Angela is a freelance writer and radio producer living in the heart of Newcastle. She is endeavouring to find and share the best the city has to offer no matter how many delicious restaurants she has to endure.
Published December 16th 2012
Grab your rug 'cause we're going pick-a-nickin'
Everyone loves a picnic, especially ants, but often the trickiest part (apart from keeping off the ants) is choosing the perfect spot. To avoid your next picnic turning into a Berenstain Bears situation, I suggest you follow my tips and try out the best picnic spots Newcastle has to offer.
1. King Edward Park
This gorgeous park has been Novacastrians' most favoured picnic place ever since it was dedicated into a recreation reserve in 1863. Featuring a stunning Victorian rotunda in the centre and shady Norfolk pines around the perimeter, the park has a large expanse of nice, flat healthy lawn perfect for spreading out a blanket and setting up shop (or setting up your chops!).
Speaking of chops, the rotunda contains a barbecue or two for those of you who are fond of your meats. From fancy marinated kebabs to your good old snag sandwich, you can cook it all just metres from your chosen picnic spot. And after you're finished pic-a-nickin', you can go for a nice stroll through the adjacent gardens that are often blooming with roses and other lovely botanical wonders. Or just sit back and watch the other park goers tossing frisbees, reading or enjoying a drink or two.
I've said it before and I'll say it again - Susan Gilmore beach is one of the best, most picturesque places in Newcastle. A perfect, often secluded, spot to relax and enjoy the waves and sun, I couldn't think of many better places for a picnic.
Bring your swimmers, a few nice cheeses, a bottle of champagne and grapes and enjoy having your own private beach. What a gorgeous spot. My tip is to go in the late afternoon to avoid the heat of direct sun and sit up close to the headland. You could even use a nice flat rock as your picnic table as myself and a friend did one afternoon. Now that's getting amongst nature.
3. Nobby's Lighthouse
Last but not least is Nobby's Lighthouse. You might not think that a lighthouse would be an ideal place for a picnic but this qualifies as one of my favourite spots to spread a rug for one reason only - the view. If you're willing to brave the crowds that visit the landmark every Sunday (the only day of the week it is open to the public) and find a spot on the grass out the front, I can promise you a picnic to remember.
The lighthouse is located on the summit of Nobby's headland giving you, the picnic connoisseur, an almost 360 degree view of the beautiful city of Newcastle. Christchurch Cathedral, Nobby's and Horseshoe Beaches, Stockton, Honeysuckle and the great blue ocean - it all opens up before you into a postcard perfect view. Now that's a lot to digest. (Also, ants are afraid of heights so they can't get you up here!)