Picnic Spots in South Devon

Picnics have been a staple throughout British history since the 18th century, whilst they originated in France, us Brits love eating outside, surrounded by the sights, sounds and smells of nature.  

Some prefer to set up their blanket at the beach, whilst others would rather steer away from the crowds by taking to a forest or secluded field. Picnics are a go to for family outings and romantic dates; maybe you’re taking the dog out with you, fancy saving a little cash by bringing your own lunch, have restless little ones who want to play outside or are heading away from civilisation for a full day out to recharge in nature; taking a picnic with you is an easy solution to lots of dining issues! 

So the weather is great and your hamper is all packed up, but you’re not sure where to go... read on below to find out our top picnic spots in South Devon. 

Parke, Bovey Tracey

View of Parke, Bovey Tracey

Parke is owned by the National Trust and is set on the outskirts of Dartmoor near Bovey Tracey. The area is popular with dog walkers and offers riverside walks and beautiful woodland which make the perfect destination for a picnic. There’s even a café (Home Farm Café) just in case you do forget any essentials!

Bellever Forest, Dartmoor National Park

Bellever Forest, Dartmoor National Park

Nestled right in the heart of Dartmoor National Park is Bellever Forest, about 2 kilometres away from the popular spot of Postbridge. Dartmoor in general is full of picnic spots but Bellever Forest combines towering trees with a trickling river on its edge providing a beautifully picturesque setting. There is a car park and facilities available here also. 

River Dart Country Park, Ashburton

River Dart Country Park, Ashburton (© River Dart Country Park)

River Dart Country Park is located on the edge of Dartmoor near the town of Ashburton. The kids can go wild at this adventure park with tons of activities to enjoy for all ages and lots of outdoor picnic tables for you to enjoy your food.

Roundham Gardens, Paignton

View from Roundham Gardens towards Goodrington Beach, Paignton

If you fancy heading toward the coast but want to avoid sand in your sandwiches, Roundham Gardens in Paignton may be the picnic spot in South Devon that you’re looking for. With beautiful views in either direction of the English Riviera upon a cliff, Roundham Gardens has a large green to pop your picnic mat and relax.

Otter Estuary, Budleigh Salterton

Budleigh Salterton

To one end of Budleigh Salterton you will find the Otter Estuary. It is popular with birdwatchers and is home to many species of wildlife making it an idyllic spot to enjoy a picnic. The charming scenery and gentle flow of the water means it is a quiet and peaceful location for you to enjoy your lunch or perhaps a sunset date.

Beesands Beach, Beesands

Beesands Beach, Beesands

Near to the South Hams town of Kingsbrdge, Beesands is a small village with a beautiful shingle beach. If you are looking for a place for the kids to paddle and spend a family day soaking up the sunshine, taking your picnic to Beesands Beach is a great idea.

Mamhead, Near Dawlish

View from Mamhead looking towards the Exe Estuary and Exmouth, near Dawlish

Not far from the bustling seaside resort of Dawlish, you will find Mamhead. The area has lots of gorgeous walks and breathtaking views across the Exe Estuary and of course benches for you to admire the vistas and enjoy a picnic.

Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Blackdown Common, Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

The Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) can be found in East Devon and also crosses over into the county of Somerset. Much like Dartmoor National Park, there is an abundance of captivating spots to have a picnic in the Blackdown Hills AONB and also lots of historical sites to discover.

Grand Western Canal, Tiverton

Grand Western Canal, Tiverton

Running through Mid Devon, the Grand Western Canal in Tiverton is another picturesque picnic spot in South Devon. Perch on a bench on the canal and watch the majestic horse drawn barges meander along the canal as you dive into your delicious food.

Seaton Wetlands, Seaton

Seaton Wetlands, Seaton

Seaton Wetlands Nature Reserve is made up of three local nature reserves with marshland, reedbeds and plenty of wildlife. Why not enjoy a picnic in the heart of the reserve whilst you lookout for birds and other animals.

Seven Sisters, Dawlish 

Dawlish, Seven SistersSeven Sisters, Dawlish

Whilst this area is not signposted on many maps, Seven Sister’s is a predominant part of Dawlish. From here are stunning views of the coast, countryside, town, and valleys that surround Dawlish. On a clear day you can see all the way out to Exmouth. There are a few benches here for you to post up and tuck into your picnic.  

West Alvington Woods, Kingsbridge 

West Alvington Woods, KingsbridgeMeadow next to West Alvington Woods, Kingsbridge

If sitting in a meadow surrounded by towering trees sounds like your kind of thing, the fields by West Alvington Woods would be an ideal place to enjoy a picnic. The woods are a short amble from Kingsbridge town centre and it’s a popular location for dog walkers so it’s a wonderful place for some dog spotting too! 

Snapes Point, Salcombe 

Snapes Point, SalcombeSnapes Point, Salcombe

For views across the Kingsbridge – Salcombe Estuary, Snapes Point makes an ideal picnic spot! Kick back and admire the colourful sailing boats that dock in the harbour, and view the gorgeous bustling town of Salcombe whilst avoiding civilisation almost entirely! 

Thurlestone Beach & South Milton Sands, Near Kingsbridge 

Thurlestone Beach, Kingsbridge

Thurlestone Beach, nr Kingsbridge

Situated on the South Hams coast, Thurlestone Beach and South Milton Sands are popular beaches with excellent views. Your little ones can paddle in the calm, clear sea whilst you can sit back and look out at the beautiful Thurlestone rock. There are also National Trust benches adjacent to the Beachhouse Café, overlooking the beach.  

The Hoe, Plymouth 

Plymouth HoeSmeaton's Tower, Plymouth Hoe

The park surrounding Smeaton’s Tower is another popular, inner-city picnic spot. From here you can see the beautiful Plymouth coastline and out to Drake’s Island. There’s lots of green space to set up a blanket as well as plenty of benches if you prefer a bit more support whilst seated.  

Beer Head, Beer 

Beer Head, Beer, East DevonBeer Beach, Beer

The Beer to Branscombe walk is a popular one due it it’s beautiful scenery from the cliff tops. There’s a large amount of open grassland to set up camp for the day. Alternatively, the beach below is another great spot for families with pushchairs or those hard of walking.  

Berry Head Nature Reserve, Brixham 

Berry Head Nature Reserve, BrixhamBerry Head, Brixham

Berry Head is a coastal headland and nature reserve in Brixham with views of the gorgeous English Riviera. The site used to be an old Napoleonic Fort, and has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest.  

Hopefully this list of picnic spots in South Devon has given you some inspiration of where you can enjoy your next picnic in South Devon. Please remember, wherever you have your picnic, be sure to take all rubbish with you so we can keep the environment safe and clean for all wildlife and visitors.

We love seeing your photos of South Devon, don’t forget to tag us in your pictures on Instagram using @visitsouthdevon or #southdevon. We might just feature your image on our page!




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