The Best Picnic Spots Near St Austell, Cornwall

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Kirsten Harford
18 June 2024

"A picnic is more than eating a meal, it is a pleasurable state of mind." - DeeDee Stovel.

This quote sums up the art of picnic-ing up beautifully. An array of delicious small bites, paired with good company and postcard-worthy scenery really can evoke a sense of true bliss. Lucky for us, Cornwall takes care of the stunning location part wonderfully, so after a sensible check of the weather, all you need to do is gather the supplies, load up the car and extend the invites!

To ensure that the strawberries and fizz stay chilled, you won’t need to venture far from the village to find a quiet spot for a quintessentially British afternoon outside, under the warm rays. Here are our favourite suggestions of where to set down your picnic blanket locally this summer…

1. Beside the river at Luxulyan Valley

Nestled just ten minutes from West Carclaze Garden Village, Luxulyan Valley is an Instagram-worthy haven, perfect for a romantic picnic along the river. The tranquil waters of the River Par flashing by will create a soothing soundtrack to your afternoon, whilst the lush canopy of ancient trees offer some shade. The sweet scent of blooming wildflowers will only deepen your peace and appreciation for the natural beauty surrounding you, away from the daily hustle and bustle. Time slows down in the valley, which is handy as you might not want to ever pack up and leave.

2. Pentewan Trail

Pentewan Trail winds through enchanting woodlands and alongside the historical St. Austell River, also known as the White River which dates back to when waste water from the China Clay industry was emptied there, turning it a white colour. If you’d like to make a day of it with the family, we recommend you park in Pentewan and then hop on your bikes, giving the children the important task of choosing where to veer off the path, to pause on a secluded patch of grass and open the picnic basket. If the children need a little encouragement for the cycle back, there are plenty of great places to get an ice-cream in Pentewan – that’s if they haven’t eaten too many sausage rolls!

3. The Clay Trails

Keeping it really close to home, simply wander up through the clay trails to be rewarded with far reaching views of St Austell bay. Kick your shoes off on a sun-drenched hilltop, surrounded by the unique, rugged beauty of the clay landscape with its fascinating history etched into every contour. Reap all of the benefits of an ocean view, without the worry of sandy sandwiches. And when you simply can’t finish another morsel, it’s just a gentle, downward stroll back home.

4. Caerloggas Downs

Caerloggas Downs is a hidden gem, offering a unique blend of natural beauty and historical intrigue. The Downs are home to a variety of wildlife, making it a haven for nature lovers and bird watchers alike, so be sure to pack the binoculars. Whilst sharing crisps and popping olives into your mouth, you’ll be captivated by the sweeping views of rolling hills and verdant fields, stretching as far as the eye can see. Dogs are also welcome, so you might like to pack a pet-friendly picnic too.

5. Caerhays Beach

Of course, we couldn’t do a Cornish picnic roundup without featuring a beach destination, and it just had to be Caerhays Beach. The great thing about here is that you can pull up in a van or camper and picnic out the back with the sea view, as the car park backs onto the beach! You can of course picnic on the soft sand too, under a pretty parasol, book in hand. Paddling in the shallows in between picking at your alfresco feast sounds rather dreamy, doesn’t it?

Take a look at the rest of our journal entries for more wonderful inspiration on how to spend slow days in this beautiful part of the world. And don’t forget to share your summer adventures with us – tag @west_carclaze_garden_village