A foodie tour of Britain
From Stilton to Cheddar, pasties to pies, the UK is full to bursting with gastronomical delights. Feed more than just your senses with a foodie-centred trip around Britain.
The village from which the nation’s favourite cheese takes its name is set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with Cheddar Gorge and the magnificent caves at its heart. There’s nothing cheesy about Cheddar Gorge - the UK’s largest gorge is a mesmerising journey into the depths of the earth among the stalactites and stalagmites and is a particularly fun trip with kids.
Heading West by train is easy with Great Western Railway, and by linking your account to your Nectar card, you can pick up Nectar points (plus get 1,000 bonus points between 31 January and 20 February). Get the train to Weston-Super-Mare and pick up a bus to Cheddar from there for a day of adventure - and plenty of cheese.
Right in the heart of England is the home of Britain’s favourite blue cheese - although you won’t see it made there. Stilton (the cheese) has its own Certification Trade Mark and is an EU Protected Food Name which means that it can only be produced in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire. But the village of Stilton is actually in Cambridgeshire so is banned from making the cheese!
The ban doesn’t stop the village’s annual cheese rolling where wheels of Stilton are rolled through the streets. And the Midlands counties where the cheese is actually made are somewhat forgotten gems and are easy to access. LNER have regular services to Peterborough - six miles from Stilton - while Virgin Trains will take you to Northampton - a wheel of Stilton’s throw away from home of Britain’s blue cheese. As a bonus, both networks reward you with Nectar points if you link your card when booking (plus get 1,000 bonus points if you book between 31 January and 6 February).
Devon and Cornwall
No foodie trip around Britain would be complete without visiting the clotted cream capital of the world. The region is best known for its cream teas, which West country folk take very seriously and are subject to some strict regional rules: cream on first in Devon, but in Cornwall, it’s the jam and you’ll stand out as a ‘grokel’ if you get these the wrong way around!
Then, there’s an abundance of cheese, from Cornish Yarg to Devon blue, and Cornish pasties, the region even boasts vineyards and tea plantations.
South Western Railway have got the South West covered with regular services to Exeter, Penzance, Plymouth and Newquay - and you’ll pick up Nectar points booking your train if you link it to your Nectar account (plus get 1,000 bonus points between 31 January and 20 February).
And if you’re looking for somewhere to stay, find your perfect holiday home or weekend BnB with Expedia. If you book through Nectar you’ll pick up points too (get double points between 31 January and 20 February, that’s 4 points per £1 spent).
Food and Scotland will always be synonymous with haggis. And while any trip north of the border is incomplete without this national must-eat, there are loads of other delights on offer. From an Aberdeen Rowie (probably best described as Scotland’s version of a flat croissant), Cullen Skink (a soup made of smoked Finnan haddock, potatoes and onions), Scotch pie (mincemeat in a double crust pie) or a bridie - another kind of pie - you certainly won’t go hungry in Scotland.
Taking the train will take the hassle out of that long drive, with LNER and Virgin Trains both offering services, including to Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Glasgow. Don’t forget to link your Nectar card for those Nectar points.