The foodies’ guide to Scotland
Scotland is famed for its provision of incredible food and drink – but you have to know where to find the hidden gems. Whether it’s veggie fare, cheese or seafood that appeals, this country has it in bucketloads.
Our Foodies’ Guide allows you to pack in as much as possible (both in your belly and the schedule!) but also schedules time to rest. After all, constant consumption can get exhausting. If you’re a whisky lover, keep an eye on the blog page as we’ve a guide coming soon that will be right up your street.
Day 1: Glasgow
Your foodie adventure starts in Glasgow or Kilmarnock, when you pick up your Rockinvan. The term ‘Scotland’s natural larder’ might be a bit of a cliché, but there really are very few places in the world where food and drink producers are so plentiful – and unique - as here. It is also a country of contradictions, where curry is seen as a national dish just as much as a fish supper is. But it is Glasgow’s vegan and vegetarian movement that has taken most by surprise in the past few years. Try Mono, The 78 or the 13th Note for genuinely innovative, meat-free dishes that will appeal to non-vegetarians jut as well as they will to those who have pledged their allegiance to vegetables. For something sweet, head to Nardini’s, on Glasgow’s Byres Road. The ice cream parlour has another more established outlet in Largs (North Ayrshire) that is well worth checking out if you’ve time to spend the day beside the sea. Nardini’s and plenty of other similar ventures are included in the newly released Ice Cream Trail – a handy round-up of Scotland’s finest iced goodies and where to find them. Check out Visit Scotland for details. To end the night, try Kelvingrove Café, in trendy Finnieston. One of the best (and newest) offerings the city has, patrons can expect cocktails inspired by nostalgia served in atmospheric environs. Due to the urban environment, there aren’t tons of campsites in the area, but Craigendmuir Park, in Stepps (around eight miles from the city centre) isn’t too far a trek.
Day 2: Dumfries & Galloway
Two hours south of Glasgow is the council region of Dumfries and Galloway. Famed for its stunning beaches and coastal climes, there’s tons for outdoorsy types to do. But the area is also a haven for those who enjoy eating and drinking, with historic breweries, cool cafes and some of the country’s oldest producers in attendance. The Galloway Smokehouse is located in Carsluith and will be a big hit with those who value the tang of wood-smoked salmon or lobster. Its deli is also well stocked for barbecues – essential when the lure of the campsite calls after a long day’s travel. Dumfries and Galloway also holds its own when it comes to distilleries – try Bladnoch or Annandale for a tour steeped in history and a nosy at the malts. No trip to the region would be complete without a visit to Cream O’Galloway. A working dairy farm, there is a visitor centre and play area for kids – but most importantly there are many of the company’s own ice cream flavours to choose from, as well as cheese made on-site. After a day of gluttony, stagger back to Castle Point Caravan and Camping Site and be sure to burn off all those extra calories with a walk (or jog) along the nearby beaches.
Day 3: Borders
The next morning, make the three-hour drive to the Borders. The Scottish Borders are famed for their lamb (and beef), so take the opportunity to sample the area’s meats when visiting. The Kelso Farmers’ Market is a monthly gig on the fourth Saturday of every month offering much in the way of produce, and there is an equivalent in Peebles (on the second Saturday). Other great farm shops include Thistlecockrig Fruit and Veg, also in Peebles, and Whitmuir Organics, in West Linton, where purchases support local farmers and growers. Once you’ve stocked up on essentials (and non-essentials), check out the Borders’ myriad breweries. As well as Scotland’s oldest brewery – Traquair House – there are newer places to discover, including Tempest and Broughton Breweries. Stock up on bottles of craft goodness or take a tour to discover how the process works. Round off the day with a trip to Chain Bridge Honey Farm in Berwick-upon Tweed for a glimpse into the secret life of bees. That night, rock up at the Berwick Seaview Caravan Club Site to prepare for the next step of your foodie adventure.