Hungry? June 16th – 25th is the UK’s National Picnic Week. What better excuse to grab a blanket and a basket, and settle down outside with your nearest and dearest for a tasty outdoor treat?
As far as we’re concerned, there’s no better picnic county than Devon. The rolling hills, fresh air and sun-soaked coastlines provide an embarrassment of picnic riches to choose from. Then again we’re a little biased. Our travel insurance policies take people all across the globe, but we’re proud of our West Country roots and our home in Exeter.
So here are ten of Devon's prettiest picnic spots (though we could have easily doubled this list).
Woolacombe Beach, Woolacombe
Woolacombe’s three-mile stretch of golden sands and grass-topped dunes is the jewel in North Devon’s tourism crown. A favourite with surfers for its cleanliness and lifeguard-patrolled waters, there’s a relaxed informality to the village and a cool vibe that makes it a natural place to park your picnic blanket. Leave your car at Marine Drive for a stunning view across the dunes and take the short walk down to the beach.
Combine the bustle of Devon’s busiest city with the alluring calm of the views across the Atlantic. Settle up at Devil’s Point for a panoramic picnic spot where the English Channel meets the mouth of the River Tamar. There are worse places to scoff a scotch egg.
Valley of the Rocks, Lynton
An other-worldly landscape of cloud-bothering granite jutting from grass banks is the setting for this extraordinary part of the South West Coast Path. In the heart of Exmoor and with parking right next to this beauty spot, you’ll never be far from your car or another stunning piece of scenery. One word of warning though: you may end up sharing your lunch with one of the area’s wild mountain goats!
Exeter Cathedral, Exeter
Devon’s capital city boasts a metropolitan culture wrapped in ancient English heritage. Nowhere is this more apparent than the Cathedral Close lawn, a bustling hive of tourism and a friendly meeting point. Lay your blanket down, let the history soak in and watch the day pass by.
Take a boat out to the three-mile rock off the North Devon coastline and enjoy hunkering down with the puffins and peace. There are beautiful and dramatic views from any part of the island, and you’re unlikely to get lost.
A perfectly formed part of the World Heritage Site, this quintessentially Devonian fishing village sits snugly in Lyme Bay as part of the Jurassic Coast. Making for a perfect spot to relax and dine al fresco, the chalk cliffs add rugged charm to the quaint setting.
The grassy tors of South Devon provide breathtaking scenery for a lunch location, with untouched natural beauty far and wide. Some minor physical exertion up the hills will be rewarded with lovely views. However, if you’re not up to traversing an incline, parking is in plentiful supply.
Okehampton Castle, Okehampton
The English Heritage-preserved ruins of a Norman keep is a fabulous place to unwind with good food and good company. As well as the fascinating castle walls itself, you’re surrounded by beautiful woodland that provide a home for several species of indigenous birds.
For that upper class feeling of blanket dining, try the immaculately-kept country park of Cockington Court. A manor house to the gentry of the day, it’s not hard to feel a little elegance about your spread whilst eating in such esteemed grounds. Bring your finest thermos.
The magnificent splendour of the Douglas Fir trees provides a soothing and cooling backdrop to any picnic in the summer heat. Listen out for a variety of birds and woodland creatures as you finish your sandwiches. You’re close to the Exeter-Barnstaple train line, so you can leave the car at home.
Want to take us with you?
Nope, we’re not talking about pilfering your prawn cocktail crisps. If you are travelling to Devon for a weekend summer break, you can protect your booking with our sister company Guest First. Essentially it means that if you have to cancel your getaway at the last minute, you will be reimbursed for the cost of your accommodation and transport expenses.
Get a cheap policy in two minutes at GuestFirst.co.uk.