7 of the UK's best village tea rooms

Whatever the season, there’s always good reason to enjoy tea and cakes. We recommend the UK’s top classic tea rooms

Tuck into a big, fat slice of Victoria Sponge and a cup of tea at one of the UK's best tea rooms. Here are our faves:

Mrs Knott’s Tearoom at The Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottage, Dover, Kent

Named after the longest generation of lighthouse keepers in the world, this time warp café is set in the Knott family’s former cottage on the cliffs of Dover. Visitors to the National Trust’s South Foreland Lighthouse come here to eat scones and sip loose leaf tea from fine bone china cups.

Chintzy furniture and gaudy wallpaper make it feel like an inviting 50s living room, while discs spinning on a vintage record player include George Formby and, quite appropriately, Vera Lynn’s The White Cliffs of Dover.

Badgers at the Old Village Bakery, Alfriston, near Eastbourne, East Sussex

Baked goods have been produced for several centuries on the premises of this building which dates back more than 500 years. In the 1700s, villagers would bring cakes to cook in the bakery’s ovens until the arrival of more convenient domestic appliances resulted in its closure in 1933.

Tasty organic treats are now served in either a cosy room filled with fresh flowers or outdoors in the walled garden.

The Old Station Tea Rooms, Holmsley, The New Forest

The perfect pit-stop for ramblers exploring trails in the New Forest National Park, this quaint café sits on an abandoned Victorian railway line. Housed in the former station house, it serves afternoon teas and cakes along with a substantial lunch and dinner menu featuring local produce. There’s also a licensed bar if you need a stronger tipple to send you on your way.

Whitmore Tea Rooms, Whitmore, Staffordshire

Those seeking a quintessential English countryside tearoom will quickly fall in love with this place. Located next to the 19th century parish church, it also overlooks the grounds of Whitmore Hall – only open to the public several days a year.

Being so close to Stoke-on-Trent, the world capital of ceramics, it’s no surprise the crockery is a talking point. One Japanese magazine even dedicated a 4-page feature to the tea room. 

Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire

If you go down to the woods today… be sure to pop through the wooden arches of this Edwardian woodland café. The property was built in 1903 next to a popular spa bath complex renowned for its healing waters. Now meals and afternoon teas are served either indoors or on a veranda, and comedy nights are held throughout the year.

Tu Hwnt I’r Bont Tearoom, Llanrwst, Wales

The setting for this ivy-clad tearoom, in the shadow of Snowdonia, is near picture perfect. Warm up indoors with some bara brith (speckled bread) and local cheeses, while listening to the River Conwy wending it’s way past the front door and below the Inigo Jones Bridge. The property, built in 1480, was originally a private house and has also functioned as a courthouse.

Heydon Village Tea Shop, Norfolk

Screen buffs might recognise the picket fences and trim lawns of Heydon from Julie Christie classic The Go Between. Several decades on, it’s still the archetypal British village, and this cul de sac café is the hub of local life.

Decked out in bunting and with its own red post box outside, it serves fresh scones smothered in Norfolk jams. There are no loos on site – you’ll have to pop next door to the ladies’ hair salon.

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