Tuck in at the National Trust's Big Beach Picnic

This summer the National Trust is inviting everyone to head to the coast in celebration of everything that makes our beaches special. Here’s what’s happening:

Brownsea Island, Dorset

Big Beach Picnic, 4 July 12pm – 2pm
Join in with this celebration of the coastline as the South West joins hands to picnic at some spectacular coastal sites. Brownsea Island is dramatically located in Poole Harbour, with spectacular views across to the Purbeck Hills and it’s the perfect place to head to for a day’s adventure on the sands. Pre-order your picnic from the café or try a variety of sweet and savoury scones, preserves and teas. Find a prime beachside spot, relax and eat al fresco. Freshly baked delights await you in our Villano Cafe Garden where there will be a marquee and live music.

Price: Free event

For more information: Call 01202 707744

Dunwich Heath Coastal Centre and Beach, Suffolk

Big Beach Picnic, 4 July 11am – 3pm

Tucked away on the Suffolk coast, the peaceful, colourful heath-land of the Dunwich Heath Nature reserve, with its shingle and sand beach, is rich with wildlife and ideal for families looking for a great day out. To celebrate 50 years of the National Trust’s Neptune Coastline Campaign head to the beach with your picnic, buckets and spades for seaside fun and games. From July, the Heath is alive with colour; a patchwork of pink and purple heather and the coconut-scented yellow gorse makes this day out an unmissable experience. There’s plenty of activities to keep the kids entertained with geocache trails, skimming stones and flying kites in the summer sunshine.

Price: Free event

For more information: Call 0844 2491895

Woolacombe, Devon

Big Beach Picnic, 4 July, 11am – 3pm

This beautiful three-mile stretch of coastline has plenty of things to see and do for all. Rolling hills provide a wonderful backdrop to a beach where many come to swim and surf on sunny days. Make a sand castle, take a gentle stroll along the beach, or get action-packed with some surfing or belly boarding. Visit Woolacombe Beach on 4 July and you can help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the National Trust’s Neptune Coastline Campaign, which has helped look after the 775 miles of National Trust coastline. So bring a picnic, play some beach games, build some spectacular sandcastles and fly those kites and celebrate the coastline this summer.

Price: Free event

For more information: Call 01598 763402

Rhossili and South Gower Coast, Swansea

Big Beach Picnic at Rhossili, 4 July, 11am – 4pm

Last year the unspoilt yellow sands of Rhossili Bay in Swansea, South Wales, were voted one of the top 10 beaches in the world. Arguably one of the best surf spots in the country, breath-taking Rhossili bay is a three-mile long sandy beach. From the top of Rhossili Down, the highest point on Gower, views of the peninsula can be seen as well as across the sea to West Wales, Lundy Island and the North Devon coast. Soak up the sights and sounds at a memorable day on Rhossili, set up a picnic on the headland near the beach and tuck into some food accompanied by a grand piano and spectacular live musical treats. Little ones can make some beach art and take part in some 50 things to do before you're 11 ¾ activities. After you’ve eaten your sandwiches, stick around for a huge two-minute litter pick led by the Keep Wales Tidy group to help look after the beach for everyone.

Price: Free event

For more information: Call 01792 390636

Pentireglaze Haven, New Polzeath, Cornwall

Big Beach Picnic, 4 July, 1pm – 5pm

Whether you'd like to escape on a clifftop walk, enjoy a spot of rock pooling on the beach, you'll find it on the North Cornwall coast. Join the local National Trust rangers for an afternoon of fun in celebration of the inspirational coast. Bring along a picnic to enjoy and have a go at a mix of activities for the whole family. There'll be orienteering, geocaching, beach games, a sand sculpture competition, rock pool rambles and a craft tent.

Price: Free event

For more information: Call 01208 863046

Brancaster Estate, Norfolk

Big Beach Picnic, 4 July, 11am – 3pm

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the National Trust's Neptune Coastline Campaign take part in the Big Beach Picnic on Brancaster Beach. Bring along a summer picnic, pack the bucket and spade and head to the beautiful Norfolk Coast with its miles of golden sand perfect for building those sandcastles. There will be 50 things to do before you're 11¾ themed family activities as well as a chance to enjoy your sandwiches with a magnificent sea view and sand between your toes.

Price: Free event

For more information: Call 01263 740241

Birling Gap and the Seven Sisters, East Sussex

Big Beach Picnic, 4 July, 6pm – 8pm

Celebrate all things coastal with a fun evening of family activities on the beautiful beach at Birling Gap, part of the world famous Seven Sisters chalk cliffs and one of the longest stretches of undeveloped coastline on the South Coast. Dig out your picnic blanket, bring a picnic or a disposable barbecue and join in with the free family games and wild art activities for fun on the shoreline. Try kite flying, hunting for fossils and bones and checking out the crazy creatures in the rock pools!

Price: Free event

For more information: Call 01323 423197

Stackpole, Pembrokeshire

Big Beach Picnic, 4 July, 11am – 2pm

Barafundle is a jewel of a beach set between limestone cliffs and backed by dunes and woods. Regularly voted among the top beaches in the world, it’s a great place to go rock pooling, paddling and building sandcastles. In partnership with Keep Wales Tidy, the Big Beach Picnic is being held at the bay where families can take part in a knees-up to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the National Trust’s Neptune Coastline Campaign as well as listening to stories of the coast from the resident storyteller.

Price: Free event

For more information: Call 01646 661425

East Head, West Sussex

Big Beach Picnic, 4 July, 10am – 1pm

Walk, play and sunbathe on this beautiful sandy beach – one of the last surviving pieces of natural coastline in West Sussex, and a dynamic sand-dune habitat that in summer is dotted with colourful maritime plants like sea holly and sea bindweed. If you’re lucky you may spot the occasional seal bobbing in the water. Join the Rangers for a brunch-time celebration of the coast. You’re welcome to bring your own picnic, but there will also be a pop-up café serving up tasty treats as well. If you’re feeling active, there’s beach yoga and fun fitness sessions (booking essential) available throughout the day and if you fancy getting creative there will also be the chance to use charcoal to sketch the coastline as well.

Price: Free event (car park charges for West Wittering Estate car park apply)

For more information: Call 01243 814730

Souter Lighthouse and The Leas, Tyne & Wear

Big Beach Picnic, 4 July, 11am – 4pm

With spectacular coastal views and wildlife to spot, plenty of fresh air and miles of open grassland, The Leas is an ideal place to sit, eat and contemplate. There are 2.5 miles of coastline to choose from or you can find a picnic bench at Souter Lighthouse. Opened in 1871 Souter remains an iconic beacon standing proud on the coastline midway between the Tyne and the Wear. This 4 July visit the lighthouse for a BBQ and some ice cream and be entertained with beach games as well as some traditional seaside fun from Punch and Judy.

Price: Free event

For more information: Call 0191 5290909

Robin Hood’s Bay, North Yorkshire Coast

Big Beach Picnic, 4 July, 11am – 2pm

Bring a picnic and join in the celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of the National Trust's Neptune Coastline Campaign. Sand, sea, games, activities and hopefully some sunshine will be on offer for all the family. Take part in some spectacular sand sculpting workshops and join in the fun with the rangers who will be running rock pooling sessions. Turn left off the slipway to find the picnic on the beach near the sea wall.

Price: Free event

For more information: Call 01723 870423

  • As these are outdoor events, please check access to the beaches before visiting, weather forecasts and the National Trust website.