Friends at a picnic, campervan in background
Chloe Allen

Chloe Allen

Our Digital Marketing Executive Chloe is in charge of our e-newsletter. There's no one better placed to inform and delight you every month, so keep your eyes peeled for her newsletter hitting an email inbox near you soon.

Read time of 4 minutes.

Hitting up an overcrowded beach isn't the only way to spend your summer. 

It’s a quintessentially British activity, but did you know that there’s more to a successful picnic than what you pack in your basket? 

We’ve done the research, so you don’t have to. Our tips are all you need for a fun, stress-free day out this summer. 

Just one question for you – scotch or hard-boiled eggs? 

Location! Location! Location! 

Half the fun of a picnic is the view. 

While it might seem like a waste of precious daylight hours, we cannot recommend researching your options enough. 

It’s also worth thinking about your attendees. 

Young children, elderly parents and those who are less mobile will struggle with a long trek between your car and your picnic site – especially in warm weather. 

A look at Google Maps is a quick way of scouting out your general vicinity, or even locations further afield. There is also plenty of information online recommending excellent picnic spots. 

Our local South West favourites include Trevone Bay in Cornwall, Fernworthy Reservoir on Dartmoor and Weston Beach on the East Devon coast. 

It won’t take much researching to find the ideal picnic spot near you. 

Early prep is key!

Preparing your picnic on the day of is a rookie error we urge you not to make! 

Why waste precious daylight hours at the shop, or in the kitchen? This is valuable time you could be spending on your picnic!

We’d advise you to make a list of your ideal picnic spread and purchase it in advance. Any prep work – making sandwiches, boiling eggs, cooking chipolatas – can be done the night before and packed up in the fridge ready to go. 

Prepare your ice packs and unearth your cool box before you go to bed. This way you can get everything you need packed up and in the car with no unnecessary delays in the morning. 

Set off early

The chances are that if you’re considering a picnic, so is everyone else. 

While some might hit the beach instead, we encourage you to beat the crowds (and the traffic!) by setting out nice and early. 

Weekends and bank holidays are most likely to jam-packed, so try and get on the road as soon as you can – especially if you intend to go further afield. 

Friends and small dog enjoying picnic in woods

Rainy day? No problem!

Sometimes the fair-weather report gets squashed unexpectedly. If you wake up to rain on the day of your picnic, think again before you postpone. 

A rainy-day picnic is a perfect activity to break school holiday cabin fever. Simply carry on as planned – but instead of heading to a specific destination, try going for a mystery drive in your new lease car

When you find a quiet road, pull over in a safe spot and enjoy your picnic in the dry confines of your vehicle. There is nothing quite like embracing the gloomy atmosphere of a rainy day while chomping on a scotch egg in the back seat of a car. 

And if you’re worried about the kids making a mess, just lay the picnic blanket across the back seat to protect the upholstery from stains and hard-to-remove crumbs. 

Make sure you have a varied feast

It’s no good having all sweet, or all savoury! A successful picnic contains a balanced array of flavours to keep all tastebuds satisfied. 

Classic picnic fare often includes jam sandwiches, hard-boiled eggs, scones, cooked chipolatas or cocktail sausages, a selection of crisps and, of course, lashings of ginger beer (at least according to every Famous Five story we’ve ever read).

What you choose is up to you, but we recommend you pack food that is quick to assemble, slow to spoil and, most importantly, that you like!

Leave no trace

Of course, having a fun day out is the point of a picnic – but not at the expense of all responsibility to your environment. 

Much the same as camping, you should aim to leave your picnic spot no worse for wear from your presence. By this, we mean that you should leave no trace of yourself behind. 

Make sure you (and the kids!) pick up any and all rubbish and carry it away from the picnic site. It helps to pack a bag for exactly this purpose, ensuring that plastic bottles, wrappers and other rubbish are collected instead of being left behind. 

You might even consider your cutlery and crockery. Rather than picking disposable options, try and consider materials that can be reused safely. If you must pack paper plates, try and ensure they are plain and recyclable. 

Close up of a picnic blanket with crackers, fruit and chutney

Carparison’s favourite picnic picks! 

Because we enjoy making them hungry well before lunchtime, we asked Carparison staff for their favourite picnic foods. Take a look if you need some inspiration! 

Mini scotch eggs 

Mini cocktail sausages

Pork pies

Cold chipolatas 

Little sandwiches cut into triangular quarters – jam or egg filling dependent on preference

Hard-boiled eggs 






Posh salt and vinegar crisps 

Ginger beer

Cheese and crackers