Spring has definitely sprung in Cardiff and what better way to enjoy the sunshine than a picnic with your favourite people. Get your picnic blankets out of storage and take a peek at our top 12 picnic spots in the south to make your next outdoor adventure that little bit easier.
Whether you’re after a family day, brunching with friends or a romantic picnic for two, we’ve picked out the best local places to fulfil all of your picnic needs!
Starting off with the beautiful Porthkerry park located on Park Road in Barry. Porthkerry is the perfect family day out made better with the weather on our side. The park comprises a children’s playground, picnic benches, sea views on a pebbled beach, a nature reserve and enough greenery for the whole family to enjoy.
With 220 acres of green meadow, the park is perfect for a kick around for any football fan without worrying about hitting a stranger in the face half way through their sarnie.
Porthkerry park is great for families in search of a safe haven to let the children run around and have fun in the play area. The park has an on site take away cafe selling all of those treats you left out of your hamper.
Mrs Marco’s Cafe has an array of hot food to purchase including pasties for £2.90 and a tray of chips for a bargain price of £2.00. Don’t worry mums, Mrs Marco’s has you covered with an all important coffee to go to keep your energy up.
The park has on site parking and bike racks for those brave enough to endure an afternoon cycle.
For more information on Porthkerry park visit: https://www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/en/enjoying/Coast-and-Countryside/Porthkerry-Country-Park/Porthkerry-Country-Park.aspx
The well-known park in Barry is a favourite for both dog walkers and teenagers who are eager to take advantage of the park’s skate ramps.
The knap offers both seaside views and a large lake attracting both seagulls and swans to its waters. Be careful not to get too close if you don’t want to lose your ice cream.
The Knap is a great go-to if you’re after a spot to seek out local furry friends and the perfect sit down lunch break after a walk around the coast. Unfortunately there are no picnic benches, so don’t forget your blankets.
An easy place to park, the Knap has a free parking area facing the sea. Arrive early to ensure you’ve a space because at lunch time you may find yourself in a parking frenzy waiting for a space to become available in the popular area of Barry.
For more information on the Knap Gardens visit: https://www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/en/enjoying/Parks-and-Gardens/Knap-Gardens.aspx
Jackson’s bay is a dog-friendly sand beach with a large area of green garden space situated on the coast. A short 30-minute walk from Barry Island beach, Jackson’s Bay is a gem sought out by locals.
If you’re after a day at the beach or a stroll along the south coast, Jackson’s bay is the perfect day out without necessarily getting sand in your Mars Bar.
Before heading down to the beach you’ll find the best people-watching picnic spot. Parking is a little difficult, so avoid waiting for a space by getting there early.
For more information on Jackson’s Bay visit: https://www.thebeachguide.co.uk/south-wales/glamorgan/jacksons-bay-barry.htm
This one is for hiking fans and those seeking an adventurous trek through the woodland of Michaelston-Le-Pit.
Cwm George field is situated among the trees and bushes, a dog-friendly open space where nearby locals in Dinas Powys enjoy keeping the reserve on the down low.
Pack your backpacks and put on your hiking boots for this one because getting to the secret location isn’t for the faint hearted.
The field is a beautiful sun-trap and the perfect reading spot for those wanting to eat, lounge and read after a strenuous hike. A peaceful picnic to the sounds of birds chirping and water trickling down Cadoxton River.
There is a small car park at the Michaelston-Le-Pit entrance in Dinas Powys with spaces always free and available.
For more information on Cwm George visit:
If you’re parked at the Michaelston-Le-Pit entrance in Dinas Powys and after a more serene walk, take the path to the right and find Salmon Leaps, an open-space quiet field with very few visitors.
Another sun trap, be sure to pack sunscreen in your picnic basket. The open field is next to the main road and can be quite noisy, but if you’re seeking the perfect place to enjoy some one on one time with your partner and tuck into a meal deal in the sun, Salmon Leaps is the perfect location for you.
For more information on Salmon Leaps visit: http://www.valeways.org.uk/files/walks/11.pdf
Cosmeston lakes is another one for the family. Offering one of the largest lakes in South Wales, Cosmeston lakes is a nature lover’s dream. Located in Penarth, the park has a large open space with 247 acres of land and water ready to be explored.
The park is dog-friendly and has many amenities available to encourage you to spend the day at the nature reserve. From picnic benches to cafes with toilet facilities and dog-friendly ice cream available to purchase, the park has all your needs met.
The car park has free parking spaces available, however due to the large quantity of people attracted to the park each day, spaces may be difficult to find, so we recommend getting there early.
For more information on Cosmeston lakes visit: https://www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/en/enjoying/Coast-and-Countryside/cosmeston-lakes-country-park/Cosmeston-Lakes-Country-Park.aspx
If you’re a lover of Penarth, wait till you visit Alexandra park. The beautiful park is an Instagram dream filled with brightly coloured flowers and fields looking out onto the sea.
A great place for a scenic picnic with friends, family or your partner. Finding a spot to place down your picnic blanket will not be a problem, due to the large gardens encompassing the park.
If you’re anything like us and eager to show off your finest crockery, Alexandra park is the perfect place to sip tea, eat your prawn sandwiches and enjoy being a true Brit.
With daylight stretching out till the evening throughout spring, the park is open 8am till dusk. For more information on Alexandra park visit: https://www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/en/enjoying/Parks-and-Gardens/Alexandra-Park.aspx
Llandaff fields located north of Cathedral Road is a prime location for all to venture to when the sun appears.
Another sun trap, Llandaff fields has large rugby posts for rugby fans to use. However on a busy day, space can be difficult to find due to the large number of people eager to lay on the fields with friends and family.
Llandaff fields has a small coffee shop at the entrance to the park for all those forgotten treats you failed to add to your picnic basket. The park can be noisy, but if you’re keen for a social atmosphere, Llandaff fields deliver.
There is a small car park at the entrance of the fields and on a busy warm day in the capital, this can make parking difficult. There aren’t many bins located in the park so be sure to take bags with you or take your rubbish home.
For more information on Llandaff fields visit: https://www.outdoorcardiff.com/parks/llandaff-fields/
Bute park has an array of beautiful flowered gardens and open-aired fields of grass that are freshly cut for visitors to play ball, lounge, be social and picnic till their heart’s content.
With very few picnic benches outside of its Secret Garden cafe, taking a blanket to sit on is imperative for the perfect picnic under the pink blossom trees in Bute park.
You may want to pack a little more in your picnic hamper than just your average sandwich and snack because fans of Bute Park enjoy going all out on their choice of picnic meal with adventurous snacks such as sushi and watermelon bought from local stores in the city centre.
Another park for being overly busy, Bute park is a social delight filled with enthusiastic students embracing the sun. From 8am till late, the park remains busy, luckily Bute park is located a short walk from the city centre, so parking isn’t a problem.
A problem you may find is a lack of toilet facilities, so be sure to pack light on the liquids. Lastly, don’t forget your rubbish bags, the many visitors fill up the parks bins very quickly.
For more information visit: https://bute-park.com
Located in the centre of Cardiff, Cardiff Castle has become a hot spot for colleagues, friends and shoppers to spend lunch breaks grazing on the grounds outside the castle.
A great place for a picnic, the grass area has the best castle views and may be considered the best people watching location, the perfect spot for tucking into your packed lunch.
Trying to find an area of grass to place down your blanket can be difficult due to the garden area being limited, so we recommend getting there early.
Located next to a main road, if you don’t mind a little noise from traffic this spot could be the perfect place to lounge, without having to trek across the city.
Luckily, across the street from the picnic area are many delicious food and drink restaurants, a winner for those who forgot to order in the bread with their food shop.
For more information on Cardiff Castle visit: https://www.cardiffcastle.com/the-castle/
Another one for Instagram, Roath park offers beauty and history all in one place.
With 130 acres of fields filled with flowers and well looked after grass, Roath park is a hit for all and a main picnic destination.
The park offers lake views, a butterfly conservatory, tennis and basketball courts and an ice cream parlour to treat your post-picnic sweet tooth.
Overlooking the lake is a lighthouse or to some, a clock tower, giving Roath park extra points for picture-worthy views. The park opens at 8am and closes 30-minutes before sunset.
For more information on Roath park visit: https://www.visitwales.com/attraction/garden/roath-park-1843331
Cardiff Bay Barrage
For the best sunset picnic views, head to Cardiff Bay Barrage. A short walk from Cardiff Bay restaurants and bars is the barrage connecting Cardiff Bay to Penarth.
The barrage can get a little crowded with those walking, running or cycling by but if you find the perfect spot located near the water, you can avoid the fitness lovers and enjoy a perfect date night picnic.
Close by is a skate park, so the area can get a little noisy, however, it’s worth it for the spectacular views.
The barrage field has only three picnic benches, so taking a blanket to sit on the sandy field is wise and definitely the best option for the all important picture-perfect shot of the sun lowering over the water.
The barrage field is open 24-hours, a bonus for any late risers. Remember to take bags with you because there are very few bins in the area.
For more information on visiting Cardiff Bay Barrage visit: https://www.visitcardiff.com/highlights/cardiff-bay-barrage/
Words by Kellie Williams