In the spirit of getting back into blogging, I will just start writing. What have we been doing a lot of lately? Having picnics. I mean, there’s not much else you can do in lockdown, but having a picnic on sunny days has made life a little more exciting for the kids. Obviously playgrounds and public loos are closed, so I choose parks that are quite close to home.
Things I bring for a picnic
– Picnic blanket (or a fleece throw)
– Water bottles
– Sandwiches or pasta
– Snacks – crisps/pretzels/donuts
– Fruit – Strawberries/watermelons/cucumbers
– Little toys chosen by the kids (cars/figures)
– My camera
*Very important – bring a bag to put empty wrappers/cartons/cans in, and put in the bin after the picnic. If the bin is full, please take your litter home.
With that in mind, I’ll tell you about our 5 favourite picnic spots in and around Slough.
Upton Court Park
Before lockdown, I only knew Upton Court Park for the annual fireworks display. Now I can see it has so much more to offer. The park is huge and beautiful. There is endless green space and different sections to it. Windsor Castle is visible from the main path, there are colourful wildflowers at the back, and a mini woodland in the middle. A little stream runs through the park from the far left and through the middle.
There are lots of large trees dotted about that makes it perfect for picnics, as you can find the all important shade from the sun. There is a free car park off Upton Court Road with plenty of spaces.
I have written about Herschel Park before as it was one of the first parks I discovered when we first moved to Slough. It is popular one near the town centre and really beautiful. There is a small free car park off Datchet Road, immediately as you enter the road after the roundabout. It’s a short walk through the nature reserve to get to the main park. The nature reserve is lovely, and there are a few paths to choose from. One takes you to a mini mound that has views of the lovely… M4. Seriously though, it’s very peaceful.
There are lots of trees to sit under in Herschel Park as well as an ornamental lake with wildlife. My children have taken to this interesting looking tree and this is always our picnic spot. My iplant app says its a Camphor tree? There is a children’s tree trail that you can do after your picnic.
Kennedy Park in Britwell is on a mound and from the top the views are lovely. There are wildflowers at the top and depending on what time of year you go, you’ll see fields of daisies or bright red poppies. It’s a very pretty backdrop for a picnic, but I do have to say that crime has happened recently around here, so make sure you stay alert. There is a free car park at the entrance off Long Furlong Road and a Co-op, which is handy for getting an ice cream, as well as a fish and chip shop.
After the picnic, it’s nice to go for a walk – there’s a buttercup field in one corner, a small copse with young trees, and an area with wooden stumps that the children like to climb (though be careful here, there is sometimes broken glass on the ground). If you are in an explorer mood, you can drive to the nearby Cocksherd Bluebell Woods or the Haymill Valley Nature Reserve. Both are lovely, you genuinely forget you are in Slough ;).
Okay, I’m taking you out of Slough and roughly a 15 minute drive away to Langley Park in Buckinghamshire. It is a huge country park with masses of green space, that I have written about previously on this blog, and a lake at one end. It is absolutely beautiful in May when the colourful rhododendrons are in bloom in Temple Gardens. Such a pretty picnic spot.
There are walking trails you can do after you picnic. We chose to stay around Temple Garden, and then on the walk back to the car park, we got ice creams from the ice cream van. Social distancing measures were in place, with 2m markers on the floor to help with queuing. Look at this rainbow ice cream cone – ahhh! The car park costs £3.70 for 3 hours and although it looked full, the people were spaced out in the park and it was easy to social distance.
Gerrards Cross Common
Still in Buckinghamshire, Gerrards Cross Common is also a 10-15 drive from Slough. It’s the village after Stoke Poges and is an easy journey to do. We love having picnics on Gerrards Cross Common, as the kids like to watch the red double-decker buses. There are two sides – West Common and East Common with lots of clean, green space and both are lined with cute character houses. You can park along both roads for free for 1 hour.
The atmosphere here is just pleasant. Maybe it’s because it is a village, but there is something relaxing about sitting here. At the other end of West Common is a lake with geese, and behind the green are woodlands which are great for doing nature scavenger hunts. The woods are quite open with wide paths and dogwalkers, it does feel safe.
So those are my 5 favourite picnic spot in and around Slough. I’m sure there are more, it all depends on which side of town you live on – you know where your local beauty spots are and where you feel safe to have a picnic.
I hope you found this post useful. Have you had a picnic at any of these parks? Do you have any other local recommendations on where to picnic?