"As Wallace and Gromit are wont to do, let's start with cheese..."

 

As Wallace and Gromit are wont to do, let's start with cheese. Shepherds Purse Cheeses, based at a dairy outside Thirsk, has won a host of awards, among them three World Cheese Awards Gold Medals for its Yorkshire Blue, Byland Blue and Olde York. Stockists can be located via its website and include Upstairs Downstairs of Market Place in Thirsk itself, just four minutes by bus from the station. Grab some crackers while you're there and you've got yourself an instant picnic.

Fancy some award-winning Cumberland sausage or dry-cured back bacon? Cranstons, purveyor of fine foods and meats since 1914, sells its produce through various outlets, including its own Cumbrian Food Hall in Penrith, itself a finalist in Radio 4's prestigious Food & Farming Awards. You'll find it on Ullswater Road, just a nod from the train station.

Or, if you'd rather not cook yourself, stick to those best of British staples. Hodgson's of Lancaster, family-run since 1998, is a past winner of the National Fish & Chip Shop of the Year Competition, and became the first chippy to boast two Young Fish Fryer Award winners working in the same shop. You'll find it in Prospect Street, a six-minute taxi ride from the station.

Spicy food lovers might prefer something with a hint of chilli. The Spice Cube of Newcastle, a 10-minute walk from the station, won Best in the North East at this year's British Curry Awards. Meanwhile, north of the border, Bukharah of Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow (grab a number 9 bus from Glasgow Central station) landed both Chef of the Year and Restaurant of the Year at the Scottish Curry Awards.

Make sure you leave room for dessert, though. Scoop! of Warrington (based in Golden Square, close to the train station) scooped - naturally - four gongs at the 2010 North West Food Awards, including Best Flavoured Ice Cream, Best Sorbet or Frozen Dessert and Best New Fine Food Product, for its Rich Chocolate Indulgence Ice Cream. Cocoa fans will  also love a trip to The Chocolate Cellar in Liverpool's Hanover Street, a past Gold Award medallist in the Great Taste Awards and, more recently, the deserving winner of a local tourism award for customer care. Sip 'n' sit in the Hot Chocolate Café as you watch the shop's experts whip ladles of artisan chocolate into shape.

Just room for a flapjack? Oh go on, then! Kendal Jacksmiths make theirs by hand, in 10 different flavours, from the finest natural ingredients. It was voted Speciality Producer of the Year and picked up a total of 14 stars in the 2010 Great Taste Awards. Fill your pockets at Booths Artisan, Kan Health Foods and the Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal, and Quite Simply Food in Lancaster. Now lick your fingers and take a nap!

Visit now:
shepherdspurse.co.uk
cranstons.net
lancasterpc.com/hodgsonschippy
thespicecube.com
bukharah.com
scoopicecream.com
thechocolatecellar.co.uk
kendaljacksmiths.co.uk

Still hungry? Jump on board for more top nosh

These days, Michelin-starred eateries aren't all focused on the bright lights of London. Two areas now making their mark on the foodie scene are the Lake District and the port of Leith in Edinburgh.

Holbeck Ghyll, Windermere

Holbeck Ghyll's head chef of 10 years, David McLaughlin, has held his coveted Michelin star for every one of those years. His restaurant is a 10-minute taxi ride from Windermere rail station.

Info: holbeckghyll.com

L'Enclume, Cark

Or try the one-star L'Enclume, lately featured in Steve Coogan's The Trip on BBC1. Set in a medieval village, Simon Rogan's restaurant is just five minutes by cab from Cark station.

Info: lenclume.co.uk

Port of Leith

Take a 22 bus from Edinburgh city centre to the heartland of two of Scotland's most innovative chefs: Tom Kitchin and Martin Wishart. Both The Kitchin and Restaurant Martin Wishart hold a coveted Michelin star. Kitchin's imaginative fare also won him this year's Observer Food Monthly Best Restaurant Award.

Info: thekitchin.com; martin-wishart.co.uk

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