Both walkers and cyclists are renowned for their love of coffee and cake and what better excuse to get outside than to visit your favourite café and support local businesses.
Wherever you are in Great Britain, you’ll be sure to find a walking or cycling route which includes a visit to your favourite café or tea room with the help of OS Maps.
Biscoff Rocky Road enjoyed whilst cycling in Hampshire
If coffee and cake isn’t your thing, there’s usually plenty of other goodies on offer. Grab some fruit, a cold drink or something savoury, there’s fuel for everyone!
And remember, wherever you decide to re-fuel, make sure you check that sites, cafés and car parks are open and whether you need to book before travelling.
1: Coastal cake in Gower
Route in OS Maps
OS EXPLORER MAP 164
- Start/finish point: Llanmadoc
- Distance: 5.9 miles (GPX can be downloaded from OS Maps)
- Time taken: 2.5 hours
- Difficulty rating: Moderate, with miles of soft sand proving hard on the legs!
- Re-fuel: Cwm Ivy Cafe & Crafts
- Parking: Llanmadoc car park (grassy field). Please note the honesty box by the entrance gate.
Cwm Ivy Marsh
Cwm Ivy Cafe
On Gower’s north coast, Cwm Ivy is just a few miles from the honeypot of Rhossili, yet seemingly worlds away, with stretching sands empty of sunflower-seeking crowds. The tranquillity is due to a trek of more than half a mile from the car park to the beach; any day out that starts with a bit of a stroll is a bonus, in my book, but not everyone feels the same. To eek that stroll into nearly six miles, follow the Wales Coast Path alongside Cwm Ivy saltmarsh and past the old sea wall, which the National Trust is now letting return to nature. On reaching the estuary, loop around towards the last remaining iron lighthouse in Europe and return along the beach. Cwm Ivy Café & Crafts boasts more outdoor than indoor seating and with those far-reaching marsh views to settle down to, even the odd spot of Wales’ finest weather shouldn’t put you off your well-earned treat. But with paninis, huge slabs of homemade pie and Swansea’s renowned Joe’s Ice Cream on offer - as well as the delicious cakes - you might need to hike the circuit twice to burn off the calories.
Recommended sweet treat: Coffee and walnut cake - also now available as cupcakes!
Expert cake sampler: OS GetOutside Champion Rebecca Lees.
2: Summits and scones in Pitlochry
ROUTE IN OS MAPS
OS EXPLORER MAP OL49
- Start/finish point: Car park behind Moulin or Pitlochry town centre.
- Distance: 5.3 miles
- Time taken: 2 hours 50 minutes
- Difficulty rating: Moderate
- Re-fuel: Hettie's Tea Room in Pitlochry
- Parking: There is a designated car park behind Moulin, or you can park in one of the public car parks in Pitlochry so you finish near the café.
View from Ben Vrackie
Loch a' Choire
This beautiful walk up Ben Vrackie will reward you with fantastic views over neighbouring Beinn A' Ghlo to the north. There’s a designated car park for this route just behind the small village of Moulin. Less than a mile south you’ll find the town of Pitlochry, home of Hettie's Tea Room, where you can also start and finish your walk from. I can definitely recommend a stop at Hettie’s Tea Room after walking up Ben Vrackie. Make sure you sample their huge range of loose leaf teas and one of their humongous scones - there's always plain, fruit and cheese but often an unusual flavour too like chocolate! They are massive and not to be missed!
Recommended sweet treat: A humongous scone with a cup of tea.
Expert cake sampler: OS GetOutside Champion Emily Thompson.
England: South East
3: Flapjack fuel in Midhurst
Route in OS Maps
OS EXPLORER MAP OL33
- Start/Finish point: Midhurst (close to the common)
- Distance: 5.5 miles (GPX can be downloaded from OS Maps)
- Time taken: 2 hours
- Difficulty rating: Easy
- Re-fuel: Comestibles Deli, Midhurst
- Parking: Public car parks in Midhurst. Also, comprehensive bus service to and from Midhurst around West Sussex.
Helen along the route
Views over Midhurst Common
The beautiful South Downs are a great place to explore by foot or bike. This two-hour circular walk is suitable for all the family and passes through Midhurst Common where there’s a lovely viewpoint overlooking the South Downs National Park. Stop off at the pretty town of Midhurst for a bite to eat or start/end your walk here for ample parking. I recommend this incredible gooey flapjack from Comestibles, the local deli. They do an excellent flat white too, plus an array of freshly made savoury bakes, healthy lunches and fine local produce. Midhurst is easily accessible for keen cyclists also and just a three-hour (hilly!) cycle from the city of Portsmouth or even less from Chichester. Taking quieter county roads may increase the miles but it is certainly worth it for an enjoyable full days ride.
Recommended sweet treat: Possibly the best flapjack in the world.
Expert cake sampler: Helen Newman from the OS team.