July is National Picnic Month, the perfect opportunity to eat al fresco. We’ve rounded up our selection of the UK’s best picnic spots, to help you plan where to visit this month or whenever the sun is shining.

Barafundle Bay, Pembrokeshire, Wales

Barafundle Bay, South Wales, UK
Barafundle Bay, South Wales, UK

Barafundle Bay is renowned for its golden sands, gentle dunes, and azure waters. The small bay is reminiscent of a pristine, tropical beach – temperature aside. It’s even been awarded a Green Coast Award for being an unspoilt, hidden gem. Only accessible by foot, on a quiet day you really do feel like you’ve found your own private picnic spot. We’ve included Barafundle in our round-up of Britain’s 10 most beautiful beaches as well. Have a look if you want more inspiration for a picnic on the beach.

Find out more with an Ordnance Survey (OS) map of Pembrokeshire

The Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye, Inner Hebrides, United Kingdom, Scotland
Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye, Inner Hebrides, United Kingdom, Scotland

We can’t promise you’ll spot any fairies, but this is certainly a magical spot. The Isle of Skye’s Fairy Pools are a series of crystal-clear rock pools filled by mountain waterfalls.  Into wild swimming? The Fairy Pools are ideal for a dip pre-picnic. But be warned – they’re rather chilly! Bring your own snacks or drive via the Cuillin Coffee Co café for some cake and speciality coffee. Then sit back, relax and take in the dramatic views of the Black Cuillin mountains while you enjoy your picnic.

Discover the area with a map of Skye

Bowlees Picnic Area, Durham, England

Low Force Waterfall on the Pennine Way, Bowlees Tees Valley, County Durham
Low Force Waterfall on the Pennine Way, Bowlees Tees Valley, County Durham

Bowlees Picnic Area is known for its famous neighbour – the spectacular High Force waterfall. High Force is around a two mile walk from the picnic site but definitely worth a visit. A towering 21 metres, you’ll hear it thundering before you first catch sight of the incredible waterfall. If you fancy a shorter stroll, there are four smaller waterfalls close to the picnic site. The picnic area itself is perfect for families – with a mud kitchen for little ones and a wildlife-friendly garden to explore. Bring your own food or stop by Bowlees Visitor Centre, to pick up some treats from the Falls Café.

Plan your visit with an OS map

Durdle Door, Dorset, England

Durdle Door, Dorset, England

Durdle Door has been voted the UK’s most Instagrammable picnic spot, so don’t forget your selfie stick! It rates highly on Tripadvisor too, with one visitor calling it “simply stunning”. And we’re inclined to agree. Find a picnic spot on the beach for an excellent view of the limestone arch, a prehistoric relic, rising from the sea. Post-picnic why not explore the area? The Jurassic Coast is the country’s sole natural World Heritage Site – and an excellent spot for a fossil hunt.

Explore the area with a map of Purbeck and South Dorset

Castle Hill, Tenby, Wales

View of Tenby Harbour, with Castle Hill.
View of Tenby Harbour, with Castle Hill.

Castle Hill is an excellent spot for taking in all the town has to offer over a leisurely al fresco lunch. Lay your picnic blanket on the grass or relax on one of the benches dotting the area, as you breathe in the fresh sea air. Look out over the town’s pastel-coloured buildings, and boats bobbing in the harbour below. At one end of the peninsula there’s a Norman castle, now a ruin and an intriguing backdrop to your picnic. After lunch explore Tenby’s quaint cobbled streets, filled with shops, pubs and cafes.

Discover more with a map of Tenby

Dunstable Downs, Bedfordshire, England

Dunstable Downs
Dunstable Downs

Dunstable Downs are famed as Bedfordshire’s highest location, with incredible views for miles around. We recommend having a picnic on a clear day, when the never-ending sky is at its most impressive. The view isn’t all you’ll marvel at though. Look up and you might spot red kite birds and an array of butterflies. Watch out for a rainbow of colourful kites dancing across the sky, too. The breezy Downs are popular for kite flying. If you fancy stretching your legs after lunch, there’s a network of walking trails across the area. The National Trust has a handy guide to some of the routes.

Pick up an OS map for your day trip

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Scotland

Royal Botanic garden, Edinburgh

Visit Scotland calls the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh “one of the finest botanic gardens in the world”. The garden may be in the city, but it’ll transport you from the hustle and bustle to a peaceful oasis of plants. With several themed sections, there’s lots to see. Check out the Biodiversity Garden, described by the Botanic Garden as having hundreds of plants displayed in their evolutionary order. With more than 70 acres to explore, you’ll be spoilt for choice when choosing a picnic spot, too.

Use an OS map to plan your trip

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