Post updated Feb 2021
Whether it’s people watching or admiring a beautiful view, sitting on a park bench is a simple pleasure on a fine day. In this list you’ll find 10 places in South East Wales to sit back, take a few deep breaths and enjoy the present moment.
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1. Roath Park, Cardiff
Roath Park stretches through the middle of an urban area in Cardiff with a large boating lake. The green space contains a play park, beautiful rose garden and lakeside benches to relax with an ice-cream and watch the swans and paddle boats in the summer season.
2. The Knapp, Vale of Glamorgan
The Knapp is a quieter stretch of pebble beach next to the popular Barry Island and pleasure park. The cliff top here is easily accessed from Knapp Car Terrace along the Wales Coast Path. The view across the water towards the hills of Devon is wonderful, and the onshore breeze will help blow away any cobwebs.
3. Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan
Sure the bench looks a little tired but this view of Cardiff’s skyline from Penarth is perfectly positioned to see a colourful sunrise or sunset over the city skyline. From here you can also see the boats in the marina, Cardiff Bay and the distant hills and mountains of the valleys.
4. St Fagans National Museum of History, Cardiff
Wales’s outdoor museum is an immersive experience through the country’s heritage. On a sunny afternoon the gardens surrounding St Fagans castle is a lovely location to relax on a bench or tuck into a picnic.
5. Barry Island, Vale of Glamorgan
On a bright and breezy afternoon Barry Island can draw quite a crowd, made famous by the television series Gavin & Stacey. The headland, lined with benches, is a pleasant walk from the beach and tends to be much quieter – except for the occasional overhead traffic from the nearby airport which is great for plane spotting.
6. Bute Park, Cardiff
Next to Cardiff Castle in the city centre is Bute Park where the River Taff flows down towards the bay. The green space offers an escape from the hustle and bustle with a tea room and riverside picnic benches.
7. Ridgeway, Newport
The Ridgeway in Newport is lined with numerous benches, many of which are placed there in someone’s memory. The view over the mountains is absolutely glorious on a clear day and the Café at Ridgeway is conveniently positioned for a light lunch or hot drink while you’re there.
8. Dunraven Bay, Vale of Glamorgan
Dunraven Bay is located in Southerndown, a rugged stretch of coastline with rocky cliffs and a pebble beach. The hilltop stony bench sits inside the remains of a castle and looks west towards Porthcawl.
9. The Kymin, Monmouth
Further north overlooking Monmouth is The Kymin, a National Trust property once visited by Lord Nelson. It’s easy to see why it was chosen as a picnic spot with panoramic views of the Brecon Beacons.
10. Sully Coastal Walk, Penarth
After asking on here and social media for a tenth location, Hannah from Miss Nicklin suggested this wonderful park bench spot on the Sully Coastal Walk near Penarth.
Have you discovered a local park bench with a view you enjoy visiting? Let me know!