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.
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.