It might not be the first thing you think of as a holiday activity, but as an interesting and different day out which doesn’t depend on the weather, Cheese-making at the Courtyard Dairy near Settle would be hard to beat.
The Courtyard Dairy is located in a beautiful stone barn, easily accessed from the A65 between Settle and Austwick. This is a cheese-lovers paradise, centred around an award winning specialist cheese shop and a cafe selling a selection of cheesy lunches and snacks. Each of these is worth a visit in their own right.
The addition of a teaching room and cheese production facility mean that cheese making courses are now also on the menu. This means anyone from complete beginner upwards has the opportunity to get hands-on and produce real cheese from scratch.
I recently attended one of these courses as a complete cheese-making novice, and was immediately absorbed by this fascinating and ancient art. Andy Swinscoe, owner and resident cheese expert, was our host and tutor for the day. He, along with his wife Kathy, founded the Courtyard Dairy in 2012. Andy’s knowledge and enthusiasm for all things cheesy is infectious and questions are encouraged.
The course was a really hands-on introduction to cheese-making – with the fruits of our labour available to either take away on the day or for later pick-up. Andy combines practical demonstration with enough theory and history to make the day both interesting and educational.
The course includes a delicious lunch, with, not surprisingly, a good selection of cheeses to try.
Highly recommended as a memorable holiday activity, with the opportunity to learn a new skill or even start a new hobby thrown in. Who knows where it may lead!
How To Find Out More
Details of cheese-making courses can be found on the Courtyard Dairy website Courtyard Dairy Courses