There’s only one thing better than eating the best food and drink Yorkshire has to offer, and that’s finding out how it’s made.
Not only does God’s Own Country have the best scenery, but it’s got the best food and drink tours. This is your chance to uncover the secrets behind the tastiest Yorkshire treats, from how your favourite local beer is made to the art of whisky making (and by that, we mean you’ll be making it). But it’s not all behind the scenes, you can go bar-hopping or try a delicious food crawl.
This afternoon tea tour in York
Calling all tea enthusiasts! Discover what makes a true brew with this lovingly crafted 3.5 hour guided tea tour of York. From the iconic leaf’s long history to how tea is best made, the different methods of brewing and even how a cuppa changes around the world, it’s all covered. You’ll stop off at some special locations, indulging in tea and scones at a hidden Shambles cafe, visit a specialist cheese shop to try cheese and tea pairings (trust us, it works), and a Japanese tearoom for gyoza and tea. It all builds to the final stop – a full afternoon tea extravaganza at the Principal Hotel. Once it’s over, you’ll never quite look at your brew in the same way again.
The tour meets in Exhibition Square, York, North Yorkshire, YO1 7EW. The whole day is £60.
That artisan food tour of Malton
Known as ‘Yorkshire’s Food Capital’, Malton has quality cuisine in spades. There’s no better way for you to taste it all, along with some local history, than with Malton Cookery School’s monthly food tour. Their ‘Artisan’ walking tour will see you munch your way through a massive range of Made in Malton produce that changes according to the season. One month you could be mixing homemade chorizo with local gin and macarons, and the next washing down scotch eggs and brownies with award-winning championship beer. All we can say is, don’t have breakfast before you go.
The tour starts at the Talbot Hotel, Yorkersgate, Malton, North Yorkshire, YO17 7AJ. A ticket is £45.
This cheese experience in Wensleydale
Part of the famous Wensleydale Creamery, this interactive tour welcomes you to the fascinating world of cheese making. You’ll start at the beginning, or the udder in this case, and learn how milk goes from the cow to being delicious cheese. With live demonstrations and cheese tasting, you’ll sample everything from oak smoked to blue Wensleydale, watch cheese grading demonstrations, and experience the pièce de résistance – a brand new block of Wensleydale being created right in front of you from eight pints of local milk.
Wensleydale Creamery, Gayle Lane, Hawes, Wensleydale, North Yorkshire, DL8 3RN. The Experience costs £3.95 for an adult, £2.45 for children.
That vineyard tour at Holmfirth
A sprawling vineyard up on the hills with astonishing views over lush green fields and forests. No, you haven’t accidentally travelled to Bordeaux or Santorini, it’s just a short trip to the eye-wateringly beautiful Holmfirth vineyard. Nestled on the edge of the Peak District, their vineyard tour is a must-do on a warm summer’s day. You’ll stroll through the vines, learning about their award-winning wines, their hybrid grape varieties and the wine-making process from vine to bottle. And how better to cool down after the tour than by sampling a selection of the vineyard’s wines with their expert guidance?
Holmfirth Vineyard, Woodhouse Lane, Holmfirth, West Yorkshire, HD9 2QR. The tour costs £8.49 per person and includes wine tasting as standard.
This traditional brewery tour in Masham
The pride of Masham, Black Sheep Ale is one of Yorkshire’s most well known exports, and you can now go and see where the magic happens thanks to their Black Sheep brewery tours. Wander around the traditional brewhouse as the beer bubbles in the fermenting rooms, learn about the ingredients needed to brew this magic elixir and discover the science that makes it all happen. Last but not least, the ‘shepherding tour’ (their pun, not ours) ends the only way it should, with you supping a range of their beers back at the main bar.
The Black Sheep Brewery, Wellgarth, Masham, North Yorkshire, HG4 4EN. Adult tickets for the tour are £9.50, with children priced at £4.95. Each ticket includes a tour of the brewery, along with three beer or soft drink vouchers.
That independent food tour of Harrogate
Harrogate might be known as a spa town, but the independent food scene is blossoming, and you can try the very best of it with a food tour from specialists Yorkshire Appetite. A gentle walking tour, you’ll begin in Starlings Independent Beer and Coffee House where you can tuck into hearty brunch dishes from all around the world, from poutine and salmon timble to eggs Benedict and smashed avocado sourdough. Once you’re properly fed, it’s time to wander the picturesque streets of Harrogate, taking in a selection of artisan ice-cream, famous Harrogate toffee, the Montpellier Quarter and even Hales Bar, the city’s oldest pub – still lit by gas.
Starling Independent Beer and Coffee House, 47 Oxford Street, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG1 1PW. A ticket costs £49.
This minibus brewery tour of Leeds or York
Want to do a city tour without the walking? You’re in luck with Brewtown tours’ custom minibus. Simply book your ticket, jump on the bus and go. The tours run to both York and Leeds, encompassing the biggest names in local brewing, as well as the new kids on the block. If you pick the Leeds trip, you’ll find yourself heading to genuine microbrewery Quirky Ales in Garforth, the impressively diverse Northern Monk Brew Co. and established Leeds favourite, North Brewing Co, before finishing at the Brewery Tap. The York trip, meanwhile, has three paths to choose from – covering either Malton, the South-East or the North-West of York’s breweries.
The York tour picks up at the York Tap near the station between Tuesdays and Friday. The Leeds tour picks up outside The Queens on Saturdays. Both tours cost £60 per person.
The ultimate distilling tour experience at Hunmanby
If you’re a true whiskey enthusiast, you simply have to try the Spirit of Yorkshire’s distilling experience. Not confined to the standard still tour, this once-in-a-lifetime treat will let you actually create and distill your very own spirit. Working with the their crack distilling team, you’ll get an incredible in-depth tour of the latest whiskey technology, how to create low wines in the wash, the secret behind isolating flavours and how casking and maturation works, before trying it all for yourself. Round the day off with a professionally-guided whiskey tasting and you’ve got a dream tour for any malted grain fan, plus you’ll go home with your mixture to mature and treasure.
Spirit of Yorkshire Distillery, Unit 1, Hunmanby Industrial Estate, Hunmanby, North Yorkshire, YO14 0PH. The Distilling Experience runs every third Monday of the month, and the day costs £250.
This guided food tour through the Yorkshire Dales
It’s not all Parkin and puddings, Yorkshire is also home to the best local gourmet food in the country – and you can try plenty of it on The Dales Trail. Set off from The Grassington House Hotel with Yorkshire Food Finder’s local guides, as you head to the Kilnsey Park trout farm in Wharfdale to catch, prepare and smoke your own trout for a slap-up lunch. Afterwards, you’ll nip over the top to Malhamdale to taste charcuterie master Chris Wildman’s home-produced chorizo, coppa and guanciale. The final stop is Settle’s Courtyard Dairy, which has over 80 cheeses on offer, from award-winning Gold Dale End cheddar to the creamy Summer Fields. Finish the day back at the hotel with chef-patron John Rudden, as he cooks up a feast with ingredients from the day’s tour.
The Dales Trail is run by guides from Yorkshire Food Finder. The Tour starts at the Grassington House Hotel, 5 The Square, Grassington, Skipton, North Yorkshire, BD23 5AQ. The full day’s tour costs £155 per person.
That cider tour in Holmfirth
Want to see how scrumptious scrumpy is made? The Cider Press by Pure North is just the thing. Nestled in the Holme Valley, see the very apples that go into the cider as you take a tour of the orchard, complete with a stunning view over the valley itself. From there, it’s a short walk back to the cider press, where the apples are crushed to make everything from real cider to apple juice and cider vinegar. There’s even time for a history of the press and the bottling process. Round off your day by tasting a range of ciders, with oak-aged, champagne-style and traditional cider all on offer, before picking a whole pint to enjoy.
The Cider Press, Deanhouse, Netherthong, Holmfirth, West Yorkshire, HD9 3TD. The tour is £10 per person, and must be booked in advance.