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Perfect Picnic Places in York: The Best Parks and Gardens for a Picnic in York

In York we are spoilt for choice when it comes to parks, gardens and open spaces. Providing the perfect place to relax away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre, there’s lots of beautiful places to discover. When the weather is nice and warm, there is nothing better than being outside and enjoying some stunning scenery, so pack a hamper and enjoy a picnic at one of York’s best picnic areas.

Laura Shepherd
June 29, 2022

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Homestead Park

40 Water End, Clifton, York, YO30 6WP

Located in Clifton and only a short walk from the city centre, Homestead Park is a pretty fourteen acre park with lots to enjoy. Known for its glorious seasonal floral displays, formal gardens and a popular children’s play area, you will also find a wildflower meadow, a pond and a rock garden with lots of lovely open spaces for playing games. During the summer months, you will be able to refuel at a lovely pop-up café and there are toilets close by for you to use as well. Homestead Park is also a fantastic place for wildlife spotting, so make sure you pick up a leaflet and tick off some of the wildlife you might see on your visit.

Notes: Pedestrian access via Water End and Shipton Road. There is small car park which is accessible via Shipton Road only.

Image credit: Joseph Rowntree Foundation

York Museum Gardens

Museum Street, York, YO1 7FR

Grab your picnic basket with plenty of foodie treats and enjoy the beautiful surroundings of York Museum Gardens. Set against the stunning backdrop of the medieval ruins of St Mary’s abbey, soak up spectacular vistas overlooking the River Ouse. Sit under the shade of beautiful trees, this oasis in the heart of the city makes for a wonderful picnic spot.

Rowntree Park

Terry Avenue, York YO23 1JQ

It’s easy to see why Rowntree Park is so popular during the Summer months, it is the perfect stopping point after exploring all the main sights and attractions. Work up an appetite for lunch and enjoy a woodland walk, or find a secluded bench next to the soothing sounds of nature by the pond. There’s plenty of green space within this park and also has a couple of playgrounds, tennis courts and a cafe.

Beningbrough Hall and Gardens

Beningbrough Hall, Gallery and Garden, York, YO30 1DD

Surrounded by eight acres of formal gardens, discover the wildlife areas or relax among the flowers. Work up an appetite for lunch with a walk, take in the river as you enjoy a circular walk of Beningbrough’s parkland, or experience a more gentle walk around the wider estate. The perfect place to spot the bluebells in the Spring. Enjoy a stroll around the walled garden and soak up the sunshine under the pergola.

Castle Howard

Castle Howard, York, YO60 7DA

Castle Howard is one of Britain’s finest stately homes and has over 1,000 acres of parkland to explore. Situated just outside York in the Howardian hills, Castle Howard is a haven of peace and tranquillity. There’s plenty to see and do, from a visit to the main house, to walking through the beautiful landscaped gardens. Enjoy breath-taking views at every turn. Castle Howard has a range of cafes and restaurants providing the perfect place to stop off and get some refreshments, or head to the Farm Shop to pick up everything you need to enjoy a picnic in the grounds. Afterwards, relax in the Walled Garden and admire the pretty summer blooms.

Image credit: Castle Howard

Dean's Park

Minster Yard, York, YO1 7JJ

Dean’s Park is one of York’s best loved places and has incredible views of the Minster. Providing an oasis of calm, it has plenty of benches and open space to sit and enjoy a picnic. A retreat away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre. there are some tempting food options nearby if you don’t feel like packing your own basket. Grab a coffee at Brew and Brownie on Museum Street or head to College Street for delicious cupcakes from Crumbs Cupcakery. There’s some lovely places for take out treats on Goodramgate or head to Shambles Market and tantalise your taste buds with some amazing street food.

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