Picnics

The North Wessex Downs is a fantastic place to meet up with family and friends and is within easy reach of London, Oxford and the central south coast. In 2020, we received many enquiries from people who wanted to find a safe, outdoor place to meet their loved ones, so we have gathered our suggestions together here so you can continue to easily organise great outdoor meet-ups in these beautiful surroundings.

Don’t forget to follow the Countryside Code while you’re out and about, keep your dogs on leads where requested and take all your litter home with you so that the North Wessex Downs remains beautiful and safe for people, wildlife and livestock.

Respect Everyone | Protect the Environment | Enjoy your time in the North Wessex Downs

Snelsmore Common

Managed by BBOWT

Plenty of room to run & play. A paved walk (3/4 mile) and longer nature walks.  Surfaces may be uneven. Dogs allowed on leads. It can be very busy at weekends: please park responsibly.  Facilities: Picnic tables & BBQ sites. Takeaway café. Accessible toilets. Parking (suggested donation to BBOWT Wildlife Trust).

Getting there: 10 minutes SW of Junction 13 M4/A34
Nearest postcode: RG14 3BQ (this is the postcode for the Mary Hare School opposite)

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Postern Hill, Savernake Forest

Managed by Forestry England

Room to run & play. Forest walks. Dogs allowed on leads. Can be busy at weekends – please park responsibly. Surfaces may be uneven.

Facilities: Picnic tables. Toilets. Further facilities in Marlborough (10 mins drive). Parking (no charge)
Getting there: 25 mins S from M4 Junction 15
Postcode: SN8 4ND (at the entrance keep straight on for picnic areas)

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Canalside at Kintbury

Managed by Canal & River Trust

Canalside walk. Dogs allowed. The canal towpath can be busy at weekends. Be aware of the deep lock – may not be suitable for small children

Facilities: Toilets. One picnic table near to canal towpath
Getting there: 15 mins south from M4 Junction14
Nearest postcode: RG17 9UT

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Hungerford Common

Managed by Hungerford Town and Manor

Dogs allowed on leads. Facilities & refreshments available in Hungerford (two minutes’ drive). Bring your own picnic furniture. Room to run & play. Kite flying.  Parking (no charge). Be aware that cattle graze the Common April-October. Car parking and grass are very uneven.

Getting there: 10 mins south of M4 Junction14
Nearest postcode: RG17 0DY (entrance to Common) continue to centre of Common for car parking

Dragon Hill and White Horse, Uffington

Managed by English Heritage/National Trust

Fine views. Dogs allowed on leads. Walks. Uneven grass and it can be muddy in wet weather.  Parking charge – free to English Heritage/ National Trust members

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Avebury

Managed by National Trust/English Heritage

Ancient monument of standing stones. Can be busy. Arrive early to get into the car park for summer holidays/ summer weekends. Facilities: Toilets (10 mins walk from car park). Check website for café details. Picnic benches. Parking charge – check website for details. Free for NT/English Heritage members. Blue badge holders can park on High Street.

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Search picnic spots in the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

image credits: Snelsmore Common, Ann Shepley; Savernake, Ann Shepley; Kintbury duck, Ann Shepley;
Hungerford Common, Henry Oliver; White Horse, Pippa Palmer; Avebury, David Hall