Wolstonbury Hill – Grab some picnic items in nearby Hurstpierpoint village and climb to the top of these ancient slopes near Clayton, which are a designated Special Site of Scientific Interest. Enjoy lunch al fresco whilst taking in the stunning views across the West Sussex landscape.
Bishop’s Palace Garden – situated within Chichester’s city walls next to Chichester Cathedral, these gardens are a hidden gem and an oasis of calm when you want to escape the High Street and settle down for a peaceful picnic lunch, far from the madding crowds. An unexpected treat in the heart of the city.
Nymans – picnic in the grounds of this stunning National Trust property near Handcross. Choose a woodland location, wildflower meadow or kick back and relax on the perfectly-manicured lawns in front of the house. The kids can run free while you take in the convivial surroundings. If you don’t want to pay the entrance fee, you can take the footpath through the woods (to the left of the car park) and picnic there instead.
Bramber Castle – fill your picnic basket to the brim with goodies from the Sussex Produce Company in Steyning, then head to Bramber Castle, just a five minute drive away. The remains of this Norman castle are perched on a high natural knoll overlooking the South Downs with the River Adur snaking below. Chances are, you’ll have the whole place to yourself on a sunny afternoon.
Kingley Vale – this nature reserve boasts one of the finest yew forests in Western Europe, including a grove of ancient trees that are some of the oldest living things in Britain. Head to the top of the vale, unroll your picnic blanket, pop open a bottle of West Sussex sparkling wineand take in the surroundings. Don’t overfill your basket though, it’s quite a hike to the top. On a clear day it feels like you’re on top of the world.
Knepp Castle Estate – this 3,500 acre estate near Horsham, home to the largest rewilding projectin lowland Europe, has plethora of footpaths, walking routes and al fresco picnic spots that you can explore for free. Discover more about the important conservation work going on at the estate – you might be lucky enough to spot some wildlife while you’re here.
Devil’s Dyke – whether you want to lunch whilst taking in the sweeping views of pretty downland villages or prefer to find a quiet field with only cows for company, enjoying a hearty picnic in the South Downs National Park is a must for any visitor to West Sussex. Devil’s Dyke is a particularly special spot.
Worthing Pier – there’s nothing better than tucking into fish and chips when visiting West Sussex’s most iconic seaside resort. Grab yourself a deck chair, slather on the sun cream and feast on salt and vinegar-laden chips and crunchy fish on the beautifully preserved Worthing Pier. A classic seaside pastime.
Borde Hill Gardens – every Sunday throughout August, visitors are invited to bring a picnic whilst listening to free live music in the pretty gardens. If you don’t want to bring your own feast, Little Ritz Vintage Tea are on hand to serve refreshments. A family ticket to the gardens costs £25, great value if you’re planning on spending the whole day here.
Horsham Park – with a sensory garden, skate park, lake, cafe, well-manicured flower beds and outdoor bandstand for entertainment in the warmer months, this is a lovely local park that’s perfect for keeping the whole family entertained. Bring your picnic blanket for a day of relaxation in this pleasant green space.