Food festivals and places to feast on the National Cycle Network

Cyclist shopping at the local farmers market

We have searched far and wide for the very best places to get your taste buds raring to go for a cycle ride this autumn

Food festival stalls

Food festival favourites around the UK. Image credit Lionel Heap

Cheese stall at Melton Mowbray food festival

Image credit Lionel Heap

We have searched far and wide for the very best places to get your taste buds raring to go for an autumnal cycle ride. 

Whether you are looking for a place to stop and sample delicious culinary delights during a long cycle ride, or consider yourself an expert of haute cuisine, these autumn festivals and foodie destinations are perfect for tasting some of the best food and drink the UK has to offer.

Bristol and Bath Railway Path

Wine, Cheese & Chocolate Festival Bristol

If you consider yourself a connoisseur of the very best in British artisanal food suppliers you will not want to miss this one-day event in Bristol. Taking place every November, the organisers promise tantalising talks and demonstrations, with enough tasty food stalls to pack your pantries with delicious goodies. Just a short cycle the start/finish of the Bristol and Bath Path, this festival is in a perfect location if you are local to Bristol or Bath. 

Fakenham to Harwich, National Cycle Network Route 1

The Great Framlingham Sausage Festival

The Fakenham to Harwich section of National Cycle Network 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. The festival was going to take a break for 2019, but its soaring popularity meant that organisers quickly scrapped those plans. 

National Cycle Network Route 85

Hamper Llangollen Food Festival

The section of Route 85 between the bustling Welsh country town of Llangollen and Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is popular a popular destination with families. It’s a haven for sightseers 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. Having been listed as one of the top food festivals in Britain by the Telegraph, it’s sure to be a great day out.

National Cycle Network 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 crustaceans and molluscs.

The Cornish Way

Padstow's pasties

Less of a festival and more of 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 National Cycle Network 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.

Newry Canal Ride, National Cycle Network 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.

North Wales Coastal Route 

Gwledd Conwy Feast

On the north coast of Wales, in the medieval riverside town of Conwy, a wholesome celebration of food, music and the arts takes place towards the end of October. With over 150 food stalls, packed full of activities and artistic offerings, including an edible "banquet of art", this truly is a foodie's dream! The North Wales Coastal Route stretches from Holyhead to Chester and follows the beautiful Welsh coastline passing a multitude of historical towns and villages. 

Rea Valley Route

Birmingham Oktoberfest

The Birmingham Oktoberfest usually 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. 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.

The Nidderdale Greenway - 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 types of bread, cake and chocolate. Why not treat yourself to an afternoon tea with miniature sandwiches and handmade cakes and scones – yum.

Loch and Glens North

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 National Cycle Network Route 7 from Glasgow to Inverness. The Lade Inn itself sits in Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park with its picturesque lochs, forests and bustling tourist towns.

National Cycle Network Route 64

East Midlands Food Festival, Melton Mowbray

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. 

National Cycle Network Route 6

Family Harvest Festival, Chilterns

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 Cycle Network Route 6 passes close to the museum in the heart of the Chilterns.

Check out our favourite fish and chip shops on the National Cycle Network 

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