Planning a relaxing picnic at a picturesque spot in the north-east is the perfect way to spend time with family, loved ones or your four-legged friend – and get out of the house.
Not only that, but each of you will be able to indulge in tasty treats too, whether they’re homemade or collected from one or several of your favourite local businesses.
While you’re sure to have the menu finalised, it can be challenging narrowing down where to venture for your picnic. That’s why Karla Sinclair has done the work for you.
From potentially catching a glimpse of the seals at Newburgh beach to admiring the grounds at Johnston Gardens, check out some of the picturesque places to enjoy a picnic this summer, as recommended by the Food and Drink team.
Aden Country Park – Mintlaw, Aberdeenshire
Not only does Aden Country Park boast plenty of space to settle down with your picnic blanket and basket – 230 acres to be exact – and admire the beautiful surroundings, but there’s also a wide range of recreation to enjoy.
This includes a cafe/restaurant, children’s play area, walks and trails, carers and sensory gardens, dog agility and exercise area, and more.
Better than that, why not lengthen your stay and head to the four-star Aden Caravan and Camping Park for a night or two?
Address: Station Road, Mintlaw, Old Deer, Peterhead
Johnston Gardens – Aberdeen
Johnston Gardens are beautifully landscaped grounds boasting streams, ponds, waterfalls, rockeries and a picturesque bridge that has become a hot spot for people that love capturing pictures for social media in recent years. It is also well-loved by bridal couples for photographs of their big day.
At this time of year, the park comes alive as all the flowers and plants – both aquatic and on the land – blossom, with mallard ducks and breeding moorhens visiting too.
It’s not only a great place for photography and walks, but also for enjoying a picnic with friends and family.
Address: Johnston Gardens, Viewfield Road, Aberdeen
Balmedie Beach – Aberdeen
Balmedie Beach is one of Scotland’s longest beaches, stretching south for 14 miles from the mouth of the River Ythan to the River Don at Aberdeen.
However, its easiest access is via Balmedie Country Park. Here, there is an attractive play park and picnic area.
After you’ve finished tucking into your spread, you can explore the beach’s substantial area of sand dunes.
Address: Balmedie Country Park, Balmedie
Pitmedden Garden – Ellon, Aberdeenshire
With almost six miles of clipped box hedging, sculptures and built heritage, the parterres at the heart of Pitmedden Garden are a masterpiece of intricate patterns and fragrant flowers.
The grounds provide the perfect sanctuary for visitors, who can also appreciate the area’s wildlife and the woodlands that surround the garden – and stop for a much-needed picnic break too, of course.
For those that haven’t visited in some time, Pitmedden Garden now has a naturalistic and sustainably designed 21st-century twist on a traditional garden, designed by celebrity gardener, Chris Beardshaw.
Address: Pitmedden, Ellon
Hazlehead Park – Aberdeen
Originally part of the great hunting forests of Stocket just outside the Granite City, Hazlehead Park is one of Aberdeen’s oldest historic properties.
The park encompasses both city and countryside with its formal garden layouts, woodland walks, nature trails and bridleways.
It also boasts a maze, miniature zoo – known as Pet’s Corner – a large children’s playground and a cafe.
Address: Hazlehead Avenue, Aberdeen
Set in the small fishing village of Sandend on the Moray Coast, Sandend Beach is popular among families and surfers alike, as well as those that love overlooking the coast.
There are plenty of beautiful spots to play in the sand, hunt for shells or simply get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
And those looking to stock up on their picnic can stop by one (or several) of the popular eateries in Portsoy, Macduff or Banff on the route, including Portsoy Ice Cream, Annie’s Cakery, Home Bakery, Baobab, and more.
Address: Seaview Road, Sandend, Banff
Newburgh Seals Beach – Newburgh, Aberdeenshire
Newburgh beach is famous for its seal colonies, which occupy the beach in their hundreds throughout the year.
A mere 20 minutes north of Aberdeen, the wonderful sandy beach is home to an extensive sand dune system at the mouth of the Ythan River.
Forvie National Nature Reserve is also one mile from Newburgh and is well worth a visit, being home to eider ducks, diving terns and oystercatchers.
Address: Beach Road, Newburgh