Whether you’re looking for fuel to kick-start an autumn ramble or are returning from a gentle stroll through one of our beautiful gardens, you’ll find our cafés and tea-rooms are great places to warm up at and enjoy a treat or two.
Here’s a selection of our favourite places for a cosy bite to eat before, after or during your autumn walk, from pop-up kiosks to traditional tea-rooms. Every visit you make and refreshment you buy helps us carry on looking after special places for everyone to enjoy.
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Flatford lies in Constable Country in the heart of the Dedham Vale in Suffolk. Right next door to the beautiful 16th-century thatched Bridge Cottage is the riverside tea-room, with views along the River Stour. The scones have a very loyal following – this autumn look out for sweet blackberry and apple scones and pumpkin pie savoury scones.
Famous for its spectacular autumn colours, Stourhead is home to Britain’s largest collection of Japanese Maples. This autumn, walkers can enjoy a pit-stop at the restaurant which serves fresh, home-cooked food and has been awarded a silver Food for Life Catering Mark from the Soil Association. The autumn menu will feature seasonal dishes such as vegetable crumble and there will also be gluten-free options available.
Built on a rocky crag high above the Debdon Burn, Cragside boasts vast grounds. It features possibly the largest rock garden in Europe which is ablaze with colour in autumn. No visit to Cragside would be complete without a visit to the tea-rooms. Enjoy comfort food at its best with a heart-warming one-pot dish or try a steaming bowl of homemade soup.
You can stroll through vibrant autumn colour in the ancient woodlands around Speke Hall or take a stroll along the new coastal walk with views across the Mersey. Home Farm Restaurant offers a delicious selection of homemade soups and hearty mains to help you refuel – look out for ‘Wet Nelly’, a Liverpool speciality akin to bread and butter pudding.
There are over 2,000 hectares of heather-covered hills, rolling farmland, woods and river valleys to explore at Carding Mill Valley and the Shropshire Hills. Get some energy for an autumn walk at the Chalet Pavilion tea-room where highlights include Dudmaston apple cake made from apples grown on the Dudmaston Estate.
Fountains Abbey is one of the most atmospheric and romantic places in the Yorkshire Dales. There’s a deer park, a lake, canals and acres of space to wander in and enjoy the autumn colour. For tasty homemade cakes, warming brews and hearty soups, stop off at the Abbey Tearoom on your travels around this special site.
Lanhydrock reaches its best in the autumn, with scarlet acers and yellow tulip trees lighting up the estate. There are all sorts of trails through the 900 acres of woodland running down to the river Fowey and you’ll find the new Park Café conveniently located for a pre- or post-walk bite of homemade food made from ingredients sourced locally.
Considered one of the best autumn colour gardens in the country, the tree-lined shores of the four linked lakes at Sheffield Park and Garden create dramatic mirror reflections of the vivid autumn colour. In the tea-room, sweet treats are something of a favourite with seasonal twists on traditional cakes proving particularly popular. The tea-room can get busy in the middle of the day but there are lots of pop-up café kiosks in the grounds during the autumn.
On the River Conwy with views across to Snowdonia, the 80-acre Bodnant Garden includes Italianate terraces, a ‘wild’ garden and informal lawns set off by trees that light up in red and gold come autumn. Revive yourself after a day exploring at one of the two tea-rooms or stop for a bite to eat and a moment by the toasty fire at the kiosk in the Dell, a wooded area with a stream running through it. Beyond the Dell lies the Far End where you’ll find an outdoor kiosk serving snacks and hot and cold drinks.
There’s a surprise around every corner at the newly restored Mount Stewart, which is home to plants from all corners of the world. Follow the lake walk to discover the ornamental trees and shrubs in their autumn coats of red and gold, reflected in the still water of the lake. The restaurant on the shores of Strangford Lough offers award-winning food and drink, including local Irish stew to reward you after an autumn walk.