What is the nation’s favourite picnic item? Have traditional favourites such as egg and cress sandwiches or cheese and onion crisps, fallen foul to healthier options such as quinoa salad or kale chips?
According to a poll* of members and visitors to its area, Wye Valley and Forest of Dean Tourism found that the Scotch Egg reigns supreme as the nibble to tickle the taste buds of people who love to feast outdoors on fine days.
Out of the basket in 2018
Picnickers are no longer keen on cold sausages, chicken drumsticks, jam tarts and hard-boiled eggs, as these items barely made it onto the list. Healthier options such as superfoods or apples were nowhere to be seen.
|In the basket in 2018
|Out of the basket in 2018
|1. Scotch Eggs
|Hard boiled eggs|
|3. Pork Pies
|6. Sausage Rolls
Visitors have also been asked to list their favourite picnic spots in the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean. Here’s the top picks:
- Beechenhurst Lodge: the perfect rain or shine picnic location, with plenty of outdoor space to enjoy in the sunshine and indoor space just in case it rains. In the heart of the Forest, the centre is close to the Sculpture Trail and has a play area, cafe, shop and an exciting climbing tower.
- White Castle/Skenfrith Castle/St. Briavels Castle: Want a magnificent backdrop to enjoy while feasting outdoors? These castles have proved popular with visitors to the Dean Wye on both sides of the English and Welsh borders. White Castle and Skenfrith Castle are both in Monmouthshire, while St Briavels is located in Gloucestershire.
- Mallards Pike: voted the best place to picnic in the South West in the Warburtons Picnic Awards. The site consists of man-made lakes and is a popular attraction for walking, cycling and other adventure activities. With seasonal hot and cold refreshments on site Mallards Pike is a great location for a family picnic.
- Cannop Ponds: a popular picnic site in the Forest of Dean, it has a large grass area to spread out picnic blankets near to the ponds. The ponds are very picturesque and home to lots of wildlife including ducks, swards and dragonflies.
- The Kymin: a two-storey circular Georgian banqueting house and naval temple, one mile east of Monmouth, in wooded hilltop grounds, which afford spectacular views of the surrounding countryside. When Admiral Lord Nelson visited the site in 1802 he described it as one of the most beautiful places he had ever seen.
For a region that is a primary producer of top quality food and drink there are dozens of farm shops and delis that sell top quality picnic items. The new Forest Deli in the centre of Coleford sells all the items mentioned above.
Debbie Jones, owner of the Forest Deli, commented: “We get lots of people in asking for locally-sourced ingredients for their picnics and try to buy from a 13-mile radius. As well as a vast cheese selection customers love our freshly baked sausage rolls, quiches and veggie crisps, and of course our magnificent Scotch Eggs.”
Maureen McAllister, executive director of the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean Tourism, added: “It looks as though the traditional picnic food favourites are still popular in the Dean Wye, although our fantastic shops offer plenty of delicious food for anyone wanting a locally sourced picnic, either with traditional fayre or more on trend food and drink. Why not try both traditional then modern and see which you prefer?”.
For more information on visiting the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean and where to go for the perfect picnic click on www.wyedeantourism.co.uk
*Survey conducted via Facebook in June with 66 respondents