We know a lot of you had planned to visit us this Easter however due to current circumstances – we’re all having to stay at home! So we thought we’d try some magic!
We’ll describe our perfect day out at our Visitor Centre – all you need to do is close your eyes and imagine. Get yourself comfy, maybe with a drink and a slice of cheese in hand! Are you ready?
Singing along to your favourite songs, you drive with the windows down through the winding roads of Wensleydale. The air is cool but there isn’t a cloud in sight. You spot tiny white lambs in the fields and beautiful yellow daffodils that scatter the countryside. You love the fresh air, the smell of the outdoors and the occasional farm you pass by! You’ll also stop at a few beauty spots to get a selfie for the memories! After dodging a few pheasants and getting stuck behind a tractor or a milk tanker – you finally arrive in beautiful Hawes! It’s market day – you notice a fresh fish stall and note you’ll need to pop down for some crab before the end of the day!
On arrival at Wensleydale Creamery Visitor Centre, you pull in to the car park and find a space straight away as you beat the crowds. You notice a strange smell in the air, afterall, you are at a cheese factory! You head straight to the Yorkshire Wensleydale Cheese Experience reception to see when our Cheese, Butter Making and Cookery demonstrations are taking place (These usually take place every two hours over the course of the day). You then purchase your tickets for the Yorkshire Wensleydale Cheese Experience (Adult £4.95, Child £2.95, Family [2 adults & 2 children] £12.95) and plan the rest of the day around this; remembering that once you have bought your ticket you can enter the Yorkshire Wensleydale Cheese Experience at any time. While you wait for your Cheese-Making Demonstration to begin you head to our 1897 Coffee Shop for a good cup of Yorkshire Tea and a big bacon butty, dripping with luxurious Yorkshire Butter. The others in your party opt for a selection of our Cheese on Toast and famous Cheese Scones to start the day!
There’s no time to lose, you head to our Yorkshire Wensleydale Cheese Experience and grab a seat on one of the front row benches (THE SPLASH ZONE) to watch our interactive cheese and butter-making demonstration by one of our cheese experts in our new demonstration room. You watch as they talk through and show the process of making our award-winning Yorkshire Wensleydale cheese by turning 8 pints of milk into a 500g piece of cheese using traditional techniques such as bandaging the cheese in cloth.
After watching your first demonstration. you continue around the interactive experience and journey through the art of cheese-making. You enjoy watching Yorkshire Wensleydale Cheese being made by our team of expert cheese-makers in our factory Viewing Area (yes it gets really hot in there!), interact with our hands-on games and activities such as driving the children’s milk tanker and learning all about how a cow makes milk. You then stumble across our friends ‘Wallace & Gromit’ and hurriedly get your phone out for another selfie! You donate £1 to help raise money for Horticap (a local charity which provides students who have learning and other disabilities with a supportive and friendly working environment so that they may develop their social and communication abilities). You sit down to watch clips of your favourite Wallace & Gromit films. You notice the kids are busy with colouring kits, quizzes and puzzles in the corner of the room so you sit down to watch our film – and learn all bout our history!
You then decide to head back to our Demonstration Room for a cookery demonstrations and learn to make our popular dishes that are served in our Calvert’s Restaurant like Wensleydale Chicken & Yorkshire Rarebit and learn all the top tips on cooking with our cheese and its versatility!
After all the hungry work learning about how our Yorkshire Wensleydale Cheese – you can’t wait to go and fill up in our Calvert’s Restaurant. You’re seated at our table which looks out over Wensleydale. You notice lambs and sheep in the field adjacent to the Visitor Centre, daisies and daffs add colour to the lush green grass! You order some of our old-fashioned homemade lemonade and get ready to start The Ultimate Yorkshire Wensleydale Cheese Experience 3 Course Special! For your starter you enjoy our Black Sheep Ale-Battered Yorkshire Wensleydale Cheese – Yorkshire Wensleydale cheese in a crisp Black Sheep Ale batter served with mixed leaves and home-made chutney. WOW! For Main, you can’t resist the Wensleydale Chicken – pan-fried chicken breast, served on a crisp potato and smoked bacon rosti, finished with either a Wensleydale Blue cheese sauce or Oak Smoked Cheddar and leek sauce, served with seasonal vegetables. You opt for the Blue cheese sauce as you just watched Chris in the Cookery Demonstration make this and you just haven’t stopped thinking about it since! You then finish on a high with our famous Yorkshire Wensleydale & Ginger Cheesecake – a rich cheesecake made with our Yorkshire Wensleydale & Ginger cheese, served with fresh cream. No wonder these guys received a Taste of England award! Others in your group enjoyed other cheese-inspired dishes including our Yorkshire Wensleydale Rarebit and Ploughman’s Lunch.
You decide to walk off your full stomach with an amble into the Town – stopping on the bridge to admire the fast-flowing Mill Fosse – full with water after a weekend of rain! The sound of the running water is calming – and you seem to drift away into a cheese-induced daydream! You continue along the Pennine way which loops back around to our Visitor Centre – passing a few small farms on the way, you speak to the chickens, goats and geese like they understand what you’re saying.
You head back to our Gift Shop as you spotted a few goodies you’d like to take home for the family – including a hand-made Stuart Clarkson cheeseboard, a delightfully smelling White Lavender candle from Barn Craft and of course – some Wensleydale Fruit Cake from the local bakery! You come across more unique locally sourced products including woodware, pottery, homeware, kitchen accessories and jewellery, to exclusive Wallace & Gromit items. That’s everybody’s birthday and Christmas presents sorted for the year! Whilst at the till your eye is drawn to our large selection of craft ales and gin and can’t help yourself to a bottle of artisan Yorkshire Gin!
No visit is ever complete to Wensleydale Creamery Visitor Centre without a trip to our much-loved Cheese Shop! You sanitise your hands as you enter and love the smell of alcohol gel (everybody secretly does) and start sampling our 20+ varieties of Cheese! Who knew there’d be so many and that you could sample them all for free! It’s a dream come true! You enjoy all varieties – and finish with a small cube of the Hot and Spicy Cheddar! It’s blown your head off(too many jalapenos for you!) – time to head to the ice-cream counter for some creamy Brymor Ice-cream! You go for the ‘Blackcurrants and Clotted Cream’ flavour before convincing yourself to head back to the Cheese Shop to buy those wedges of cheese you couldn’t stop thinking about!
Others grab some of our home-made fudge and just can’t believe the taste! The rocky road is like eating a slice of the real thing! The salted caramel is divine!
Now, you’ve realised we’re all really friendly Yorkshire Folk and a bit silly ourselves – you know that no judgement will be passed if you head to the local park’s zip-line on Gayle Lane for one last adventure! You couldn’t help but notice a couple when you were heading back from the town and just had to have a go yourself!
Sadly – it’s time to leave. Your belly is full, your cool back is packed with our award-winning cheese and the boot of the car full of Yorkshire produce and gifts! You made some ‘grate’ memories and learned things about cheese you never knew! On the slow drive into town…you see a queue to the local chippy and remember hearing somebody up at the creamery talking about the battered Yorkshire Wensleydale..surely not, you couldn’t eat another thing. You blink and find yourself in the queue in the late afternoon sun!
There are so many people lapping up beer in the pubs’ gardens along the main street. So many motorbikes parked up and families with dogs. This is how you remember Yorkshire – a friendly place, with good food and stunning scenery! As you drive home into the sunset – you remember Chris’ funny one-liners during the Cheese-making demonstration, the surprising taste of the Limited Edition Hot Cross Bun Yorkshire Wensleydale you tried in the Cheese Shop and of course, your surprise when you found out how we add fruit to our cheese and how we make it blue!
Stay safe everybody!