It’s summer, so why not make the most of it by packing sandwiches, a flask of tea, and some sun cream and go out for a traditional British picnic?
There are plenty of great spots in and around Bradford whether you just want a quick jaunt outside for lunch or if you want to make a full day of it. Here are just a few of our favourites!
To begin with, don’t you think a proper picnic should be held in a park? Thankfully, the Bradford district is home to a variety of fantastic parks. Most provide shade under woodland or large trees, as well as play areas for smaller children and grassy fields for children of all ages to enjoy. Try Robert’s Park, which is located on the River Aire and has fantastic views of Salt’s Mill, or Peel Park, which has BMX and skateboard tracks. Myrtle Park even has a small aviary where you can see some exotic birds! Lister Park, with its boat lake and Art in the Park Trail, is another option. At Bradford and District Parks, you can enjoy a pleasant afternoon with your sandwiches.
If you want to make a day of it, go to Haworth and hike up to Top Withens on Haworth Moor. Top Withens is a four-mile hike from Haworth village along a well-trodden path that passes the Brontë Waterfall. The picturesque, ruined farmhouse, which is often thought to have been the inspiration for the house in Wuthering Heights, is a great site for a picnic with stunning views of the hills and moors. You can also return to Haworth to browse the village’s boutique shops once you’ve finished.
East Riddlesden Hall, in Keighley, is run by the National Trust. The grounds of this spectacular structure have several fantastic picnic sites with great views of the fields and gardens, and there are even some new, wheelchair-accessible picnic benches! Little ones will love playing in the mud pie kitchen and helping to keep the bug motel stocked for its many residents while adults sip tea from the flask and watch the trees and flowers sway in the breeze.
Sandwiches can be eaten with a beautiful view of the woodlands and moorlands at Shipley Glen. To get to these former pleasure grounds, you can either stroll up there and return or make a day of it by taking the Shipley Glen and Baildon Moor circular, a 7-kilometer track suitable for walking (or maybe jogging if you really want to work for that picnic!). If you go on a Sunday, you can further shorten your journey by supporting the volunteer-run Shipley Glen Tramway, which will transport you up and down the hill for a nominal price!
The St. Ives Estate in Bingley has 500 acres of beautiful gardens for picnicking. You can take a trip through the woods, wildflower meadows, or simply relax by the pond (don’t feed the ducks your sandwiches, they prefer bird seed and grubs!). There’s a play area for the kids to burn off some energy. You could save space in the picnic basket by purchasing drinks and snacks from the café, leaving more room for scotch eggs and pickled onions!
Head up to the Cow and Calf Rocks with your lunch for a very iconic view. There’s plenty of space just outside of Ilkley for you to spread out your blanket and watch the world go by while gazing out over the countryside. If you want to explore the area further, the rock formation is accessible from different walking paths.
Leave no trace when picnicking, so those who follow can enjoy the trails and terrain as you found it. Follow the Countryside Code. Don’t light camp fires or have BBQs on dry grass or moorland #BeMoorAware.
Have a lovely summer, and don’t forget to tag @visitbradford and #VisitBradford in your photos of all the wonderful things you’ve seen and done in Bradford & district.
While restrictions have been eased, please remember to follow the latest COVID-19 guidelines in order to enjoy these activities in a safe and responsible manner.