Best summer picnic spots at the Essex Country Parks

Picnics have been a popular tradition since the middle ages and as its the summer holidays, there’s no better reason to go for a picnic! We’ve put together a list of our favourite picnic spots across the Essex Country Parks – perfect for reconnecting with friends, catching up with family and eating your favourite food alfresco. Enjoy time spent outdoors in nature with the people you love this summer.

Posted on 17th June 2021

Cudmore grove
Cudmore Grove Country Park

Grab your picnic blankets and baskets - come rain or shine - and have fun this summer.

Cudmore Grove Country Park

If you’re longing for a day at the beach, soak up the sea air on Mersea Island and head to Cudmore Grove Country Park. With enviable views across the Blackwater and Colne estuaries, sandy beaches, and acres of grassland to explore, it’s perfect for a picnic and a leisurely stroll. Spot the sand martins nesting in the cliffs and cool off with a dip in the sea. The beach is just a short walk from the car park.

If being beside the seaside has got you craving seafood, you’re in luck! If you visit at the weekends, the seafood trailer is stocked full of fresh fish and the Cudmore Kiosk is great for ice-creams, snacks and drinks.

Find out more about Cudmore Grove here.

Picnic at Weald
Weald Country Park. Photo taken by Andrew Adams

Weald Country Park

Escape the city and town centres and head to Weald Country Park for a picnic – just a short distance from the A12, it’s well connected and easy for family and friends to get to from London and Essex. With wide open spaces, there’s plenty of room for picnicking and exploring. Once you’ve filled your belly, why not feed the ducks and deer? Food is available to purchase in the visitor centre or you can bring your own (please avoid feeding bread to the ducks though).

The café at Weald is open 7 days a week – pick up extra picnic supplies, hot drinks, and ice creams. If you’ve got children, they’ll love the Stick Man Trail at Weald Country Park.

Find out more about Weald Country Park here.

Danbury Country Park

Danbury country park
Danbury Country Park. Photo taken by Andrew Adams

Located just outside of Chelmsford, Danbury Country Park is great for all ages to explore – with accessible paths, lakes brimming with wildlife, woodland, and a large open space that’s perfect for picnics.

If you do picnic here, don’t forget to check out the Infinity Forest art installation – be inspired by the wonder of trees this summer! and if you’re feeling creative, enter our competition to win a family garden summer goody bag worth over £100.

Find out more about the Infinity Forest competition here.

Find out more about Danbury Country Park here.

Belhus Woods Country Park

Located in Thurrock and near the M25 and A13, it’s easy to get to Belhus Woods and a great place to meet friends and family for a catch up and a picnic. Your children will love the musical themed play area and there’s plenty of wildlife to see on the lakes, from ducks to dragonflies. Bring your four-legged friends along with you too and try out the dog agility area. Enjoy a refreshing drink and snack from the café – open 7 days a week!

Find out more about Belhus Woods Country Park here.

Belhus woods
Belhus Woods Country Park

Thorndon Country Park

Discover the deep dark wood at Thorndon Country Park with your little ones and then take a walk over to Thorndon South – the walk will work up an appetite in preparation for a picnic. Enjoy views over Essex - and even as far as Canary Wharf on a clear day - and soak up the sun on a picnic blanket in our big open spaces or sit under the trees on picnic benches. If there’s a slight breeze, why not bring a kite with you for some post-picnic fun?

Find out more about Thorndon Country Park here.

Happy Picnicking!

If you do visit for a picnic, we’d love to see your photos! Tag us on social media or email your photos to marketing.exploreessex@essex.gov.uk

We welcome picnics at our Essex Country Parks and encourage visitors to enjoy our green spaces. However, we ask visitors to please take their rubbish home with them and recycle where possible. If bins are full, please don’t leave your rubbish next to the bin or in the park. Please help us keep the parks clean and litter-free for everyone to enjoy.

Please note, BBQs are NOT permitted in any of the parks, they are a fire risk and can damage the grasslands and habitats.