Haughmond Hill Cafe set for new operators
It's a pit-stop for thousands of walkers and cyclists heading to one of Shropshire's best-loved beauty spots – and now new operators have the chance to get their hands on the Haughmond Hill Cafe.
A new tender is being offered to run the log-cabin cafe at the entrance to the woodland on the outskirts of Shrewsbury, after the previous lease agreement came to an end.
The Forestry Commission which owns the site has now appointed property firm Stonesmith to find a new operator.
The smell of sizzling bacon and the promise of a warming cup of tea greet walkers and cyclists returning from taking in the expansive views over Shrewsbury and beyond at the end of the trails across Haughmond Hill.
The site attracts about 170,000 day visitors a year, with many stopping off at the purpose-built cafe, which opened in 2006, at either end of their walk.
It was originally run from a caravan by local duo Ellen Whittle and Bernadette Edwards, with customers huddling beneath a gazebo which was put up anew almost every day, before the log cabin that houses a kitchen and a roaring log burner was built in 2010.
Mike Phillips, director of agents Stonesmith, said: “This is an excellent opportunity to run a unique catering business in an iconic and very special location.
"Haughmond Hill features strongly in Shrewsbury’s heritage – the hill is visible from large areas of the town and is fondly remembered in many childhood memories.
"As such, it has many repeat visitors who care deeply about the site and its upkeep."
Tender applications are due in by January 19, and the commission will be holding viewing days for prospective operators at the cafe from next month.
The 158-hectare woodland is the only one in Shropshire to offer accessible woodland trails and views across the River Severn and Shrewsbury.
Haughmond Hill Cafe is in a clearing close to the main car park.
It is next to an, play area and the hill's five woodland walking trails, and has tables and chairs inside and out.
Mr Phillips added: "The Forestry Commission are looking for partners to run this cafe business opportunity and no previous catering experience is necessary.
"Interested applicants should contact us for a full information pack which will be emailed to them.”