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Food & Drink Guide

Food & Drink Guide

From street food to fine dining feasts: enjoy the bounty of the Great West Way.

Appreciation of local food and drink is at the heart of many of the communities you’ll visit along the Great West Way, from tiny villages with 1 pub to cities with a thriving global food scene. The unique growing conditions of the West Country, combined with a generous quota of England’s sunlight make for some of the most flavourful produce around. So wherever you end up, give it a try!

From farm shops to fine dining

One of the greatest pleasures of a drive through the English countryside is stopping at a farm shop cafe for a cup of tea and some tasty local produce. You’ll happen upon them as you travel along the Great West Way, but a couple of honourable mentions go to Allington Farm Shop, Chippenham, where you can pick up artisan cheeses and bespoke hampers, and Hartley Farm Shop and Kitchen in Winsley, near Bradford on Avon, which does a smashing farmhouse breakfast - just what you need if you have a big walk or bike ride planned. There’s also the Windsor Farm Shop, where you can get fresh produce grown on royal estates.

Then there’s the fine dining restaurants - many of which source their ingredients from small local producers. We couldn’t possibly list all the amazing places to eat along the Great West Way, but the quintessentially English village of Bray is an unexpected foodie hotspot. Celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal has no less than 3 esteemed establishments there: The Crown, The Hind’s Head and 3 Michelin-starred The Fat Duck. But there’s also The Waterside Inn, for fine French fare, and La Cucina Caldesi for incredible Italian. Other Celebrity chefs on the Great West Way include Pierre Koffmann and Marco Pierre White with their brand new English and French brassserie Koffmann & Mr White's in Bath. Elsewhere, don’t miss top notch country pubs such as The Red Lion Freehouse and The Three Tuns Freehouse in Wiltshire, the Pony and Trap in Chew Magna and The Royal Oak in Yattendon. And not too far off the Great West Way, near Oxford, is Raymond Blanc’s Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons - a once-in-a-lifetime sort of restaurant that’s worth every penny.

Famous must-try foods

There are some notable local specialities along the Great West Way. We could start with the obvious, a little south of the touring route: Cheddar. At Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company you can get a taste for a national staple - you’ll find few fridges in Britain without a crumbly block of cheddar. Wiltshire has a whole host of its own specialities: Wiltshire Tea, Wiltshire cured bacon and Wiltshire lardy cake. Then there’s Bath’s famous Bath Bun, which you can try in the quaint tea room where it was invented - Sally Lunn’s.

Top tours, tastings and cookery classes

If you’d prefer an active or hands-on foodie experience, sign up for a city food tour. Like Savouring Bath, that takes in the sites - plus plenty of bites from independent street food stalls, cafes and restaurants.

Or tie on your apron at the Windsor Fudge Kitchen and have a go at making some delectable treats yourself. You’ll get to taste lots of tempting fudgy flavours too, like lemon meringue pie and sea salted caramel.

Meanwhile Vaughan's Cookery School in Wiltshire is only one of seven approved teaching centres delivering CTH food-related skills awards in the UK. They offer a number of different classes both for adults and children, and learn how to turn the delicious fresh produce available along the Great West Way into a marvellous meal for family and friends back home.

Pork lovers should stay in the luxurious accommodation at Buttle Farm in Compton Bassett. The farm is known for its charcuterie and rare-breed pigs. You can taste some as part of a traditional Sunday roast at The Lansdown in Calne or from the specials board at The White Horse in Compton Bassett.

Fancy a tipple?

Insider tip: If you’re into craft beer, Bristol’s scene has been bubbling up for a while now. Some of the biggest names are to be found around cobbled King Street in the centre, but avid hopsters will also want to check out tap houses such as Lost & Grounded, Wiper & True and Good Chemistry a little further out.

Beer drinkers can experience the trail much as medieval pilgrims would, with regular pit stops for bread and ale. Take a tour at Wadworth, a Victorian brewery in Devizes, to find out more about traditional English ales. They’re so faithful to their heritage they still make local deliveries using shire horses. Try some pleasantly hoppy 6X, their most popular beer, or their earthy new golden ale - Game of Stones.

Since the West Country is most associated with cider, you should also check out Thatchers in Winscombe. The family has been making cider at Myrtle Farm for more than a century, which you can learn more about on one of their orchard tours. Tip: They also have a pub, The Railway Inn at Sandford, which makes a lovely stop on a cycle ride along the Strawberry Line.

Gin’s currently having its moment in the sun, but Britain has long been obsessed by the jolly, juniper-scented spirit - the fact that it’s actually a Dutch invention is often forgotten. In Whitchurch, you can visit the Bombay Sapphire distillery - one of the most famous English brands. Instantly recognisable by its exotic azure-clear bottles, their brand is a concoction of botanicals from all over the world including liquorice from China and almonds from Spain. In Bristol, tour Bramley & Gage’s distillery where they make 6 O’clock gin.

Bet you never thought you’d be coming to England for its wine? Well, turns out the chalk soils and temperate climate of the south are pretty perfect for crisp, white, bubbly varieties, and English wines are winning international awards. Alder Ridge Vineyard near Hungerford in Berkshire host tours around their award winning vineyard. Or go to  A’Beckett’s Vineyard, near Devizes, who focus on vegan-friendly chardonnays and pinot noirs - try them on a group tour too!

Food festivals & events

If you can, time your visit for one of the food and drink-focused events along the Great West Way. Some of the bigger ones include the Great Bath Feast, Bristol Food Connections and the Great British Food Festival at Bowood House. There are also hundreds of smaller events, alongside weekly produce and street food markets in market towns throughout the touring route. You might even stumble upon Chippenham’s Pancake Races! 
 

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Product Information

  1. Wadworth Brewery Visitor Centre

    Devizes

    Family friendly, self guided Visitor Centre and interactive exhibition – Free entry
    On-site Sample bar with five cask ales on draught. 1/3 pint samples can be purchased.
    Traditional pub games are available to play in the bar.

  2. Chippenham

    North Wiltshire

    Looking to visit the amazing town of Chippenham?...If so, click here to get the latest Chippenham tourist information direct from the official Wiltshire tourism site!

  3. Bradford on Avon

    Looking to visit the amazing town of Bradford on Avon?...If so, click here to get the latest Bradford on Avon tourist information direct from the official Wiltshire tourism site!

  4. Buttle Farm

    Calne

    Chalk Barn is a luxury contemporary style cottage at Buttle Farm with many original features, beautifully converted, with huge superking beds, stunning en-suites and spacious reception rooms, available as a 2, 3 or 4-bedroom option.

  5. Devizes

    Devizes

    Looking to visit the amazing town of Devizes?...If so, click here to get the latest Devizes tourist information direct from the official Wiltshire tourism site!

  6. Koffmann & Mr. White's

    Bath

    The brasserie-style eatery, bought to you by culinary legends Pierre Koffmann and Marco Pierre White, serves a mix of English and French classics for the discerning customer looking for good quality, affordable food in a relaxed, stylish and unpretentious environment.

  7. Bombay Sapphire Distillery - Laverstoke Mill

    Whitchurch

    Based at Laverstoke Mill in rural Hampshire, just 15 miles from Winchester and 60 miles from London. The Bombay Sapphire Distillery is in a conservation area with over 1000 years of history.

    The distillery showcases the care, skill and artistry behind every drop of Bombay Sapphire, and allows you…

  8. Bowood House and Gardens

    Calne

    Outstanding 18th century mansion house estate.

  9. The Three Tuns Freehouse

    Marlborough

    We are an award-winning independent Freehouse with an excellent local reputation for the quality of our food and beers.  Run by Chef Proprietor James Wilsey who spent many years cooking in some of the top pubs and bistros in London, so expect full flavour, honest, seasonal cooking.

  10. Red Lion Freehouse

    Pewsey

    This Michelin-starred country pub has a national reputation for serving outstanding food in a quintessential pub setting; the recent addition of their 5 star boutique guest house means you can experience a room just as special as the food.

  11. Savouring Bath

    Bath

    There’s a British Food Revolution happening and Savouring Bath invites you to taste it, right here in Bath!  Discover this top UK foodie destination by using your taste buds, while strolling through its elegant 18th century streets and alleyways. 

  12. Vaughan's Cookery School

    Devizes

    Vaughan’s Cookery School offers a comprehensive range of public, professional, bespoke, corporate and children’s courses, along with culinary hen parties and group sessions for a party with a difference or a fun evening with friends. Participants receive a very ‘hands-on’ and fun experience in…

Itinerary Distances

FromToDistance * (metric)
Wadworth Brewery Visitor Centre (51.35408,-1.99836)Chippenham (51.46024,-2.11779)13
Chippenham (51.46024,-2.11779)Bradford on Avon (51.34764,-2.25062)14.01
Bradford on Avon (51.34764,-2.25062)Buttle Farm (51.44469,-1.95251)21.02
Buttle Farm (51.44469,-1.95251)Devizes (51.35258,-1.99576)9.62
Devizes (51.35258,-1.99576)Koffmann & Mr. White's (51.38068,-2.35731)22.79
Koffmann & Mr. White's (51.38068,-2.35731)Bombay Sapphire Distillery - Laverstoke Mill (51.23485,-1.29663)68.03
Bombay Sapphire Distillery - Laverstoke Mill (51.23485,-1.29663)Bowood House and Gardens (51.42697,-2.04435)50.62
Bowood House and Gardens (51.42697,-2.04435)The Three Tuns Freehouse (51.38026,-1.60376)27.94
The Three Tuns Freehouse (51.38026,-1.60376)Red Lion Freehouse (51.2726,-1.80063)16.38
Red Lion Freehouse (51.2726,-1.80063)Savouring Bath (51.38037,-2.35956)36.63
Savouring Bath (51.38037,-2.35956)Vaughan's Cookery School (51.36509,-1.97376)24.18
Total Distance *304.14 miles
Estimated Journey Time9.79 hours

* Approximate distance by road

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