Six of Our Favourite Cafés for a Quick Pit Stop on your Winter Walk
We've pulled together six of the best cafés and coffee shops perfectly placed to stop off at when you're on a winter walk
Half way up Saddler Street in Durham city centre, this café is as loved for its picturesque exterior as it is for its delicious treats. The light and airy building spans five floors and is full of hidden spots, perfect for settling down with a cake and coffee. For something more substantial, we would recommend Flat White’s stack of fluffy pancakes.
Why not make an afternoon of it? From Elvet Bridge, head down to the riverside path and walk towards the Cathedral. The walk is a gentle one, with so much greenery you’ll forget that you’re in the heart of the city. When you reach the crossroads at Prebends Bridge, you can either head up the hill and explore the Cathedral, or continue straight ahead along the river, eventually coming full circle to the city centre. Be sure to catch the stunning view of the Cathedral and river before you go on your way.
Warm and vibrant, this is the ideal spot for a warm drink after a day of sea, sand and shopping in Whitley Bay. The café serves a variety of speciality lattes including a wonderfully blue butterfly pea latte and a golden turmeric latte. For a particularly indulgent treat, we recommend the Italian hot chocolate. Served with whipped cream and a chocolate stick, the drink is so thick you could practically eat it with a spoon.
Spend some time exploring the surrounding area, including the row of independent shops on Park View, right by the café. Particularly popular is Keel Row Books, a beautiful rare and antiquarian bookshop that has recently opened its doors. The beach is just a short walk from the town centre and heading south you can also easily access the beaches at Cullercoats and Tynemouth.
The Drift Café
Friendly and relaxed, this large café just outside Cresswell village is is a breath of fresh air and a great example of Northern comfort with its homemade cakes, broths and pies. The café also has a selection of books, paintings and prints all focused on the local area. For warmer days, there is a wonderful outside area to soak up the sun looking out over the dunes.
This is the perfect area for a long walk to blow off the cobwebs. The café is right on the dunes, only a short distance from Cresswell Pond, a Northumberland Wildlife Trust nature reserve. Also nearby is Druridge Bay, a stunning seven-mile stretch of sand that reaches all the way up to Amble, perfect for stretching your legs.
Only half a mile from the famous Shambles, this coffee shop has a unique medieval touch which helps it stand out from the crowd. Integrated into the historic city walls, head upstairs and look out over the wall at the city below. Originally built as a fortified gate for the city, the café inside is warm and inviting with deep leather sofas and comfy armchairs, ideal for settling in with a hot drink on a cold day.
There are so many options for a walk in and around York. For history buffs, head along the city walls from the café and learn about the turbulent medieval past of the area. York also has great independent shops and is famous for its Shambles, a preserved medieval shopping street that is still in use.
Mr Cooper’s Coffee House
This independent, family-run coffee house is only a stone’s throw from Whitby harbour and is a great hidden gem after a day of exploring. The café serves great deli-style bagels with unique flavours and for a special winter drink we recommend trying their Chai Spiced Bombon. There is outdoor seating available and the café is dog-friendly.
The café is within easy reach of the famous Whitby Abbey, a stunning Gothic structure that inspired Bram Stoker’s Dracula. In the town, browse the local shops before heading across the river and north along the beach for some bracing sea air. Be sure to stop at the impressive whalebone arch and learn more about the seafaring history of the town.
The Beach Hut
Cheerful and bright, this café has something for everyone. With homemade pies, cakes and more, this is a great café for escaping the cold weather, boasting views out to sea and only a short stroll north of the nearby beach. The coffee is made using The Baytown Coffee Company beans, roasted on a family-run farm in North Yorkshire.
The surrounding town is a popular tourist destination with a great beach and historic landmarks. Take a stroll along the harbour walls and watch the fishermen bring in the catch of the day. Only 15 minutes north of the town you can find Danes Dyke, a quiet part of the coast with a pebble and sand beach.