Vote for your favourite

Here's our round-up of the top ten picnic spots along the South West Coast Path!

Earlier this year, the South West Coast Path Team ran a competition to find the best place to picnic along the Coast Path from a shortlist of ten.

Each of the nominated spots was put forward by the people and organisations that look after the region’s coast and surrounding countryside, including the National Trust and  local councils, as well as representatives from some of our protected landscapes. These are the people that know it best and help make it such a special landscape to experience and explore

Kynance Cove in Cornwall was an outright winner and what a picnic spot! With its sea-polished rock formations, white sand and sparkling turquoise waters, this popular cove on the Lizard peninsula was also very popular in Victorian times, with visitors including Lord Alfred Tennyson. Today, its picture-postcard beauty draws tens of thousands of visitors each year.

Says Layla Astley, from The National Trust, which looks after this stretch of coastline: "I am really pleased with the result and definitely believe that the best place won. There is no better place to sit for a while on your own or with your family and friends and enjoy the scenery with a picnic, either from the beach or on the cliff tops watching the turquoise sea lapping the white sand below or, if it's anything like it's been recently, watching the swell crashing against the rock islands. I'm incredibly lucky to be able to work here and after many years I still get a thrill out of seeing people discover Kynance for the first time."

"Kynance is one of those incredible places you get a buzz from going back to at any time. It's not only about how lovely the beach and cove are but the essence of the place and the magic of it – it is something that stays with you for a long time."

The National Trust owns approximately a third of the Coast Path and contributes to the day to day maintainance of the coast and countryside through which it travels. This valuable conservation work helps to ensure that the National Trail remains a truly spectacular walk. The runners-up are no less beautiful and travel through equally stunning coastal environments, such as Chapel Porth, which takes in the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site and Durlston Head, part of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, as well as Selworthy Beacon within Exmoor National Park. The Coast Path takes in a number of National Nature Reserves and Sites of Special Scientific Interest, all of which contribute to the special nature of the coastal environment and the beautiful views to be had while walking the Coast Path.

In path order, here’s the top ten picnic spots along the South West Coast Path from the edge of Exmoor to the shores of Poole harbour. Click on each location to see why it’s been chosen and to find out for yourself with a short walk to that picnic spot. If you want to see all the short walk options linked to that location, click on any of the photos in the gallery above.

1. Selworthy Beacon, Exmoor
Nominated by Dan Barnett, Exmoor National Park Authority

2. Mouthmill, North Devon
Nominated by Dave Edgecombe, North Devon AONB and Biosphere Service

3. St Agnes Head, North Cornwall
Nominated by Silvia Dunn, Cornish Mining World Heritage Site

4. Kynance Cove, The Lizard, West Cornwall
Nominated by Layla Astley, National Trust

5. Rosemullion Head, South Cornwall
Nominated by Peter Maxted, Cornwall AONB Service

6. Little Dartmouth, South Devon
Nominated by Diane Lethbridge, South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Service

7. Berry Head Hill Fort, English Riviera
Nominated by Melanie Border, English Riviera Global Geopark

8. Beer Head, East Devon
Nominated by Pete Youngman, East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Team

9. Stonebarrow, West Dorset
Nominated by Sue Dampney, Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Team

10. Durlston Castle, Swanage, Dorset
Nominated by Julia Pulman, Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site Team


The winner received a Dorset Famous Five hamper containing a range of lovely treats from: Olives Et Al, Clipper Tea, Dorset Cereals, Badger Beer and Godminster suppliers.