As we continue enjoying our post-Covid freedoms, what better way to reconnect with family and friends than by celebrating National Picnic Week 2023!
National Picnic Week 2023 will occur from June 18, 2023 – June 26, 2023, all across the UK. You can rock a picnic blanket, open your backpack or luxury picnic hamper, and have fun! Remember to socially distance and follow Government guidelines on how many people you can picnic with and where.
Alexandra from the Life is a Picnic team is excited to see a national drive to get picnics across the UK this June. She believes National Picnic Week 2023 is the perfect excuse to put down our mobiles and tablets and reconnect with each other and nature.
Alexandra explained, “Adults’ screen times have increased, on average, to a staggering 6 hours 45* mins per day during Lockdown, with children close behind on 6.5** hours per day.”
“With even the silver surfers upping their screen times, it’s time to find activities where the mobiles and tablets can be banned. Getting back out in nature, making a healthy picnic and designating picnic time a no-go mobile zone will do wonders for your relationships and tired heads!”
So let’s look at some easy-to-follow ideas from the Life is a Picnic Team to help you plan the perfect picnic to get you out of National Picnic Week 2023 and beyond.
Theme your Picnic!
Why not theme your National Picnic Week 2023 picnic to make dining out together a party for family and friends (or something more intimate for your significant other!)?
If your circle or bubble includes many pre-schoolers, you could ´go down to the woods today´ and enjoy a teddy bears picnic. Think gingham picnic rugs, toy picnic sets, plenty of jam sandwiches, crisps and pop and everyone bringing a special bear!
We love having a timetable for our teddy bears’ picnic to ensure we tire out our little ones. We sing ‘If you go down in the woods today´ – that most famous of teddy bears picnic rhymes, dance, and play heaps of games. It’s a chance to make some great memories with our tiny people (turn the WiFi off on that phone and use it only as a camera to avoid distractions!).
Or how about a fun movie night picnic? You can be the host at your outdoor home cinema, or maybe a local outdoor movie is showing in your local park (check local council websites for info). We often host movie nights on our inflatable screen and theme the food and drinks to match our chosen film.
Movie picnics are fun and make for very memorable nights with family and friends.
Not sure what movies to pick? We have a few picnic movie suggestions here!
Or a sports day picnic – choose a great open location, theme the food to the day (think sports drinks, high-energy food and a fun-themed cake!) and bring the games.
When we do family sports day, we race and play:
- Three-legged race (bring a tie!)
- Backwards running race (helps the oldies win!)
- Egg and Spoon (hardboiled eggs are then made into egg and cress sandwiches on site!)
- Garden Bowls marathon (the dads do get very competitive here!)
What other fun games can you add to the list? Please let us know in the comments box below!
Pick the perfect picnic spot in the UK
A huge part of having the perfect picnic during National Picnic Week 2023 (or any time) is picking a wonderful location.
Let’s be honest. Sometimes eating a cheese butty on a park bench and looking at a great view can be perfection!
So where you go for your picnic can be down to a few factors:
- How far do you want to travel?
- Do you have a car, or will you need to pick a spot accessible by public transport?
- Is the weather guaranteed to be sunny, or do you need to think of a picnic location with cover if it pours?
- Are you a sand lover (so the beach is perfect!) or a sand hater like my hubby, so who is a fan of the countryside all the way?!
In our view, any National Trust location is a sure-fire winner in the picnic spots book, and you can see all our favourite recommendations here. – some great ideas for National Picnic Week 2023!
Where ever you pick, pack lots of entertainment for the journey if taking little people. Also, check the weather at least two days before your event if you need to take a ´raincheck on your plans.
Remember your Picnic Essentials:
Nothing is worse than being halfway up a mountain, excited to open a bottle of wine and enjoy the view, only to find out your bottle opener is at home!
Let’s give you a few things to add to your list to help make that picnic perfect:
- Picnic blanket (waterproof, as it might need to double as a rain shield in the UK!)
- Bug spray
- Sun Cream
- First aid kit
- Bottle opener (For those impromptu wine moments!)
- Unbreakable picnic plates, bowls & cups (From experience, don’t take glass on a picnic – it’s chic but breaks!)
- Make it a picnic basket if not walking far – but always a picnic backpack if doing any distance on foot!
10 Surprising Picnic Facts You Might Not Know
- In the UK, we enjoy over 180 million picnics per year; that’s an average of at least three per person per year (I bet those stats changed during lockdowns…!).
- The average family spends £26 per picnic totalling £2,479,720,000 on food and picnicware! (research done in 2013).
- Did you know the word ‘Picnic’ was first found in a 17th-century French book, “Origines de la Langue” by Françoise de Ménage?
- The French started the modern fashion for picnics when they opened their royal parks to the public after the revolution of 1789.
- Originally, a picnic was a fashionable social event to which each guest contributed some food.
- The phrase ‘this is no picnic’ to describe something difficult dates back to 1884!
- The most popular picnic snack fifty years ago was the humble cheese sandwich. Now, it’s a bag of crisps.
- The most popular day for picnics by country is as follows:
- In the US, it’s the 4th of July.
- In Italy, it’s Easter Monday.
- In France, it’s Bastille Day.
- In the UK, it’s (weather dependent) rapidly becoming National Picnic Week. You could always have an indoor picnic instead!
- Fortnum & Mason, the London department store, claims to have invented the Scotch egg in 1738. They still sell them today.
- Picnic food is as popular as it’s ever been. In 2012, an average of ten grams of meat pies and sausage rolls were consumed per person per week.
What is National Picnic Week?
National Picnic Week was started to encourage people to stop work, gather friends and family, and do something fun. After the very strange and difficult year, we have all had, there couldn’t be a better excuse to plan more get-togethers than National Picnic Week 2023!
When the weather is right, picnicking is one of the UK’s most enjoyable summer traditions. It’s also a great way of taking advantage of any open spaces in your local area over the warmer months of the year.
When did National Picnic Week begin?
National Picnic Week was started over a decade ago, and National Picnic Week 2023 promises to be the best year yet! It attracts press from Sky, local and national radio, and many national newspapers and food companies. You can get more details at www.nationalpicnicweek.co.uk.
A final note…
Before you head off on your picnic for National Picnic Week 2023, please consider our Picnic Code…
- Always follow the outdoor access rules and never picnic on private property without permission.
- Follow the country code and pick up after yourself, leaving your picnic spot how you found it.
- Remember to always close the gates behind you when picnicking in the countryside.
- NEVER LITTER!
- Recycle your picnic waste, and use eco-friendly swaps where possible!
- * – Info from https://www.cityam.com/coronavirus-screen-time-soars-as-adults-spend-half-their-day-on-devices/
- ** – Info from https://www.nhsggc.org.uk/about-us/professional-support-sites/screen-time/