Yorkshire Wensleydale cheese is very much a part of the county’s DNA – it’s been made in the dale since the 12th Century when Cistercian monks pioneered this soft, crumbly cheese – so a trip to discover its origins is a must on any visit to the Dales.
Situated on the edge of the pretty market town of Hawes, the creamery has undergone a major revamp in recent years, but Wensleydale cheese is still handmade the way it always has been, using a time honoured recipe from local milk.
Watch this fascinating process from start to finish at the brand new cheese-making viewing gallery before trying some yourself in the visitor centre – there’s more than 20 award-winning flavours to try, from the classic Wensleydale and cranberry to the more exotic Wensleydale with orange and champagne, so come with an empty stomach.
There’s also new touch screens showing behind the scenes footage, as well as hands on games and activities for the kids – they’ll get to drive a mini milk tank and learn how a cow makes milk.
If you’re still feeling peckish then head to the 1897 Coffee Shop for some homemade light bites. However, if you’re after something a little more substantial then try the mouth-watering Yorkshire delicacies at Calvert’s Restaurant. Their signature dishes include the Ultimate Yorkshire Wensleydale Experience – a three-course extravaganza of Black Sheep Ale-battered Wensleydale Cheese, Wensleydale chicken and the famous Wensleydale and ginger cheesecake. Just make sure you book to avoid disappointment.
Admission: Yorkshire Wensleydale Cheese Experience – adults £2.50, children £1.50. Free entry to cheese and gift shop.
Opening times: Monday to Sunday, 9am to 4.30pm. Yorkshire Wensleydale Cheese Experience Monday to Sunday, 10am to 4pm.
Address: Gayle Lane, Hawes, Wensleydale, North Yorkshire, DL8 3RN
Parking: Free on-site
Telephone: 01969 667664