Walking around England in Search of 15 Great Cheeses

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

As a keen walker and self-confessed cheese enthusiast, I have always sought to combine my two passions by exploring the great British countryside in search of artisan cheese makers. With so many picturesque hiking trails and a vibrant craft cheese industry, England truly is a haven for those who love the great outdoors and delicious dairy delights. In this post, I’ll be sharing my top 15 English cheeses and their neighbouring hikes, all waiting for you to discover.

Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company, Somerset

Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company

A visit to the Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company is essential for any cheese aficionado. Here, you can sample their renowned Cave Matured Cheddar, which is lovingly aged in the nearby caves. Boasting a robust flavour with a touch of earthiness, this cheese is the perfect reward after conquering the 4.5-mile Cheddar Gorge Walk.

Tasting notes

Cheese: Robust, earthy, mature

Hike: Dramatic, scenic, historic

The Cheddar Gorge walk is a moderate hike that leads you through the dramatic limestone cliffs and lush countryside, offering stunning views of the iconic gorge. Don’t forget to explore the historic Cheddar village, where you can learn about the origins of cheddar cheese itself.

READ THIS NEXT: Hiking around Scotland in 14 Craft Beers

Colston Bassett Dairy, Nottinghamshire

Colston Bassett Dairy

Home to the famous Colston Bassett Stilton, this dairy is nestled in the beautiful Vale of Belvoir. With a rich, creamy texture and distinctive blue veins, the Stilton is a true British classic. To work up an appetite, embark on the 9-mile Belvoir Castle Loop.

Tasting notes

Cheese: Creamy, rich, blue

Hike: Countryside, woodland, majestic

The loop is a moderate hike that takes you through rolling countryside, dense woodlands, and past the majestic Belvoir Castle. The castle’s beautiful gardens and art collection are worth a visit, so make sure to allocate some time to explore the grounds.

READ THIS NEXT: Hiking around England in 15 Craft Beers

Lynher Dairies, Cornwall

Lynher Dairies

Cornwall’s picturesque countryside is home to Lynher Dairies, creators of the delectable Cornish Yarg. Wrapped in nettles, this semi-hard cheese is characterised by its creamy, slightly tangy flavour.

Tasting notes

Cheese: Creamy, tangy, semi-hard

Hike: Woodland, coastal, gardens

A lovely 6-mile circular hike, the Pentewan and Heligan route, guides you through a mix of woodland, farmland, and coastal landscapes. Along the way, be sure to visit the enchanting Lost Gardens of Heligan, one of the UK’s most popular botanical gardens.

READ THIS NEXT: The 10 Most Instagrammable Walking Trails in Britain

Hampshire Cheeses, Hampshire

Hampshire Cheeses

If you fancy something a bit softer, head to Hampshire Cheeses, producers of the luxurious Tunworth Soft Cheese. This Camembert-style cheese has a delicate yet intense flavour, with a creamy, gooey texture.

Tasting notes

Cheese: Delicate, intense, soft

Hike: Diverse, long-distance, picturesque

The Wayfarer’s Walk, a 70-mile long-distance footpath, offers a multi-day hiking experience that showcases Hampshire’s diverse landscape. For those short on time, probably due to a desire to get back to their cheese and biscuits, it’s possible to tackle a smaller section of the trail to still appreciate the beauty of the region.

READ THIS NEXT: Best Circular Walks In England

Wensleydale Creamery, Yorkshire

Wensleydale Creamery

Yorkshire’s iconic Wensleydale cheese is a must-try, and there’s no better place to enjoy it than at the Wensleydale Creamery. The crumbly yet moist cheese is characterised by its mild, slightly sweet flavour.

Tasting notes

Cheese: Mild, sweet, crumbly

Hike: Waterfalls, historic, dales

The 5-mile Aysgarth Falls and Castle Bolton hike takes you through the picturesque Yorkshire Dales, passing the stunning Aysgarth Falls and the historic Castle Bolton. The waterfalls are a perfect spot for a mid-hike picnic, where you can savour your Wensleydale with a majestic view.

READ THIS NEXT: The 10 Most Secluded Walking Trails in the UK for Solitude Seekers

Smart’s Gloucester, Gloucestershire

Smart’s Gloucester

The Double Gloucester cheese from Smart’s Gloucester is a quite wonderful rich, buttery delight that pairs perfectly with the stunning Cotswold landscape.

Tasting notes

Cheese: Rich, buttery, smooth

Hike: Quaint, rolling, historic

The 102-mile Cotswold Way is a multi-day hike that showcases the quintessential charm of the English countryside, with its rolling hills, quaint villages, and historic sites. If you’re looking for a shorter hike, try a section of the trail, such as the 6-mile Chipping Campden to Broadway Tower walk. Be sure to stop by the charming market towns and indulge in a hearty pub lunch featuring the famous Double Gloucester.

Sparkenhoe Farm, Leicestershire

Sparkenhoe Farm

For a taste of history, visit Sparkenhoe Farm, the only remaining producer of traditional, handmade Sparkenhoe Red Leicester. This crumbly, slightly sweet cheese boasts a beautiful russet hue and a deliciously nutty flavour.

Tasting notes

Cheese: Crumbly, sweet, russet

Hike: Woodlands, tower, picturesque

Explore the Leicestershire countryside on the 9-mile Charnwood Peaks Walk, a moderate hike that leads you through ancient woodlands and past the striking Old John Tower. Make sure to pack your Red Leicester for a well-deserved picnic with a view from the tower.

Cropwell Bishop Creamery, Nottinghamshire

Cropwell Bishop Creamery

If you’re a fan of blue cheese, don’t miss the Shropshire Blue from Cropwell Bishop Creamery. This delightful cheese features a rich, tangy taste with a hint of creaminess.

Tasting notes

Cheese: Rich, tangy, creamy

Hike: Serene, parkland, impressive

Discover the area’s beauty on the 10-mile Clumber Park and Welbeck Abbey hike, a moderate route that meanders through the serene Clumber Park and past the impressive Welbeck Abbey. While the abbey itself is sadly not open to the public, its gorgeous grounds make for a picturesque pitstop.

Charles Martell & Son, Gloucestershire

Charles Martell & Son

For a truly unique cheese experience, visit Charles Martell & Son, the creators of the infamous, and marvellously named, Stinking Bishop. This pungent, washed-rind cheese is surprisingly mild and creamy in flavour.

Tasting notes

Cheese: Pungent, mild, washed-rind

Hike: Panoramic, hills, springs

To truly appreciate the surrounding countryside, take on the 9-mile Malvern Hills hike, a moderately challenging walk that offers panoramic views of the Severn Valley and the Cotswolds. The area is also known for its natural spring water, so don’t forget to fill up your water bottle at one of the many springs. A fitting accompaniment to your Stinking Bishop cheese.

Dewlay Cheesemakers, Lancashire

Dewlay Cheesemakers

Lancashire’s own Dewlay Cheesemakers produce the delectable Creamy Lancashire, a cheese with a crumbly texture and a subtle, buttery taste.

Tasting notes

Cheese: Crumbly, subtle, buttery

Hike: Scenic, wildlife, rugged

Pair this with the 9-mile Forest of Bowland hike. A moderate walk that takes you through a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Keep an eye out for the area’s diverse wildlife, including birds of prey and rare butterflies, as you wander through the rugged terrain.

Bath Soft Cheese Company, Somerset

Bath Soft Cheese Company

The Bath Soft Cheese Company is home to the award-winning Bath Blue, a creamy, slightly tangy blue cheese.

Tasting notes

Cheese: Creamy, tangy, blue

Hike: Cityscape, woodlands, meadows

The 6-mile Bath Skyline Walk offers stunning views of the UNESCO World Heritage city of Bath, with its honey-coloured Georgian architecture and historic sites, including the fabulous roman baths (a highlight of any trip to this fantastic city. The route also takes you through woodlands and meadows, where you might spot some of the area’s abundant wildlife.

Woodbridge Farm, Dorset

Woodbridge Farm

At Woodbridge Farm, you’ll find the iconic Dorset Blue Vinny, a crumbly blue cheese with a rich, peppery flavour.

Tasting notes

Cheese: Rich, peppery, crumbly

Hike: Chalk, gardens, historic

The 6-mile Cerne Abbas Giant and Minterne Gardens walk takes you past the ancient chalk figure of the Cerne Abbas Giant – one of only two human hill figures in England – and then through the magnificent Minterne Gardens. With its beautiful rhododendrons and azaleas, the gardens are a must-see in spring.

Lincolnshire Poacher Cheese, Lincolnshire

Lincolnshire Poacher Cheese

For a taste of the versatile Lincolnshire Poacher, visit the eponymous cheese maker in the heart of Lincolnshire. This hard cheese boasts a smooth, nutty flavour that only improves with age.

Tasting notes

Cheese: Smooth, nutty, hard

Hike: Challenging, picturesque, villages

The 147-mile Viking Way is a challenging, multi-day hike that traces the footsteps of Viking invaders through Lincolnshire and Rutland. For a more manageable hike, try the 7-mile Lincolnshire Wolds walk, which showcases the region’s rolling hills and picturesque villages. Along the way, don’t forget to pack some Lincolnshire Poacher for a hearty, energy-boosting snack.

Montgomery’s Farm, Somerset

Montgomery’s Farm

Montgomery’s Cheddar, produced by Montgomery’s Farm, is a traditional, unpasteurised cheddar with a complex, nutty flavour.

Tasting notes

Cheese: Complex, nutty, traditional

Hike: Mystical, historic, rolling

The 5-mile Glastonbury Tor Circular Walk takes you through the mystical landscape surrounding Glastonbury, including the iconic Tor with its ancient tower. The area is steeped in history and legend (and, in modern times, music), making it a fascinating destination for hikers and history buffs alike.

Ticklemore Cheese Dairy, Devon

Ticklemore Cheese Dairy

Last but not least, visit Ticklemore Cheese Dairy for their delicate Ticklemore Goat Cheese. This semi-hard cheese has a mild, slightly lemony flavour that is perfect for a light snack.

Tasting notes

Cheese: Mild, lemony, semi-hard

Hike: Coastal, historic, charming

The 4-mile Dartmouth and Little Dartmouth Circular Walk offers both an appetite to go with that light snack and stunning coastal views with a glimpse of the historic Dartmouth Castle. Take some time to explore the charming town of Dartmouth, with its cobbled streets, boutique shops, and waterfront eateries.

Conclusion

From creamy blues to crumbly cheddars, England’s countryside is a treasure trove of artisan cheeses and breathtaking hiking trails. By combining your love for the great outdoors and delicious dairy treats, you can create unforgettable memories while exploring the best of what the English landscape has to offer. So lace up your walking boots, grab your cheese knife, and embark on a cheese-filled adventure through England’s picturesque countryside. Bring on the crackers!

Leave a comment