Make the most of our Indian summer, check out these perfect picnic spots in Ireland.
You are spoiled for choice with plenty of perfect picnic spots across the country. You can lunch at a lake, banquet on a beach, or even get peckish in a park.
Here are a dozen top picnic spots - but for a hamper load more al fresco dining ideas check out www.discoverireland.ie. #thisisLIVING
Banquet on a beach!
Every year we hope for an Indian summer and this year we deserve one, so if it comes you need to be prepared, and even in September we can enjoy sandy sandwiches and flat fizzy drinks! With 7,500 miles of coastline there is no shortage of golden beaches and sheltered coves from which to find the perfect picnic spot. Youghal in East Cork has three stunning beaches: Youghal Strand, Clay Castle, and Red Barn, all with pristine, safe waters and great places for post picnic beach games. Or make for Tullan Strand in Donegal on the Wild Atlantic Way where you can picnic in the deep dunes.
Feed at a fjord
Work up a hearty appetite on an exhilarating hike along the old Green Road in Killary Harbour in Galway. Then feast on a delicious picnic, seasoned with dramatic views over Ireland’s most famous fjord and mighty Mweelrea, Connacht’s highest mountain.
Picnic in a park!
Pack up the family and take a picnic in one of Ireland’s six stunning National Parks, home to amazing wildlife, mesmerising mountains, and wonderful walking trails. In the Burren National Park, Co. Clare, you can picnic with the backdrop of a spectacular lunar limestone landscape. Or you can enjoy a lakeside picnic at gorgeous Glendalough in the Wicklow Mountains National Park.
Fish for your supper
Set the kids a challenge to fish for their supper on a great family day out at Rathbeggan Lakes in Dunshaughlin, Co. Meath. They will love spending hours messing about on boats and learning the art of fishing. After cooking the catch they can climb walls, walk ziplines and hang out in the fairy garden.
Lunch in Leitrim
For a romantic picnic experience fall under the spell of stunning Glencar Waterfall which cascades from dramatic cliffs into a pool 50 feet below. Pick your picnic spot along the bog road for great views of Glencar Lake and the beautiful valley it is nestled in.
Get hooked on a picnic in Wexford
Pack the cooler box with gorgeous goodies and make for the 13th century Hook Head lighthouse on the stunning Wexford coast, the oldest operational lighthouse in the world and a breath taking picnic spot. Be sure to do the guided lighthouse tour afterwards.
Feast in a forest
Rock up to Lough Key Forest Park in Roscommon for a day of fun, adventure and great grub. Fill up the picnic basket at the Origin Farmers Market in nearby Boyle and after a great feed enjoy forest trails, lakeside paths and a treetop walk.
Gourmet on the Greenway
Walk, cycle and then picnic along the 42km long Great Western Greenway which stretches from Westport to Achill in Co. Mayo. The Gourmet Greenway Food Trail runs alongside it and features local artisan food producers including Keem Bay smoked fish, Murrevagh honey and, Carrowholly cheese, so stock up!
Pedal for your picnic
Get on the saddle along the 16 km looped Derroura Mountain Bike Trail near Oughterard where you are promised picnic-perfect views of the Maam valley, west of the Twelve Pins. The halfway point overlooking Lough Corrib is the perfect picnic stop.
Enjoy a saintly picnic in Carlow!
Make your way along the peaceful grassy Barrow Towpath from Graiguenamangh to St Mullins and spread your rug in a perfect picnic setting with panoramic views and the soothing sound of the river flowing by. Stroll the few hundred metres to picturesque St Mullins village and whizz down the flat-topped motte.
Enjoy a star-studded snack!
Steal his or her heart watching the sun go down with a picnic in a beautiful spot in the Kerry International Dark Sky Reserve which stretches across Ballinskelligs Bay and Kale Currane. After all nothing beats a picnic under the stars.
Garnish your picnic in Cork
Hop on the ferry and make for gorgeous Garnish Island in Bantry Bay, Co Cork, where you can feast your eyes on exotic plants whilst feeding on a yummy picnic. The Island benefits from the Gulf Stream microclimate and its 15-hectare garden includes an interesting clock tower, a Greek-style temple and a Martello tower.