Travel: Simon Calder reveals quarantine 'loophole'
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In collaboration with drinks brand Volvic Touch of Fruit and UK staycation community Hidden Gems a list of the top ten best places has been identified. The destination list was created as part of the ‘Beyond Your Expectations’ campaign, which aims to encourage the UK to make the most of a staycation summer.
Reaching number one is Richmond Park in West London, where visitors can kick back and relax near the 30 ponds and wildlife.
Created by King Charles I, it is the largest of the London Royal Parks that is a national nature reserve, packed full with wildlife that range from deer to parakeets.
Picnic fans seeking a destination up north can head to Burton Dasset Hills in Warwickshire, which came in second place.
With unspoilt rolling hills, this is a popular country park among dog owners wanting to a place to share snacks with their four-legged friends.
Head there on a clear day and you may even see the city of Coventry in the distance around 20 miles away.
Marie Chaigneau, brand manager at Danone Waters UK & Ireland, said: “After a difficult 18 months for the UK, we’re proud to be championing the Great British picnic, encouraging people to get out into nature and take their picnics one step further.
“We hope that our ‘Beyond Your Expectations’ picnic guide inspires people to make the most of the great outdoors and create memorable moments with friends and family this summer.”
If you prefer having a picnic near the coast, a beach close to Newcastle-Upon-Tyne that attracts birdwaters also made the list.
Marsden Bay in South Shields, South Tyneside, is famous for its limestone cliffs and imposing sea stacks, which measure up to 25 metres.
With scenic views of Marsden Rock and The Leas and allegedly haunted caverns to explore, this is great place for citydwellers looking for a quick trip away.
As the site of the largest seabird colony in the North East, watch for herring gulls, cormorants and fulmars that may eye up your basket of treats.
A Volvic statement reads: “Home to one of England’s most important seabird colonies, and known locally for its history of smugglers, wrecks and even a resident ghost, Marsden Bay is a truly unique setting for picnicking.
“Pitch up your picnic spot atop one of the dramatic cliffs or explore the hidden caves and bays along the coastline.”
Marie Chaigneau has also joined forces with celebrity chef Lisa Faulkner to create a special picnic menu.
Lisa said: “As a nation, we love a picnic, but it’s all too easy to fall into the habit of going to the same spot and serving the same old sandwiches, when, all it really takes are a few simple tweaks to serve up a showstopping spread!
“For each of my recipes, I’ve taken inspiration from my top picnic picks, giving them a little twist to make them that little bit more special.”
Recipes include a strawberry, watermelon and mint mojito, and Muffaletta sandwich featuring crusty bread, cheese, olives and cured meats.
Volvic Touch of Fruit and Hidden Gems’ top 10 picnic hotspots are:
1. Richmond Park, London
2. Burton Dasset Hills, Country Park, Warwickshire
3. Elan Valley Dams, Wales
4. Corfe Castle, London
5. Mussenden Temple, Northern Ireland
6. Raven Crag, Lake District
7. Dunnottar Castle, Scotland
8. Porthcurno Bay, Cornwall
9. Seven Sisters, Seaford, East Sussex
10. Marsden Bay, South Tyneside
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