Tales from the forest

Inspiration, stories and an insider's glimpse into the world of Scotland's forests

10 perfect picnic spots

family picnic

There are few things better to do on a sunny day than pack a bag full of edible goodies and head to the countryside for an al fresco lunch. It’s an easy, inexpensive way to spend some time in Scotland’s great outdoors and enjoy the warmer summer months.

Find the perfect place for a picnic

Picnic planning is usually weather-dependent, or often a spontaneous decision spurred on by promising blue skies. In your haste, make sure you’ve got the essentials ready for a great day out.

Picnic essentials


Obviously you’re going to need something to eat…well that’s the whole point, isn’t it? For picnics, food that causes the least mess is ideal. Opt for wraps, scotch eggs, quiche, pasta salad and sausage rolls.

A fruit salad makes a refreshing dessert, while strawberries and cream are always an indulgent picnic treat. If you’re feeling truly domesticated, whip up some homemade lemonade to take with you – summer in a glass.


Don’t forget some other bits n’ bobs you’ll need. Here’s a handy checklist to tick off…

  • Plates
  • Cutlery
  • Cups
  • Chairs
  • Rug
  • Cool box
  • Kitchen towel or napkins
  • Wet wipes
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Bag for rubbish

family picnic

A plan

Lucky for you, we’ve done the hard work and compiled a list of some of the best places to picnic across the country. Take a look at some picnic hotspots near you.

Our top ten picnic spots…

Ae forest, near Dumfries

Take a wander along the Link Path by the lovely water of Ae river, you’re sure to find the perfect picnic spot. The kids can burn off some energy on the mountain biking trails too.

Otters Pool, in Galloway Forest Park

Halfway along the Raiders’ Road Forest Drive you’ll find this beautifully secluded spot by babbling waters.

Boden Boo, near the Erskine Bridge

You don’t have to go far to enjoy a riverside picnic on the banks of the Clyde at Boden Boo.

Rowardennan, on the banks of Loch Lomond

Go for a paddle in tranquil Loch Lomond, then dry off and unpack your picnic goodies.

Tentsmuir, just north of St Andrews

Steeped in history and alive with wildlife, take the Seashell Trail to find a perfect spot for lunch.

Fearnoch, near Oban

Enjoy a picnic with a view, at the tables along the Tri Drochaidean Trail.

Loch Linnhe, just south of Fort William

Ideal for a peaceful picnic amongst nature.

Roseisle, near Elgin

Plan a packed day out to Roseisle – it’s great for cycling and, of course, there are plenty of places to spot for a picnic.

Loch Morlich Beach, in Glenmore Forest Park

A busy beach during the summer months, but don’t forget the winding trails where you can find your own quiet picnic spot.

Loch Achilty, a short drive from Inverness

There are plenty of hidden picnic spots amongst the rowan and silver birch at this charming loch.

Pick up a picnic deal

Drop by Kirroughtree Visitor Centre, where you can pick up a ready made picnic prepared by foodie experts Cream o' Galloway. This summer you can pick up a £5 meal deal which includes a freshly made sandwich, a drink and a scrumptious traybake.

Cream o' Galloway pride themselves on using locally made ingredients and organic produce - make sure you try their free-range organic eggs or tasty Finlay's Farmhouse cheese. The perfect hassle-free picnic to enjoy whilst exploring Galloway Forest Park!

A plan B

We’ve all been there – glorious sunshine when you leave the house, only for the heavens to open the minute you reach your destination. Our webpages offer nearby places information for almost all of our sites, so if you’re caught short, there’s usually somewhere close by to grab some shelter.

Don’t forget we’ve got some fabulous cafes at our visitor centres too. Seek refuge and hot food in Glenmore Visitor Centre, or grab some extra goodies in Kirroughtree Visitor Centre’s café - after all, you can’t carry everything in a picnic basket...

kids eating ice cream


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