By Visit Cornwall
Cornwall’s outstanding coastline, rugged uplands and peaceful woodland areas make it the perfect place for a spot of al-fresco dining.
Below we have compiled our Top 10 favourite spots to ensure your next picnic is one to remember!
We may be a little biased but with 6000 acres of beautiful woodland, vast lawns, a 100 year old rhododendron garden and Grade 1 listed gardens designed by Sir Henry Repton, Port Eliot really is the perfect picnicking spot.
Voted the West Countries favourite picnic spot by readers of the Western Morning News, Kynance Cove is a designated area of outstanding natural beauty located on the western side of the Lizard Peninsula. A popular beach resort since the Victorian era, Kynance Cove boasts clear waters, white sands and rare serpentine rock formations.
The cove is accessible via a set of steep steps with National Trust parking facilities available on the downs above. Please note that although the beach is dog friendly a seasonal dog ban is active between Easter Sunday and 30th September.
Lying on the North Coast between Newquay and Padstow, Bedruthan Steps draws its name from the large slate outcrops scattered along the beach supposedly placed there to be used as stepping stones by the Cornish giant “Bedruthan”.
The cliffs at Bedruthan have experienced 1000s of years of erosion leaving several impressive volcanic stacks that form a series of columns stretching from Pendarves Island to Diggory’s island.
Fancy a night-time picnic? The Bedruthan Steps was recently voted as one of the top star gazing spots in the UK.
Access to the beach can prove difficult however is well worth the effort. A privately owned car park is located near the top of the cliffs. Please note dogs are allowed onto the beach however bathing is unsuitable at all times.
Cardinham Woods is a beautiful 650-acre area of mixed woodland located in the valley of Cardinham Water river. Popular with walkers and cyclists of all levels there are four sign posted walking trails to follow with the Lady Vale Walk being one of the first walks to be awarded Millennium Miles status by the Fieldfare Trust.
A fantastic picnic area is located close to the river with public BBQs available to use free of charge. The Woods Café can also be found in the very heart of the woods serving delicious lunches, fresh bakes and steaming coffees.
Just a stone’s throw from the centre of St Ives, Porthmear Beach is one of only five beaches in Cornwall to hold the prestigious Blue Flag award and is popular with surfers and families alike. Overlooked by the iconic Tate St Ives building, Porthmear Beach has all the facilities you would expect from a world class beach including the Porthmear Beach café, a seasonal lifeguard service and the St Ives Surf School.
During the high season car parks in St Ives fill up extremely quickly so make sure you arrive early! Please note that although the beach is dog friendly a seasonal dog ban is active between Easter Sunday and 30th September.
A must-visit for anyone with a love of the arts. The Minack Theatre is Cornwall’s world famous open-air theatre carved into the granite cliffs overlooking Porthcurno Bay. Hosting its first performance in 1932 the theatre now attracts in excess of 100,000 visitors per year.
From March 19 till September the theatre is open to day visitors from 9:30am until 5:30pm. The theatre is however closed to day visitors whilst performances are taking place so please visit the Minack website to avoid disappointment.
From October 31 until March 18 the theatre is open to day visitors from 10am until 3:30pm. Free car parking is available for visitors and performance ticket holders.
There is nothing like a coastal bike ride to build an appetite! The Camel Trail is an 18-mile multipurpose route for walkers, cyclists and horse riders stretching from Padstow to Wentford Bridge via Wadebridge and Bodmin. The trail follows the route of an old railway line once used by the London and South-West Railway.
Bike hire is available in Bodmin, Wadebridge and Padstow with the 5-mile track between Padstow and Wadebridge taking approximately 45 minutes to complete. This section of the trail follows the south bank of the estuary, crossing the old iron bridge over Little Petherick Creek before reaching Wadebridge. More advanced cyclists may wish to push on towards Bodmin.
Lost for over 70 years the 19th century style gardens are one of the most popular botanical gardens in the UK. The 200-acre estate near Mevagissey is now home to an astonishing collection of plants, exotic glasshouses, a kitchen garden and an assortment of walled gardens. Heligan is also home to Cornwall’s only outdoor jungle garden and to one of the longest Burmese Rope Bridges in Britain.
Another Blue Flag status beach, Gyllyngvase is a 15-minute walk from Falmouth Town Centre. Gyllyngvase Beach is fantastic for water sports and is the largest and most popular beach in Falmouth. The beach is also home to the Gylly Beach café, bar and restaurant open all year round for coffee, cakes and lunchtime treats.
Please note that although the beach is dog friendly a seasonal dog ban is put in place between Easter Sunday and 30th September.
Looking for something a little different? The Fowey Picnic Boat is a spectacular cruise down the River Fowey on-board a 1930’s wooden motor launch named “Sunbeam”. The boat operates a “bring-your-own” food policy however locally sourced picnics can be provided including luxury seafood platters and Cornish Cream Teas.
Sunbeam is able to carry up-to five passengers and is perfect for a more romantic trip for two. The usual duration for each cruise is 2 hours however timings are flexible. For bookings and enquiries please contact Brian or Gill at Fowey Picnic Boat.
Polly Joke Beach (also known as Porth Joke Beach) is a small, quiet cove situated between Holywell Bay and Crantock Beach. Despite being only 5 miles from Newquay this hidden gem is relatively unknown and often overlooked.
Access to the beach is limited with a small car park being located half a mile inland. Please note dogs are welcome all year however the beach does not receive lifeguard cover.