This week has been national picnic week. We have some fabulous spots here at The Cottage Beyond, and further afield in the local area - i'm sure you do too! Keep your fingers crossed the weather stays and pack up a picnic to enjoy this weekend.
Top 10 picnic spots to visit while staying at The Cottage Beyond.
1. Woodpecker woods.
Available exclusively for guests staying at Kittisford Barton, Woodpecker Woods at the top of the farm is a short walk away, with log swings, fairy doors, animal silhouettes to spot and of course, a few picnic benches!
2. Bathealton Stream.
Meandering through woodland at the bottom of the farm is Bathealton Stream, and half way along you will come to 'Hugh's Picnic Bench', in spring the area is covered in wild garlic which smells incredible, and there is a small silty 'beach' to paddle from, and its a lovely shady spot to sit at on hot and sunny days.
Half way down the hill towards watery lane is Little Cocklands, one of our smaller fields, over the years it has developed into the most beautiful species rich wildflower meadow. Wandering through last week we identified over 20 species of wildflower and grasses which are looking fabulous right now. This would be a beautiful spot to picnic and butterfly watch from.
4. Little Cocklands Pond.
At the corner of Little Cocklands is Little Cocklands Pond, a picturesque, peaceful place to sit and ponder (no pun intended!). Bring a picnic blanket, or sit on the bench and logs around the pond; just perfect!
Many of our fields are perfect for four leaf clover hunting - the clover-rich grass is comfy to sit on too! Just avoid the fields with cattle in them - or you might have them join you for your picnic!
Well, why not! With well manicured lawns, shady areas, space for croquet, boules, or football and the childrens play equipment too its a great space for a picnic. You can use the cutlery and crockery from the house, and we've plastic tumbers and wine glasses so you can really up the standards of a traditional picnic - and you can always nip back inside if you've forgotten something vital!
An appetite building walk, or short drive, away from TCB is Langford Heathfield. There is wooded area to explore, paths to wander and ponies to spot. You could even pop into White Post Cafe for a takeaway coffee and cake to add to your picnic!
8. Down by the River Tone.
The River Tone runs past the bottom of the farm and on towards Taunton, before joining the River Parrett and heading out to the Bristol Channel north of Bridgewater. There are many access points along the Tone, and Rewe Mead nature reserve has public access which you can reach on foot as part of a great circular walk from The Cottage Beyond.
Owned by the National Trust, the Wellington Monument is a sight to behold. With fabulous old hedgerows to play in, and the obelisk itself to admire, its one of our favourite 'off site' picnic spots!
10. The Grand Western Canal.
You can reach the canal at a number of different spots, most of which have good parking and enable you to access over 11 miles of flat, surfaced towpath. At the Lodwells end nearest us it is incredibly peaceful with moorhen and swan being the most frequent users of the waterway; nearer Tiverton, at the other end, you can organise a horse-drawn barge trip, or hire canoes.
We are always happy to talk to you about your plans while you are staying here; from providing top tips on where to find your four leaf clovers, to local knowledge about the footpaths and fields please ask away, and if you fancy having a picnic provided for your group then we can recommend local caterers to help create you a luxury lunch or afternoon tea!