It’s time to get outdoors and picnic

Summer is officially here and with July being National Picnic Month, there is no better excuse to head outdoors, pack a picnic and blanket and enjoy the views and wildlife on our doorstep.

Ross-on-Wye has plenty of stunning scenery and viewing points in and around the town so we’ve compiled our top five beauty spots where you might want to enjoy an al fresco picnic.

The Prospect: adjacent to St Mary’s Church, the Prospect gardens has probably the most spectacular viewing point in Ross with views over the River Wye and towards the Welsh border. The beautiful gardens house the War Memorial on one side and a pretty rose arbour on the other side of the path, near to the recently planted Platanus Acerifolia London Plane tree (understood to be one of the Queen’s favourite trees) as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy scheme. There are benches dotted around the gardens or you can take a blanket and enjoy the views from the grass.

The Rope Walk: along the riverside, many people like to enjoy picnics either on the grass or using one of the new tables next to the children’s play area which includes a table with space for wheelchair access. Along the length of the Rope Walk, you are surrounded by part of the Linear Arboretum, Ross’s very own tree lined park, which has a wide variety of species including cherry trees, beeches, monkey puzzles, crab apples and birches. The area is popular with dog walkers too, as there is plenty of space to exercise your four legged friend before settling down for a lazy afternoon watching the world go by.

Caroline Symonds Gardens: at the bottom of Wye Street, this popular meeting point has benches, plenty of room to stretch out and the added bonus of the public lavatories if you get caught short. Also part of the Linear Arboretum, this pretty open space houses the Bandstand and is surrounded by plenty of trees and wildlife. Once you’ve finished your picnic, you can walk it off by heading through the tunnels towards Wilton and take a stroll around the playing fields or along the riverside.

The Market House: if you prefer a little more action, why not take your lunch and enjoy eating al fresco in the middle of town under the Market House? The town council has tables and chairs on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays for you to enjoy the outdoors with a little overhead cover should it rain. Pick up a coffee, a bag of delicious local produce or snacks from one of the many cafés and delicatessens and enjoy a bit of people watching, the good old favourite British past time. Try Truffles Delicatessen on the High Street or Field Fayre on Broad Street for some quality snacks, sandwiches or salad boxes or head to one of the independent cafés – Caffe Eleganza, The Ginger Nut Café, Victoria’s, Thorn’s Coffee Lounge or the oldest café in Ross, The Priory Coffee House – for a range of takeouts.

Pebble beach: just behind Ross Rowing Club, you will find the popular pebble beach, a short stretch tucked away behind a grass verge, which is perfect for both dog walking and picnicking. Popular with locals who are in the know, you can paddle in the shallow water to cool down or sit and watch the swans and mandarin ducks float by. After eating, there is an easy riverside walk if you head towards the bridge and follow the path which loops back at several points depending on how far you want to venture out.