Coastal Winter Picnic Spots
Cefn Sidan is one of Wales’s longest beaches at close to eight-miles and overlooks Gower that can loom out of the sea like a monster in certain light playing tricks with the dunes and rambling hills running to Worm’s Head. Winter sunsets here are dreamily artistic and seemingly endless in creation over miles of silken sands and ribbons of surf constantly bowling in. Close your eyes and listen to the thunder of the sea forever present in the timeless land. The dunes provide perfect picnic habitat shelter. There is no better place fly a kite, run the dog, or go beachcombing with the kids. Or just lay back and enjoy the peace and space with a flask of tea and picnic treats of a sausage roll and a Welsh cake or two.
Picnic tip: Get cosy, bring lots of blankets and your binoculars. In certain light conditions across the eight miles of sands you can see from Caldey to Lundy sweeping round to Gower. The desert like sands are banqueting tables for all kinds of sea birds and wildfowl here, prolific especially over the winter months as they fuel up on the shellfish abundant sands before rejoining the migratory routes around the globe.
How to reach: Pembrey Country Park is just off the A484 Llanelli to Carmarthen coast road just outside Burry Port follow the county park signs.
A short walk of about half a mile just round the headland from Llansteffan’s main beach, this hidden cove is a perfect location for a romantic picnic. It is a seclusion of paradise and you have to pinch yourself because there’s a castle above the beach that takes the breath away of all whose gaze falls on it for the first time. As the cool weather tapers down from summer the touristy crowds have ebbed away and there is the opportunity to be inspirational with picnic ideas. At low tide head across the beach scoured by the outreached fingers of the Atlantic Ocean unfurling in to Carmarthen Bay. At high tide go over the top as wild sea horse waves surge and swirl below. It’s pretty likely you’ll get this sandy beach to yourself so it’s well worth going a little bit further for that desert island experience. Or if you want to go for the full bustling seaside experience back at the car park there’s Florries Fish and Chips served from a cabin and sure to warm your cockles! Talking of cockling - in the winter pleasure pickers are allowed to pick up to eigth kilos per person per day here!
Picnic tip: Go for a late lunch as sunsets are magical here rivalling anywhere in the world as the wintry sun sets over sea fringed sands.
How to reach: The Green is a free car park on the sea front in Llansteffan…it’s just a few steps to your picking paradise.
There are several picnic spots at this five-mile long beach – wander just a few metres to one of the benches on the seafront or spread a rug on the sands. Those with more energy should head west for rock-pooling or climb up to dramatic cliffs along the All Wales Coast Path. The views from up here across Carmarthen Bay are wonderful but if you want your picnic up here bring a rug as there are no benches! Pendine Sands is home to the setting of historic land speed records, ideal for flying kites and collecting shells and at certain times of the year you can even drive on the beach like those record breakers of old!
Picnic tip: Find out when you can drive on to the beach and load up the car for the ultimate in beach dining.
How to reach: There is a car park on the seafront in Pendine.
This is the spot to picnic like a poet and playwright. The low sunlight of winter adds to the literary magic of Laugharne where the medieval castle looms above the estuary and the Dylan Thomas Boathouse is bathed in golden light and the shadows fall across his writing desk. Pick a bench below the castle or lay a rug down on the super soft mossy grassy banks of the River Taf and toast the town that this literary legend fell in love with. Muse on Dylan’s words and understand how the inky inspiration of this hallowed Milk Wood location was created.
Picnic tip: Take a tipple, Dylan Tomas would approve! Or, drop in at Browns Hotel on your way home, the poet’s favourite pub
How to reach: There’s a car park in the shadow of the castle in Laugharne.