Food and Drink in South Lakeland

English Lakes Ice Cream, Kendal

You would be hard-pressed to find anyone who hasn't heard of Grasmere Gingerbread, Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding and the first confectionery to reach the summit of Mount Everest, Kendal Mint Cake, but these famous and traditional foodstuffs sit cheek-by-jowl with a new generation of producers who are shaping the 'taste district'.

Bakers,butchers and manufacturers of preserves, chutneys and relishes, luxury ice cream and innovative infused vinegars abound here – South Lakeland provides an inspirational setting for artisan producers to thrive and create truly outstanding food and beverages.


Sheep farming has literally shaped the landscape of the Lake District with deciduous forest making way for grazing land centuries ago, and the lamb produced in the hills and dales of South Lakeland, along with the Salt Marsh Lamb of the Holker Estate, rivals that of anywhere in the world.


South Lakeland can boast its share of restaurants which currently hold acclaimed Michelin Stars (L'Enclume at Cartmel, The Samling near Ambleside and Holbeck Ghyll, Windermere) along with other outstanding establishments which consistently achieve high recognition.

Food Production

There is an existing base of food producers within the South Lakeland borders. This ranges from HJ Heinz, operating an infant food manufacturing facility in Kendal with nearly 200 staff, to smaller concerns producing everything from Christmas puddings to award-winning bacon. Hawkshead Relish and English Lakes Ice Creams are all well known local food manufacturers.Low Sizergh Barn - Kendal


Every year, South Lakeland celebrates its diverse and unique food and drink economy with a number of popular and well-supported events including the Westmorland County Show attended by over 25,000 people, Kendal Festival of Food and Ulverston's Food Festival, all drawing an audience from around the region and further afield.

Our producers are also supported by local, regional and national retailers who appreciate the benefits of including food and beverages from South Lakeland in their portfolio. Further information can be found in our Retail section


South Lakeland is bursting with market towns - Kendal, Ambleside, Sedbergh, Milnthorpe, Ulverston and Kirkby Lonsdale all host weekly markets. Kendal also hosts a monthly specialist farmers’ market on the last Friday of the month which is not to be missed, as well as an annual food festival which usually takes place in March.