Top picnic spots on the coast

Pack up your favourite foodie treats, grab a rug, bucket and spade and head to the coast for a picnic. We’ve picked some of our top seaside spots to enjoy a bite to eat with a great view, from secret coves to some of Britain’s best-loved beaches.

Children playing in the sand at Barafundle

Barafundle, Pembrokeshire

Only reached by a cliff path from Stackpole Quay, Barafundle is well worth the walk. The clear waters are perfect for a dip or paddle to work up an appetite for a picnic and the crescent-shaped sandy beach has plenty of space for games. A visit wouldn’t be complete without a walk around the lily ponds at nearby Bosherston Lakes.

A group of children having Just completed their sand sculpture of a dinosaur on the beach at Brancaster as part of the Brancaster Activity Centre Project

Brancaster Beach, Norfolk

At low tide Brancaster Beach offers a huge expanse of sand and seemingly endless views out to sea. During the summer months the miles of golden sand make the beach an ideal spot for a barefoot walk or building sandcastles. With dog-friendly areas, the whole family can enjoy a scenic picnic by the sea.

People on the beach, Isle of Wight

Compton Bay, Isle of Wight

The multi-coloured cliffs behind Compton beach and sweeping coastal views of Tennyson Down and the English Channel provide a wonderful backdrop for a family picnic. Kids can turn detective by looking for dinosaur fossils in the cliffs. You won’t have to leave four-legged friends behind as dogs are allowed on the sandy beach.

Formby, Liverpool

Formby, Liverpool

Backed by dramatic sand dunes and surrounded by pine woodlands, which are home to red squirrels, the beach at Formby is a great picnic spot for those who like to explore in between their sandwiches. The sandy beach is also ideal for kite flying, jumping in the waves or a barefoot walk.

Hayburn Wyke on the North Yorkshire coast

Hayburn Wyke, Yorkshire

Take a break from a walk along the Cleveland Way and find a picnic spot on this secret pebble bay hidden away on the Yorkshire Coast. Cool off under the twin waterfall which tumbles down onto the shore, discover what creatures can be found among the rock pools or pick a boulder for a front row seat of the views out to sea.

Archaeological Survey on Lundy Island in the Bristol Channel Devon

Lundy, Devon

Undisturbed by cars, 400ft-long Lundy in the Bristol Channel is a haven for seabirds, seals and wildflowers. Home to a small village and a 13th-century castle, for a picnic with stunning scenery it’s well worth the climb to the disused lighthouse. Called the Old Light, it offers panoramic views over the north part of the island.

Visitors on the beach at Portstewart Strand, Co Londonderry, Northern Ireland

Portstewart Strand, County Londonderry

Sweeping along the edge of the North Coast, this two-mile stretch of golden sand is one of Northern Ireland’s finest beaches and has views of the Inishowen peninsula and Mussenden Temple on the Downhill Demesne. It’s an ideal place for lazy picnics, surfing and making sandcastles or discovering wild flowers and butterflies in the sand dunes.

Sandymouth beach at low tide

Sandymouth, Cornwall

Sandymouth beach near Bude sits against a backdrop of sheer cliffs and rolling grassy hills. Along the shingle shore there are rock pools aplenty and don't forget to look out for a dolphin or a basking shark out at sea, or a peregrine falcon or buzzard overhead. At low tide the beach transforms into expansive golden sands and you’ll find ample room for a homemade bite to eat.

The spring flowers bloom along the coast path near Soar Mill Cove

Soar Mill Cove, Devon

Follow the coast path down to the golden sands at Soar Mill Cove near Salcombe in the South Hams for a secluded picnic on the South Devon coast. Only reached by foot or boat, this is a sheltered, peaceful beach away from the crowds. Look out for rock samphire, sea beet and rare rock sea-lavender on the lower cliffs.

Blanket for sale in National Trust shops, photographed at Studland Beach, Dorset

Studland Beach, Dorset

With four miles of golden sand to choose from you’ll find plenty of space at Studland Beach to set up camp for a day’s picnic. There’s plenty to do for all ages including soaking up views of Old Harry Rocks and the Isle of Wight, paddling in the shallows, exploring the dunes behind the beach or taking to the water in a kayak.