Perfect picnic spots in the South West

How about getting friends and family together, packing a picnic and enjoying a leisurely summer's day outdoors? There's beaches, parkland and gardens galore in the South West, here's a few for inspiration, or search for somewhere near you.

Visitors and dogs at the Whitelady Waterfall at Lydford Gorge

Lydford Gorge, Devon 

The orchard or woodland have many spots for picnicking, and the tea-rooms are nearby too. You can top off your day with tasty treats such as home-made cakes and ice-creams and let the children enjoy the play area. After your picnic, why not finish with an exhilarating walk to see the 30m Whitelady waterfall and the bubbling Devil’s Cauldron.

The rose garden at Kingston Lacy

Kingston Lacy, Dorset

If in typical British fashion you prefer to have your picnic before seeing the sites, the snake pond area just off the car park is the perfect spot. There are multiple picnic benches to choose from on the banks of a small clear pond. Even though the name suggests it, the pond is snake free. This area is also surrounded by barriers so children can play freely in the area without the danger of parking cars.

Montacute House picnic

Montacute, Somerset

The best picnic spots at Montacute House can be found by hunting for them. Hidden behind the hedges of West Drive is the lower paddock where you can find the family picnic area.  Shaded by the tall trees you can munch on a sandwich whilst playing hide and seek or having a swing.

Lanhydrock bluebells

Lanhydrock, Cornwall

Lanhydrock estate covers 1,000 acres, with parkland, woods and riverside paths. Wildlife spotters will be in their element here. With plenty of flora and fauna to discover, from flowers to fungi and bugs to bats, there's something for everyone. There are many places to get out your lunch and sit in the estate.

Whitefield wildflower meadow at Dyrham Park

Dyrham Park, Gloucestershire

From late May until July, the Whitefield wildflower meadow next to Dyrham Park car park comes alive with colourful daisies, clover and bee orchids. It’s the perfect spot for a picnic as it’s not too far to carry your cooler box and chairs and your four legged friends are welcome too. Keep your eyes open for events taking place there too, including wildflower walks and 50 things family fun. There are plenty of other picnic spots in the 270-acre ancient deer park as well, but dogs must stick to Whitefield please.

 Family having a picnic on the beach at Studland Family having a picnic on the beach at Studland/ National Trust Images/David Levenson

Studland Beach, Dorset

Studland has long stretches of golden sandy beach that go on for four miles from South Haven Point to Old Harry Rocks, with shallow bathing water perfect for the little ones. Buckets, spades and picnics all make for a blissful day on the sands. You can also visit the nearby ruins of Corfe Castle to discover over 700 years of history see the inspiration behind Enid Blyton’s Kirren Castle in the Famous Five.

A family walk by Stourhead's lake

Perfect picnics at Stourhead 

Rest by the waters edge and let the world go by with a delicious picnic at Stourhead.

Summer house at Trerice with daisies

Picnic spots at Trerice 

Perfect picnic spots...

Fisherman's Path beside the River Teign in May at Castle Drogo, Devon.
Walking trail

Picnic in the Teign Valley 

As sunlight streams through the trees find a cool spot by the river Teign to listen to it flow past. Wildlife is abundant in the woods and you may glimpse a dipper or kingfisher.

Dancing Ledge

Dancing Ledge, Dorset 

It’s a bit of a scramble but well worth it – Dancing Ledge is a rocky amphitheatre with front row seats for some magnificent sea views. Seabirds, rock climbers and coasteering adventurers provide the entertainment as you eat, and you can always cool off in the pool, originally blasted out of the rock by quarrymen so local schoolchildren could enjoy a dip.

Barrington Court summer

While away a summer day

The sense of space and play of the light all around the gardens and grounds, gives you chance to escape daily routines, slow down perhaps enjoy a picnic and spend the day.

Family having a picnic on the Meadow, Trengwainton, Cornwall

Trengwainton's places to picnic and play

Peer into ponds and streams, follow family trails or create your own hide and seek adventures amongst the trees.

People picnicking on the lawn in front of Tyntesfield house

Perfect places for picnics...

Picnics are welcome across the Tyntesfield estate (apart from fields with livestock in them), here are some of our favourite spots...