The UK’s best cosy cafes to warm up in after a bracing walk, from Devon to Yorkshire

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The cosy cafes to warm up in after a bracing walk, from the one in Devon that serves Nutella hot chocolate to the tearoom in Yorkshire that welcomes ‘muddy boots and wet paws’

  • Soak up the warmth of the wood-burner in The Tulip Tree tea rooms in Kent
  • Indulge in rich hot chocolates in the Cocoa Tree Cafe on Scotland’s Fife coast 
  • Tuck into scones big enough for two at Tea On The Green in Westward Ho 


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Every week our Holiday Hero Neil Simpson takes an in-depth look at a brilliant holiday topic, doing all the legwork so you don’t have to. This week: cosy cafes to discover on autumn walks.

Take a walk across the rolling meadows of Kent around Tonbridge and stop off in the Tudor village of Chiddingstone which, apart from the church and castle, is owned by the National Trust. Here you’ll find The Tulip Tree tea rooms, where a wood-burner keeps the converted coach house warm and the counter groans with cakes, scones and treats.

As you leave, pop in to the gift shop next door. Dating from 1453, it’s said to be the oldest operating shop in England (thetuliptree.biz).

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Sweet spot: Some of the baked delights at The Tulip Tree in Chiddingstone

Sweet spot: Some of the baked delights at The Tulip Tree in Chiddingstone

Stop for a cuppa in Spoons, pictured, after trekking across the Hewenden Viaduct

Stop for a cuppa in Spoons, pictured, after trekking across the Hewenden Viaduct

Treat yourself to a rich hot chocolate at the Cocoa Tree Cafe in Pittenweem, pictured above

Treat yourself to a rich hot chocolate at the Cocoa Tree Cafe in Pittenweem, pictured above

The cosy interior of Poppy’s at Winterton-on-Sea, which is named after the owners’ pet dog

The cosy interior of Poppy’s at Winterton-on-Sea, which is named after the owners’ pet dog

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Relax in Spoons, in the Yorkshire village of Cullingworth, after a bracing walk across the 17-arch Hewenden Viaduct, near Bradford. The cafe welcomes ‘muddy boots and wet paws’ and has a secure bike park (spoons-tearoom.co.uk).

The Old Sawmill Tearoom, at the foot of Skiddaw mountain in the Lake District, was a working mill until 1970. Buy one of its shortbread squirrels and proceeds go to an animal conservation project in the nearby woods (theoldsawmill.co.uk).

On cold days on the Fife coast of Scotland, the perfect pitstop is the Cocoa Tree Cafe in Pittenweem. The owners also run the Pittenweem Chocolate Company and you’ll find its flavours in the cafe’s rich hot chocolates and mochaccinos (pittenweemchocolate.co.uk).

Winterton-on-Sea, on the Norfolk coast, has Poppy’s, a cosy cafe named after the owners’ dog. Buy local gins as well as stamps in its Post Office (wintertononsea.co.uk).

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In Llanarthney, Carmarthenshire, near the 400-acre National Botanic Garden of Wales, Wright’s Shop & Kitchen also hosts a Makers Market where you can meet and buy items from local artists, illustrators, potters and weavers (wrightsfood.co.uk).

A retro vibe runs through Tea On The Green by the sea in Devon’s Westward Ho – it’s where walkers can follow a mile-long section of old railway line to the viewing point on Cornborough Cliffs. Warm up with a Nutella or Strawberry Dream hot chocolate, or try scones big enough for two (teaonthegreen.net).

Pictured is the 'retro' Tea On The Green by the sea in Devon’s Westward Ho

Pictured is the ‘retro’ Tea On The Green by the sea in Devon’s Westward Ho

A festive hot chocolate display in Tea On The Green, which serves Nutella and Strawberry Dream varieties of cocoa

A festive hot chocolate display in Tea On The Green, which serves Nutella and Strawberry Dream varieties of cocoa 

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