It’s the perfect summer picnic
There’s nowhere more summery than the beach. Salty air, warm sand between your toes and the gentle sound of the waves as they break against the shore.
If you’re planning a picnic on the beach, you’ll want to make sure you’re comfortable, entertained and have food to last all day.
Here are some beach picnic ideas to inspire you and help you prepare.
The right beach accessories will help keep you cool, comfortable and burn-free.
Sand-proof beach blanket
If you’ve ever spent a day on the beach, you’ll know how the sand gets everywhere! In your clothes, in your shoes and even in your food when you’re not looking. Thankfully, you can now get a sand-proof beach blanket to help keep it at bay.
Sand that falls onto the blanket passes through the top layer and through to the other side. The bottom layer prevents it from coming back up. So your blanket is always sand-free.
Pop-up beach shelter
On the beach, you can find yourself contending with direct sun, gusts of wind and sea spray.
A pop-up beach shelter could help. These lightweight structures provide shelter and shade, with some also offering UV protection, so you can stay comfortable.
First aid and wellbeing
Accidents will happen. Carrying some basic first aid and wellbeing supplies with you will ensure you’re prepared. Some things that might be useful include:
- Insect repellent
- Sticking plasters
- Antiseptic cream
- Baby wipes
- Hand sanitiser
Picnic cool bag
If you’re planning a picnic on the beach, you’ll probably have items that need to be kept cold. If so, a picnic cool bag with frozen ice packs is probably your best option.
Picnic cool bags are insulated and will keep your food and drinks cold for around 12 hours, so they’re ideal for a day on the beach.
The bags come in different sizes for families, couples and singles. There’s also a handy rucksack version if you have to walk or hike to the beach.
Airtight food storage containers
Stackable airtight containers help you make the most of the space in your cool bag so you can fit more in. They also help to keep your food fresh, crisp and sand-free.
Your picnic on the beach will be even more fun if you pack some entertainment. Here are some ideas for keeping yourselves entertained.
- Buckets and spades
- Puzzle books
Beach picnic ideas
Arguably, the most important part of any picnic is the food. If your picnic on the beach needs to last all day, you might want to stay away from foods that are likely to melt and make a mess. Chocolate, we’re looking at you!
Meat, fish, mayonnaise, and creamy dips and desserts can turn bad quickly in the heat. So, if you don’t have a cool bag, they’re best avoided too.
Picnic finger food
Picnic finger food is easy to eat with your hands and there’s less risk of it falling on the sand.
- Veggie sausage rolls
- Vegetable sticks and salsa
- Fresh fruit
Long-life snacks, like these, can also be a good option:
- Spare crisps and fruit crisps
- Crespo olives
- Tree of Life dried fruits and nuts
- Ryvita crispbreads and flatbreads
- Nairn’s Oatcakes
- McVities Hobnobs
- McVities Digestives
- McVities Rich Tea
- McVities Ginger Nuts
It’s important to look after yourself when you’re out in the sun. Avoid alcohol and pack plenty of sensible drinks that will quench your thirst and keep you hydrated.
Cold fruit squash is particularly effective as it has a high water content when diluted. We recommend making up a bottle the night before your trip and storing it overnight in the fridge. If you don’t have room in your cool bag, transferring it to a thermos flask will help to keep it cold.
If you like your picnic drinks a little more tropical, try coconut water. It’s delicious, nutritious, hydrating and perfect for the beach.
Fancy some fizz? These Dash Water drinks combine sparkling British spring water with natural fruit for a fresh and fruity taste of summer.
Enjoy your picnic on the beach!
Stay safe in the sun
Look after your skin to prevent sunburn.
- Choose a sunscreen that’s suitable for your skin type and a water-resistant brand if you’re planning to go in the sea
- If you’re using old sunscreen, make sure it hasn’t expired
- Apply your sunscreen liberally to all exposed skin and reapply frequently throughout the day
- Spend time in the shade when the sun is strongest (between 11.00 and 15.00).
Hot weather can dehydrate you more quickly, so be prepared.
- Drink plenty of water — on hot days, adults could need as much as 3 litres
- Aim to drink regularly and before you start to feel thirsty
- Recognise the signs of dehydration: thirst, dry mouth, feeling dizzy, dark yellow urine
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol as these can dehydrate you further.
Having fun on the beach is mandatory — no excuses!