Wednesday, July 17, 2019 from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM BST
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Hosted by Exmoor National Park, with support from the Exmoor Socierty, Exmoor Hill Farming Network, Somerset County Council and the family of UK National Parks.

Sponsored by Tarmac


Simonsbath Sawmill and Riverside Meadow 
Junction of B3223 and B3358
Exmoor TA24 7SH
United Kingdom



Exmoor National Park 
01398 323665 


National Parks Big Picnic 


If you'd like your name to be added to a Reserve list please email bigpicnic@exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk

Join us at this special event at Simonsbath to celebrate 70 years of UK National Parks following the 1949 National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act that created them.

The UK now boasts fifteen National Parks, part of a global family of National Parks, offering the best places to experience some of the UK’s most extraordinary landscapes. These places of exceptional beauty provide opportunities to connect with nature, enhance our health and wellbeing, trace our heritage and look to a sustainable future.

We will be joined by special guests including Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Minister for National Parks), Niall Hobhouse (grandson of Arthur Hobhouse, a prominent Somerset politician who drafted the original Act), representatives of the UK National Park family plus some very special VIPs who will be joining us to celebrate all that National Parks offer to the nation.

The ‘National Parks Big Picnic’ will take place in Simonsbath's beautiful riverside meadows, at the heart of Exmoor National Park’s former Royal hunting grounds. They were bought by the Knight family in the 1800s, whose ambitious plans to tame what was then one of the last true wildernesses in Southern England helped create the Exmoor we know and love today.

Bring your picnic and your rug or chairs and join us for the day. The meadows will be alive with a celebration of the countryside with plenty to see and do, and a few surprises along the way. Highlights will include:

  • Local produce – the chance to get a true taste of Exmoor
  • Local crafts display
  • Live music
  • Discover the UK’s fifteen National Parks and their history
  • Tours of a Victorian water-powered sawmill
  • See conservation in action and John Knight's lost gardens at Ashcombe
  • Countryside activities
  • A celebration of local arts and culture
  • Interactive displays and demonstrations of farming, wildlife conservation, volunteering, education and more!

And of course it wouldn’t be a celebration without a cream tea and slice of cake – available free to all ticket holders!

Locally sourced refreshments will also be available to buy including hog roast / bbq, local ales, and cider, gin, teas,coffees and ice creams.

This is a one-off opportunity to celebrate all that National Parks stand for and we do hope you will join us. The event is free, but tickets will be limited. Please claim your tickets as soon as possible using the link below. If you’re unable to do this online please contact us on 01398 323665.

Due to the limited number of tickets and costs involved we reserve the right to charge a 10 no-show fee. Should you book tickets and subsequently find yourself unable to attend it is essential you notify us as soon as possible - BigPicnic@exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk.

Full details of the day including travel and parking arrangements will be provided to all those that have registered in advance of the day.  There is no formal dress code - come as you would to enjoy a day in the countryside and don’t forget your wellies if it is damp (undercover spaces will be available in the case of rain).