The mercury is rising and the weather forecasters have big grins on their faces – it looks like huge parts of the UK are set for another mini heatwave!

If you’re heading off on a staycation we can’t blame you if you’re rubbing your hands with glee, but even if you’re not you can still make the most of the weather; what better excuse for a picnic?

Below, we’ve compiled our top tips for making your next picnic the best yet.

Eat, drink, and be merry!

First of all: what are you going to eat? The best thing about a picnic is there are no rules. You can grab a pack of mini pork pies and a ready-made sandwich from your local supermarket, or you can go all out with antipasti, cheese, olives, ciabatta, and a balsamic-drenched salad for a Mediterranean inspired feast.

Dips go great with a picnic; I’m particularly partial to red pepper hummus and tzatziki. Load up with crisps, bread sticks, pitta, carrot or celery and you’re good to go.

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Don’t put dressing onto a salad until you’re ready to eat it – soggy salads simply aren’t on! Instead of bringing full size condiment bottles, decant your favourite dressings into small jars or those teeny tiny tupperware boxes you can pick up.

And what about something to drink? A bottle of wine goes down a treat with a lazy afternoon picnic, but if you’re looking for hydration instead of inebriation you can’t go far wrong with water. Add some lemon or cucumber to it before you go or add some once you’re settling down to eat for some summertime refreshment.

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A mocktail is also a good shout!

Essential Equipment

Those fancy picnic baskets may make for beautiful pics to post on Instagram, but if you’re out all day you don’t want your lunch to go warm. Whenever we picnic my mum always takes a coolbox, and it’s a sensible idea! It keeps your food nice and fresh and your drinks cool and thirst-quenching.

If you’re going to be walking a way before sitting down to chow and don’t fancy lugging a huge coolbox around, then why not invest in some cool picnic backpacks? They have compartments for all you need and you can make everyone carry their own to lighten the load!

Picnic with wine

Pick up a proper picnic blanket. A regular blanket attracts grass cuttings like flies around honey, and if the ground’s a bit soggy then your behind will be too! Your best bet is to grab a picnic rug that has a waterproof backing, like our Orla Kiely or tartan picnic rugs. Or look for a picnic spot with benches if you’d rather not sit on the ground.

Have you ever been to a barbecue and been expected to cut a steak with a flimsy plastic knife on a plate made of paper? I have! Although they make clearing up a fair bit easier, they don’t make the experience enjoyable. Enamel plates and non-disposable cutlery are the way to go.

Picnic blanket and man

Location, Location, Location

Not sure where to picnic? Don’t fret! From public parks and peaceful fields to quiet beaches and rural footpaths, there are plenty of places to pop your rug and picnic basket. Lots of historic houses such as those owned by the National Trust have perfect picnicking grounds, and plenty allow your favourite four-legged friend as well.

You can also take a look at our staycationdays out and camping guides for some al fresco inspiration.

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Picnicking goals

Extra, Extra!

  • If you’re going to be picnicking somewhere without running water, don’t forget to pack some wet wipes to banish those sticky fingers.
  • Fancy some music but forgot the speakers? Pop your phone into an empty glass – it makes the perfect amplifier! (And don’t forget the power bank.)
  • Be prepared for some powerful rays and go armed with suncream, sunglasses and a hat.
  • Entertain kids both big and small with some outdoor games – perfect for burning off some excess energy.

We’d love to see some of your picnicking adventures! If you’re out and about in the sunshine, don’t forget to tag any pics or tweets with #ForLifesJourneys

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