If the weather forecast can be believed, we might get some decent weather for the bank holiday weekend, a great opportunity to take the family for a picnic in the park. You don’t have to spend a fortune – pick up the makings of a lunch in Lidl, while Argos has a 22-litre cooler bag on offer for €6.99 (reduced from €10.99) and a set of three freeze boards for €11.99 (reduced from €15.99)
Don’t forget paper plates and plastic cutlery, sunscreen and hats to keep yourself and your family safe under the sun, and wipes – picnics can be messy!
Top spots across the country
Phoenix Park, Dublin city – easily accessible from a range of routes including the M50, Heuston train station and the red Luas line, there are several dedicated picnic areas throughout, including the Victorian People’s Flower Gardens, the Ashtown Demense and the Victorian Tea Rooms. If you arrive on Saturday, you might be able to take a free tour of Áras an Uachtaráin. Tickets are available from the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre on Saturdays on a first-come-first-served basis.
Glendalough, Co Wicklow – A great place to take a stroll and then have your lunch al fresco, Glendalough has a number of picnic areas throughout. The miner’s village is a great place to have a picnic on the shores of the upper lake, surrounded by the mountain slopes. Don’t forget to stop by the round tower and St. Mary’s Church, located near the visitor’s centre.
Mizen Head, Co Cork – With spectacular views across the sea, Mizen Head is a great place to stop off for lunch along the Wild Atlantic Way, as is the Mizen Head Signal Station.
Killary fjord, Connemara – Forming a natural border between the neighbouring counties of Mayo and Galway, Killary is one of just three glacial fjords found in Ireland. Surrounded by beautiful landscape, follow the old Green Road, built as a famine relief project, for a scenic spot to stop. Boat tours of the fjord are also available, and kids (0-10 years) go free.
Tollymore Forest Park, Co Down – Tollymore Forest Park was named Northern Ireland’s top picnic spot last year, and also played host to Game of Thrones, doubling as the Haunted Forest north of the Wall in Westeros. The park covers 630 hectares in total, with views of the nearby Mourne mountains and the sea at Newcastle. Open all year round, there’s a parking charge of £5, alongside a wooden play space for the kids and a number of picnic tables.