Autumn festivals and foodie hotspots

Food festival stalls

Food festival favourites around the UK. Image credit Lionel Heap

Melton Mowbray pies

The famous Melton Mowbray pie. Image credit Lionel Heap

Cheese stall at Melton Mowbray food festival

Image credit Lionel Heap

Why not use the National Cycle Network to travel to these foodie hotspots and sample some of the best treats the UK has to offer this autumn. And by combining it with a cycle ride it's guilt free chomping.

1. Bristol to Bath Railway Path

The Great Bath Feast, 23 September - 8 October 2017

Our Bristol to Bath Path is a 13 mile ride or walk between the two cities. The route starts in the historic harbourside of Bristol, and passes via Mangotsfield, Warmley and Saltford before arriving in the heart of Bath, where you can enjoy the biggest food festival in the South West. You’ll be able to feast on loads of goodies including cheeses, vegetarian dishes, wines, afternoon teas, foraged foods, mushrooms and cider.

2. Fakenham to Harwich, National Route 1

The Great Framlingham Sausage Festival, 8 October 2017

The Fakenham to Harwich section of National Route 1 winds south from Norwich through Whitlingham Country Park and the Mid Yare National Nature Reserve. Follow it for 30 miles through the tranquil countryside of East Anglia and you reach the historic market town of Framlingham, home to an annual celebration of all that is great about the British banger. 

3. National Route 85

Hamper Llangollen Food Festival, 14-15 October 2017

The section of Route 85 between the bustling Welsh country town of Llangollen and Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is popular with families. It’s a haven for sightseers, cyclists and walkers of all ages and the aqueduct is one of the finest in the world. Combine a ride along the picturesque route with a visit to this quaint food festival at Llangollen Pavilion which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. Having been listed as one of the top food festivals in Britain by the Telegraph, it’s sure to be a great day out.

4. National Route 75

The Ship on the Shore, Leith, Edinburgh

Route 75 runs from the centre of Edinburgh on a largely traffic-free path down to The Ship on The Shore at Leith. Why not treat yourself at this seafood and champagne bar, which even has a section on its menu dedicated to crustacea and molluscs.

5. The Cornish Way

Padstow's pasties

Less a festival but more a South West pilgrimage. You can't go without a pasty in Cornwall and The Chough Bakery in the heart of Padstow were winners of the 2016 World Pasty Championships.  The Cornish Way makes up part of Route 32 which travels right into the beautiful coastal town of Padstow, a famous foodie destination.  The next leg between Padstow and Bodmin is known as the Camel Trail and is one of the most popular recreational routes in the country.

6. Newry Canal Ride, National Route 9

Rice’s Hotel, Poyntzpass, Northern Ireland

The cycle and walking route from Portadown to Newry is almost completely traffic-free and ideal for a leisurely cycle.  The towpath ride has a number of wonderful foodie stops and picturesque scenes to enjoy en route. For a traditional menu in a cosy and quaint setting you can’t go wrong with the Rice’s Hotel in the town of Poyntzpass.

7. Celtic Trail East

Monmouthshire food festival, 14-15 October 2017

This autumn, visitors to the Monmouthshire Food Festival at the magnificent Caldicot Castle will be able to explore some of the best food Wales has to offer. From the demonstration theatre – where the very best chefs in the county will be showing off their skills – to the producers’ market, where you’ll find plenty of tasty goodies to take home with you from the local area and beyond. You can reach this foodie day out by cycling along our Celtic Trail East. If panoramic views, wildlife-rich country parks, fascinating heritage sites and attractions is what you’re after then you’ll love this cycle route.

8. Rea Valley Route

Birmingham Oktoberfest, 18-22 October 2017

This October the Birmingham Oktoberfest takes place at the centrally located Eastside City Park. Our Rea Valley route links Birmingham City Centre with Cannon Hill Park and King's Norton Park via the Rea Valley and the shorter Tame Valley. Canal Route 535 links to a traffic-free path running right past the Oktoberfest marquee where you’ll find a variety of German beer, food and music to feast on.

9. Harrogate to Ripley Cycle Route

Afternoon tea at Betty's in Harrogate

Betty's is an institution and it’s only two minutes away from the Harrogate to Ripley cycle route, which begins at Harrogate station. Betty's has been there since 1919 and has over 300 breads, cakes and chocolates. Why not treat yourself to an afternoon tea with miniature sandwiches and handmade cakes and scones – yum.

10. National Route 7

The Lade Inn, near Callander

Winner of a Best Informal Eating Place award and the first inn to achieve CAMRA LocAle Accreditation in the Forth Valley, The Lade Inn serves great food and fantastic real ale. It’s a well-known stopping-off point on the classic Route 7 from Glasgow to Inverness. The Lade Inn itself sits in The Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park with its picturesque lochs, forests and bustling tourist towns

11. National Route 64

East Midlands Food Festival, Melton Mowbray, 7-8 October 2017

Home of the famous pork pie, Melton Mowbray has been recognised as the UK’s Rural Capital of Food and is well worth a stop for food lovers. It has a farmers market every Tuesday which dates back to 1077 and in October hosts the East Midlands Food Festival, one of the top regional food events in the country. Route 64 starts out on the Northamptonshire-Leicestershire border at the pretty town of Market Harborough and travels north to Melton Mowbray. 

12. National Route 6

Family Harvest Festival, Chilterns, 14–15 October 2017 

For something a little different, the Chiltern Open Air Museum holds a traditional Harvest Festival within its thirty rescued and restored buildings. Local folk singers and a display of harvest produce from the Museum’s beautiful historic gardens will be on display. National Route 6 and Buckinghamshire’s Regional Route 30 both pass close to the museum in the heart of the Chilterns.

Check out our favourite tea gardens on the National Cycle Network 

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