Best picnic spots in North Devon

National Trust working holiday Exmoor Lynmouth

From secluded wooded glades to sweeping coastal vistas, North Devon has some stunning places to picnic. We asked our rangers for their top spots - why not get outdoors this weekend and try one?

Far reaching views from Windbury Hill Fort
Views from Windbury Hill Fort near Brownsham

1. Windbury Iron Age Hill Fort, near Hartland

Enjoy amazing views of Bideford Bay and across to Lundy. Park at Brownsham and take the 15 minute walk, following the signs for Windbury. Keep your eyes on the ocean and you may see dolphins or sun fish basking on the surface of the sea in the heat of the day in the summer months.

Small National Trust car park at Brownsham EX39 6AN, grid ref SS285259

Enjoy stunning views from Morte Point
Morte Point overlooking Woolacombe Bay

2. Morte Point

This stunning headland has lots of great picnic spots with fantastic views over Woolacombe Bay and out to Lundy Island. The grass is short but you may have to share your picnic with the sheep! Visit the pretty village of Mortehoe to start and end your exploration.

Public car park in Mortehoe village EX34 7DR, grid ref SS457451

3. Ash Bridge, near Watersmeet

This tranquil spot is a lovely place to sit and unwind. Surrounded by crystal clear waters and shady ancient woodland, look out for dippers bobbing on the rocks or (if you're really lucky) some salmon who come here to breed. An easy ½ mile walk up stream from Watersmeet House.

Public car park on the A39 above Watersmeet EX35 6NT, grid ref SS744487

Welcombe Mouth great to explore on foot
View looking over Welcombe Mouth beach

4. South Hole, near Welcombe Mouth

A great stop off on the South West Coast Path, with far reaching views to Hartland Point and beyond to Cornwall. See if you can spot Hartland Lighthouse on the point.

Small National Trust car park at Welcombe, reached via a rough track EX39 6HL, grid ref SS212179

5. Middleborough Hill, Baggy Point

Climb the short route from Baggy Point car park to the top of Middleborough Hill. A nice grassy vantage point from where you can see across Croyde beach to Saunton Sands and Hartland Point in the distance.

National Trust car park EX33 1PA, grid ref SS432396

The Hangman Hills on Exmoor
Hangman Hills Exmoor Heddon Valley

6. The Hangman Hills, near Combe Martin

Park in Combe Martin and walk up to the remote and tranquil Great Hangman and Little Hangman. It's a steep climb but worth it for the fantastic views out over South Wales, Lundy Island and as far as Dartmoor.

National Trust car park EX34 0DJ, grid ref SS577473

7. Eldern Point, Hartland

This is a lovely spot near Hartland point. Take your binoculars and look out for seals, peregrine falcons or porpoise.

Grid ref SS25012749

Enjoy stunning coastal views at Heddon's Mouth
View at Heddons Mouth, Heddon Valley

8. Heddon Valley

This is a great spot for families - either stay by the river near the car park, or wander to the beach on an easy pushchair friendly walk to Heddon's Mouth. There is a National Trust shop and ice-cream parlour right next to the car park, call in for a map and more information (open April to October). There are also two all-terrain mobility scooters (Trampers) available to hire, please call 01598763556 for more details.

National Trust car park EX31 4PY, grid ref SS655480

9. Woolacombe Down

A nice quiet spot away from the crowds. Take your binoculars for a chance to spot Peregrine Falcons, Buzzards, Dartford Warblers and Stonechats. The Exmoor ponies are often out grazing there too.

Public car park EX34 7BE, grid ref SS459432

Views into the Heddon Valley from Highveer Point
Highveer Point near Heddon Valley

10. Highveer Point, Heddon Valley

A short but steep walk rewards you with stunning views across the Heddon Valley and along the coast to Woody Bay. Look out for perigrines, deer, porpoise, dolphins and one of the best sea bird colonies in the South West.

National Trust car park EX31 4PY, grid ref SS655480

11. Wilsham, near Countisbury

This is a great place to see the famous Exmoor ponies. You might even spot some red deer and birds of prey too. Perfect for an in-car picnic whilst you enjoy the amazing views.

National Trust car park EX35 6NE, grid ref SS747496

12. Combe Park

Just up the road from Watersmeet, this is a great place for kids to play in the river or explore the woods.

National Trust car park EX35 6LE