Which UK parks have the best nearby cafés?With the easing of lockdown restrictions, for the first time in a long time, there’s a real sense of hope seeping back into our lives again. The things we once took for granted before lockdown are often what we wish for now, and the small moments we cherish the most - like the simplicity of popping over to a friend’s house for a cuppa and a biscuit.
Despite the coronavirus safety measures that are still in place, many of us have taken a real pleasure in being able to mooch around the shops again, work out in a gym, and eat a meal (cooked by someone else!) outside.
Falling in love with the outdoors has been a large part of this lockdown experience for many. After feeling trapped inside our own homes for so long, the freedom of daily exercise outside was at one point a daily highlight. Now, with limited distractions, we are looking around us more and enjoying nature for all that it is.
And what better treat is there than a warm drink or slice of cake to accompany you on a walk? Often, the promise of a café pit-spot mid-route is enough to bribe the whole family out for the day. In fact, it’s been revealed that Brits spend as much as £303 a year on 676 cups of coffee, and on average, will buy three drinks from a café or coffee shop every week. So with this love of coffee and the lifting of restrictions in mind, we thought we could help you discover the best parks across the UK, with top-rated cafes right around the corner. Plus, our local cafés could do with all the support possible at the moment, right?
Using Tripadvisor data, we chose some of the greatest rated parks in the ten most populated UK cities, and from there, looked on Google maps to locate the nearest cafés. Those cafés were then ranked in popularity from existing Tripadvisor ratings, to identify the best park and nearby café for each city.
Here is a list of the top five green spaces with the best-rated nearby cafés - all are within a ten minute walk of the parks:
1. Sefton ParkCity: Liverpool
Best-rated nearby café: Pippin’s Corner
Café distance: 0.4 mile (8 min walk) from park
Café Tripadvisor rating: 5.0 (496 reviews)
Sefton Park is a Grade I listed park, neatly tucked in the historic district of Liverpool. This best-rated park is well-loved by its locals and visitors, with a magnificent 235 acres of greenspace. Whether you’re a solo traveller or part of a small group, it’s easy to get lost in the natural beauty of this park, with caves and waterfalls to explore, a bandstand that inspired The Beatles, and a quaint boating lake that’s surrounded by golden daffodils.
Pippin’s Corner is an independent, family-run café located right by Sefton Park, on Liverpool’s famous Lark Lane. The café can’t be missed with its tall arched windows full of potted plants. Takeaway options are available, so whether you’re after an all-day brekkie, a vegan treat or a deluxe hot chocolate, you'll be spoilt for choice here.
2. Piccadilly GardensCity: Manchester
Best-rated nearby café: Federal Café Bar
Café distance: 0.4 mile (7 min walk) from park
Café Tripadvisor rating: 4.5 (1,274 reviews)
Piccadilly Gardens can be found right in the heart of the city centre, surrounded by a mix of historic and modern buildings. The park is the largest open green space in the city and during normal times, is proud to host a range of musical and cultural events in Manchester. It’s the perfect place to meet a friend and relax by the water fountain, or to sit on the grass with a coffee.
The Gardens are surrounded by bustling cafés and food spots, with Federal being one of the most popular. This café is a slice of Antipodean happiness, serving what they claim to be the best quality coffee and tastiest brunch in all of Manchester… surely that’s one to test?!
3. Regent's ParkCity: London
Best-rated nearby café: Istanbul Café & Bistro
Café distance: 0.2 mile (5 min walk) from park
Café Tripadvisor rating: 4.5 (327 reviews)
Named after the playboy prince, King George IV, Regent’s Park is one of the Royal Parks in London. This glorious parkland is not short of things to do or see, with stunning rose gardens, a boating lake, sporting areas, London Zoo and the Open Air Theatre - you could be lost wandering around for hours!
But with all that walking, you’ll surely need some fuel to keep you going and ranked at café number three, the Istanbul Café & Bistro won’t let you down. This food spot is one of the best kept secrets for Turkish cuisine in London - from salads to kebabs, they offer something for everyone, seated in a relaxing atmosphere outdoors.
4. Roundhay ParkCity: Leeds
Best-rated nearby café: The Garden Room
Café distance: 0.4 mile (7 min walk) from park
Café Tripadvisor rating: 4.5 (317 reviews)
Roundhay Park in Leeds is famous for being one of the largest urban parks in the world. This rolling parkland is one of a kind, made up of 700 acres that’s dotted with lakes, woodlands, gardens and even a mansion house to roam around.
For a bite to eat (and conveniently located within the park itself) is the mansion’s Garden Room. Sourcing local ingredients, the Garden Room is a very special location for an afternoon tea or a quick coffee stop - with beautiful coffee art to match the breathtaking view of Leeds.
5. Millhouses ParkCity: Sheffield
Best-rated nearby café: Bessie’s Café & Bistro
Café distance: 0.5 mile (9 min walk) from park
Café Tripadvisor rating: 5.0 (68 reviews)
Ranked at number five is Millhouses Park, only three miles away from the city centre. Millhouses is a Green Flag Award winning parkland with blooming flowers and riverside walks to enjoy. Be sure to visit the park on a Sunday because that’s often when the Sheffield Ship Model Society navigate their watercraft models on the boating lake.
Known for its charm, much like the Millhouse Park itself, Bessie’s Café is only a nine minute walk away. You’re likely to be proudly served by the owner herself too; Bessie is known for her friendly welcome and tasty treats - from brunch and paninis to ice creams and chai lattes. There are tables outside the front, as well as a small courtyard area out back so you won’t be short of seating if you’re in need of a little rest.