Head for the Hills: “With less commuters, cafés based in or near our railway stations are really struggling”

PUBLISHED: 15:48 24 November 2020 | UPDATED: 09:54 25 November 2020

Manager of Snooty Fox Cafe, Shalford, Frankie Ago with assistant Charlotte Woolgar. Image: Chris Howard

Manager of Snooty Fox Cafe, Shalford, Frankie Ago with assistant Charlotte Woolgar. Image: Chris Howard

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Plan a walk with the family, taking in one of these cafés offering takeaway in Surrey

As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, please spare a thought for our struggling cafés . With the second lockdown and less commuters heading to London, all the cafés and sandwich bars based in or near our railway stations are really struggling. Town centre cafés too have a much reduced trade, now working from home is the new normal.

Meanwhile, we are all stuck at home struggling to find things to do with our leisure time. So, how about planning a walk with the family, taking in one of the many cafés and other eateries we have on offer here in Surrey. Being outdoors is good for your health and by enjoying a coffee or treat while you are there your are helping to support the local economy.

Over the years Surrey Life has written up many walks that take in cafes along the way. Amongst my favourites is Daisy Café at the pretty Victorian station in Godalming. Such a friendly bunch and great coffee. Meanwhile, the Snooty Fox café in Shalford has lots of outdoor seating, plus the common opposite, so there is lots of room to social distance. Further east, another great walk can be had on Farthing Down, followed by afternoon tea at Poppy Café in Coulsdon Memorial Ground or try their amazing Thai food offer.

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Here in Surrey we are blessed with many attractive market towns, that all have attractive open spaces to enjoy. Reigate is a brilliant town to take a walk around. Priory Park is right behind the High Street, with its lake, woodlands and Pistachio’s in the Park café. You can also explore old Reigate castle and grounds and then enjoy one of the takeaway offerings in the town. They all desperately need your custom.

Guildford has the stunning Pewley Down on its doorstep, as well as several attractive walks along the river Wey - both north and south of the town. Kingston and Walton-on-Thames have also got interesting walks along the river front and through their town centres. All these walks have been covered in past editions of Surrey Life. Go to surreylife.co.uk and use the search box to find a walk near you.

Surrey is also blessed with numerous country parks, managed by our boroughs and County Council. One of my favourites is Lightwater Country Park in Surrey Heath. It has several well signposted short walks, picnic areas and a brilliant, child and dog friendly café. I love their ‘puppuccinos’ for dogs.

So spare a thought for our fantastic cafes this winter. Plan a series of foodie treats and walks through the season to take in one or two of them while discovering more of what our beautiful county has to offer.

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