This is a sponsored article on behalf of Zipcar.
Pack up that gingham blanket and don't forget the sunscreen, because it's officially picnic season. And Zipcar, the UK's leading car sharing service, is here to help you make the most of it. Having grilled 1000 Londoners on their picnicking habits, these guys reckon they've identified all the key ingredients for the ultimate alfresco feast in the capital.
According to the research, 85% of Londoners have at least one picnic planned this summer, with the most popular reason being to soak up those precious rays of sunshine. While we sadly can't guarantee that the great British weather will cooperate, those surveyed did have plenty of tips to help you plan the perfect London picnic.
Zipcar found that the peace of nature was second most popular picnic perk. Given that 5.8 million picnics are set to take place this summer, finding a moment of tranquility in the city could prove tricky for a picnic novice. Luckily, those surveyed shared plenty of under-the-radar spots to set down your basket.
Fancy picnicking like royalty? Go for Forty Hall in Enfield, and graze in the shade of a stunning Jacobean manor house. Or head Highgate-wards and admire the City views and lush greenery of Waterlow Park. There are plenty of recommendations south of the river, too — The Rookery in Streatham, with its rock garden, old cedar trees and ornamental pond is one particularly picturesque pick. If you're looking to make a day of it, Horniman Museum Gardens is the perfect place for the whole family to replenish themselves before exploring the wonders of natural history.
The best views
If you're all about those dramatic cityscapes, though, you'll want to head to a proper picnic hotspot. According to the research, Greenwich Park is the most popular destination for picnic-goers who crave an amazing view. And given that you can see basically the whole of London from it, it's easy to see why.
Looking for something north of the river? Clamber up Primrose Hill, or head to Hampstead Heath's Parliament Hill instead.
Despite London's diverse culinary offerings, the Londoners quizzed by Zipcar like to keep things pretty traditional when it comes to picnic grub, with sandwiches and BBQ food topping the poll.
But traditional doesn't have to mean basic — grab a sourdough loaf from your local deli or some jerk chicken from a street food market en route and prepare to be the most popular picnic guest of them all. If you're feeling extra indulgent, you can even treat yourself to a pre-made picnic hamper from the likes of Corrigan's, The Mount Street Deli, or Fortnum & Mason.
Wheels when you want them
You've decided on your destination, packed that picnic basket, and now all that's left is to get there. With Zipcar Flex, you can spontaneously book and jump into your VW Polo or VW e-Golf — a godsend if you don't want to make plans until you know what the weather is doing! And because there are thousands of approved parking bays within the Zipzone (covering 10 inner London boroughs and Heathrow T5), you don't have to waste precious picnic time searching for a parking space.
What's more, you only pay for the exact amount of time you drive. So you can end your trip when you arrive at your destination, graze at a leisurely pace, and then book another car for the journey home (or even get the tube home, should that flask of Pimm's prove too tempting...) Join today and enjoy hassle-free driving from just 29p per minute for a VW Polo and just 31p per minute for a fully electric VW e-Golf.
Everyone is invited to celebrate summer at Zipcar’s free picnic event in London Fields, featuring plenty of fun and freebies (including ice cream!) on Saturday 20 July 2019 from 10am. Check out the Zipcar Facebook page for more info.