CARAVANNING IS FOODIE heaven! One of the joys of touring is the food we get to eat – caravan- and barbecue-cooked meals, and especially local produce from the region you’re visiting. Many parks have shops selling local produce, and some also have full-on farm shops nearby. We’ve listed some of our favourites here.
Somerset: Cheddar Mendip Heights C&CC Site & The Priddy Good Farm Shop
This spacious C&CC campsite is in a fabulous location at the top of Cheddar Gorge, and close to many of Somerset’s best attractions.
Handily, if you turn left out of the gate, you’ll find the Priddy Good Farm Shop just up the road. (It’s near the charming village of Priddy – geddit?)
This is a working farm, and inside the shop you’ll find a wide range of the best meats you’ll ever taste, the livestock having been raised on the farm. We had steak for the barbecue and it was delicious.
PGFS is famous for its tempting pastries, award-winning pies and unbeatable scotch eggs.
Recently a café has been added to the shop, and its breakfasts are supposed to be brilliant. The staff are super-friendly and helpful when it comes to recommendations, too.
Bedfordshire: Top End Farm Caravan Site and Farm Shop
This open, level and verdant campsite is immaculately kept and offers roomy pitches, great facilities and a fun play area for the kids. It also boasts the best farm shop in the area, with fresh, local produce arriving daily from farmers and grocers.
Tasty fruit, vegetable boxes, quality-reared meats and free-range eggs are on offer, and you can be reassured that the ‘food miles’ have been minimised. Top End Farm Shop also stocks a range of general food, household essentials and daily newspapers.
- Top End Farm Caravan Site and Farm Shop
- Colmworth Road, Little Staughton, Bedfordshire, MK44 2BY
- Tel 01234 376 426
Cambridgeshire: Sacrewell Farm
Sacrewell Farm is ideally situated for anyone undertaking a long trip north or southgm as it’s less than a mile off the A1 at the A47 junction, just north of Peterborough.
The flattish site offers electric pitches and has many facilities, which it shares with the ‘activity farm’ next door. The site also has a farm shop and café.
The shop sells lots of high-quality brands, although they are not necessarily local ones. These include Grasmere meats and pies, Marshfield Farm dairy ice cream, Mrs Bridge’s preserves and Driver’s pickles.
The free-range eggs are laid locally and the Two Chimps coffee is blended in the bordering county, Lincolnshire.
Right next door is Riverford Organics, the boxed organic produce people. You may be able to arrange a delivery to your ‘van door!
- Sacrewell Farm
- Thornhaugh, Peterborough, PE8 6HJ
- Tel 01780 782 254
Leicestershire: Tomlinson’s Camping & Farm Shop
Get back to nature at Tomlinson’s seven-acre-meadow campsite near Nuneaton. The site offers tranquil, off-grid camping close to the Battle of Bosworth historic site, with a fishery next door and the Ashby canal walks close by.
Tomlinson’s well-stocked farm shop is a bonus for meat-lovers, with a huge variety of local and home-reared meats on offer – beef, lamb, rare-breed pork, free-range chicken, briskets, steaks, mince, chops and fillets – and great-value barbecue packs, too.
This back-to-basics site encourages campfires and barbecues so get ready to sizzle some delicious bangers, burgers or steaks over an open flame.
Cheese, milk, cream and farmhouse butter from the dairy are also available, as are to-die-for cakes, bread and pork pies from the bakery.
Of course, standard groceries, including fresh local vegetables, porridge, muesli, jams, chutneys, sauces and pickles can be bought here, too.
Fancy a break from cooking? Nearby Stoke Golding has three pubs serving food, one of which has an Indian restaurant for eat-in and takeaways. Sounds like foodie nirvana to us!
- Tomlinson’s Camping & Farm Shop
- Romerden Farm, Upton Lane, Stoke Golding, Leicestershire, CV13 6EU
- Tel 01455 212 199
Essex: Spencer’s Farm, Shop & Campsite
Spencer’s site got very good reviews on TripAdvisor, and it’s not hard to see why. This compact site is sheltered and offers all-year camping, thanks to two new hardstanding pitches – the rest are grass.
As well as showers, drinking water and an Elsan point, you’re just 150 yards from the farm’s excellent shop, with its splendid coffee shop attached.
Inside the shop, there’s a huge range of produce, from cakes, scones and biscuits to soups, hams, chutneys and sausage rolls.
Located close to the A131 between Halstead and Sudbury, Spencer’s store won Essex Farm Shop of the Year in 2016.
If you arrive late on site, or can’t be bothered to cook for any reason, frozen ready meals are also available at the shop in one- and two-portion sizes. They cost from just £3.75 per meal.
- Spencer’s Farm Shop & Campsite
- Wickham St Paul’s, Essex, CO9 2PX
- Tel 01787 267 977
Wales: Thornhill Farm Shop and New House Farm CL
Tranquil New House Farm is a Caravan & Motorhome Club CL with five hardstanding pitches set in a gently sloping orchard. Electric hook-up is available and the site shares its location with the lovely Thornhill Farm Shop (open Monday to Saturday) and Antlers Coffee Shop, so you really do have the best of all worlds.
The farm shop stocks lots of great local produce, including home-baked bread and cakes, preserves, and fresh fruit and veg. Delicious home-reared meats are also available in the butcher’s department (open Tuesday to Saturday), where the expert butcher will help you select the best cuts.
- Thornhill Farm Shop & New House Farm CL
- Capel Gwilym Road, Lisvane, CF14 9UB
- Tel 02920 611 707
North Yorkshire: Crows Nest Caravan Park and Redcliffe Farm Shop
Crows Nest Caravan Park is just yards from Yorkshire’s dramatic coastline and is the perfect setting for a relaxing break.
To make things even better, only five minutes away is the fantastic Redcliffe Farm Shop, offering lots of traditional fare and other locally sourced goodies.
Grass-fed beef is a speciality and you can also buy totally natural, local, free-range eggs, the sort with delicious orangey double yolks – no tasteless, pale mass-produced imitations here!
Thrown in an on-farm bakery selling pastries and bread, and you’ve got all of the bases covered for a delicious ‘van-cooked feast.
Whoops! Nearly forgot pudding! Check out the ‘home-baked’ deliciousness ‘imported’ from Elizabeth Botham, up the road at Whitby.
North Yorkshire: Beadlam Grange Campsite and Farm Shop
Beadlam Grange combines a lovely, level, one-acre campsite and a really fabulous farm shop.
The five-pitch C&CC CS has easy access, and peace and quiet come as standard in the rolling hills of North Yorkshire.
Open from Easter to October, the site has a brand new facilities block and each pitch has hook-up.
The Farm Shop & Deli are on site and have their own resident butchers, who’ll freely offer advice on the best cuts and the best way to cook the delicious meats on offer.
It would be easier to list the things that you can’t buy at Beadlam Grange, as just about every culinary and beverage base is covered, from local bakery goods and dairy product to those summer essentials, Proseccon and Yorkshire gin!
- Beadlam Grange Campsite and Farm Shop
- Beadlam, Helmsley, YO62 7TD
- Tel 01439 770 303
Worcestershre: Lincomb Lock Caravan Park and Bell’s Farm Shop
Lincomb Lock is a lush and verdant campsite on the banks of the tranquil River Severn. The flat touring pitches have hook-up and bask in sunshine most of the day. Enjoy a peaceful wander along the river from the site, or take your fishing tackle, and aim to catch some roach, bream, perch, chub, carp or barbel.
Just two minutes away is Bell’s Farm Shop, a light and spacious store stocking all sorts of locally grown produce. Forty acres of pick-your-own fruit and vegetables are also available at certain times of the year, including eating apples from mid-August to October and raspberries from late June to September.
Bedfordshire: South Meadows Caravan Park and Sunnyhill Farm Shop
South Meadows Caravan Park is close to one of Britain’s finest coastlines – the wild east coast of Northumberland. This beautiful, and sometimes desolate, coastline is perfect for dog-walks, hiking, beach time and surfing. History buff will be in seventh heaven, too, with more amazing castles than almost any other coastline, never mind the incredible Holy Island of Lindisfarne.
Everyone will appreciate the area’s foodie qualities, too, from delicious local Craster kippers to the huge range of quality product at Sunnyhills Farm Shop, just across the way.
Sunnyhills stocks an excellent range of cooked and fresh meats, hand0made pies and pastries, fresh brads and take-away meals.
Local businesses carefully selected by Sunnyhills to supply produce include Chain Bridge Honey Farm, The Great Northumberland Bread Company, Doddington Dairy and Willow Cottage Jams & Chutneys – all maintain high standards of quality and freshness.
Leicestershire: High Meadows Farm Campsite
This family-run campsite is set in a tranquil, rural location. It already has a great reputation, but – not ones to sit on their laurels – the owners have made it even better with the addition of a Farm Shop/delicatessen. The shop offers lots of tasty and healthy, locally grown and reared produce: fruit and vet, cheese and bread, plus chilled wine in BBQ season.
The adult-only site offers views of Beacon Hill and the Soar Valley, and it’s a great place to get away from the hubbub of modern life.
- High Meadows Farm Campsite
- Melton Road, Barrow-upon-Soar, Leicestershire, LE12 8HX
- Tel 01509 412 719
Cumbria: Kendal C&MC Site and Low Sizergh Barn
This site features 140 pitches set in English woodland. Park amid the wild flowers and relax for a tranquil break at one of the country’s quietest parks. Take your binoculars for bird-and star-spotting, or head off into the hills using this site as a base.
A short drive away, down the tastily titled Nannypie Lane, Low Sizergh Barn is a charming farm shop close to Kendal. Its oak-beamed ceiling and rustic staircase make this a great place to peruse a wide range of artisan foods and crafts.
Sourced locally where possible, the meat and award-winning cheese selections are exemplary. The highlight is perhaps the three cheeses made using milk from the farm’s own herd: Kendal Creamy, Kendal Crumbly and Kendal Crumbly with Red Onion.
Perthshire: Noah’s Ark Caravan Park and Gloagburn Farm Shop
Handily located to the west of the picturesque city of Perth, Noah’s Ark Caravan Park is an open-plan campsite with 50 large pitches. All have hook-up and free Wi-Fi. Dogs are welcome and you can bus it into the city if you fancy a pint, gin or wee dram.
It’s an ideal stopover before heading out on the North Coast 500, but stock up first at the nearby Gloagburn Farm Shop.
This excellent emporium of all things tasty stocks artisan Scottish produce, as well as a large range of goodies produced right here on the farm From traditionally raised pork and beef to free-range eggs and homemade savouries.