Us Londoners love a bit of cheese. But we're not alone, the average person in the UK consumes 10kgs of the smelly stuff each year. With over 700 types of cheese made in the UK, plus the fact that the International Cheese Awards take place annually each July in Nantwich, Britain is undoubtedly the grand fromage of the cheese industry. And for an even grater choice of cheese, why not head to the Continent too?
For brie-liant ideas of where to enjoy a cheesy break at home or abroad, get ready to cheddar tear for these pun-ridden suggestions from Pitchup.com.
Say cheese... UK sites:
No cheese lover would consider a cheese-themed break without including the king of British cheese, cheddar! There are plenty of places in Somerset to try out a slice and where better to stay than Cheddar Petruth Paddocks? The owners are cheddar fanatics and will give visitors a special guide and insight into the region famed for its cheese and caves.
Price: Book a shepherd’s hut, custom-made by local craftsmen in the Mendip Hills, from £70 per night for up to four people, or try the on-site tipis from £75 per night.
Invented in the 1700s in the village of the same name by a Mr Cooper Thornhill, landlord of the Bell Inn, and sold to travellers on the Great North Road, this unique blue cheese is a British institution. Stock up on stilton and enjoy tucking in as you stay on the stunning 235-acre parkland surrounding Billing Aquadrome, just a 50-minute drive from the town of Stilton itself. The park has camping pods for four and facilities including a pool, splash zone, indoor play area and amusement park.
Price: A camping pod for four starts from £40 per night (guests should bring their own bedding and linen).
This dense, crumbly cheese is produced in Cheshire (obvs) as well as four other neighbouring counties, Denbighshire and Flintshire in Wales, plus Shropshire and Staffordshire in England. Crow Camp Tipis is set in 30 acres of the beautiful Cheshire Plain, where visitors can meet reindeer or take some time out fishing in one of five coarse fishing lakes on site. There’s also a children's play park. The spacious tipis have three double-sized futons.
Price: Tipis start from £100 per night for up to six people.
Pay homage to fromage... sites in France:
Hailing from the Normandy town of the same name, Camembert is perfect when popped in the oven until soft in the middle, then eaten with a crusty baguette. Château de Lez-Eaux campsite in Basse-Normandie is set on 12 acres of green land and offers traditional camping and caravan pitches as well as modern chalets. Entertainment-wise, there’s plenty on site including a large aquatic park, waterslides, paddling pool, heated outdoor pool, multiple sports, fishing, and a kids’ club in July and August.
Price: Book a two-bedroom lodge, sleeping five, from £46.04 per night.
Matured in ancient caves in a village called Roquefort-sur-Soulzon, this ewes’ milk cheese takes three months to ripen into semi-soft, crumbly, white cheese with blue-green veins and a sweet, tangy flavour – delicious with pasta or as a blue cheese dressing. Stay at Camping La Boissière and take advantage of sporting facilities including football, basketball and volleyball, and the aquatic centre consisting of a large pool, a paddling pool and a whirlpool. Plus there are extra activities for kids.
Price: Book an electric grass pitch from £12.24 per night.
Brie de Meaux, made in Île-de-France – has a tradition going back over 1,000 years. The famous poet Eustache Deschamps – not a lover of France – reportedly said of the famous cheese: ‘Brie de Meaux is the only good thing to come out of this country.’ Its more salty sister, Brie de Melun is stronger and more robust. Shoot the brie-ze at Camping La Belle Etoile on the River Seine in Melun and try the famous Brie de Melun pizza and the local artisan beer Bière de Brie.
Price: A three-bedroom holiday home sleeps six and starts from £51 per night.
More ‘Gouda’ options… elsewhere in Europe:
Named after the town of Gruyères in Switzerland, gruyère is one of the finest cheeses for baking, particularly suited for fondues and French onion soup - and it goes down well with a Riesling and even with a sprinkling of nutmeg! Enjoy to the full, then work it off by walking, mountain biking, paragliding or mountaineering from Camping Molignon, an excellent base for exploring the Swiss Alps.
Price: From £15.04 per night for two people on a grass tent pitch; or from £302.15 for a seven-night stay in a two-bedroom holiday cabin (sleeps up to five people).
Take a tour of the small cheese factories in Olbia, Sardinia, and discover all about pecorino romano – the best known of the pecorino family. Pitch up in a tent or campervan at Centro Vacanze Isuledda, in a picture-postcard beach location just off the Costa Smeralda, where you can sample the cheese at the site’s pizzeria and grill house.
Price: From £18 for two people per night, including satellite TV connection.
Queso de nata de Cantabria
This delicious mild, creamy cheese is hard to come by – only a handful of farms produce it nowadays and 80% is consumed in the immediate area of northern Spain. Indulge as the locals do and enjoy it for breakfast, lunch or dinner, or on its own while taking in the surroundings of Camping El Helguero, a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts with plenty of facilities including a swimming pool and separate toddlers' pool plus an extensive entertainment programme.
Price: From £14 per night for a grass motorhome pitch.