10 of Britain’s best foodie walks, from cheese to wine and whisky

An Italian-ish amble, Shropshire

Summer’s long, lazy days are perfect for tasty Shropshire strolls. The county’s Good Food Trail, running 20 July-31 August, will be packed with tasty talks and delicious reasons to ramble between farms, delis, pubs and producers.

Hungry hikers should look out for Mangalonga (11 August), an outing that combines an easygoing 13km amble with top food stops en route. It’s based on a similar event held in Cariano (Ludlow’s Italian twin town, home of Valpolicella); walkers pause to refuel on local goodies, accompanied by real ale and traditional perry and cider. Tickets on sale mid-June.

Seafood strolls, Jersey

Jersey Walk Adventures? Oyster Trail Image via Jenny Lydeard jenny.lydeard@finnpartners.com
Sample sublime shellfish on the Jersey Walk Adventures’ Oyster Trail (Photo: Finn Partners)

Jersey-folk have been eating oysters for 6,000 years, and in the 19th century the island was one of north-west Europe’s main producers.

The industry has waned, but Jersey still claims the country’s’ most extensive oyster beds, at Grouville Bay. Join Jersey Walk Adventures’ Oyster Trail, a guided stroll across them, with history thrown in and tastings after.

For a longer excursion, tackle the Jersey Coast Path, a 77km route via spectacular beaches, bays, clifftops and plenty of seafood restaurants and cafes. Two-hour tour £23/£11 adult/child. Five-night self-guided Coast Path walk from £710pp.

Whisky wanders, Speyside

Speyside is the malt whisky capital of the world. Hit the trails in this intoxicating patch of northeast Scotland and, not only will you find heather moors, wild rivers, atmospheric old forest, abundant wildlife and views to the Cairngorm mountains, but innumerable distilleries.

Hillwalk Tours offers a range of self-guided hiking trips in and around Speyside; those handily marked with a whisky-glass icon are particularly focused on the region’s boozy heritage, taking walkers right past the doors of world-famous producers including Aberlour, Glenfiddich, Cragganmore and Glenlivet. Pop in for tastings en route. Five-day Gentle Speyside Whisky Trail from £649pp.

Fromage on foot, Lancashire

Pictures Martin Bostock Photography. Beacon Fell Lancashire Credit visitlancashire.com Image via Anna Izza
Lancashire’s Beacon Fell is a wildlife haven of woodland, moorland and farmland (Photo: MARTIN BOSTOCK)

Trek into Lancashire’s prime cheese terroir on a 10km circular through the county’s historic “milk fields”. This area of small pastures was turned to dairy farming in the 19th century and is still used by traditional makers to create Lancashire’s distinctive crumbly, creamy cheeses.

Start at the Green Man at Inglewhite, with a plateful of cheese and chutney, then ramble out into the countryside, via the panoramic summit of Beacon Fell. Cheese produced under the Beacon Fell Traditional Lancashire label has PDO status, and must be made here, in the traditional fashion, with local milk. For route see discoveringbritain.org.

Foreshore forage, Pembrokeshire

Coastal Foraging, Saundersfoot, Carmarthenshire Craig Evans?s coastal foraging walk Pembrokeshire Image via Jo Gaukrodger jo@fourcornerspr.co.uk
Forage for your supper at Coastal Foraging, Saundersfoot in Carmarthenshire (Photo: Visit Wales)

Craig Evans’s coastal foraging walks aren’t very long – you can expect to walk just five or six kilometres over six hours – but what they lack in distance they more than make up for in adventure and deliciousness. 

This master forager leads strolls along the seashores of south-west Wales, wading in shallows, gallivanting up dunes and hunting in rocky pools. You’ll seek out nature’s bounty, which might include cockles, crabs, razor clams and various types of seaweed, depending on the season. At the end of the trip, you’ll cook up all the spoils. Classic foraging course from £85pp, under-16s free.

Drink not drive, West Sussex

West Sussex is wine country, and many a stroll here will pass hillsides neat with vines. Elevate the experience with Fizz on Foot, which specialises in gourmet guided outings in the countryside, combining walks with picnics, pub lunches, and tours and tastings of the region’s winemakers.

Its Riverside Walk Into Rathfinny Estate begins with a ramble up onto the downland from chocolate-box Alfriston, with views over vineyards and across the English Channel. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, it’s time for a traditional pub lunch, heavy on local produce, then a winery tour, including a glass or three. Tours from £115pp.

Wine walk, Herefordshire

Visit Herefordshire - Frome Valley Vineyard Image via Fiona Reece fiona@traveltonic.co.uk
Take a wander at Frome Valley Vineyard (Photo: Photopia Photography)

Herefordshire has long been producing beers and ciders; its wine is a more recent innovation. On a 7.5km Wine Walk through the Frome Valley, you can encounter them all.

Set off from Frome Valley Vineyard and delve first into hop fields and apple orchards. The route then climbs to the Majors’ Arms, a cider mill turned real-ale pub with views stretching to the Malverns, the Black Mountains and the Shropshire Hills. Then it’s downhill to return to the vineyard, to taste its fine fizz, bacchus and more. Frome Valley Vineyard open April-October.

Pub crawl, Peak District

Like a walk that includes a pub? How about a walk that includes 51 of them? Brigantes English Walks offers a Peak District Inn trail that covers 134km over six days, passing a half-century of South Yorkshire drinking establishments as it performs a dramatic loop from the village of Hayfield.

As well as great boozers (many of which make cosy places to stay), you’ll encounter iconic Kinder Scout, Stanage Edge, the burbling River Derwent, and grand Chatsworth House. Be sure to order a real ale by the real fire at Edale’s Rambler Inn. Six-day self-guided trip from £835pp.

Tasty trails, Fife

Award Winning Anstruther Fish Bar Image via Visit Scotland
The award-winning Anstruther Fish Bar (Photo: Visit Scotland)

The coast of Fife, especially the East Neuk peninsula, is heaven for on-foot foodies. A scenic trail wraps around its shores, linking fishing villages and food shops.

On the 79km stretch between Burntisland and St Andrews, you’ll hike via vast sandy beaches and flumped-out seals, but also excellent Ardross Farm Shop, the Chocolate Shop in chocolate-box Pittenweem, award-winning fish and chips in Anstruther and Cellardyke’s exceptional Michelin-starred Cellar restaurant. Celebrate in St Andrew’s with a scoop at Jannetta’s Gelateria, established 1908. Six-day self-guided Highlights of the Fife Coast Path trip from £655pp.

Exciting eating, Yorkshire

Helmsley Yorkshire Image via Amanda Brown
Helmsley has become quite the foodie destination (Photo: Amanda Brown)

The Good Food Guide has named Helmsley & the Howardian Hills 2024’s “Most Exciting Food Destination”. And with its rolling valleys and ridges, this Yorkshire patch is a pretty exciting walking spot too. For a good taster, try the first 13km stage of the St Bernard’s Way. It starts in the comely market town of Helmsley, home to the acclaimed Pignut restaurant plus plentiful pubs, food stores and cafes. It passes Rievaulx Abbey and wonderful Wass Woods. And it finishes in Byland, home to 12th-century abbey ruins and the Abbey Inn, run by Michelin-starred chef Tommy Banks.