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Caravanners’ Guide to Foodie Holidays

Introduction

With your car and touring caravan you have the freedom to pack up and go, where you want and when you want.

Caravan holidays for foodies are the perfect way to get out and about and visit not only some of stunning regions, but also enjoy the local cuisine too.

There are many beautiful places to visit in the UK – from the rugged cliffs and seas in Cornwall to the quaint villages in Yorkshire, the hustle and bustle of London to the peace and quiet, not to mention beauty, of Wales.

Combine the two – great food and great locations – and you have our caravanners’ Guide to Foodie Holidays.

So here are some suggestions and tips for local dishes you might not want to miss, places to eat and where to stay in four places around the UK.

Cornwall

From Bude at the top of the county to The Lizard on the far southern tip and everywhere in-between, Cornwall offers many beautiful places to visit. Chef Rick Stein has chosen Cornwall as the base for his restaurants, so foodies are in good hands.

Local dishes

There are probably two things come to mind when thinking of food and Cornwall – the Cornish pasty and cream tea. However, there are many more Cornish delights on offer.

  • the Cornish pasty – Sure there are many pasties to be had in the UK but only those made in Cornwall may be legally described as being a true Cornish pasty. Known as the “Oggy” in Cornwall, the humble pasty as never tasted as good;
  • cream tea – There are some who believe cream tea originated in Devon, however, Cornish people will set you straight. In Cornwall, the scone is sliced in half, with jam spread on it, followed by a good helping of cream. In Devon, it’s the other way around. However, both are delicious;
  • yarg – While in Cornwall you might also want to check out the cheeses that are produced there, with Cornish Yarg being the most popular. This is a cow’s milk cheese that is semi-hard, wrapped in nettle leaves. Yarg is produced exclusively near Truro;
  • Newlyn crab – Newlyn is close to Penzance;
  • Cornish Fairings biscuits;
  • Hevva cake – also known as Cornish heavy cake;
  • pilchards – which are a legacy in Cornwall.

Where to eat

You will never be far away from a restaurant, café, or country pub wherever you choose to stay in Cornwall. Rick Stein has chosen Cornwall as home to his restaurants, and there are many located in Cornwall:

  • The Seafood Restaurant in Padstow;
  • The Hub in St. Ives, situated in the heart of the town, and a well established feature on the harbour front;
  • Rick Stein in Porthleven – dining with superb views of the harbour;
  • Paul Ainsworth at No. 6 in Padstow.

Where to stay

  • Padstow Touring Park – the park is set in 13 acres offering panoramic countryside views and just one mile from Padstow and some of the best beaches within easy reach;
  • Newquay View Resort – located in Porth, the resort is just 15 minutes from Watergate Bay, Lusty Glaze and many other beaches. There is nightly entertainment, bike hire and surf lesson available to book on site;
  • Mounts Bay Caravan Park – situated in Marizon the park faces St Michaels Mount, on the shore of Mount Bay. There are numerous shops and restaurants close by and the Cornish Coastal Path runs very close to the park.

Yorkshire

Yorkshire is well-known for its Viking and Roman heritage, located in northern England; it is a great place to visit for foodies who are touring with their caravan.

Popular places to visit in Yorkshire include the York Minster in York, the Yorkshire Dales, North York Moors and the Yorkshire seaside towns of Filey, Whitby and Robin Hoods Bay.

You will never be short of things to see, do and eat. As they say in Yorkshire – “The way to a Yorkshire man’s heart is through his stomach”, and there are plenty of local dishes to fill that stomach.

Local dishes

It goes without saying that one of the most popular dishes in Yorkshire is the Yorkshire pudding. Yorkshire people love their food and below you can find some of the most popular choices.

  • Yorkshire pudding – the Yorkshire pudding isn’t a dessert, as the name might have you believe. The pudding is made from eggs, milk and flour and it originates from the north-east of England. Yorkshire pudding is traditionally served with a typical Sunday roast;
  • Wensleydale cheese – If you are a fan of the animated short films Wallace & Gromit, you will have heard about Wensleydale cheese in the West Yorkshire accent of Peter Sallis. Wensleydale is a town that is known for its cheeses, with five variations of the cheese being made in the town;
  • Liquorice – Liquorice was at one time used for medicinal reasons but now it is confectionery and there is an annual festival dedicated to it, the Pontefract Liquorice Festival;
  • Pikelets – Pikelets are a traditional Yorkshire dish that varies from region to region across Yorkshire, but is basically a type of fluffy bread with the texture of a crumpet;
  • Rhubarb – Rhubarb is something that you will either love or hate upon tasting it as it can be bitter, without adding sugar. Yorkshire is the home to the Rhubarb Triangle; nine square miles of county where it is produced.

Where to eat

There is no better place to visit than Yorkshire for a foodie lovers caravanning holiday. Yorkshire comes in second, only behind London, for having the most Michelin starred restaurants. It is also home to some of the finest cafes and bars in the UK. You may wish to check the following Michelin starred restaurants.

  • The Black Swan – if you are visiting or near Oldstead in Yorkshire you may wish to stop at the Black Swan. It is the only restaurant in the north east and Yorkshire to not only have a Michelin star, but also 4 AA Rosettes. Tommy Banks is chef and he is the youngest in Britain to hold the coveted Michelin star;
  • The Yorke Arms – Harrogate is a beautiful part of Yorkshire called the Nidderdale Valley. It is home to The Yorke Arms, a shooting lodge and coaching house during the 18th century, now a Michelin restaurant;
  • The Box Tree Restaurant – Located in Ilkley, West Yorkshire, The Box Tree Restaurant is a Michelin star restaurant offering an unforgettable dining experience. The restaurant obtained its Michelin rating 10 years ago and it has retained it year after year.

Where to stay

  • Golden Square Caravan and Camping Park – The Park is located in the perfect place to visit the North Yorkshire Moors National Park. It offers stunning views out over the moorlands and forest and on to the Moors. The site has outdoor play areas, shops, luxury built toilets and showers and offers seasonal, touring and deluxe all service pitches;
  • High Moor Farm Park – The High Moor Farm Park is situated just four miles from Harrogate and it sits right on the fringe of the Yorkshire Dales. It offers many recreational facilities and includes a nine-hole golf course and licensed bar. The Yorkshire Dales are within easy reach, as are Harrogate town centre, shopping centres and Spa;
  • Clarion Lodge – This is a family run campsite offering easy access to Ilkley, Bradford, Harrogate and Leeds. Just 10 miles away is Harewood House with its Court Yard café and Terrace Café, Almscliffe Crag, Harrogate and its famous Bettys Tea Room serving afternoon tea and Bolton Abbey with its Cavendish Pavilion Teas Rooms. 

London

London is the vibrant city that may not be first thought about when considering a caravan holiday, but it should be. London is home to some of the best tours, show, top attractions, markets and restaurants in the UK.

When thinking about local food in London, the East End comes to mind and of course, this means pie and mash, and jellied eels.

Local dishes

  • jellied eels – jellied eels are a favourite of Londoners. So if you want to experience this mainstay, tuck into this traditional nosh;
  • pie and mash – if you cannot stomach jellied eels, another East End favourite is pie and mash (unless the pie is made from jellied eels). Common fillings for pies today in London include mutton or minced meat, while some pie and mash houses now also offer vegetarian options. The gravy (known as liquor) served is typically greenish in colour from the parsley sauce that is served with the dish. There are plenty of traditional pie and mash shops located throughout the city;
  • Cockles and Winkles – take a trip down to Billingsgate market during your stay in London and you will find stalls offering cockles and winkles, along with other seafood. One of the biggest is Bards Shellfish, who have traded for more than 19 years in the market;
  • afternoon tea – Cornwall has the cream tea and London has afternoon tea. If you are visiting London, afternoon tea is a must. Bear in mind that if you want to take afternoon tea at some of the most established hotels in the city, there is generally a long waiting list. Afternoon tea typically consists of posh sandwiches of smoked salmon, cheddar cheese and eggs, with lemon cake or white chocolate éclair.

Where to eat

You are never short of places to eat anywhere in London. From the local cafes to Michelin-starred restaurants and market stalls, London has it all.

During your visit to the capital, you may wish to pay a visit to the following restaurants, cafes and stalls.

  • Goddards At Greenwich – located in Greenwich in London, Goddards have been serving up hand-made traditional pie and mash since 1890. Their best-seller is the minced beef pie, however, you can get a range including chicken and mushroom, steak and ale and chilli minced beef;
  • afternoon tea – no trip to London should pass without afternoon tea. While many restaurants and hotels will offer it, Claridge`s is THE place to go to have afternoon tea in true style. Afternoon tea at Claridge`s is known as the grand queen of teas, but there is usually a waiting list, so get your name down early. Afternoon tea at Claridge`s doesn’t come cheap, expect to pay around £58, which includes a glass of champagne;
  • Restaurant Gordon Ramsey – The flagship Restaurant Gordon Ramsey is situated on Royal Hospital Road. This is a prestigious three Michelin star restaurant, loved and visited by foodies from all over the world. The menu includes such delights as pressed foie gras, pan-fried scallops, roasted veal sweetbreads and lobster.

Where to stay

  • Crystal Palace Caravan Club Site – This is an excellent choice of caravan site for anyone visiting London as it is close to all the amenities and attractions of London. London city is easily accessible by car or there is a bus stop outside the gates of the site to Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Street, among others;
  • Lee Valley Camping and Caravan Park – The Lee Valley Caravan Park is situated one hour from venues such as Buckingham Palace, Oxford Street and the London Eye. All attractions are within easy reach, while you get peace and quiet just outside of the hustle and bustle of the city. There is a golf course, country park, cycling route and ice centre close to the Park;
  • Abbey Wood Caravan Club Site – The site is set among mature trees, which offer privacy, with the city centre being just 35 minutes away. The caravan site is in an excellent location for visiting The Chelsea Flower Show, the Christmas lights, Tower Bridge and of course the many restaurants, cafes and bars that London has to offer.

Wales

Wales is a beautiful part of the UK thanks to the rolling hills, 1,680 miles of coastline and mountains. It is the perfect place for touring with a car and caravan, with five regions of outstanding natural beauty and three national parks.

Wales is well-known for its award-winning beaches, 43 have received Blue Flag awards, the Pembrokeshire National Park, Snowdon and its rich history along with culture. It is a foodie’s paradise thanks to the many award-winning restaurants, farmers markets and food festivals.

Local dishes

Wales is home to many traditional foods and many of them are simple dishes as the people of Wales used to be known for living off the land.

Perhaps one of the most famous of foods linked with Wales is the Leek. The leek is used in many traditional dishes, including cawl, which is a broth. Here are some of the tasty local dishes that you might want to try out while holidaying in Wales.

  • Welsh lamb – Wales claims to have the best lamb in the UK due to the fact that it is the perfect environment for sheep. This is thanks to the clean air, mountain streams and rich green grass. You will have to taste it to find out if you agree;
  • Cawl – Cawl is considered to be the national dish of Wales. This is a hearty soup or broth that is made only from what the land offers. It was and still is a favourite of families and it started with main meat being goat or bacon as well as leek and / or cabbage. Today lamb is one of the favourite ingredients in Cawl;
  • Cheese – There are many award-winning cheeses in Wales with the most popular being Tintern and Caerphilly. Welsh cheeses are found on the cheese boards of all restaurants along with homes;
  • Welsh Rarebit – Welsh Rarebit is similar to cheese on toast. The Welsh use cheese from Wales, typically Caerphilly, with mustard and ale mixed together and this is served on hot toast sandwiched together.

Where to eat

There is no shortage of cuisine on offer in Wales. From Michelin starred restaurants to small family-run eateries, cafes and bars.

Here are just a few of the many that we think you may wish to check out if you are planning on spending some time in the region.

  • Bully`s in Cardiff – Bully`s is known as one of the little gems of Cardiff. It is a restaurant that uses only seasonal produce, which comes from providers in Wales and the restaurant is said to serve one of the best chargrilled Welsh beef fillets;
  • The Whitebrook – The Whitebrook is a Michelin star restaurant run by Chef Chris Harrod and it is also in the Good Restaurant Guide having won 4 AA rosettes. The restaurant is known for collecting and using fresh herbs and food that is sourced locally and is well worth a visit;
  • Café At No 4 In Carmarthen – The Café At No 4 is located on a side street in Carmarthen and it is so tucked away that you may walk right past it. However, this would be a big loss as it is home to some of the tastiest food in Wales. Its speciality is Garlic and thyme confit Welsh lamb with baby spinach and roast butternut squash.

Where to stay

  • Caerfai Bay – Caerfai Bay is a family run caravan park that is located close to the bay with a sandy beach. It offers sea views from all pitches and is in a superb position for holidaymakers to enjoy the Pembrokeshire National Park;
  • Owens Caravan Park – Owens Caravan Park is set within 12 acres of landscaped land in Towyn, North Wales and it is a family run park that was established in 1932. The beach is just five minutes away down a coastal path and it is within walking distance of shops, cafes and restaurants and Tir Prince market;
  • Fforest Fields Caravan and Camping Site – Fforest Fields is set among 12 acres of rural landscape and within just a few miles of Builth Wells market town in mid-Wales. The campground is well landscaped with trees for screening and you do not have to venture too far to enjoy activities such as golfing, fishing, horse riding and mountain biking. 

Summary

These are just a taster of what the UK has offer in terms of food and great locations and obviously, there are hundreds more beautiful locations, not to mention some of the best restaurants and eating establishments, nationwide.

Whether you are touring around Cornwall, visiting Yorkshire, spending a few days in London or a long holiday in Wales, or are somewhere else, there is something for everyone.

Where is your favourite location for pitching up and pitching in to some food? We’d love to hear from you!