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Top Spots For a Picnic in North Devon

15th April 2019

Categories: Visitor News

Top Spots For a Picnic in North Devon

Picnic season has officially begun. That’s right, it’s time to get your favourite snacks packed, dig out the old picnic blanket and head to your favourite North Devon location.

But wait, where to go? With a vast variety of beautiful spaces - parks, beaches, gardens and more - we’re kind of spoiled for choice, so we’ve compiled a list of some of our favourite spots to make it that bit easier for you.

Bideford and Instow

Credit: Linda Thompson

We’ll start by keeping it simple, because there’s nothing quite like a picnic at the park. Victoria Park in Bideford is a lovely one too, with plenty of blooming flowers and plants at this time of year. It’s ideal if you’ve got small children, with three separate playing spaces for kids of various ages, as well as a paddling pool which opens during the summer.

The Tarka Trail is a loop around North Devon inspired by the route of Henry Williamson’s famed character, Tarka the Otter, and will take you through exciting variations of North Devon scenery and natural beauty. With traffic-free cycle paths, this is a wonderful place to take a bike ride before settling down in one of many idyllic patches, perfect for stopping for a picnic with the family.

The tucked-away shore of Instow Beach offers some fantastic views during the summer months, with colourful boats moving along the water. If you come later in the day, you’re sure to catch some of the most stunning sunsets you could hope for - which makes a romantic picnic for two all the more appealing.

Northam Burrows and Westward Ho!

Credit: Andy Francis

A meander along the nearby Northam Burrows will lead you to grassy patches amid the wildlife, where you can set up to enjoy your picnic in utter peace away from the hustle and bustle of the busier parks and beaches. It’s also very closely located to Westward Ho!, one of the most popular beaches for picnics in the area.

Okay, so we all know that beachside picnics cause their own set of problems (we’ve all had a literal sandwich at some point in our lives) but we’re still big believers in them. After all, if you manage to prevent the sand from mingling with your meal, you’re in a prime position to enjoy the very best coastal views that North Devon has to offer.

Westward Ho! Beach boasts miles of sand and panoramic views out across to Lundy, alongside its bustling seaside town feel with arcades and other things to do. It’s perfect for kids, and if you’re worried about the sand getting in your food, you can prop yourself up nicely on its famous pebble ridge and avoid the situation altogether. Perfect.

Woolacombe and Mortehoe

Credit: Lorna Weston

Not worried about that bit of sand? Then head over to Woolacombe. The sandy beaches in this area are renowned throughout the West Country; in fact, Woolacombe Beach was recently crowned as one of England’s top 10 beaches by TripAdvisor, and is known for its rolling waves, bustling village and huge amount of space (which will make finding a picnic spot pretty easy).

For a more secluded spot, Barricane Beach is tucked away between the rocks, famed for its explorative rock pools and interesting amount of sea shells, which make it a really exciting location for people with children to explore.

One of the wonderful things about our beaches is that they’re never far away from beautiful stretches of land. Some of North Devon’s very best trails are within close proximity to our beaches, offering sweeping views of the coast as a result. For example, Morte Point between Woolacombe and the village of Mortehoe. This is one of the best and most rewarding walks for those who like a bit of a challenge, offering incredible views of a rocky and jagged coastline. Once you make it to the top, the sweeping views out over the coast and both surrounding areas make the perfect picnic companions.

Croyde

Credit: Mike Watson

Croyde is famous for its surf, rock pools, and the sand dunes that frame it and make for perfect post-picnic exploration. What better way to work up an appetite for your picnic than by first getting involved in the active surf community at Croyde Beach? You don’t have to be an expert to join in either, with plenty of supplies for newbies and resources for learning.

The walk between Croyde and Baggy Point offers different routes with various levels of difficulty, so whether you’re a seasoned walker or have the kids in tow, you’ll be able to enjoy the exciting views, including the jagged coast and panoramic views of the South West Coast Path. With plenty of secluded, grassy spaces, there’s ample room to set up for a picnic to enjoy the scenery.

Combe Martin

Credit: Andy Savin

A pretty seaside town nestled between vibrant green countryside, Combe Martin offers a variety of different picnicking spots along the South West Coast Path, including the shores of Combe Martin Beach and its own set of rock pools.

The Hangman Hills nearby are lovely in spring when all of the flowers come back into colourful bloom. The walks around this area are rewarding for the phenomenal views you’ll encounter, but are quite challenging - you’ll certainly work up an appetite if you choose a location like this one.

Alternatively, Watermouth Bay is located between the seaside towns of Combe Martin and the village of Hele Bay. This cove is pretty and secluded, and attracts many unique marine species that you may be able to spot from the shore.

Wistlandpound Reservoir

Credit: Tracie White

Wistlandpound Reservoir is another popular location for picnics. One of North Devon’s largest lakes, the area is covered in vast woodland and towering trees, providing natural beauty as well as plenty of places to trail and explore. Whether you’re looking to combine your picnic with a day out with the family, or if you’re looking for a peaceful retreat in the countryside, this site can provide both.

The Wistlandpound Discovery centre is also fully accessible for visitors and offers education into the history and heritage of the site - as well as pointing out some of the wildlife you may encounter.

We’ve only scratched the surface here - there are just too many wonderful spots to highlight in one go! Have we mentioned any of your favourite spots, or have you got any recommendations of your own up your sleeve? Make sure to let us know on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram - and in the meantime, happy picnicking!

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