Post updated July 2021
Whether you like to people watch or admire a beautiful view, sitting on a park bench is a simple pleasure to enjoy on a fine day. In this list you’ll find 10 of the best places in South East Wales with benches that also make great picnic spots.
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1. Roath Park, Cardiff
Roath Park stretches through the middle of residential 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 time.
There is some road side parking available on Lake Road West or Lake Road East, so if you’re traveling here by car a nearby postcode to use is CF23 5PG.
2. The Knap, Vale of Glamorgan
The Knap is a quiet pebble beach next to Barry Island and the hillside bench can be walked to along the Wales Coast Path from the Knap Car Park (the postcode is CF62 6TA). There’s a great view across the water towards the hills of Devon and its openness is ideal for taking in some fresh coastal air.
3. Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan
Sure the bench looks a little tired, but the view over Cardiff’s skyline from Penarth’s Paget Road (CF64 1DR) is perfectly positioned to watch the sun rise or set over the city. There’s so much to look at it from this bench, below you can see boats inside Penarth Marina, beyond that is Cardiff Bay and in the distance are the hills of the South Wales valleys.
A similar view can also be enjoyed on Harbour View Road along a grassy field called Plassey Square (with a play park) that can be found using the postcode CF64 1HE.
4. St Fagans National Museum of History, Cardiff
Wales’s outdoor museum is an immersive experience through the country’s heritage which you could spend all day exploring. A great place to stop off for a picnic is the gardens surrounding the castle with plenty of benches lining the pathways. St Fagans National Museum of History is typically open 10am until 5pm and the postcode is CF5 6XB.
5. Barry Island, Vale of Glamorgan
On a hot summers day Barry Island can draw quite a crowd as it’s one of the nearest sandy bays for people living in Cardiff and the valleys and is accessible by train. If you’re a fan of the television series Gavin & Stacey, there’s a Gavin & Stacey Tour that takes you around the various filming locations in Barry.
The headland, lined with benches, is a pleasant walk around the coast and tends to be much quieter than the beach and surrounding facilities. Visiting Barry Island outside of the summer season is when things are a lot calmer and come winter time it’s mostly dotted with a few local residents out walking their dogs.
To visit the headland and walk up to Friars Point the postcode you’ll need is CF62 5TP.
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 flower lined pathways, riverside picnic benches and views of the impressive fortress rising above the tree line.
You can purchase tea and cake from Pettigrew Tea Rooms (CF10 1BJ) which is located by the park entrance on Castle Street, or bring your own sandwiches for a relaxing outdoor lunch by the river.
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 (NP20 5DE) is conveniently positioned nearby for a takeaway lunch or hot drink while you’re there.
8. Dunraven Bay, Vale of Glamorgan
Southerndown’s Dunraven Bay is situated on the Glamorgan Heritage Coast, a site of special scientific interest. This rugged stretch of coastline is very tranquil in comparison to the nearby seaside resorts in Barry and Porthcawl. The hilltop stony bench sits inside the remains of a castle and looks west towards Porthcawl, the best angle to enjoy a sunset from.
A carpark for Dunraven Bay can be found using the postcode CF32 0RP and here is a useful page where you can find local sunset times for Cardiff.
9. The Kymin, Monmouth
Further north overlooking Monmouth is The Kymin (NP25 3SF), a National Trust property once visited by Lord Nelson. It’s easy to see why it was chosen as a picnic spot with a panoramic view of the town and Brecon Beacons.
10. Sully Coastal Walk, Penarth
After asking on here and social media for a tenth location, Hannah from Miss Nicklin suggested this excellent park bench spot on the Sully Coastal Walk near Penarth that has a car park nearby with the postcode CF64 5BP.
Have you discovered a local park bench with a view you enjoy visiting? Let me know!
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