5 of Britain’s best foodie walks
Combine your love of the outdoors with delectable cuisine on these incredible foodie walks
What’s not to love about lacing up your walking boots and venturing into the great outdoors? Better still, if your route lets you take in spectacular sights and allows you to sample an array of delicious food and drink along the way.
Whether you want to fuel a countryside stroll with local ales and seasonal produce, or wander through more urban settings experiencing some of London’s most iconic pubs, there’s likely to already be a well-trodden walking route for you. But how do you find such a route that’s both fulfilling and achievable for everyone involved?
Read on to discover just some of the fantastic foodie routes that await you…
1. Chatsworth House from Bakewell, Derbyshire
With its rolling hills and tumbling streams, the Peak District is without doubt one of the UK’s most beautiful walking spots – but did you know it’s also one of the most appetising? On the Chatsworth House from Bakewell route, you’ll find a trail that’s paved with culinary gold. This 10.6-mile (17.1km) circular walk starts in the beautiful market town of Bakewell, where wonderfully authentic Bakewell tarts and puddings are sure to tempt you. The Old Original Bakewell Pudding Shop is one of the biggest crowd-pullers as it claims to have the original recipe!
As you wander further along this lush trail, you’ll soon reach the magnificent Chatsworth House, where the most luxurious pit stop awaits. At its Cavendish restaurant you’ll discover a seasonal menu that showcases the best of estate and local produce, while the Flying Childers serves up the finest of afternoon tea experiences with its decadent sandwiches and sweet treats – for the ultimate indulgence, add a glass of Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé to your meal. Keen home cooks will also find their own personal paradise in Chatsworth House’s award-winning farm shop, which boasts everything from a butcher’s and fish counter to a well-stocked delicatessen. When you’re finished basking in the splendour of this incredible estate, you’ll follow the River Wye through more of Derbyshire’s charming gritstone villages and verdant landscapes.
2. Parliament Hill, London – Fleet on Foot
See a different side to the capital with this linear walk from Central London to the leafy enclave of Hampstead, defined by its gorgeous mansions and green spaces. On this nine-mile (14.5km) trail, you’ll of course pass a number of delightful spots to eat and drink, though The Blackfriar pub is particularly special. Set in a historic, Art Nouveau Grade II building, this unique public house was built in 1875 on the site of a Dominican friary and was designed by architect H. Fuller-Clark and artist Henry Poole, who were both committed to the free-thinking arts and crafts movement. Today, you can still marvel at Poole’s original jolly friars in the form of sculptures, mosaics, and reliefs as you enjoy your tipple.
When you finish your walk in Hampstead Heath, you’ll want to soak up Parliament Hill’s breathtaking views before rewarding yourself with a bite at one of its many eateries. For the ultimate Sunday roast, you can’t do better than the Spaniard’s Inn. Each roast is served with a generous portion of succulent meat and sides and its Yorkshire puddings have become somewhat legendary. Jin Kichi is the place to go for Japanese cuisine and offers the relaxed vibe you’ll crave after your walk. Whether you sit on stalls around the restaurant’s central grill and watch the chefs work their magic, or tuck into your fare further away from the action, you’ll be glad you visited.
3. Cheddar Gorge, Somerset – High Above the Madding Crowd
A run-down of the best foodie walks wouldn’t be right without shining the spotlight on Cheddar, the home of Britain’s best-loved cheese. You’ll start your walk right in the heart of this stunning village, and a visit to the Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company is a must. The only dairy to still make Cheddar in Cheddar, it has a special viewing gallery where you can see the cheese-making in action before sampling a bite for yourself.
A feast for the eyes as well as the tummy, this figure of eight trek, which stretches 9.6 miles (15.5km), also takes in spectacular bird’s-eye views of England’s deepest gorge, as well as long distance panoramas from the top of the Mendips. For lunch with a view, stop off at the Rockface café, where you can enjoy light bites and artisan pizzas while overlooking the Cheddar Yeo. If you’re staying in town, head to Frank’s Restaurant for an evening of fine dining. The seasonal menu changes regularly, though previous delights include a twice-baked Cheddar cheese soufflé, a shoulder of local lamb and fillets of Torbay Sole.
4. North Berwick
There’s a food revolution underway in this Scottish seaside town and the Ramblers’ North Berwick walking route is the perfect way to experience it. At Steampunk Coffee Roasters, you can choose from a range of fully traceable and ethically sourced single origin coffees, while Bostock Bakery’s croissants are so good that NOMA’s René Redzepi sent his pastry chef from Copenhagen to learn from Bostock’s Ross Baxter. For seafood, try Lobster Shack – a seasonal operation on the harbour that cooks its catch from the neighbouring Firth of Forth Lobster Hatchery between Easter and October.
If you’re looking for somewhere else to explore after this 5.2-mile (8.4km) trail, head to the nearby Archerfield Estate, where you’ll find the Walled Garden with its family-friendly café, shop and microbrewery. Stock up on local produce, such as honey and cider at the deli, or purchase bunches of herbs that are freshly picked from the garden. There’s also a selection of fine wines, as well as sandwiches, cakes and coffees. The microbrewery, which produces Archerfield Fine Ales as well as other beers, will always try to accommodate you with a short and informal tour, depending on the beer production schedule.
5. Sandwich to Dover along the Saxon Shore Way, Kent
A route for the intrepid walker, this 16.1-mile (26km) walk is pretty strenuous but, rest assured, you’ll be compensated by delightful cafés and restaurants aplenty. While Whitstable remains the most popular Kent spot for foodies, Deal is undoubtedly the buzzy new kid on the block. For decadent cakes, burgers and brunch dishes, look no further than trendy all-day joint The Lane, while the Middle Street Fish Bar is arguably one of the best seaside chippies in the county, if not the country!
If you’re planning on staying in Deal on a Friday or Saturday night, The Dining Club is a must-try. Its set-menu feasts always sell out and include a tasty array of local delicacies, including Canterbury cheese puffs, Kentish brown shrimp and local pigeon and home-smoked haddock. It’s bring your own booze, so pick up a bottle from nearby French wine bar and shop Le Pinardier beforehand and get ready for a dining experience unlike any other.
We’ve got ideas for hundreds of wonderful walking routes across England, Scotland and Wales, long and short, easy and challenging. Search for routes on our website. Or join a guided walk with a local Ramblers group. Find your nearest Ramblers group and choose a walk that suits your pace, fitness and interests.
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