UK’s best foodie destination named – and it’s just a short drive from Lancashire

The charming village of Cartmel has been crowned the UK’s top spot for food lovers, according to a recent study.

The popular Cumbrian destination outshone other locations in the region, including Grasmere and Ambleside in the Lake District, to become the nation’s number one culinary tourism hotspot. The study was carried out by Sally’s Cottages, who examined 53 villages and towns across the UK to see how well they catered for foodie holidays.

Each location was scored on 15 factors, which were then grouped into three categories. These categories were: quality, looking at things like the number of Michelin recommended restaurants and five-star eateries; diversity, considering the variety of cuisines available (like Indian and Mexican); and inclusivity, checking out how well different dietary needs are catered for.


Cartmel came out on top with an impressive score of 9.9 out of 15. The runner-up was Bray in Berkshire, scoring 8.57, while Fence in Lancashire took third place with a score of 8.33.

It’s not hard to see why Cartmel claimed the top spot, with two restaurants that hold four Michelin stars between them. L’Enclume, the original Cartmel restaurant from famous chef Simon Rogan, boasts three Michelin stars, while its more relaxed sibling, Rogan and Co, holds one, the M.E.N reports.

Cartmel has become a haven for foodies
Cartmel has become a haven for foodies

Visitors to the village can take advantage of various eateries such as cafes, bakeshops, bars, restaurants, and pubs that add flavour to the local food scene. Also, many people come to the village to get a taste of its famous sticky toffee pudding available at the Cartmel Village Shop.

In the ranking for the UK’s top foodie places, the Lake District is a favourite with three out of the ten spots. Paul Leonard, the head chef at the Michelin-starred restaurant Forest Side, spoke highly about Lake District’s food culture.

He said: “The Herdwick lamb is a favourite of mine because it’s grown and produced here in the Lakes. The story of the actual sheep is phenomenal, and the flavour is incredible, with nice and dense meat and a lovely fat covering.”

He added that few people know that sticky toffee pudding originated from the Lake District, and therefore it boasts some of the best dessert options. Paul explained that rapeseed oil, used in their dishes, is the only cooking oil sourced from Cumbria.

He pointed out that the local cheese made from goat’s milk, found in Cartmel particularly at St James Cheese shop, is a must-try when visiting Cumbria.

Cartmel boasts the three Michelin Star restaurant L'Enclume and one Michelin Star restaurant Rogan & Co, both from chef Simon Rogan
Cartmel boasts the three Michelin Star restaurant L’Enclume and one Michelin Star restaurant Rogan & Co, both from chef Simon Rogan

Sarah Pring, Sally’s Cottages’ Digital PR Manager, also praised the Lake District saying, “The Lake District is such an amazing place for finding local and natural food produce, and every restaurant in the region has access to such incredible ingredients that it’s difficult to see why you wouldn’t want to come here on a gastronomic getaway! “.

“Not only can you indulge in your favourite foods made by talented chefs, but you can enjoy it with some of the most beautiful landscapes England has to offer from your seat what better way to enjoy your meal than to be surrounded by the stunning Lake District mountains.”

Lancs Live – Cumbria