14 picture perfect picnic spots in the South West

Three wooden picnic benches in a forest clearing surrounded by trees

Fantastic forest picnic locations in the South West

Dust off the chequered blanket and dig out the napkins. Here are the perfect spots for a summer's day picnic in the South West of England. New to our forests? Check out the Forest Code.

Picnic benches surrounded by trees

1. Cann Wood, Plymouth

Sit among the wildflowers and enjoy a relaxing picnic in the valley of the stunning River Plym. A true feast for the eyes while you enjoy a feast for your belly.

2. Fernworthy Forest, Dartmoor

Fernworthy is a quiet and spacious picnic spot, offering time for reflection and creativity in prehistoric surroundings. Seek shade under the tree canopy or catch rays in the open moors.

Reservoir surrounded by forest
Family having picnic and ice cream in the forest

3. Dymock Woods, Herefordshire

You are guaranteed to see beautiful seasonal colours at this lesser-known lunch area. The only thing that is not predictable is the weather. In true British summertime style, we suggest you bring along both sun cream and an umbrella.

Pssst… the local wildlife have asked us to prevent litter being dumped in their homes. Please remember to take your picnic rubbish home with you.

4. Nightingale Wood, Swindon

Unleash your inner adventurer before snacking on carrot sticks. Enjoy a sausage roll after rolling in the mud. This is a heart-warming place that encourages you to live in the moment.

Picnic Bench in the Forest
Abbeyford picnic area

5. Abbeyford Woods, Okehampton

Find pockets of stillness in this stunning community woodland. Navigate through the trees on the banks of River Okement and escape the world for a little while. 

6. Eggesford Forest, Chulmleigh

Enjoy your picnic on the same ground that Queen Elizabeth II walked on in 1956 when she marked the millionth acre of Forestry Commission planting. This is a lunch location to rival all others!

Avenue of copper beech trees
Stockhill Wood

7. Roughtor, Bodmin Moor

Get away from it all and soak up the stunning wilderness of Roughtor. Pack a plentiful picnic to refuel after exploring this rugged landscape.

8. Great Wood, Bridgwater

Full of nooks and crannies that are waiting to be explored, this woodland is perfect for the picnicker seeking adventure. One for the bucket list?

Grassy meadow surrounded by conifer trees
Family with dog on lead picnicking

9. Affpuddle, Dorchester

Affpuddle is a mosaic of beautiful forest and heathland. It is the ideal space to shake off the chores and focus on being wild for a while.

10. Leigh Woods, Bristol

There are several picnic tables dotted throughout the wood. Kick back, relax and munch on some lunch. You may even spot special plants like the Bristol rock cress and Bristol onion. Hands off these though… they’re not a picnic garnish!

Path through the trees

Snap your snacks! Share your picnic photos on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Remember to tag us and use #ForestFocus.

River and conifer trees

11. Bellever Forest, Dartmoor

There are two picnic tables next to the car park for easy access. Finished lunch? Go for a wander by the East Dart river or head off on an exhilarating walk up to Bellever Tor. You’ll find an unforgettable viewpoint.

12. Deer Park, Cornwall

Sit in this magical meandering valley and engage all of the senses. Look at the towering trees, listen to the lullaby of birdsong, breathe in the fresh air. This is a woodland straight out the pages of a fairy-tale book.

Tree canopy with blue skies
Drive through Savernake forest under tree canopy
Isobel Cameron

13. Savernake Forest, Marlborough

Have you ever picnicked in a Special Site of Scientific interest (SSSI)? This cherished location has left an outstanding legacy of old trees and landscapes. The history of this forest is around a thousand or so years older than you!

14. Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire

From the stunning scenery of the Symonds Yat Rock viewpoint, to the peaceful ripples of Mallards Pike lake, there are endless options for summery snack spots in the Forest of Dean. Once a major industrial site in the Victorian times, nature has reclaimed this now wild and wonderful location.

Stunning viewpoint over forest landscape with blue sunny skies

Explore all of these forests and more with Forestry England national membership

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