The Courtyard, Bigland Estate, Backbarrow, Ulverston, LA12 8PB07866

Lakeland cottage holidays: food and drink

Some of the finest food and drink in Britain can be found in the Lake District and we firmly believe that great food and drink should be an integral part of your Lakeland cottage holidays. Whether you are looking for the best local ingredients to cook with in our bespoke kitchens, or a five-star dining out experience, there’s something to satisfy every foodie.

Food shopping near to Bigland Hall, The Courtyard Cottages

For those seeking to make a memorable meal from delicious local produce, Cumbria is one of the best places to find culinary inspiration. We are surrounded by a wide range of fine food shops, specialist retailers, farm shops and food markets, each with their own individual character.

For lovers of all things sweet, Grasmere Gingerbread’s world-famous gingerbread and rum butter make a lovely gift or personal treat. Those seeking savoury delights will find fine meats from Higginsons of Grange and Cranstons of Cumbria, as well as rich dairy from Cartmel Cheeses. The Unsworth Yard Brewery is a must-visit for fans of real ale.

Farm shops are some of the best places to find fresh, local produce. Locally reared meats can be found at Yew Tree Farm near Coniston. Plumgarths Farm Shop in Kendal stocks a wide range of fantastic local produce and their own award-winning sausages. And Low Sizergh Barn at Sizergh sells fresh veg, free range eggs, and raw milk from the farm’s own cows – their award-winning cheese counter is also worth a stop.

Farming is still the lifeblood of Cumbria and, continuing a tradition that goes back hundreds of years, many towns host regular farmer’s markets. Lots of wonderful fresh ingredients can be found at the market held every Thursday and Saturday in Keswick, and the monthly food markets in Kendal and Cartmel.

Food festivals are held locally all year round: the Cumbria Sausage Festival is held in May, the Sedbergh Food Festival in June, and nearby Holker Hall holds its annual Chilli Festival in September, complete with a chilli-eating competition that’s not for the faint hearted!

Dining out near to Bigland Hall, The Courtyard Cottages

For days when you’d rather treat yourself and let others do the cooking, you’ll be spoiled for choice by the Lake District’s dining experiences.

There’s nothing quite like a cup of tea and a locally made cake after a long walk in the hills. Cumbria’s relaxing, characterful tearooms and cafés are as common as the mountains and fells – you’re never far from a hot drink and a hearty lunch.

A walk up to Friar’s Crag is best rewarded by a stop at Keswick’s Theatre by the Lake Café. Should you choose to visit the stunning Aira Force Waterfall, you’ll find the National Trust tea room nearby where the profits help to maintain the beauty of the local area.

For a relaxed fine dining experience and a selection of fine local beer and ale, look no further than Cumbria’s many pubs. The renowned Punchbowl at Crosthwaite is a must-visit, as is the wonderfully rustic Mason’s Arms in Bowness, and Ambleside’s Drunken Duck Inn.

Four of the North West’s Michelin Star restaurants are found in the Lakes and two are an easy drive away from The Courtyard Cottages, Bigland Hall. L’Enclume in Cartmel serves a varied menu of fine dishes made from organic, locally sourced ingredients. And the beautiful Forest Side Restaurant in Grasmere offers both phenomenal views of the Lakeland Fells and food expertly made with ingredients from local farms.