I was up in Cumbria a few weeks ago staying with a friend. Naturally, the topic of conversation got on to cheese, and his parents suggested that we visit the Wensleydale Creamery, which is in Hawes in nearby North Yorkshire.
So off we went! I really like Wensleydale – in its pure form, but also with cranberries. So understandably was pretty excited. My travel companion wasn’t so convinced (on the way there, at least).
On first impressions it doesn’t look as though there’s much to see. But with a Visitor’s Centre, viewing area to watch the cheese being made, a shop, a cafe, a restaurant and a tasting area there is plenty to keep everyone occupied.
We headed to the Visitor’s Centre first. It costs £2.50 to go in this part. You’ll get to see a full timeline of the history of cheese making in the area, how cheese is made, access to the viewing area (you look in on one part of the factory so you can see the action – though we went on a Sunday so it wasn’t working) and much more.
Perhaps my favourite bit was tasting area – you could try all of their cheeses! Which of course, we did. It’s more of a try before you buy as they have plenty of each cheese to buy, as well as chutneys and crackers. They had the standard Wensleydale, a special reserve Wensleydale, the Wensleydale with cranberries, one with ginger, another with pineapple, it was quite something! I bought one cheese and some chutney, but that’s for another post!
We didn’t go to the restaurant as it was fully booked but the food at least smelt good! The gift shop was full of cheese and Yorkshire themed products, so good for lovers of both of those things.
I would really recommend visiting if you are in the area. It’s laid back, good value and full of cheese – what more could you want?
Their address is Wensleydale Creamery, Gayle Lane, Hawes, Wensleydale, North Yorkshire, DL8 3RN. Their website is here.