When we asked our Facebook followers to name a brilliant place in Wales for a picnic, we were flooded with replies. Here are the locations which came out on top. Just grab that hamper and go!

Barafundle Bay, Pembrokeshire

Pale sand, clear water and an away-from-it-all atmosphere makes Barafundle one of Wales’ favourite ‘secret’ beaches. It’s best to check the tide beforehand – lowish tide is best – and not to come laden with clobber as there’s a half-mile walk from the car park, with some steep bits. Don’t worry, though, it’s totally worth it.

Aerial view of a kayaker in the sea
Barafundle, West Wales

Carreg Cennen Castle

Climb up to Carreg Cennen, the castle-on-a-crag in the Black Mountain Range, and the Carmarthenshire countryside swirls about you like a sea of green. This is a view that people have been enjoying since prehistoric times – it’s thought that an Iron Age hillfort predates the present-day ruins, which date back to the 13th century.

Couple walking with castle in the background
Aerial view of Carreg Cennen Castle
Carreg Cennen Castle, West Wales

Llanddwyn Island

Romantic and remote, Llanddwyn Island is named after Dwynwen, a fifth century princess, the Welsh patron saint of lovers. It’s a tidal island, connected to southwestern Anglesey by a sliver of sand that’s lost beneath the waves at high tide. Together with nearby Newborough Warren, Llanddwyn is a National Nature Reserve, protected for its ancient rocks and dunes.

Llanddwyn Island, North Wales

Llandudno beach

Whether it’s ice cream weather in the height of summer or a crisp, bright day in the depths of winter, Llandudno is always popular for a stroll, a spot of sandcastle-building and an alfresco lunch. The beaches have Blue Flag and Seaside Awards for cleanliness and water quality and there are plenty of deck chairs to lounge in.

View of Llandudno seafront from out at sea
Llandudno beach, North Wales

River Llugwy, Betws-y-Coed

From the Pont y Pair car park on the west side of Betws-y-Coed, it’s just a few minutes’ easy stroll to a gorgeous riverside picnic area, shaded by trees. If you’re up for a gentle walk, follow the path along the River Llugwy. There’s a wooden walkway so wheelchair-users and families with pushchairs can enjoy this peaceful spot.

Llyn Padarn, Llanberis

To combine the fun of an old-fashioned picnic with the romance of a ride on a vintage train with glorious Snowdonia views, jump aboard the Llanberis Lake Railway. Its steam locomotives chuff past Dolbadarn Castle and alongside Llyn Padarn, stopping at Cei Llydan, where there are benches laid out on the grassy shore.

Llyn Padarn, near Llanberis, Snowdonia
Llan Padarn, near Llanberis, Snowdonia

Porthdinllaen beach

Picture perfect, Porthdinllaen beach is unique. Where else can you relax outside the Ty Coch, an historic fishermen’s pub, digging your toes in the sand, to enjoy a pint of real ale named after a Bardsey king? After lunch, you could go snorkelling or simply watch the sand martins as they whizz overhead and dive into their burrows. Cars aren’t allowed, but approaching on foot is a treat.

Aerial view of Porthdinllaen
Porthdinllaen, Morfa Nefyn, North Wales

Rhossili Bay, Gower

So, you’ve made your way to Rhossili Bay. Good choice – people have been drawn to this dramatic Gower beach since the Stone Age, leaving the area peppered with archaeological sites. Now all you have to do is pick your spot. You have three miles of sand to choose from. A cartwheel competition while you decide, perhaps?

View of beach from pub beer garden
Worm's Head Hotel beer garden overlooking Rhossili Bay, West Wales

Castle Hill, Tenby

Of all the places to play king of the castle in Wales, this one will charm your socks off. There’s not much left of the 13th century fort, but just look at the view! Plonk yourself down on this grassy peninsula, feel the breeze on your face and enjoy the seaside sounds floating up from the harbour to the west and the beach to the south.

Castle Hill
Castle Hill, Tenby

Lake Vyrnwy, Powys

If you love cool shade and wide, tranquil water, you’ll love Lake Vyrnwy, a reservoir created in the late 19th century to supply the fast growing city of Liverpool. Surrounded by stunning forests, meadows and moorlands, it’s become a wildlife hotspot, home to pied flycatchers, redstarts, peregrine falcons, buzzards and bats.

Trees and lake
Lake Vyrnwy, Mid Wales

Related stories