4 of the best picnic spots in Cornwall
With so much to explore in Cornwall, from sandy beaches to rugged coastlines, it’s almost impossible to get through it all without feeling a bit peckish. Whether you’re a cheese sandwich and a bag of crisps kind of person, or maybe you prefer a bottle of bubbly and a ploughman’s, no matter what kind of picnic is for you, Cornwall will definitely have the perfect spot for you to enjoy it. Read our guide to discover the best picnic spots.
Victoria Gardens, Truro
In Truro’s picturesque city centre you will find the Victoria Gardens, which is a great place to take a break from the busier streets and enjoy a tasty picnic surrounded by nature.
Cornish Ramblings is a walking group who love finding new routes, going along familiar trails, and meeting new people. The group was founded by Jody who reveals her favourite picnic spot in Cornwall: “Definitely Victoria Gardens in Truro. Nestled amongst the hustle and bustle of the city, sits a tranquil and idyllic spot just perfect for all you picnickers out there.
“It’s Truro’s hidden gem, created to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. Set just off from the quaint Cornish town, Victoria Gardens is full of exotic trees, flowers and shrubs with plenty of grassy areas for a picnic blanket. There is an abundance of benches if you decide getting down on the floor is not your thing, and winding pathways offer plenty of room for a wander should you need to stretch out your legs.”
The gardens also host bandstand concerts, Jody continues: “On Sunday afternoons between May and September 2:30 – 4:30 pm there are free concerts for you to enjoy while you munch your sarnies. They perform on the centrepiece of this secret garden, the majestic bandstand, which turns out is great for using as a shelter should it start raining (and is empty!)”
Although a city centre may not spring to your mind when thinking of a picnic spot, it does have its perks, Jody adds: “The great thing about Victoria Gardens is how convenient it is. Close enough to the centre that if you fancy doing some shopping before you eat, you know it isn’t far away when you feel the first rumblings of your tummy! With handy facilities, beautiful views of the gardens and plenty of space to feel like your own piece of paradise, it really is a perfect location for a picnic in my eyes.”
South West Coast Path, Looe
Nothing beats a coastal walk followed by a tasty picnic, so put on your hiking boots, pack a light lunch and prepare yourself for some fantastic views. The South West Coast Path runs along the entire coast of Cornwall, so the chance to see some magnificent coastal scenery is never too far away. A popular part of the path is between Looe and Polperro, which is a moderate walk and a favourite for views old fishing villages and beautiful harbours, it’s definitely worth a visit when staying at a caravan park in Cornwall.
We spoke to Kelly from Walk Kernow, a fitness, wellbeing and lifestyle group which offers Nordic walks across the Cornish countryside, to ask for her pick of the best picnic spot: “The perfect picnic spot is up on the South West Coast Path overlooking the sea.
“When you are on the Coast Path in Cornwall there really is no better place. There are so many places to choose from and they are all out of the hustle and bustle of the summer crowds. Just pack your picnic and walk on the South West Coast Path, you’ll always find somewhere special.”
Portheras Cove, Penzance
If you want to tuck into a picnic in one of Cornwall’s most secret spots then you should head to Portheras Cove, in Penzance. You’ll feel like a true local, as this cove is secluded from the tourist crowds, so much so that there are no cafés or shops in walking distance, so make sure you’re prepared with enough to eat!
Heather from Conversant Traveller, a luxury travel blog, tells us her favourite picnic spot: “Our favourite picnic (and BBQ!) spot in Cornwall has to be Portheras Cove, on the north coast just along the clifftops from Pendeen Lighthouse. We love it because nearly every time we’ve come here it’s been deserted!
“Those who do venture along this part of the coast tend to be locals rather than tourists, and because it’s a bit of a scramble down to the beach it keeps the bucket and spade brigade at bay. You obviously need to keep an eye on the tide when you’re planning your picnic, as it would be easy to get cut off here, but time it right and you’ll have the beautiful secluded sands all to yourself!”
Land’s End, Sennen
Experience the most south-westerly point of the UK at Land’s End, you’ll see beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean and get to have a photo next to its iconic signpost. After looking at Land’s End, it’s a good idea to venture slightly inland to enjoy your picnic so that you’re more sheltered from the wind and away from the crowds.
We asked Steve from the unique travel experiences blog Biggsy Travels for his recommendation of the perfect picnic spot: “Now you really are spoilt for choice in Cornwall. There’s almost 300 miles of beautiful coastline for starters. My favourite place though is almost as south-westerly as you can get and lies along the coastal path between Sennen Cove and Land’s End.
“It’s a great spot to picnic as you can witness the rugged, Cornish coastline and soak up the roar of the Atlantic Ocean, but safe in the knowledge you’re only half a mile from civilisation. Most people head straight for Land’s End but on this stretch of coastal path, you are nicely away from the crowds but can still visit the main tourist attraction afterwards.”
Must-have picnic items
So, you have many places in Cornwall to choose from for the perfect picnic spot, all that’s left is packing the right food and drink! Although you can never really go wrong with a sandwich, we asked bloggers to reveal their must-pack items for some extra inspiration:
Jody from Cornish Ramblings says: “A recent addition to our picnic essentials is our old-fashioned wicker hamper basket, complete with bamboo tumblers and plates. Every picnic needs something bubbly to accompany your scotch eggs, so one of my picnic must-haves are reusable cups for your rum or prosecco.
“I also couldn’t enjoy a picnic without some form of a blanket to sit on, so a foldable mat with a carry handle is a definite must-have. Another must-have to complete my picnic is a deck of cards. Sitting in the sunshine under the shade of towering trees, a game or two of gin rummy after you’ve eaten your hamper full of food and drink is the perfect end to an afternoon in the gardens.”
Other must-pack items, as suggested by Heather from Conversant Traveller, include: “We try not to pack too much when we’re coming for a picnic, since we have to carry it all down, so our essentials include sporks (a knife, fork and spoon in one), kitchen roll, and a small bin bag so we can easily carry our rubbish away with us. Oh, and a corkscrew for the bottle of wine that’s never far away comes in handy too.”
If you’re thinking of going on a coastal walk before your picnic, Steve from Biggsy Travels has some advice for you: “After a long walk, you’ll feel like you’ve earned that sausage roll, packet of Hula Hoops and diet cherry cola – my 3 essentials for a casual coastal walk picnic.”
Kelly from Walk Kernow says: “When we’re walking to find our perfect spot, I always pack a healthy picnic of bits and bobs so if you get hungry you don’t have to eat it all at once. I also never forget to pack some Haribo, they help with the hills. Our group has even named a hill on the South West Coast Path from Mevagissey to Charlestown Haribo Hill!”
The best picnic spots in Cornwall:
- Victoria Gardens, Truro
- South West Coast Path, Looe
- Portheras Cove, Penzance
- Land’s End, Sennen
Image Credit: Ennor (VisualHunt.com)