There’s nothing nicer than picnicking on the sands on a sunny day. Eating alfresco in good weather is always special, but these five British beaches are the perfect places to enjoy a relaxed family lunch, or a memorable supper at sunset.

Kynance Cove (above), Cornwall
You can pack light for your day trip to this magical National Trust beach on the Lizard Peninsula, accessed via a rocky descent from the car park. The pretty Kynance Cafe sells baguettes, salads, Cornish pasties, burgers and local cheese to take away, as well as the most delicious crab sandwiches. All you need to bring is a rug.

Lunan Bay, Angus
It’s always been popular with surfers, but this pristine white-sand beach is fast becoming a favourite with picnickers, thanks to the recently created car park behind the dunes. Sheltered and totally unspoilt, it’s a wonderful place to spend a sunny day working up an appetite building sand castles.

East Head (above), West Sussex
Unpack your hamper in the sand dunes, or bring a portable barbecue with you – visitors are welcome to use them here. East Head, which is linked to Chichester by the new Salterns Way cycle route, is very popular with families, thanks to the warm tidal pools and deep, shelving beach at the spit head – perfect for swimming.

Barricane Beach, Woollacombe
For a dinnertime picnic with a difference, pay a visit to this sunset sand cove just north of Woollacombe’s main beach. There’s a tiny shack that serves fantastic Sri Lankan curries – it’s open Tuesday to Sunday from May to September, unless it’s raining. It’s a good idea to call ahead (07969 189304).

Barafundle Beach, Pembrokeshire
This golden stretch of sand

was voted the prettiest spot for a picnic during this year’s National

Picnic Week. It can get blustery (best to take a jumper), but the views

more than make up for it. Nearby, at Fresh Water West beach (above), Cafe Môr’s beach trailer serves up handmade lobster rolls with hot Welsh Sea Black butter and seafood wraps. 

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  • Christopher Simmonds

    Wonderful beaches without question, but the best one of all, missing from the list, must he Priory Bay, Seaview, Isle of Wight!