A carefully prepared picnic deserves a great view to wash it down. In a region crammed with spectacular landscapes, our list of the finest alfresco dining spots will give you a place to start for truly memorable outdoor meals.
Corrie Fee National Nature Reserve is a dramatic amphitheatre cut from the earth by a glacier. A good path leads from the Glen Doll car park (a small charge applies) on a gentle walk to a viewpoint of the corrie. Picnic here, then you can take lighter bags on the steeper route to the waterfall at the back, possibly seeing golden eagles on the way.
One of three stunning country parks in Angus, Crombie has great BBQ and picnic facilities. Afterwards, enjoy a scenic woodland walk along one of the trails. The area is a fantastic place to spot wildlife – look out for red squirrels, woodpeckers, roe deer and waterfowl. There’s an adventure playground for the little ones too.
One of Scotland’s finest waterfalls (the name means ‘smoking pool’), surrounded by woodland. A car park and picnic site are about 200m away from the falls, next to the River Isla on the B954, then the path to the waterfall follows the rim of a deep gorge with an unprotected 150ft/45m drop – it’s unfenced, so take care with children.
Three miles of strawberry blonde sand backed by large dunes, Lunan Bay is on any list of best Scottish beaches. It’s overlooked by the ruins of Red Castle, and reputed for agate and other gemstones turning up amongst the pebbles. There’s car parking behind the dunes, and the beach is popular with horse riders and surfers.
Right on the Highland Boundary Fault, the romantically named Rocks of Solitude is a narrow gorge, through which the North Esk river plunges, occasionally in impressive waterfalls. Most visitors park in picturesque Edzell then take a path from there that follows the river upstream. At the right time of year salmon can be seen leaping up their ladder.
Edzell Castle, now ruined, dates from the early 16th century. Once owned by the Lindsays, now by Historic Scotland, the finest feature is the wonderful walled garden, added in 1604 and recreated in the 1930s. Unique in Europe, the original, most intriguing feature, remains intact: four walls carved with intricate allegorical panels. Admission prices apply, and there’s a picnic area.