The UK has a long history of cheese-making, so whether you prefer sharp, mild, or even stinky cheeses, you’re guaranteed to fine one to suit your tastebuds. Each region has its own unique cheese, often reflecting the past craftsmen who worked in the area. We’ve selected some of our favourites, so if you’re looking for that perfect cheese to go with your next summer picnic, an accompaniment to a wine tasting, or even just for something tasty on toast; discover the best of British cheese with CrossCountry.
Red Leicester Cheese
Known for its distinctive orangey-red colour, red Leicester is one of the UK’s most recognisable cheeses. It’s a smooth slightly crumbly cheese that can be used in a multitude of recipes, as part of a charcuterie board, or on its own. It’s traditionally from Leicester, but now is produced in a wide variety of areas of the UK. With a great melting point, it’s perfect to jazz up a grilled cheese sandwich, with its nutty flavourful taste.
Where to find the best cheese in Leicester
Get to Leicester by hopping on the train from stations like Oxford, Darlington and Sheffield. You can find some of the best Red Leicester by visiting the family-run Sparkenhoe farm to sample their very own red Leicester, produced with milk from their working dairy farm.
Caerphilly cheese is a beautifully crumbly, fresh-tasting cheese from South Wales – and believed to be one of the oldest cheeses in the UK. It’s a bit sour, but has a springy texture, so it’s great with bread and pickles, as the pickles pair well with the sourness. Originally thought to be created to satisfy hungry miners in the region, it’s a pale coloured cheese with an edible rind, so no waste with this cheese. Another way to enjoy Caerphilly cheese is by adding it to a salad, as you mix the freshness of the lettuce with the tangy flavour.
Where to find the best cheese in Caerphilly
From Cardiff Central station, it’s a quick journey to Caerphilly with a 20-minute connecting service. You can get to Cardiff Central from stations such as Wolverhampton, Nottingham and Birmingham New Street. To try their signature cheese, visit Fauvette in Caerphilly, where they sell the traditional Thelma’s Caerphilly cheese.
Cornish Yarg Cheese
The Cornish Yarg is a visually striking cheese, as it’s wrapped in nettle leaves; making it very eye catching. One of the more recently developed cheeses, it was created by Alan and Jenny Gray in the 1980s – in fact, the unusual name Yarg references their name as Yarg is Gray backwards! It’s a delicate buttery cheese with a taste akin to mushrooms, and a certain tang to it. It’s wonderful as a melting cheese to be used in cooking, for things like gratins or quiches. Try it with some fresh British apples for a beautiful mix of tangy and sweet flavours.
Where to find the best cheese in Cornwall
You’ll find the best Yarg in Cornwall; to get there, take the train from stations such as Derby, Cheltenham Spa or Exeter St Davids, to arrive in one of CrossCountry’s Cornish stations. From Truro, you can find the best Cornish Yarg at Lynher Dairies, with their award-winning cheeses.
Lancashire Bomb Cheese
Thought to be named because of a tie the First World War, this famous shaped Lancashire Bomb cheese is a much older cheese – with the name coming from the cheese often being wrapped in tight muslin and tied with a string. This creamy cheese is perfect on top of toast, crackers or with a cheeseboard, due to its spreadable texture. It’s a mellow, flavourful cheese, to enjoy with a classic chutney.
Where to find the best cheese in Lancashire
From stations like Bournemouth, Reading and Stoke-on-Trent, take a direct train up to Manchester, where you can find connecting services to Blackpool and Lancaster. A great place to find a good Lancashire Bomb cheese is from the original creators themselves – the Shorrock’s family cheesemongers.
Now we’re sure you’ve heard of Stilton, one of the most famous blue cheeses. Known for its crumbly texture, and its distinctive colour, this cheese is definitely an acquired taste. The best way to try Stilton is with a plain cracker so that you can really taste the unique flavours. Although Stilton was originally made in Stilton village in Cambridgeshire, it is now considered a geographically protected cheese and can only be made in a select number of places with strict guidelines. Often enjoyed as a winter cheese, it still has a place on a summer cheeseboard, making this a truly evergreen cheese for all occasions.
Where to find the best cheese in Cambridge
To get directly to Cambridge station, hop on board from Birmingham New Street, York, or Bristol (among others!). Sample Stilton cheese from The Cambridge Cheese Company and check out their exclusive Cambridge Blue cheese
Decidedly the UK’s favourite cheese, cheddar is a classic option that many of us eat every week. Originally produced in Cheddar village in Somerset, cheddar is now universally beloved, with several countries having their own versions. The flavour profile of this cheese ranges from mild to extra sharp, depending on the aging period. For something a little different, you can also enjoy cheddar with added ingredients like cranberries, jalapenos, and herbs. Cheddar is so versatile, so use it in sauces, for mac & cheese, or even in a simple grilled cheese sandwich with fresh tomatoes. Fantastic for all palettes, Cheddar is a guaranteed crowd pleaser.
Where to find the best cheese in Somerset
To explore Somerset, the best way is by train, via routes from Leicester, Derby or Bristol. You will arrive in Taunton, the heart of Somerset, where you can find connections around Somerset. Visit The Original Cheddar Cheese Company, in Cheddar Gorge, to find produce from the original birthplace of the cheese.
If you’re planning to explore the best of British cheeses, don’t forget to book an Advance ticket via our website or our Train Tickets app. You can also find information on how to get cheaper train tickets via our special offers page. If you need more information, you can contact us here.
The UK is bursting with fun activities. Whether you’re visiting one of the best historical places in the UK, the best forests in the UK, or the best cinemas in the UK, you can always travel by train. CrossCountry has services running up and down the country to ensure you can get to the places you need to be.
Written by Abby