An Unforgettable Winter Wander Through Norfolk County

By Ontario’s Southwest on Nov. 01, 2023

Whether you’re looking for a fun holiday shopping escape or a relaxing rural retreat, Norfolk County offers picture-perfect views, cozy meals, and cold-weather activities that are sure to help you warm up your winter. This two-day itinerary will help you craft a perfect plan for a few days away with friends or that special someone in your life.

Wandering in a Winery in Winter

Pick Your Winter Wander Headquarters

Winter stays away beg for an inviting place to put your feet up, watch the snowflakes fly and enjoy the fact that there’s nowhere else you need to be. From quaint bed and breakfasts to cozy cabins and welcoming inns, Norfolk County is filled with unexpected options. Best bets include:

Quinsana Bed & Breakfast

Set on 34 acres of woodlands in the countryside just outside of Tillsonburg, the three bedrooms here offer a perfect place for a romantic escape or group getaway. Be sure to call dibs on the Grand View Room to enjoy the best views in the house.

Quinsana Winter

Mabee Marsh Cabin

This rustic wood lodge that sleeps up to 11 has a brand-new heating system and two fireplaces to keep things extra warm and cozy. If you’re looking for something smaller, Long Point Eco-Adventures now also offers three winterized camping pods on the property that sleeps two.

Clonmel Castle

If you can tear yourself away from your luxurious suite at Clonmel Castle, common areas for guests to enjoy in this 12,000-square-foot historic mansion include a library with a roaring fire and a music room with two grand pianos that guests are welcome to play.

The Dover George

The Dover George is not just a place to stay; it’s a one-of-a-kind indulgence for those seeking the extraordinary. Boasting 4 uniquely designed suites, The George features curated aesthetics and refined comfort beyond compare. 

The Dover George

Plan Some Comfort Food-Filled Meals

Winter weather calls for delicious meals that stick to your ribs. While the fields of Ontario’s Garden may be snow-covered in the winter months, area chefs still know how to make local ingredients shine. Add these can’t-miss winter dishes to your agenda:

  • The homemade lasagna at David’s Restaurant in Port Dover is referred to as spaghetti in cake form! The chef’s pillowy gnocchi is also incredible.
  • The slow-roasted lamb shank served with pan drippings, mint jelly, vegetables and garlic mashed potatoes at Schofields Bistro is a can’t-miss!
  • The Blue Elephant’s tasty Pad Thai and curries are a delicious way to add a little heat to a cold winter’s night, and there’s a spectacular selection of house-made craft brews to cool your palate.
  • The Country Fork rotates its menu frequently, so you’re always in for a surprise. Expect tried-and-true country comfort features like Chicken Fried Chicken, Tuscan Sausage Pasta, and Shepard’s Pie.
  • Tacos N Tequila’s authentic dishes, like Bistek Ranchero, a stew of tender steak served with beans, rice, and corn tortillas, will make you feel like you’ve escaped to Mexico!
  • Nestled in a charmingly converted old schoolhouse, New Limburg Brewery offers a delightful blend of history and taste. This brewery excels in crafting Belgian-style beers, and the cozy restaurant setting complements the experience, offering contemporary casual dining options that pair perfectly with their signature brews.
  • The Urban Parisian’s warm, buttery croissants are the perfect on-the-go breakfast with a hot cup of coffee.

Urban Parisian

Dial In On Your Preferred Temperature of Winter Fun

Norfolk County is home to outdoor activities where you can embrace winter’s chill and cozy indoor options to enjoy as you tour the countryside. Consider some of these fabulous ideas for frosty fun:

  • If you’re visiting in the colder months, bundle up in blankets and enjoy a glass of wine at Burning Kiln Winery. This winery is beautiful all year long. 
Outdoor Winery Winter
  • If you’re visiting in December, be sure to schedule a stroll through Simcoe’s Panorama at Wellington Park. This incredible holiday light show has been welcoming winter wanderers for over 60 years, and this year will offer an outdoor Christmas Market on weekends.
  • Elevation offers guided mountain bike tours through the Carolinian forest. Their bike rentals include fat tire options, so you can take on snow-covered trails too.
  • Chartered ice fishing experiences hosted by Jimmy Riggin’ Fishing ChartersBayside Ice Fishing and Woodward’s Ice Fishingare a fun way to spend an afternoon.
Ice Fishing
  • Snowshoeing is the perfect way to sneak in a winter walk on Norfolk County’s fantastic collection of trails.

There are also excellent options to warm up a winter day or evening by enjoying a little time indoors:

Meuse Brewing Company

Looking for even more new and exciting things to see, do, taste, and experience in Ontario’s Southwest? Browse our collection of experiences and itineraries that have been specially curated for those who are endlessly curious and love to learn about the hidden gems others may overlook.  

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