Looking for the best cheese festivals in the UK? Here’s a list of all the cheesy players at the top of their game…
Grated, melted, baked or sliced, on a cracker, or in a sarnie, preferably with Marmite: I lurrrrve cheese.
It just makes everything taste better. Shame about those calories though. But there’s only one C word we need to talk about at Cheese Festivals, isn’t there?
The usual way to indulge in an appreciation for cheese would be to invest in a cheeseboard or to take a sneaky wedge from the fridge, but I reckon it’s time we all take our love one step further, by dedicating a whole weekend to the wonderful world of Wensleydale, Camembert and Brie.
Oh, and Stilton too.
Throughout the year and across the UK, cheese lovers unite to share in the glory of the gouda stuff, try out new flavours and spend a guilt-free weekend doused in the smelly stuff.
Welcome, to the wonderful world of the cheese festival in the UK.
7 Top Cheese Festivals in the UK
Check out these delicious cheese festivals to get in on the delicious cheesy action in the UK. Don’t forget the wine!
1. Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling Festival
27th May 2024
Basically, you roll a big, round, Double Gloucester cheese down Cooper’s Hill in Gloucestershire and run after it.
Apparently the cheese can reach speeds of up to 70mph so it’s quite the challenge – the person who crosses the finish line first, wins the cheese.
This cheese festival is a world famous super popular event, where over 5000 people turn up, but thanks to the old Health and Safety, they now have to roll replica cheeses.
Bank Holiday Monday in May
2. Love Cheese Live, Stafford
28th – 29th June 2024
“Love Cheese Live – one of the UK’s largest cheese, food & drink festival’s including cooking inspiration, shopping and tasting – including a fantastic line-up of the best chefs and experts cooking live, the finest dairy brands, exciting new flavours, the latest trends and carefully selected independent producers of the finest food, drink and culinary products from the country.”
With appearances in 2023 from famous chefs such as James Martin, Will Holand and Lisa Marley this is a must for serious cheese lovers! There are masterclasses, wine pairing events, live music, markets and bars al available across this huge event which is sure to be the creme de la creme of Cheese festivals!
Read more on my cheese love
My Cheese Feast at Les Refuse Des Fondus in Paris
3. Artisan Cheese Fair
18th – 19th May 2024
For the hardcore Manchego lovers and dedicated buyers of blue, the Artisan Cheese Fair is as hot as the inside of a Halloumi fry – and it’s crowned the country’s largest cheese fair.
Around 70 cheesemakers bring out the big cheesy guns over a weekend in May in an East Midlands cattle market and often bring some of the rarest varieties around.
Talks from industry experts mean you can leave having learnt how to cook with cheese, make your own and successfully navigate the world of dairy goodness.
With 300 types of cheese on offer as well as cakes, beer, chutneys etc., you may want to skip breakfast before attending.
4. The Cheese and Chilli Festival
Various weekends between May – July TBC 2024
Bringing two of the best foods together, the creators behind the Cheese and Chilli Festival are taking this to six locations in the south of England: Basingstoke, Christchurch, Cheltenham, Guildford, Swindon and Winchester.
One for all the family, you can expect the usual tastings and cooking demonstrations alongside pig racing and magic shows. Your ticket will also get you in to see the chilli eating competition and a pretty exciting man vs food challenge. All good fun for one of the best cheese festivals around.
Find out more: The Cheese and Chilli Festival Facebook page
5. Sturminster Newton Cheese Festival
14th – 15th September 2024
Dorset’s Sturminster Newton, aka the ‘vale of little dairies’, has been a major player in the creamery scene since the early 1900s and shares some of their old school knowledge each year at the local cheese fest.
Giving you a slice of goodwill with your cheese, this event is all about raising money for charity and is completely run by volunteers. Tickets only cost £5 – well worth it for a great day out!
Find out more: Sturminster Newton Cheese Festival
6. Yorkshire Dales Cheese Festival
6th – 9th October 2023
The official home of Wensleydale, the Yorkshire Dales make up the beautiful backdrop of this cheesey event.
It’s a festival bringing a almost week-long programme of cookery classes, cheese-making workshops and drink-pairing demonstrations to the area in October. Despite a big chunk of the event taking place in the Yorkshire dales national park, the whole region runs events making for a stinking good time.
Find out more: September, Yorkshire Dales Cheese Festival
7. The Great British Cheese Festival
TBC 2024 last weekend of every September
A bit of brie with your Roman ruins?
The Great British Cheese Festival is where history meets halloumi.
Every year, thousands flock to Cardiff Castle at the end of September as over 100 artisan cheesemakers churn out 450 British and Irish cheeses.
Aside from tasting and buying at this cheese festival, you can also learn how to matchmake your favourite cheese with the perfect drink, discover how it’s made and munch as you meander around the historical grounds.
Find out more: The Great British Cheese Festival last weekend of September
Cheese festivals in the UK
So, how about that for a round up of the best cheese festivals in the UK? So many to go to right?
Cheese festivals are a brilliant way to try as much cheese as possible in a short time – and to experience and try the latest and greatest fromages.
Keep calm and cheese on!
Quicklist of the best cheese festivals in the UK
- Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling Festival
- Love Cheese Live, Stafford
- Artisan Cheese Fair
- The Cheese and Chilli Festival
- Sturminster Newton Cheese Festival
- Yorkshire Dales Cheese Festival
- The Great British Cheese Festival
Where is the Big Cheese Festival?
The Big Cheese Festival is held in Caerphilly, South Wales. This charming town is not only known for the festival but also its historic Caerphilly Castle, which often forms a picturesque backdrop to the event.
What is the most popular cheese in England?
England is renowned for its diverse range of cheeses. While Cheddar, named after the Cheddar Gorge in Somerset, is arguably the most widely recognised and consumed cheese in the country, other varieties like Stilton, Red Leicester, and Wensleydale also hold special places in the hearts of many cheese enthusiasts.
How much does the cheese rolling festival cost?
The Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake event, to give its full name, is a world-famous event held annually in Gloucestershire. Traditionally, participants don’t need to pay to take part in the cheese-rolling race itself. However, if you’re planning to attend, you might need to account for transportation, accommodation, and other miscellaneous costs, especially if you’re travelling from afar.
Are there any Christmas cheese festivals in the UK?
While the UK doesn’t specifically have a ‘Christmas cheese festival’ per se, cheese is a staple of the British festive diet. During the Christmas season, many local markets and food festivals across the country will feature a broad range of cheeses. These markets often turn into de facto cheese festivals, with vendors showcasing both traditional British cheeses and international varieties, perfect for festive platters and celebrations.