Yorkshire’s ‘cheesiest’ tourist attraction draws thousands of visitors each year, so I’ve come down to judge for myself.
Wensleydale Creamery, based in the market town of Hawes, is surrounded by the finest panoramic views in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park and has a fascinating story to tell. We all love the timeless and traditional Wensleydale Yorkshire cheese and the award-winning visitor center allows customers to learn about the history and provenance while sampling the iconic creamy, crumbly classic.
It has a 1000 year legacy of master cheese makers whom you can watch making the much loved food. Guests can take a descriptive walk through time to find out where it came from, where it was developed over the years, and watch the process in action.
Read more: Stranger saves heartbroken boy’s birthday at Hull Tesco supermarket
Demonstrations run throughout the day – if you’re lucky enough to join the 2:30 pm demonstration, you’ll be able to sample chutney pairings with the cheese. They are trying to incorporate this into all demos, but they are currently setting schedules.
The creamery has lots of tasters and samples set out in the cheese shops for customers to try – my favorite was the apricot. They also offer pairings, such as chutneys that they created based on each cheese. Sandra Bell, Marketing Manager, says, “We know what works well together, we’re the experts.”
Many guests are returning customers vacationing in Hawes town or locals who come to enjoy the beautiful cafe. Over 300,000 visitors come to the creamery each year and with such good cheese, it’s not hard to see why. Many people come to stay in Hawes to enjoy the market which has proven to be very popular.
Cafe and restaurant
What could be better than enjoying a delicious cheese while admiring breathtaking views of the North Yorkshire countryside? Better yet, imagine the café menu being totally cheese-themed. 1897 Coffee Shop, located at Wensleydale Creamery, has the cheesiest menu you’ve ever seen. From the ultimate cheese on toast to cheese scones, toast, daily specials and specials.
Of course I had to end my visit with a Yorkshire Wensleydale and apricot cheese scone – it was served warm with a slice of Yorkshire Wensleydale and apricot cheese, Yorkshire butter and sticky fruit chutney, one of the pairings specially acquired by the dairy. Without bothering my grandmother who bakes heavenly pastries, this was the best scone I have ever tasted, the flavors and crumbliness were perfect.
If I hadn’t filled up on my scone I would have loved to sample more from the menu, I really had a hard time deciding on one thing as everything looked so tasty. Even better, I was able to enjoy it on the beautiful patio which overlooks the scenic Yorkshire Dales – a place of beauty where I could have spent hours.
The dairy also has a restaurant which offers a cheese-themed menu and also a Sunday lunch menu. Wensleydale Creamery is so dedicated to making everything as cheese-focused as possible that they even send cheese to their local butchers to add to the sausages.
The restaurant, café and creamery itself sources local produce from local dairy farms, butchers, vegetables and even artists who sell their work in the gift shops. Sandra Bell said: “We want to help and give back to the local community by keeping the business local.”
All in all, I’d recommend a trip to Wensleydale Creamery – pop into the lovely town of Hawes while you’re there, preferably on market day.
You can find Wensleydale Creamery at Gayle Ln, Wensleydale, Hawes DL8 3RN.