Newcastle’s seven best picnic spots for hot Geordie summer

Exhibition park reigns supreme

Even with the clubs and pubs open, and restrictions having fully lifted on July 19th, it can definitely be said that with the pandemic we’ve grown a new found appreciation for the outdoors.

At the height of lockdown, drinking and picnicking outdoors was the only option and it reminded us all fondly of being 16 again, drinking Red Stripe and eating Thai Sweet Chilli Sensations in a field while our parents thought we were at a sleepover.

Picnics have definitely made a comeback as a result, and whether in or out of lockdown, are an essential activity for any hot Geordie summer – here are our seven top spots to enjoy one in Newcastle.

Exhibition Park

The OG and dare we say it, the best. Exhibition Park always seems to be sunny, has gorgeous views of the lake and Wylam Brewery and is always buzzing with other picnic goers, creating a social, happy atmosphere.

The best thing about Exhibition Park is it’s huge size, as you never have to panic about not finding a space and having to hover nervously, plastic wine glasses in hand, while you wait for someone to move.

Leazes Park

Leazes is like the lesser-known version of Exhibition park and criminally under rated if you ask us. It’s closer to the city centre, has gorgeous close up views of St James Park and is within close range to the Tesco underneath The View, so you can buy your picnic supplies when you get there rather than carrying them from home.

Jesmond Dene

Jesmond Dene’s versatile range of picnic areas and close proximity to 99 per cent of student houses makes it the most popular choice on the list. Choose from the waterfall, beneath Armstrong Bridge or near the lake in Paddy Freeman’s park.

They even hold a food market on the weekends, so why not boujee up the Tesco meal deal you’ve inevitably bought for picnic scran? Plus, if you get bored, you can go to pets corner and marvel at the goats.

Heaton Park

Heaton Park is the obvious choice for Heaton resident students and is located just over Armstrong Bridge from Jesmond Dene. It’s less busy and family populated than Jesmond Dene, making it very tinnies and a bbq vibes, so it’s perfect for a party picnic somewhere a bit quieter and more studenty.

You’re guaranteed to bump into someone you know from campus here on a hot day.

The Coast

Beach picnics still count, right? Whether you favour Tynemouth or Whitley Bay, a picnic on the beach is perfect for those extra sunny days. Easily accessible by Metro, you can even spice it up a bit by lighting a barbecue and toasting marshmallows as the sun sets or getting fish and chips.

 Great North Museum: Hancock Gardens

We bet you’d never even thought of this one. The gardens outside of the Great North Museum make a perfect city centre picnic spot.

They’re free entry and close to the uni, ideal for if you’re planning a post-seminar picnic, complete with snacks from the SU Co-Op. Plus, if you get bored, you can always go for a look around the museum.

Saltwell Park

A little further afield across the river in Gateshead, Saltwell Park is a gorgeous location. With acres of field, as well as a lake, maze, dene and a zen garden you’ll be spoilt for choice on where to enjoy your picnic.

This is probably the location with the best views too, for those of you who are mostly having a picnic for the insta

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