Summer picnics: Our top picks in the Midlands and Shropshire
Take your packed lunch and rug and take it down to The Mere at Ellesmere. Its woodland walks and vast parkland, along with the largest of nine meres and mosses that are found just outside the cultured town of Ellesmere, are ideal for a day out in glorious sunshine.
The Mere’s promenade, gardens and the Boathouse Visitor Centre have all been restored with lottery funding, including money being given by the Big Lottery, Heritage Lottery Parks for People and the European Regional Development fund.
Alternatively travel a few kilometres down the A528, visit our second pick, Colemere, which is surrounded by woodland and two other attractive hay meadows. There is a host of wildlife attracted to the mere, including wildfowl and wader birds. Both sites are just a short drive away from Oswestry and easy to get to with a car.
If you’re looking out for good views on top of the peaks of Shropshire, you could always take a trip to the Long Mynd, our third choice. It is often said the view from the top of it is one of the finest in England and from the top you will be able to see the Wrekin, Wenlock Edge, the Clee Hills and the Stretton Hills.
Drive there by taking the A49 – you could always take a trip into Church Stretton on the way.
Another possible trip around Shropshire is one to the Severn Valley Country Park.
There will be no problem finding a decent place to sit amongst the 126 acres of countryside. And after you’ve had your lunch, why not take to its walking or cycling routes and then take in views from its visitor centre?
And our number five pick is Lyth Hill, which is another possibility for a great picnic spot, with some of the best views of the north of the Shropshire Hills to The Wrekin, across Wenlock Edge in the southeast and to the Stiperstones.
It has woodland, scrub and grassland, just on the outskirts of Shrewsbury.
In Staffordshire, take your picnic and enjoy it on Cannock Chase, but watch out for the wild deer who still roam the area.
Lots of it remains untouched, with heathland, woodland and valley wetlands all protected and there to enjoy after you’ve eaten. Drop by the Cannock Chase Visitor Centre on Marquis Drive near Cannock to park your car.
Take a trip to the Black Country Living Museum’s picnic area and delve back into the past while hoping your lunch doesn’t date back quite to the Industrial Revolution.
Sandwell Valley Country Park is also a great place to enjoy a spot of lunch – and attracts people who have a wide variety of interests, ranging from walking to bird watching to sports.
After you’ve finished eating, if those things aren’t for you, visit the Sandwell Park Farm and enjoy the animals there.
Or visit Walsall’s premier park, its arboretum, and sits amongst its fields or attractive gardens and enjoy your place on the fringe of the town.
Manic Street Preachers, Plan B, Chairmen Of The Board, beer festival and more: What's on this weekend in the Midlands and Shropshire