Eat Local North
Regional distinctiveness runs deep here. Our Northern area stretches between the buzzing cities of Manchester and Leeds to the sought-after beauty of the Lakes, the wilderness of the Yorkshire Moors and the drama of Northumberland’s coastline.
Food echoes that sense of regional identity here, where you’ll find dishes that represent landscapes, history and cultural tradition. Lancashire’s Hotpot is a comfort against the regions colder climate while preserved foods like Craster Smoked Kippers represent a time when fresh produce was scarce in winter months. There are plenty of original farmhouse cheeses here, tasting as strong and pure as the untouched landscapes.
Ali's Eat Local loves
Mrs Kirkham's Lancashire Cheese, stop off for lunch at Westmorland Services, fish and chips in Whitby's Magpie Café.
Just three miles North of this Victorian seaside town, our club site is perfectly located to give access to both the towns attractions, but also to beautiful walking trails through National Parks and on blowy cliffs. It’s also well located for some great Yorkshire produce...
One of the best farm shops in the area has to be Redcliffe Farm shop – on the south side of Scarborough. The food in this converted Granary is both fantastic quality and brilliant value, with plenty of offers on meat and farm produce. No excuses that farm shopping is more expensive than supermarkets here! They have a full butchery counter serving their own 100% grass fed beef, also chicken and lamb and a large range of pies – all made on the farm. They sell their own free-range eggs and plenty of other goodies from alcohol to cakes sourced other farms in the area. If you can tear yourself away from the cheese counter – you can sample the produce in the cafe. An afternoon Yorkshire tea is a good option here, with cakes made in their own bakery or there’s always a choice of three roasts on a Sunday. Redcliffe Farm, Lebberston, Scarborough, YO11 3NT 01723 583194
In Scarborough itself you’ll find a proper deli at Gibsons at No 25, in Ramshill Road – high on decent home cooked honest food and low on pretentions. The team of cooks and bakers are busily baking away in the back as you browse the counters of tarts, quiches, pies and cakes. It’s a great place to gather goodies for a picnic to be eaten on the Esplanade just down the road. 23 Ramshill Road, 01723 360022
Stepney Hill Farm is a tranquil retreat on the outskirts of Scarborough, just 10 minutes drive from the. There is a lovely little teashop on this farm, that serves and all day breakfast (well during the opening hours of 10 – 3 Mon- fri and 10 – 2 Saturday and Sunday). With views over the Yorkshire countryside, the teashop is set in the middle of this working farm,that prides itself on using traditional methods to slowly rear its herds of local breed shorthorn cows, saddleback pigs and local breed Swaledale sheep. Stepney Road, Scarborough, YO12 5NL 01723 373443
When you're not walking, you should be eating in the Lake District. Our site in Kendal is well positioned for easy access to both pleasures.
Low Sizergh Barn is an extraordinary farm shop. Housed in a 17th century stone barn, it’s big and slick, but sticks to its principles of providing ethically-produced, great quality produce that is fresh and organic.
Cheeses from the farm’s milk go well with chutneys from the Cumbrian hedgerows. Meat, poultry and game are from nearby farms and the organic veg is delivered by wheelbarrow from a few yards away. Children will love the cafe where you can watch the cows being milked through the viewing window below you.
Cumbria on a Plate offers day-long food safaris around a selection of Cumbria's artisan food and drink producers. Annette Gibbons is reknowned for her cooking demonstrations and classes in the area, but is also a passionate supporter of the Slow Food Movement as well as the producers in her area.
A day on a chauffeur-driven ‘safari’ with Annette takes in three or four artisan producers such as bakers, cheese producers or preserve makers or organic mills. Visitors get behind-the-scenes to see how regional specialities are made or how farmers rear their animals. Obviously there is a lot of tasting involved and a sumptuous lunch included. To book call 01900 881356 or e-mail Annette@cumbriaonaplate.co.uk
Greystoke Cycle Cafe is one of those quirky places you come across on holiday that sticks in your mind as a ‘great discovery’. This place is brilliant. It serves soups, cakes, sandwiches and big mugs of tea on Fridays, Saturdays and every second Sunday of the month. But for cyclists (it is on the Coast to Coast cycle route) the cycle barn is open every day in season to provide riders with hot drinks, pumps, maps, towels and guidebooks and puncture repair kits.
The fun doesn’t stop there though. Greystoke also runs a packed programme of ‘quirky’ workshops ranging from arts and crafts, bushcraft, dry-stone walling and wild food days featuring nettles, fire bread and bunny burgers. Get on your bikes and check it out.
Being named Cumbrian Good Dining Pub of the Year five years in a row by the Good Pub Guide, means you don’t just have to take my word for it.
The ‘Yat’ (Yanwath Gate Inn, Penrith), scores highly on my own Great Eat Local Pub list because it's devoted to supporting as many local and independent good food suppliers as possible.
Free range and organic are high on the list of priorities on their menus. Loin of Herdwick mutton with Cumbrian black pudding makes a hearty meal, although the bacon and haggis dumplings that are served with the pork fillet got the highest thumbs-up from my father-in-law.
The pub itself is an attractive 17th century inn with a lovely garden for enjoying on warm summer evenings.
Our tranquil Dunstan Hill Club Site brings you close to all that is best about Northumberland. Endless horizons, big skies and wild, untamed coastline. It's also close to one of Northumberland’s most legendary regional foods – Smoked Craster kippers. You can walk the five minutes from the site to Craster village, with its stone cottages and traditional smokehouses.
The Robson’s family smokery has been hard at work here since the 1850s, using traditional methods, curing the humble herring into naturally golden, taste bud tinglingly-good kippers. Take some back to site for breakfast or enjoy them in the Craster Seafood Restaurant, attached to the smokehouse.
Just over ten minutes drive from Dunstan Hill is the beautiful and historic town of Alnwick. Its cobbled streets bustle in the shadow of the glorious medieval castle. It's a lovely place to come for a wander around, especially on market days.
It's said that a weekly market has been running here for more than 800 years. The market runs on Thursdays (between April and December) and Fridays from 9am–4pm. There is also a farmers' market on the last Friday of every month (except September and December).
If you like a view with your meal, then the restaurant at Bashall Barn will be a feast for your eyes. But, I’ll wager the glorious Ribble Valley outside the window will struggle to distract you from the delights offered at your table.
The restaurant is big but retains a family feel and has held the National Farmers’ Retail and Markets Associations Best On-Farm Restaurant Award. Food is from the farm or has a Lancashire origin (Potted Morecambe Shrimps).
Try the county on a plate – the Bashall Herdsman’s Platter with home-cooked ham, liver pate, pig pie and Lancashire cheese. Leave enough room for the ice cream from the on-site parlour.
If you're a fan of the camper’s staple, the good old British banger, then head to Castle Street in Clitheroe to find Cowman’s Famous Sausage Shop.
You’ll find more than 60 varieties of sausages here, all made using locally-reared meats. I like the sound of the pork with ginger or pork with plum or chestnut. There has been a butcher's shop on this site under the looming presence of Clitheroe Castle for more than 120 years.
It has also been under the ownership of the Cowburn family since the 1950s, so you’ll be experiencing a bit of Clitheroe’s history as well as some exceedingly good bangers. Open from 7.30am–5.30pm Monday to Friday and 7.00am–4.00pm on Saturdays.
Loved by walkers and cyclists, our Club Site here is perfectly positioned to reach the best of the Yorkshire Dales. If you're lucky enough to be staying on the first Saturday of the month, then the only direction to head in is the cobbled streets below the ruins of Barnard Castle – make sure you take a rucksack.
Barny’s market, as it is known locally, won the Vegetarian Society’s award for best farmers' market but there are also humanely or organically-raised meats from the fertile pastures. The buzzy and busy mêlée in the shadows of the castle ruins makes for a memorable morning's shopping.
The Rose and Crown is a particularly handsome 18th century coaching inn set in the middle of no less than three village greens and next to a picturesque Saxon church in the village of Romaldkirk.
It gets even better when you step inside – log fires, newspapers, oak settles and fresh flowers. It’s a perfect setting for a lunchtime treat – the ploughman’s has local home-baked ham and the area’s signature Cotherstone cheese (a soft crumbly cheese made with unpasteurised Jersey milk) and pickles is popular, or for a more filling option try the venison casserole.
All this, and just ten minutes' drive from the site.
Rosies’ Tea & Coffee Room is easy to find, on the same road as Hayfield Club Site. (41 Kinder road, High Peak, Derbyshire SK22 2HS. 01663 745597). If you tuned in recently to the BBC1 Sunday night drama, The Village, you'll have spotted Rosie’s Tea and Coffee room without even knowing it, as the beautiful village of Hayfield was used as the setting for the programme and Rosie’s was transformed into Hankin’s Drapers shop. Despite the filming and the façade, inside it was business as usual with delicious home-baked cakes and freshly prepared sandwiches and home-made soups still being served to the busy clientele. Rosie’s prides itself on sourcing much of the food used in the tea room from local producers. The sandwich meats are purchased locally, roasted on site, and sliced to order. There’s a great range on offer, alongside full English breakfasts, cakes and cream teas. They serve an extensive selection of teas and plenty of freshly brewed coffee.
The tearoom walls showcase local artists work. Outside there’s plenty of room for bikes and as the Kinder Road is the only road to the base of the Kinder Scout Mountain and the Pennine Way, it’s the perfect starting off or finishing point. There’s a great take-out service and if you have a flask staff are happy to fill it with your favourite hot beverage or homemade soup.
Ten miles south of Hayfield lies the 16th century country pub, the Old Hall Inn at Whitehough, Chinley. Small and family-run, this is the quintessential English country pub with good, honest, locally sourced pub food. You can settle in at the friendly bar where dogs are welcome too, or in the magnificent Minstrel’s Gallery dining room in the adjoining Whitehough Hall, an Elizabethan Manor House. Though it’s worth the trip just to enjoy the steaks, reared locally and butchered by the award winning ‘Mac Burnhams Butchers’, it is the local real ales that make it all extra special. The Old Hall is a strong supporter of local Peak District breweries and has a strong beer trade, showcasing a number of different beers every week. With eight hand pumps featuring Derbyshire breweries such as Bollington, Hornbeam and Thornbridge, a beautiful beer garden and Beer Festivals to boot, it’s well worth a visit.
J.W. Mettrick & Son is a butcher with awards the length of the Pennine Way. It is absolutely top-notch. Based in Derbyshire's High Peak Region, all Mettrick’s meat is traceable because they collect, slaughter and prepare it themselves. They have their own abattoir, grim to think about perhaps but good to know. All meat is sourced from within the Peak District, North West and Midlands, within 35 miles of their shops.
Mettrick’s has two shops in the Peak District and your nearest shop is in Glossop, just less than ten miles from Hayfield Club Site and well worth travelling to. There’s a good reason why this butchers is loved by the media (it has featured in amongst a long line of appearances, on the Hairy Bikers Best of British Food Tour, the BBC’s Kill It, Cook It Eat It and was the setting for the Butchers in the League of Gentlemen!) Try the award-winning bacon and sausages and mouth-watering pies all made, of course, on the premises.
Derwentwater, known as the the jewel of the Lake District, is a top spot for cyclists. So my first recommendation for top local eats is a Bike Shop! The Lakeland Pedlar, Bell Close, Keswick, CA12 5JD, 017687 74492 houses both the excellent vegetarian Wholefood Cafe and a bike shop. The café is decorated with brilliant pictures and cycling memorabilia from across the world and through the centuries. A short walk or shorter cycle from the campsite this fabulous vegetarian café sources everything locally and prides itself on delicious homemade nutritionally balanced meals, from breakfasts, sandwiches, soups, pizzas and a great kiddies menu to a fantastic range of organic cakes, breads, slices and delicious desserts. Vegan and gluten-free diets are also catered for.
The café makes an ideal beginning or conclusion to a day’s cycling or hiking and there is always expert advice on hand, with information about routes or a helping hand with a puncture.
The Lake District is not short on rain. So if you are looking for an all weather venue with a nice place to eat for the whole family The Pencil Museum, Main Street, Keswick, CA12 5NG, 017687 73626 will tick the boxes. (adults £4.50, children under 16 £3.25, children under 5 free.) It may initially not sound the most promising of venues but it’s a great little find with a fantastic café stocked with local goodies. Open all year round, there’s lots of interest for the kids with Fun Days, quiz trails and drawing competitions. You can check out the world’s longest colour pencil, marvel at the James Bond style World War II pencil, follow the history of pencil making in words, pictures and then let the kids imaginations run free in the Kids Art Studio, where there’s lots of creative things to do. The museum café, Sketchers Coffee shop, with its great riverside location, kid’s lunchboxes and lovely views of Catbells is a great place for coffee and cake or lunch. Wherever possible, food is locally sourced from the Cumbrian baked bread and scrummy scones with Claire’s homemade Cumbrian jam and cream, to seasonal veggies for the homemade soup.
A visit to the Lake District wouldn’t be complete without tasting some local ale, and some of the loveliest Cumbrian nectar is brewed a few minutes from the campsite.The Keswick Brewing Company, Brewery Lane, Keswick. CA12 5BY was established in 2006 on the site of a brewery which last operated in the 19th Century.
Using the finest Maris Otter malt to produce high quality, hand crafted cask and bottled ales, the company’s range now includes four regular beers, plus seasonal and special beers. Each of the beers has a unique recipe. The best way to appreciate this lovely Cumbrian beer is through a tour of the craft brewery where you can sample a selection of the ‘Thirst Beers’ (so named because of misunderstanding over their First Run beer which the graphic designer mistakenly thought was Thirst Run...) Thirst Jefferson, the latest addition to the range, launched in April this year. The tour is a really interesting experience and from the moment you step through the doors onto the original sandstone flagged floor, and see beams and a wood burning stove, you know you are in for a treat. The tour lasts approximately one to one and half hours and booking is essential. Tours are usually between 11am-2pm on Friday and Saturday but if call or email ahead other times and days may be available (tel: 017687 80700 email firstname.lastname@example.org.)There’s a small brewery shop, selling bottled beers, cask conditioned mini casks, gift packs, T-shirts and brewery merchandise, which is open daily.
This is a great part of Yorkshire with its atmospheric combination of beautiful big countryside, towns and cities steeped in history, a landscape dotted with ancient civilisations, and of course fantastic fodder. It’s a very short, pleasant stroll from the campsite into Boroughbridge. As you enter the village on Roecliffe Lane you’ll see on your left the fantastic Devil’s Arrows, three huge historic Standing Stones.
A couple of minutes on will bring you into the town centre and The Old Foundry Kitchen, a lovely bright, modern spacious café, offering homemade food from local and seasonal produce. The menu is very satisfying: great soups, salads, wraps, fab cakes and treats. Everything is available as a small portion for children and there’s a dedicated Children’s Platter too. It also produces and sells a range of fantastic produce all made using local ingredients and sporting a smart, modern Old Foundry Kitchen label – Crab Apple Jelly, Pepper Relish, Marmalade, Chilli Oil, Plum Sauce, Chilli jams and Chutney.
There’s a dedicated children’s corner and there are some lovely structured activities for a range of ages, French classes for 4-11 year olds, art classes for little ones and knit and natter for the grown-ups. Unit 7, Foundry Yard, New Row, Boroughbridge YO51 9AX.
Newby Hall is a little further from Boroughbridge campsite (just under nine miles) but it offers a full fun-filled family day out. Newby Hall is a grand eighteenth-century country house situated on the banks of the River Ure at Skelton-on-Ure. Originally designed by Christopher Wren, redesigned by Robert Adam with furniture by Chippendale, it’s a Grade I listed beauty.
There are tours around the house. The gardens are stunning. And there’s kiddie heaven with a huge adventure playground, sand pits, water jets, zip wire, a lake with paddle boats and the highlight for kids and adults alike is the miniature railway.
There’s a café serving a tempting homemade array of delicious cakes and scones baked fresh every afternoon in time for tea. There’s a cracking farm shop which stocks the very best food and drink from Yorkshire with a fully stocked butchery counter specialising in meat and game reared on the nearby Newby Hall Estate. There’s fruit and vegetables straight from the farms, preserves and sauces, freshly baked local bread and delicious cakes. The delicatessen counter is packed with a selection of wonderful local cheeses, traditional chocolates, preserves, and condiments.
Sandwiched between the outskirts of Harrogate and the beautiful town of Knaresborough, is the farm shop, Fodder. This is a good ten miles from our Club Site but it’s so worth the journey as this is a very special place, a great example of how local food can be enjoyed.
If you ignore the A1 and head to Fodder on the A6055 (a far nicer drive) then just a couple of miles short of Fodder you’ll find yourself in the delightful historic market town of Knaresborough. With its fantastic viaduct spanning the River Nidd, its ruined castle, atmospheric Chapel of Our Lady of the Crag, the House in the Rock and old riverside buildings, it’s well worth stopping and having a look around. When you’ve built up an appetite Fodder awaits down the road.
On the surface Fodder is a combination of high quality food hall and café but it’s also much more. Located at the Great Yorkshire Showground, this is the UK’s first and only fully charitable food hall, with all profits reinvested in helping the rural community in the North of England. All profits go to fund the work of the registered charity, The Yorkshire Agricultural Society. Anything that is good enough to eat but not good enough to sell goes to The Harrogate Homeless Project – which is a fabulous organisation.
Fodder celebrates and sells the very best food and drink from Yorkshire and the Humber and a few things from outside the area too (as they explain on their website, they still can’t find a local farmer to grow lemons and bananas for them!) They are passionate about local food and started Fodder because they wanted to help local farmers and producers to sell their products and make it as easy as possible for consumers to access amazing, local food.
They now support over 310 farmers and small producers, and a team of over 40 people including four butchers and five chefs. They go all out to make sure that you really enjoy the Fodder experience.
The building itself looks great; eco-friendly and with an innovative design, lots of warm stone, blonde wood and glass, a big outside dining area and a shop layout that’s crammed to its spectacular rafters with mouth-watering local food. Fodder buys directly from the farm and pays a good price to them but central to their philosophy is the belief that buying the best local food should not break the bank. All staff are well trained, know the providence of the food and contribute to new recipes and quick ideas to give you the inspiration to create wonderful meals. Check www.fodderweb.co.uk for opening times.
The village of Staveley is a very pleasant 30 minute walk from our Club Site across the fields on clearly marked footpaths. It is also home to the wonderful Hawkshead Brewery and Beer Hall, Cumbria’s largest independent brewery, known for producing traditional beers with a modern twist.
The Beer Hall is modern, light and bright space with warm wood floors, big comfy benches, long tables and deep leather sofas. There’s a bar (naturally, kitchen (cafe) and shop.
You can come here for fantastic bar food, with a menu carrying “Beer Tapas” (from £1.50-£4.50). These small tasty portions have been designed to complement your beer but even if you’re not an ale lover (and they carry a great variety of good quality soft drinks and wine if you’re not), they are delicious, and you get a good size portion: Local Pork Pie, sticky barbecue ribs, warm scotch egg and piccalilli, sweet corn and coriander fritters, crispy belly pork & hoi sin pancakes, as well as Yorkshire Pudding filled with local braised beef in Dry Stone Stout topped with horseradish sauce.
The on-site beer shop sells, alongside the Hawkshead offerings, bottles from many of Britain's other leading micro breweries. They hold two beer festivals a year and in the evenings host regular live foot tapping music. They also do a very informative brewery tour on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 2pm (£6.50 per person with a pint or two halves at the end of the tour.)
The foodie joys of Staveley don’t stop there. The village is home to More?, an award winning bakery and a proud member of the "real bread" campaign which champions the true art of artisan baking using 100% natural ingredients. My top tip is the Walnut Bread with Treacle and Raisins.
This place takes a bit of finding, but the effort is well worth it (just off Finkle Street in Kendal). The Food Shop opened in 2008 offering sandwiches, salads, soups and cakes to takeaway. It proved such a hit that they followed it with Baba Ganoush Canteen. A great looking eatery, modern with an open kitchen and lots of shiny stainless steel, this modern canteen is a far cry from the cosy, quaint chintz tearooms that you’d expect of the Lakes. The owners were adamant that they didn’t want to be a restaurant, billing themselves as a daytime eatery with a no booking policy, and a no frills no fuss approach, reflected in their prices.
The food is delicious. There are café favourites with lots of lovely extra twists and flavours – scrambled eggs with chorizo, Parma ham or warm herbed tomatoes, omelettes again with a lovely wide choice of flavours including roasted peppers, goats cheese and smoked salmon. Sandwiches are hefty with delicious chutneys, marmalade and pickles all piled in thick cut bread fresh from Cumbrian artisan bakery friends, More? A chalked up specials board offers the chance to sample some lovely, exotic flavours in a spicy sausage stew, a harissa and cumin-roasted lamb flatbread and cassoulets. There’s lots of a vegetarian dishes (one of the co-owners is vegetarian) a daily offering of at least six varieties of soup – everything from Cullen Skink (smoked haddock, potato and leek) to Thai green chicken curry and noodle and pork belly and Boston baked beans. Children’s portions are available on all dishes.
The food shop a couple of doors down from the Canteen is open from 7.30am to 4pm Monday through to Saturday and has a fantastic selection to takeaway: delicious cakes and tray bakes, a salad bar and homemade pates, terrines, salt beef, rillettes and roasted vegetables and a deli with local cheeses and the same great variety of soups as the Canteen. And obviously, they do a wicked Baba Ganoush, a delicious Middle Eastern dip made of roasted aubergines, tahini, lemon juice and garlic. Worth the hunt.
Plumgarths sells great meat from its own site butchery, has a farm shop packed to the rafters with the flavours of The Lakes and has a cracking café next door. All in all it is definitely worth a visit. The Plumgarth team is passionate about meat and they take great pride in supporting local farmers, buying most of their meat from the surrounding small scale farms. They are the brains behind the ‘locally-sourced’ initiative in the Kendal ASDA store (which has now spread further afield) and supply many local businesses. The animals they buy are taken to a small local abattoir (only seven miles away) which has been run by the same family for over 175 years. They are then delivered to the farm shop to be hung until they are ready for butchering. Everything, from sausages to burgers to joints, is butchered on site by one of their time-served butchers, with the result that they have complete control over everything they sell. The care and passion they take over their animals is reflected in the quality of their meat. Try the award winning sausages, which are made in small batches to ensure consistency and quality; the meat is filled in to natural casings and then the sausages are hand tied in the traditional way. All the burgers are hand-made too. Fire up that barbecue…
When you’ve stocked up, stagger round the farm shop, stock up some more and then head into The 2 Sisters Simply Scrumptious Café. The delightful Monika and Magda run this lovely, relaxed café and produce delicious breakfast rolls packed with Plumgarth’s bacon, sausages and egg, lunches of homemade quiches, pates, and pancakes, cakes and spectacular afternoon tea. Simple food, really well done using all the lovely Plumgarth local produce, and it’s very friendly service to boot. Truly Scrumptious!
Certificated Sites with Food
Mill Beck sells free range eggs to campers, but is well served by local farmers' markets. Orton farmers' market is held on the 2nd Saturday of every month from 9.30-2pm, Kendal farmers' market is the last Friday of each month from 9.30-3.30pm and Sedburgh market is held the last Wednesday of every month from 9-3pm.
The two mile trip from Crimdon House Farm CS to the Headland for fish and chips from Verrills is worth the effort. Using the local catch, these come highly recommended. There is also a farmers' market held at the historic quay in Hartlepool every third week, selling meats, pastries, vegetables, preserves, cakes and biscuits using locally grown products and ingredients, and is just a short bus ride from the site. Hartlepool farmers' market takes place 2nd Saturday of every month. 8.30am-2pm.
How about this for campsite produce with a difference? As its name might suggest, fresh rainbow trout is the product of choice at Withern Mill Trout Farm CS. And although Grimsby fish market gets the main supply, campers can buy some of the smoked trout pate and hot smoked trout on site.
Christine at Old Manor Farm campsite in Hesketh Bank makes a delightful range of jams, jellies and chutneys to sell to her campers. The ingredients are grown on-site too; rhubarb, blackcurrants, apples, plums and damsons and campers are welcome to pick their own. Herbs and vegetables are sometimes available too.