square, Bath

Queen Square in Bath is a tranquil and well-kept small park with a 4.4 rating that's lovely to walk or run through. You can enjoy a quick bite to eat and a refreshing cocktail after a busy day exploring the city and all the wonderful historic shops and attractions it has to offer.

17. Bakewell Recreation Ground, Chesterfield

Bakewell Recreation Ground, located in the heart of the quaint market town of Bakewell, offers 12 acres of gorgeous open green space and is a very popular picnic spot among families. With a rating of 4.5 and plenty of amenities around, this park is definitely worth a visit.

18. Shirley Park, Birmingham

Shirley Park in Birmingham can be found in the middle of a busy shopping area, offering a serene escape from the town for a picnic with friends. This park has been greatly improved over the years, earning itself a rating of 4.4, with ornamental gardens, summer events to check out, sports facilities and a secure dog agility course.

19. Carlisle Park Morpeth, Newcastle Upon Tyne

With a wealth of activities and attractions, Carlisle Park, Morpeth, has a rating of 4.7 and is a lovely spot for a picnic. Explore the beautiful formal gardens, aviary, ancient woodlands and sports recreation areas with friends or family and enjoy a day soaking up the sun in nature with a delicious cocktail.

20. Guildhall Square, Southampton

Southampton's busy Guildhall Square is well-known for being at the heart of the city's Cultural Quarter, surrounded by live music venues, museums and art galleries. While not a green space, this iconic square is very popular with locals, with plenty of resting spots to enjoy some food and a cocktail before heading out to see a live performance. Take a look at our range of premium, ready-made gin-based cocktails, including favourites such as Gimlets and Negronis. Simply tear off the corner, pour in a glass and enjoy!

Methodology: NIO Cocktails curated a list of public parks in the top 100 cities in the UK, and then ranked them across several criteria including proximity of toilets, variety of shops within walking distance and public ratings of the parks. The total volume of data collated included 4,000 parks, 30,000 grocery and supermarket outlets and 5,000 public toilets. We immediately removed 2,000 parks that had fewer than 4* average ratings or less than 250 reviews We also removed 25,000 grocery and supermarket outlets and 3,600 public toilets that were not within walking distance of the parks. NIO Cocktails then used this data to rank the best park by calculating the most amount of facilities near each one.