Explore Fort Langley

One of B.C.'s most famous historical sites wears its winter coat well

Credit: Garth Poon

Take a winter tour and you’ll see why Fort Langley is one of B.C.’s most popular historical attractions year-round

Don’t let the rain and cold stop you from taking a winter wander through historic Fort Langley. With delightful cafés, charming antique stores, the Fort-to-Fort trail and more, Fort Langley is the perfect place to meander on a winter weekend.

Click through for seven great places to visit in Fort Langley

Credit: Garth Poon

Lelem’ Arts and Cultural Café

Owned and operated by the Kwantlen First Nation, the unique Lelem’ Café has been in operation for just over a year and is already making a name for itself in Fort Langley. With a bustling kitchen and a menu that offers locally sourced food with a First Nations twist, it’s no wonder there is a steady stream of customers on a Saturday morning. Eggs Benny on bannock, anyone?

Lelem’ (meaning home or place to come together) also prides itself in being a beautiful community space and arts and cultural café. Carvings, masks, talking sticks, paintings, weavings and basketry by First Nations artists are displayed throughout the café, some of which are for sale. Arts and cultural programming is offered at various times throughout the year, along with open mic nights and live jazz every other Saturday.  

Nestled at the end of a new development of townhomes and condos, Lelem’ is located on Billy Brown Road, just before the bridge to Brae Island, right on the Fraser River Boardwalk. Open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Lelem’ is well on its way to becoming a Fort Langley favourite.

Credit: Garth Poon

Fort-to-Fort Trail

Grab a latte from a local coffee shop and take a winter stroll down the peaceful and relaxing Fort-to-Fort Trail. Linking Fort Langley National Historical Site to the site of the original Hudson’s Bay Fort further west at Derby Reach, the Fort-to-Fort Trail is a gravel walk that is good for all ages and popular with walkers, runners and cyclists alike. Spot migrating birds, enjoy views of Golden Ears and watch members of the Fort Langley Canoe Club have a paddle through Bedford Channel.

The trail also features interpretive signage, viewpoints, rest benches and even a children’s playground along the way. While surrounding vegetation may not be as lush as in spring and summer, there is a quiet and austere beauty found in walking this trail in winter. Plus there is always the added bonus of no mosquitos.

Credit: Garth Poon

Village Antiques

No visit to Fort Langley is complete without a stop at one of the many antique stores. Open daily and operating since 1984 is Village Antiques, a 10,000 square foot mall that comprises 55 independent dealer booths and showcases. Treasure hunters are sure to find some gems here. Whether you’re looking for mid-century modern or vintage furniture, china, housewares, clothing, retro toys or out-of-print books, there is truly something for everyone. Go green and go vintage!

Credit: Garth Poon

Langley Centennial Museum

Another place to discover a treasure trove of history is at the Langley Centennial Museum. The newest exhibit, “Collected and Curated: Artifacts from the Permanent Collection,” runs now until March 22. The exhibit includes intricate First Nations coiled cedar root baskets, artwork by Suzanne NorthcottBarbara Boldt and Phyllis Atkins, schoolhouse photos as well as additional pioneer, First Nations and exotic artifacts.

The History Gallery brings the past to life and tells the stories of what daily life was like for the early pioneers and First Nations people. Meander through the replica Noel Booth post office and general store, learn about the Fraser River gold rush and discover how Chinese and European immigrants adapted to life in Fort Langley. Be sure to browse the art foyer on your way out to discover the work of local artists.

Credit: Garth Poon

Blacksmith Bakery

Fort Langley’s new Blacksmith Bakery is where you’ll find owner and pastry chef Stephan Schigas forging fresh and locally-sourced baked goods using traditional artisanal methods. After spending about 12 years in the UK as a chef at various notable establishments, Schigas recently returned to Fort Langley with his young family where he helped launch Lelem’ Café before embarking on his own venture, Blacksmith Bakery. Named after the historical Reid Blacksmith Shop and Garage that once stood on the same site, Blacksmith Bakery is already creating a buzz in the community and has been open less than two months.

Customers enjoy the modern and chic ambience, and also rave about the hazelnut croissants, Viennese donuts, and flavourful meringues. Be sure to check the menu for other delectable offerings, including savouries such as Bratwurst sausage rolls and turkey pot pie, gourmet sandwiches and gluten-free baked goods. Coming soon are a traditional British Sunday roast paired with local craft beer casks as well as other beer, wine and liqueur offerings. Schigas has some innovative ideas and seeks to reinvent the traditional bakery.

Credit: Garth Poon

Cranberries Naturally

Located just off Glover Road, tucked away on Gasoline Alley is Cranberries Naturally, a quaint, cozy and artful little shop run by entrepreneur Jasmine Marjanovic. Popular with locals and visitors alike, Cranberries Naturally was established 16 years ago and features a wide array of cranberry products and gifts.

Sample the famous Cranberry Jalapeno Jelly, which in 2012 made its way to Hollywood via the Oscar gift bag. If you have a sweet tooth, you may prefer the chocolate-covered cranberries, cranberry syrup or honey. Other hot-selling items include dried cranberries (which use the whole berry not just the skin) and Cranberry Zinger salad dressing. Take a photo with Crannie Annie, the resident cranberry muse before stocking up. Gift cards and make-your-own-gift basket options are also available.

Credit: Garth Poon

Wendel’s Bookstore and Café

With a warm and friendly atmosphere, Wendel’s is the perfect place for book and coffee lovers to cosy up after a winter walk through Fort Langley. Featuring a good selection of magazines, children’s and adult fiction as well as books by local authors, Wendel’s also has an online catalogue where you can browse over four million titles. Head over to the café to enjoy some delicious fair trade, organic coffee roasted by local North Vancouver company, Moja.

If you’re up for a heartier meal, Wendel’s also has a casual breakfast, lunch and dinner menu with a focus on serving fresh foods, including a selection of wheat-free and dairy-free items. With the outdoor wraparound porch full of customers on a winter weekend, it just goes to show that Fort Langley is a great place to enjoy at any time of year.