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From the Blog

The best places in Cornwall for a summertime picnic

Posted by Sophie Hesp on Jun 28, 2019

Family-friendly favourites and tranquil hidden gems

There’s nothing quite like feeling the sun on your skin and fresh air in your lungs while dining al fresco in Cornwall. With plenty of beautiful picnic locations dotted along coast and country, we’re celebrating National Picnic Week by sharing some of our favourites. From a blissful breakfast on the beach to a hilltop lunch with a view, get inspired for summer with our pick of the best picnic spots in Cornwall.

Kit Hill

Take in panoramic views over Cornwall’s rugged countryside with an al fresco feast at the highest point in the Tamar Valley. A beautiful setting for early morning coffee and sunset dinners, Kit Hill’s breath-taking vistas can be enjoyed at any time of day. Climb up high and lay down your picnic blanket as the sun breaks through the clouds, or take a walk to the quarry where dogs can swim to their heart’s content.

For an extra special addition to your picnic, stop by the farm shop at Louis Tea Rooms and pick up some fresh produce to enjoy once you reach the top – from homemade pasties to local cheeses. 

Watergate Bay

Grab a blanket, pack up the hamper and head to the coast to soak up some of the most incredible views Cornwall has to offer. With its long sandy beach and gentle turquoise tides, Watergate Bay is a picturesque location for a picnic in the sun.

A string of hidden coves provide the perfect opportunity to escape the seagulls and enjoy a pasty, while an abundance of rock pools promise great after lunch fun for children and dogs. Watergate’s iconic Polo on the Beach event brings the coastline to life on long summer days, while balmy evenings are best spent kicking against the shallows with a drink in hand.

Trelissick Garden

Set in a picturesque estate and surrounded by acres of rolling countryside, Trelissick Garden near Truro is a National Trust gem and just perfect for a Cornish picnic. To make the most of its secluded location, wander down the hill towards the beach and choose your spot overlooking the water. The beach affords wonderful views over the estuary – made all the more relaxing with a flask of tea or a Cornish ale in hand.

If a walk is on the cards, escape the heat of the summer sun with a woodland picnic under the trees or explore some of the dog-friendly trails throughout the estate.

Cardinham Woods

Tucked into a luscious valley in North Cornwall, the sprawling Cardinham Woods is the ultimate family-friendly picnic spot. A lovely grassy area complete with barbecues and picnic benches creates a welcoming space for communal dining, while a wooden playground is great for little ones. Dogs can splash around in the stream as dinner sizzles on the barbecue, whilst Cardinham’s acres of woodland trails are ideal for a twilight stroll.


Harlyn Bay

A popular sandy beach only a stone’s throw from Padstow, the long golden stretch at Harlyn Bay lends itself to al fresco dining. While perfect for sunny family lunches on the sand, the beach transforms into a beautiful Cornish oasis once evening falls – making it ideal for a seaside supper. After an afternoon in the waves, we recommend ordering delicious wood fired pizza from the nearby Embers, best enjoyed looking out to sea.

A game of beach rounders with friends and family will see competitive spirits fly before retreating to The Hideaways, three characterful holiday homes just moments from the sand. Each sleeping six guests, Wolf Rock, Lizard and Longships are perfect for long weekends away.

For some more inspiration, take a look at our guide to Cornwall's National Trust locations, each one just as perfect for a picnic.

Sophie Hesp profile image

Posted by Sophie Hesp

When she's not out for brunch, Sophie loves exploring the coast path with her partner and Loki, her lurcher. She writes about all things Cornwall and is a strong believer that there’s no such thing as too many house plants.

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