Wensleydale Creamery – For the love of cheese!

Cheese! I do love my cheese. And I do have a favourite, Wensleydale. A big branch of my family tree leads to Yorkshire valley of Wensleydale and as children, my brother and I would be brought here in the area visiting relatives. Maybe that is when I picked up the real taste for the local cheese?

Of course, as many of you may know, it is not just a favourite of mine but also of Wallace, the cheese connoisseur himself  from the Wallace and Gromit animations. Whenever I am visiting Wensleydale I always take the opportunity to grab me a cheese fix at Wensleydale Creamery, Hawes.

Wensleydale cheese on sale

Nestled in the heart of the picturesque Yorkshire Dales, this culinary gem has been producing exquisite cheeses for over a century. From its humble beginnings to its status as a beloved food destination, Wensleydale Creamery encapsulates the essence of British cheesemaking.

With its distinct brand of expertise, the artisans at Wensleydale Creamery have perfected the art of cheese production. Their commitment to using only the finest locally sourced ingredients and time-honored techniques ensures that each bite of their cheese is an explosion of flavor. From the creamy, crumbly goodness of their signature Yorkshire Wensleydale cheese to the unique and innovative blends that grace their shelves, Wensleydale Creamery offers a tantalizing array of choices for cheese connoisseurs.

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Explore the rich history behind Wensleydale Creamery and discover how this iconic institution continues to thrive in the modern world. With a focus on sustainability and quality, their cheeses not only delight the palate but also support local farmers and the environment.

Indulge in the mouthwatering journey that awaits as we delve into the captivating world of Wensleydale Creamery and the cheeses that have captured the hearts of food lovers everywhere.

Wensleydale Creamery sign

The Wensleydale cheese – history and significance

Wensleydale cheese holds a special place in the hearts of cheese enthusiasts around the world. Known for its crumbly texture and mild, creamy flavor, Wensleydale cheese is unlike any other. It is made from cow’s milk and has a pale ivory color that adds to its appeal. This beloved cheese has a rich history that dates back centuries, and its popularity continues to grow.

The origins of Wensleydale cheese can be traced back to the Cistercian monks who settled in the Wensleydale valley in the 12th century. They brought with them the art of cheesemaking and began producing Wensleydale cheese using traditional methods and sheep milk. Over time, the cheese gained recognition and became a staple in the local diet.

Throughout the centuries it was modified by using cows milk and ewes milk. The monastery dissolved in the 1500s but the making of this local cheese was kept going by local farmers and their wives for the next few hundred years.

Industry brought a larger dairy in the late 19th century, but, the depression of the 1930’s almost wiped out cheese manufacture in the valley. Along came a local businessman named Kit Calvert, who managed to rescue the one remaining dairy. Kit Calvert is now the name of a particular type of Wensleydale that is very popular in itself.

Today, Wensleydale cheese is enjoyed not only in the Yorkshire Dales but also across the globe.

Wensleydale Creamery has played a vital role in preserving the heritage of Wensleydale cheese. As the only creamery in the Yorkshire Dales that produces this iconic cheese, they have become synonymous with its quality and authenticity. The creamery’s dedication to maintaining the traditional recipe and crafting each wheel of cheese by hand ensures that the essence of Wensleydale cheese remains intact.

Wensleydale Cheese varieties

The process of making Wensleydale cheese

Creating the perfect wheel of Wensleydale cheese is a labour of love that requires skill and precision. The process begins with sourcing the finest milk from local farms in the Yorkshire Dales. This ensures that the cheese reflects the unique characteristics of the region’s terroir.

Once the milk is collected, it undergoes a careful pasteurization process to remove any harmful bacteria while preserving its natural flavors. The milk is then inoculated with starter cultures that kickstart the fermentation process and develop the cheese’s distinct taste.

After the milk has been cultured, rennet, a natural enzyme, is added to coagulate the milk and form curds. The curds are then cut into small pieces to release the whey and further develop the desired texture of the cheese. The curds are gently stirred and heated to aid in the separation of whey.

Once the whey is drained, the curds are transferred to cheese molds, where they are pressed to remove any remaining moisture. The wheels of cheese are then left to mature and develop their unique flavors and textures. This aging process can vary from a few weeks to several months, depending on the desired characteristics of the cheese.

Wensleydale blue cheese

Different flavours and varieties of Wensleydale cheese

Wensleydale Creamery offers a delightful range of flavours and varieties to cater to every palate. While the classic Wensleydale cheese remains a favorite among cheese enthusiasts, the creamery has also embraced innovation and introduced exciting blends that push the boundaries of traditional cheesemaking.

One of the most popular variations is the Wensleydale cheese with cranberries. The tartness of the cranberries complements the creamy sweetness of the cheese, creating a harmonious balance of flavors. This blend has become a staple on cheese boards and is often enjoyed as a dessert cheese.

For those who prefer a bit of heat, Wensleydale cheese with chili is a perfect choice. The subtle spiciness of the chili adds a kick to the creamy base, creating a cheese that tantalizes the taste buds. This variety pairs exceptionally well with crusty bread or as a topping for grilled burgers.

For a more indulgent experience, Wensleydale cheese with caramelized onion is a must-try. The savory sweetness of the caramelized onions elevates the creamy cheese, resulting in a flavor combination that is simply irresistible. This variety is often enjoyed on its own or melted into a gourmet sandwich for a burst of flavor.

pineapple twist cheese from wensleydale

Pairing Wensleydale cheese with other foods and beverages

Wensleydale cheese’s versatility makes it an excellent companion to a wide range of foods and beverages. Its mild and creamy flavor profile allows it to complement both sweet and savoury dishes, making it a versatile addition to any culinary creation.

When it comes to pairing Wensleydale cheese, the options are endless. For a classic combination, pair it with a crisp apple or a handful of juicy grapes. The natural sweetness of the fruit enhances the creamy flavors of the cheese, creating a delightful contrast of textures and tastes.

If you’re looking for a savory pairing, try Wensleydale cheese with a slice of crusty bread and a dollop of tangy chutney. The bread provides a satisfying crunch, while the chutney adds a burst of flavor that complements the creamy cheese.

For a more adventurous pairing, try Wensleydale cheese with a glass of dry white wine or a hoppy IPA. The acidity of the wine or the bitterness of the beer cuts through the richness of the cheese, creating a harmonious balance that is sure to please the palate.

cheese for sale with chutney at wensleydale creamery

The health benefits of Wensleydale cheese

In addition to its delightful flavors, Wensleydale cheese also offers several health benefits. As a good source of protein and calcium, it contributes to the development and maintenance of strong bones and muscles. It also contains essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B12 and phosphorus, which support overall health and well-being.

Wensleydale cheese is relatively low in fat compared to some other cheeses, making it a healthier choice for those watching their calorie intake. Its creamy texture and rich flavors also make it a satisfying addition to meals, helping to curb cravings and promote feelings of satiety.

However, like all cheeses, moderation is key when enjoying Wensleydale cheese. It is high in sodium, so individuals with specific dietary restrictions or health concerns should consume it in moderation and consult with their healthcare provider if necessary.

Wensleydale Creamery’s commitment to sustainability and local sourcing

Wensleydale Creamery understands the importance of sustainability and supporting local communities. They have taken steps to minimize their environmental impact and ensure the longevity of their operations.

One of the ways Wensleydale Creamery demonstrates its commitment to sustainability is through its use of locally sourced ingredients. By working closely with local farmers, the creamery ensures that the milk used in their cheese comes from cows that are well-cared for and fed a natural diet. This not only supports local agriculture but also contributes to the overall quality and taste of the cheese.

Wensleydale Creamery also takes measures to reduce waste and conserve resources. They have implemented recycling programs and energy-saving initiatives to minimize their carbon footprint. Additionally, they actively participate in community outreach programs, providing educational opportunities for local schools and supporting charitable organizations.

cranberry cheese at Wensleydale

When is it actually Wensleydale Cheese?

The Wensleydale Cheese made here at the Wensleydale Creamery has ‘protected food name status’ too.

Of course we see all kinds of brands and creameries making Wensleydayle Cheese. But, if you want the real, authentic one, made here in Wensleydale, then look for the seal or label stating ‘Yorkshire Wensleydale Cheese’. No other dairy can say that, they would just say Wensleydale Cheese.

Where to buy Wensleydale cheese

Wensleydale cheese can be found in various specialty cheese shops, gourmet food stores, and online retailers. Wensleydale Creamery has its own online store where customers can conveniently order their favourite cheeses and have them delivered to their doorstep.

Additionally, the creamery has a visitor centre on-site, allowing cheese enthusiasts to experience the magic of Wensleydale firsthand and purchase their favorite varieties. This is where I love to visit.

The cheese shop is an area I love to linger. Don’t go there on a full stomach, and enjoy tasting some of the many types of Wensleydale on offer! The variety of types is astounding, from Original to Blue Wensleydale, from blended with cranberries to blended with Apricot. Ginger or pineapple are others that tickled my taste buds surprisingly.

The shop area is not all cheese, cheese and cheese. There is also a vast array of colourful chutneys, preserves, dressings and more to browse.

piccalilly jars in the shop

Whether you’re in the Yorkshire Dales or halfway across the world, Wensleydale cheese is never too far away. Its popularity has made it widely available, ensuring that cheese lovers can indulge in its creamy goodness wherever they may be.

an old fashioned wensleydale kitchen

The Creamery museum

There is a museum at the creamery that takes you back through the ages of tradition. Equipment of old going all the way back plus full recreations of an old farmhouse kitchen.

There is also the opportunity to watch the skilled workers first hand hand- crafting the delicious cheese and the processes in action.

Wensleydale Creamery’s impact on the local community

Blocking & Cutting- wensleydale cheese

Wensleydale Creamery’s presence in the Yorkshire Dales extends beyond its delicious cheeses. It has become an integral part of the local community, supporting farmers, creating jobs, and contributing to the region’s economy.

By working closely with local farmers, Wensleydale Creamery provides a stable market for their milk, helping to sustain their livelihoods. This partnership ensures that the creamery can continue to produce high-quality cheeses while supporting the agricultural heritage of the Yorkshire Dales.

In addition to supporting farmers, Wensleydale Creamery also creates employment opportunities for the local community. The creamery employs skilled cheesemakers, who carry on the tradition of crafting Wensleydale cheese by hand. This not only preserves the art of cheesemaking but also provides valuable jobs that contribute to the local economy.

Wensleydale Creamery’s commitment to the community goes beyond the economic impact. They actively engage with the local community through education and outreach programs. By sharing their knowledge and passion for cheesemaking, they inspire future generations to appreciate the art and science behind creating exceptional cheeses.

Dinsdales of hawes


Wensleydale Creamery has undoubtedly earned its place as a beacon of excellence in the world of cheesemaking. With its commitment to quality, sustainability, and the local community, it has become more than just a creamery—it is a symbol of tradition, craftsmanship, and innovation.

From the classic Wensleydale cheese to the tantalizing blends that push the boundaries of flavor, Wensleydale Creamery offers a cheese for every palate. Whether enjoyed on its own, paired with other foods, or incorporated into recipes, Wensleydale cheese delights the senses and leaves a lasting impression.

So, next time you find yourself craving a taste of British cheesemaking at its finest, look no further than Wensleydale Creamery. Indulge in the mouthwatering journey that awaits and experience the magic of their exquisite cheeses. From pastures to palates, Wensleydale Creamery continues to captivate food lovers around the world, one wheel of cheese at a time.

Things to do and places to visit nearby

Of course, Wensleydale, in the Yorkshire Dales is a wonderful place to visit and so much to see and do nearby to Wens;eydale Creamery. For instance:

Explore Hardraw Force: Discover England’s highest single-drop waterfall, located just outside of Hawes. Enjoy the picturesque surroundings and take a memorable walk to the falls.

Take a trip to Aysgarth Falls: Witness the beauty of this stunning waterfall cascade, which was featured in the movie Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Explore the walking trails and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.

Discover the Dales Countryside Museum: Learn about the heritage and traditions of the Yorkshire Dales through interactive exhibits and displays. Gain insight into the local history and rural life of the area.

Go underground at White Scar Cave: Embark on a fascinating underground adventure through England’s longest show cave. Marvel at the impressive limestone formations and learn about the cave’s geological significance.

Enjoy a hike in the Yorkshire Dales National Park: Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the area by exploring the well-maintained trails that wind through rolling hills. Nearby you have classic mountains to climb like Whernside or Ingleborough.

Drive over Buttertubs Pass: Nearby you have one of the best sections of road to drive in the country. Take a drive up and over the pass for spectacular scenery.

Visit the Hawes Ropemakers: Witness the traditional craft of rope-making at this family-run business. Learn about the techniques used and browse their selection of handmade ropes and twines.

Experience the Wensleydale Railway: Take a scenic train ride through the stunning countryside of Wensleydale. Enjoy the nostalgic atmosphere and soak in the picturesque views from the vintage carriages.

Explore the Forbidden Corner: Uncover the mysteries of this unique attraction, filled with hidden tunnels, chambers, and whimsical sculptures. Get lost in the labyrinthine pathways and enjoy the surprises around every corner.

Discover the history of Hardraw Old School Bunkhouse: Explore the fascinating exhibits and artifacts that exhibit the history of education in the Dales. Learn about the hardships and achievements of local schools throughout the years.

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  1. Serena Nelson says:

    Cheese is amazing mottsrella sharp cheddar yumm God bless

  2. My face’ cheese…..

  3. Barbara Weibel says:

    Oh! I do love me some cheese!!! Must find a way to do this. You’ve officially made me hungry now…

    1. Paul Steele says:

      sorry Barbara 🙂 yes.. a corner of the world you must visit

  4. Tracey Rickard says:

    I visited the creamery a long time ago, thanks for the photos a superb reminder of a lovely place to go!

    1. Paul Steele says:

      Thanks Tracey.. yes a wonderful place to go.. love the whole valley 🙂

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