The Green House Hotel’s Top Ten Places to Picnic this Spring

Not long now before the weather improves enough to enjoy lunch or afternoon tea on the lawn here at the Green House Hotel, Bournemouth’s most eco-friendly luxury boutique hotel and home to the 2 AA-rosette restaurant Arbor. In the meantime, there’s always the good old British picnic. Why not lunch al fresco with one of Arbor’s delicious lunches-to-go? In your Green House Hotel picnic backpack you’ll find a selection of finger sandwiches, Dorset cheese, biscuits & homemade chutney, Chef’s freshly baked sweet scones, seasonal salad, an assortment of cakes & fancies and a soft drink – all for £25 for two. Add a bottle of Prosecco for £32. You’ll also have all the glasses and cutlery you’ll need – plus, of course, a blanket!

There can be few counties with more picnic possibilities than Dorset, from our World Heritage coastline to our untouched fields and valleys and our ancient ruins. And it doesn’t have to be warm and sunny to enjoy a picnic here – just wrap up warm and enjoy our county’s great tradition, whatever the weather.
Here are some of our own favourite picnic spots for you to visit.
1) Corfe Castle
Reputed to be the inspiration for Kirren in Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books, so be sure to pack lashings of ginger beer! This thousand-year-old royal palace and fortress is one of Britain’s most iconic and evocative survivors of the English Civil War with breathtaking views across Purbeck. With fallen walls and secret places, there are countless picnic possibilities.
2) Brownsea Island
A short boat ride from Poole Quay or Sandbanks, this dramatically located island in Poole Harbour has woods, heath, fields, cliffs, beaches and lovely coastal views. It’s home to rare red squirrels, Sika deer, and is a haven for wading birds. And it’s a great place to enjoy an Arbor!
3) The Lulworth Ranges
An important training establishment of the British Army the Lulworth Army ranges include the coast from just west of Kimmeridge Bay to just east of Lulworth Cove as well as the village of Tyneham and Worbarrow Bay. For operational and safety reasons access to the ranges is restricted to specific times, but when they are open it’s well worth taking the road between Creech Grange and East Lulworth – there are two public car parks with stunning views of Poole Harbour on one side and the Purbeck coast on the other – perfect for a scenic sandwich!
4) Hengistbury Head
A beautiful headland between Poole and Christchurch Harbour bays with gentle walking, open spaces and vistas to the Isle of Wight and back towards Boscombe, Bournemouth and Sand Banks, Poole harbour entrance and the Purbecks. Hike up to the top or walk the whole way along the sea front, just don’t forget the sarnies for sustenance!
5) Bournemouth beach
Soak up the sunshine and the sea air on our wonderful beach, just a stone’s throw from the front door of The Green House Hotel. There’s so much to do from hiring a volleyball court to just sitting and admiring the views! Regularly voted one of the top ten family beaches in the UK, there’s something for everyone. And with 11km of golden sand, you won’t have any trouble finding a spot for your picnic blanket!
6) Badbury Rings
Iron Age hill fort, amazing flora and fauna and some excellent views across the Dorset countryside. There are Roman roads passing by and Bronze Age burial mounds, while the Oaks is an ancient woodland planted at the beginning of the 14th century. If you want history and atmosphere with your hamper, this could be your spot.
7) Swanage
A popular Victorian seaside resort, built around a beautiful bay sheltered from the north by Ballard Down and at the south, Peveril Point. Take a walk through town, countryside and woodland, or atop sheer cliffs, enjoy the shallow sheltered beach or the restored pier, and enjoy a picnic with panache in this genteel, gentle place.
8) Go Butterfly hunting
Dorset is one of the best places in the UK to see butterflies, and almost a million have been counted in the last five years. Dorset Butterfly Conservation now needs help to fill in the gaps or ‘white holes’ where no butterfly sightings have been reported: Halstock in West Dorset, Hurn Forest near Bournemouth Airport and Morden just west of Lytchett Matravers are three of the areas in question. So throw in a butterfly identification book with your butties and help get that map coloured in!
9) Worth Matravers
This quiet coastal village with a fascinating history sits on the edge of an ancient quarry which provided Purbeck stone to build houses. In fact, Worth supplied marble for the pillars of Salisbury Cathedral in the 1200s! Chapmans Pool is a secluded cove located about 2 miles south of the village, ideal for swimming or fossil hunting and accessible by foot or via the small car park close by. Definitely worth a look!
10) The Green House Hotel Gardens
Of course it’s perfectly possible that peace, and relaxation are your priorities in which case, may we suggest you go absolutely nowhere? Here at the Green House Hotel, in line with our environmental ethos, we have created a nature garden to encourage fauna and flora and to provide an essential eco system services for plants and other animals. So why not just take your picnic lunch, find a quiet corner in our private garden and enjoy the birdsong, the wildlife and the peace and quiet.

To book a room at the Green House Hotel and enquire about our picnics, please call us on 01202 498900 or e-mail us on

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