Planning a relaxing picnic at a picturesque spot 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 having a go at water sports at Achmelvich beach to bridging 500 million years of history with your bare hands at Knockan Crag, check out some of the picturesque places to enjoy a picnic this summer, as recommended by the Food and Drink team.
Culbin Forest – Forres
Culbin Forest has a fascinating network of tracks to explore on foot or by bike.
There are a number of popular spots to look out for, including the dragonfly pond, Findhorn bay, the otter pool, and, best of all, the Hill 99 tower that offers panoramic views over the high trees of the forest across to Easter Ross.
So if you’re looking to enjoy your picnic with a view, you know exactly where to go.
Address: Dyke, Forres
Knockan Crag National Nature Reserve – Ullapool
Knockan Crag, a low, rocky hill in Assynt, roughly 13 miles north of Ullapool, is one of Scotland’s natural beauties and a must-visit for keen hikers and hillwalkers.
There is an abundance of spots to stop at within the reserve, which is managed by NatureScot, and soak up the scenic surroundings with your favourite finger foods.
Address: Pulteney Street, Ullapool
Achmelvich Beach – Lairg
A stunning, white sandy beach with ample picnic spots and opportunities for rockpool fishing and water sports such as windsurfing and kayaking – what more could you ask for?
Achmelvich Beach is a hot spot for locals and tourists, particularly during the summer months, where (on some occasions) visitors have caught glimpses of porpoises, dolphins, and the occasional minke whale.
Address: Achmelvich, Lairg
Dores Beach – Dores
Dores Beach is a pebble beach that stretches across Loch Ness from the village of Dores to Torr Point and has some of the most iconic views of Loch Ness.
Not only is it one of the area’s most scenic locations, but it also has the bonus of being home to The Dores Inn – a family-run pub and restaurant with outdoor tables, sweeping views and hearty home-baked produce – which is perfect for anyone that’s still feeling peckish after their picnic.
Address: Dores Beach, South Loch Ness, Dores
Fairy Pools – Isle of Skye
The Fairy Pools are becoming increasingly popular with walkers and have been featured as a must-see destination on TripAdvisor and other media outlets over the years – and quite rightly so.
Based at the foot of the Black Cuillins near Glenbrittle, the famous pools – which are rock pools of crystal clear spring water fed by a series of waterfalls – are perfect for adventurous swimmers and make fantastic photos.
Address: Glenbrittle, Isle of Skye
Glenfinnan Viaduct – Glenfinnan
The Glenfinnan Viaduct is a railway viaduct on the West Highland Line in Glenfinnan, Inverness-shire.
Visitors can spend the afternoon trying to spot the Hogwarts Express as it trundles gently along the viaduct or admiring the beautiful landscapes, before visiting the picnic area (tucked underneath the bridge) for a much-needed food and drink break.
Address: Glenfinnan, Highlands
Roseisle Beach – Elgin
Visitors can bring a tasty picnic or their own barbecue to Roseisle beach, a gently sloping sandy beach located to the south of Burghead, during their day out.
Backed by a pine forest, there are a number of picnic tables and a play area for youngsters to use, as well as wildlife to look out for.
Address: Burghead, Elgin