Top 10 Picnic Spots in Cardiff

top ten picnic spots in cardiff

The great British tradition of packing a basket with food and heading out for a picnic has arrived. Here are our favourite local spots

Bute Park

Bute Park
A firm favourite for both locals and visitors, Bute Park has become one of the city's top places to picnic.

Surrounded by beautiful trees and flowers, and not forgetting the iconic sight of Cardiff Castle, Bute Park offers the ultimate spot for the summer picnicker.

The Castle Green was landscaped in the late eighteenth century by Capability Brown, but the park itself was laid out from 1873 by Andrew Pettigrew, Head Gardener to the 3rd Marquess. Sophia Gardens and Pontcanna Fields are on the opposite side of the river, and can be reached by two footbridges.

Llandaff Fields

Llandaff Fields is made up of a mixture of vast mown grass land and woodland, which is home to lots of wildlife. The park is situated in the valley of the River Taff and you'll find many varied places to picnic - from open greens to private shady trees.

Weaving through the park is the popular Taff Trail which runs from Cardiff Bay all the way up to Brecon. There's the popular Cafe Castan providing indoor and outdoor refreshments and an impressive playground. Car parking is provided.

Heath Park

This 37 hectare park provides sport and play facilities for all ages, but also contains woodland areas, ponds and wetland which are a habitat for a wide range of plants and trees.

For kids, it's a great place to explore. There's a pond full of wildlife, a pitch and putt 9 hole golf course, a sensory garden and then there's the King George V Memorial playing field where you can while away the afternoon with your picnic. The woodlands themselves are really great habitats for birds and other wildlife and the paths allow you to explore this at your leisure.

Perhaps the icing on the cake is the miniature railway. You'll need to check opening times and be prepared for crowds when it is open (the volunteers do a great job of keeping them to a minimum) but it's a sure-fire winner for both kids and adults.

Disabled access has greatly improved in recent months and there is plenty of seating and catering outlets available if needed.

Cosmeston Medieval Village

There are over 100 hectares of lakes, meadows and woodlands in Cosmeston, which lies just outside Penarth. The former quarry has some areas that are designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest, protecting the rare and diverse plant and animal species. Several picnic tables are dotted around the park but there's also plenty of open space to unfurl your picnic blanket and spend an afternoon in the sun.

Nearby, there's also a reconstruction of a medieval village, which is set in the year 1350.

Caerphilly Castle

Constructed by Gilbert de Clare in the 13th century as part of his campaign to conquer Glamorgan, Caerphilly Castle is the second largest castle in Britain.

Famous for its concentric defences and its large gatehouses, there are plenty of grounds that can welcome those looking to take in a picnic for an afternoon.

You can also feed the ducks if you fancy a walk around the castle and you can pay to enter the castle itself and explore some of its history.

Cardiff Barrage

You can take in the fresh sea air and the great views of the Bristol Channel at the Cardiff Barrage. The area is flat meaning that you can easily get there by bicycle or on foot with plenty of space to picnic. There are also opportunities to hop on a water taxi after you've eaten and head up into the city centre in style.

Alexandra Gardens

This Grade 1 listed park includes Alexandra Gardens, Gorsedd Gardens and Friary Gardens. They provide a stunning setting for the impressive buildings that surround them, and also offer a refuge from the hustle and bustle of the city - a perfect place to picnic.

Alexandra Gardens and Gorsedd Gardens are open to the public 24 hours a day, 7 days a week whereas the Friary Gardens are open from 7:30am to 30 minutes before sunset.

Porthkerry Country Park, Barry

Porthkerry Park is comprised of 220 acres of woods and meadowland in a sheltered valley leading to a pebble beach and spectacular cliffs.

The park has a number of nature trails, picnic sites, a café, an adventure play area, barbecue areas and a mini golf course. Picnic tables and benches are situated a short distance from the main car park.

There are also extensive areas of grass to lay your picnic blanket or if you'd like to look out over the Bristol Channel while you eat, the nearby pebble beach can provide you with extensive views of Somerset and any aeroplanes on their final approach to Cardiff Airport nearby.

Alexandra Park, Penarth

Alexandra Park is a well-preserved Edwardian public park overlooking the Bristol Channel. Retaining many of its original features, the park was awarded the coveted national Green Flag award in 2012.

The park was laid out in 1901-1902 and was extremely popular from the beginning. In 1924, the Cenotaph, by Cardiff-born sculptor and medallist Sir William Goscombe John, was erected in memory of those who lost their lives in the First World War.

The original octagonal bandstand was removed in the 1950s and a square wooden shelter survived until 1994, when it was replaced with the present structure.

There are plenty of areas to picnic, surrounded by pines, conifers and Cypress trees. It's also a short walk from Penarth Pier if you fancy stretching your legs after your picnic.

Forest Farm

This wonderful nature reserve situated in Whitchurch, was formed in 1967 and straddles the last remaining stretch of the former Cardiff/Merthyr canal which still holds fresh water to a quality good enough to provide a good hunting ground for kingfishers, herons and many others species.

The majority of the woodland is beech and oak with several trees being over 200 years old, and the part called Long Wood is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

There are some lovely safe walking paths around the reserve, including one which runs alongside part of the remaining section of the former Glamorgan canal.

Started in 1790, the canal linked the ironworks of Merthyr at a height of 568 feet to the sea at Cardiff, a distance of 25.5 miles that included 52 locks.

There are plenty of opportunities to picnic on the reserve, and if you don't fancy taking the car, Radyr train station is close by.

Forest Farm is popular with walkers, cyclists and wildlife spotters and it's also worth taking your camera as you never know what wildlife you'll come across.

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