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The UK’s best cozy cafes to warm up after an invigorating walk, from Devon to Yorkshire

The cozy cafes to warm up to after an invigorating walk, from the Devon one serving Nutella hot chocolate to the Yorkshire tearoom that welcomes ‘muddy boots and wet paws’

  • Soak up the warmth of the wood burning stove at The Tulip Tree Tea Rooms in Kent
  • Savor rich hot chocolates at the Cocoa Tree Cafe on the Scottish coast of Fife
  • Feast on scones big enough for two at Tea On The Green in Westward Ho


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Every week our Christmas hero Neil Simpson takes a deep dive into a sparkling holiday theme and does all the fieldwork so you don’t have to. This week: cozy cafes to discover on autumn walks.

Take a walk through the rolling Kentish meadows around Tonbridge and stop in the Tudor village of Chiddingstone which, in addition to the church and castle, is owned by the National Trust. Here you’ll find The Tulip Tree tearooms, where a wood-burning stove keeps the converted inn warm and the counter groans with cakes, scones, and goodies.

As you leave, enter the gift shop next door. Dating from 1453, it is said to be the oldest operations shop in England (thetuliptree.biz).

Ideal Venue: Some of the delicacies baked at The Tulip Tree in Chiddingstone

Ideal Venue: Some of the delicacies baked at The Tulip Tree in Chiddingstone

Stop for a cup of tea at Spoons, pictured, after walking the Hewenden Viaduct

Stop for a cup of tea at Spoons, pictured, after walking the Hewenden Viaduct

Stop for a cup of tea at Spoons, pictured, after walking the Hewenden Viaduct

Enjoy a rich hot chocolate at the Cocoa Tree Cafe in Pittenweem, pictured above

Enjoy a rich hot chocolate at the Cocoa Tree Cafe in Pittenweem, pictured above

Enjoy a rich hot chocolate at the Cocoa Tree Cafe in Pittenweem, pictured above

The cozy interior of Poppy's in Winterton-on-Sea, named after the owners' pet dog

The cozy interior of Poppy's in Winterton-on-Sea, named after the owners' pet dog

The cozy interior of Poppy’s in Winterton-on-Sea, named after the owners’ pet dog

Relax in Spoons, in the Yorkshire village of Cullingworth, after an invigorating walk along the 17-arch Hewenden Viaduct near Bradford. The cafe welcomes ‘muddy boots and wet feet’ 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 their butter squirrels and the proceeds will go to an animal conservation project in the nearby forests (theoldsawmill.co.uk).

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

Winterton-on-Sea, on the Norfolk coast, has Poppy’s, a cozy café named after the owners’ dog. Buy local gins and stamps at your post office (wintertononsea.co.uk).

In Llanarthney, Carmarthenshire, near the 400-acre National Botanic Garden of Wales, Wright’s Shop & Kitchen also houses 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 at Devon’s Westward Ho – it’s where walkers can follow a mile-long section of the old railway line to the Cornborough Cliffs lookout. Warm up with a Nutella or Strawberry Dream hot chocolate, or try scones big enough for two (teaonthegreen.net).

Pictured is 'retro tea' on the green by the sea at Devon's Westward Ho

Pictured is 'retro tea' on the green by the sea at Devon's Westward Ho

Pictured is ‘retro tea’ on the green by the sea at Devon’s Westward Ho

A festive display of hot chocolate at Tea On The Green, serving Nutella and Strawberry Dream cocoa varieties

A festive display of hot chocolate at Tea On The Green, serving Nutella and Strawberry Dream cocoa varieties

A festive display of hot chocolate at Tea On The Green, serving Nutella and Strawberry Dream cocoa varieties

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