Discover the Dales

Yorkshire Food

Swaledale Cheese

Cheese

The Yorkshire Dales can be proud of a number of quality cheeses made in the heart of the Dales with locally sourced milk from cows, ewes and goats – giving you the most divine taste of Yorkshire!

We are very honoured to have two celebrated creameries in the Yorkshire Dales – The Wensleydale Creamery and The Swaledale Cheese Company. Both of which have been recognised nationally winning many prestigious awards.

The history of Cheese Making in the Yorkshire Dales

It is believed that cheese making was originally brought to the Yorkshire Dales by Cistercian Monks from Normandy. During the 12th Century the Cistercian Monks settled in many of the local abbeys and monasteries in and around the Yorkshire Dales. They carried out many tasks such as patient care and education. They also had the duty to feed all the people in the institution. As money was scarce the monks cultivated plants, reared livestock and most famously made cheese.

The Cistercian Monks passed on their knowledge of cheese making to the local farmers wives. The traditional cheese making techniques were then passed through the generations in the Yorkshire Dales. Although there was a decline in cheese making during the war, the passion and determination from a number of cheese makers in the area meant that this industry survived and grew to produce the wonderful cheeses we have today – some still made by hand!