THERE'S no better way to celebrate summer than packing a picnic and catching up with friends and family.

From sandy beaches to stunning cliff tops, woodland glades, garden retreats and remote country corners, there are loads of great places to down your picnic blanket around Yorkshire.

On Sunday we’re encouraging a revival of the proud British tradition of the picnic, whatever the weather. Local schools, community groups, children’s centres, in fact anyone who likes a picnic are invited along to enjoy the great outdoors between 11am and 3pm for this free event.

Just turn up on the day with a picnic and blanket to enjoy relaxing with us in the great outdoors. For anyone who isn’t able to join us on July 12, then the grounds are open daily between 9am-5pm.

There are a good number of picnic benches on the lower field and along the River Walk - four-legged friends are very welcome on the bottom field and River Walk too.

Families visiting the house and garden can make use of the picnic bench in the play area or enjoy picnicking in the gardens amidst the flower borders of ever-changing colours.

Great picnic spots can also be found further afield at our neighbouring National Trust place, Hardcastle Crags. This beauty spot near Hebden Bridge boasts over 400 acres of unspoilt woodland.

As well as being the home of the northern hairy wood ant, there are tumbling streams, glorious waterfalls and stacks of millstone grit, all crisscrossed by more than 15 miles (24km) of footpaths, making it a perfect place to enjoy a woodland walk and picnic.

At its heart is Gibson Mill, a family-oriented visitor centre, telling the history of the valley over the past 200 years, with interactive displays, dressing up, dancing and exhibitions.

Having no link to the national grid, the mill is unique in the UK and is the Trust's flagship sustainable building. Access to Hardcastle Crags is free, but car parking charges apply.

We’re very excited to introduce Marian Barker as a Poet in Residence at East Riddlesden Hall. Marian normally spends her Saturday’s bringing history to life for our visitors in her role as Room Guide.

From this week Marian will also be available every Tuesday between 1pm to 4pm in the Discovery Room. Visitors will be able to listen to and read her poems about East Riddlesden Hall and the surrounding area.

There’ll be an opportunity to put pen to paper for anyone feeling inspired by Marian’s words and by this special place.

Tickets for our performance of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night later this summer are still available at £14 for adults and £7.50 for under 18s. Please call 0844 2491895 for further information.

The property is open Saturdays to Wednesdays between 10.30am and 4.30pm (last admission is 4pm). There’s no charge for the family picnic or poetry readings, however, general admission prices will apply for the poetry. Entry is free for National Trust members and under-fives.

For more information, please visit or call 01535 607075 during office hours.