Located in the Lake District’s Eden Valley, the market town of Penrith is a jumping-off point for art and gastronomic explorations a-plenty. To the west is the tranquil village of Greystoke, home to the family-run Beckstones Art Gallery. The Greystoke Cycle Café nearby is a draw, and not solely for cyclists. Falling firmly into the ‘eccentric’ camp, this tearoom-cum-repair-shop also hosts self-styled ‘quirky workshops’. Fancy mixing up the contemporary and the historic? Try Pot Fest, a peripatetic ceramic market that attracts makers from all over the world.
From Penrith, it’s just a short drive to Little Salkeld and Melmerby, two destinations for lovers of artisan breads and baking. The original Village Bakery in Melmerby sells organic loaves, cakes and French breads (and has gluten-free ranges), while similar fare can be picked up at Little Salkeld’s Water Mill. More importantly, here you can learn about traditional milling (it’s one of the last remaining such mills in the UK) via a variety of baking and cookery courses.