Walk your way through Christmas Dinner

Here's your guide to some of our best festive food on a cook's tour of the culinary capitals of the British Isles!


The sweet chestnut was introduced to Britain from Europe, and so it tends to be more prevalent in the estates and parkland of southern England. The nuts are available from mid-October and give off an unmistakable warm aroma when gently roasted over embers and served hot. They make brilliant soup and are a wonderful addition to home-made stuffing.

GET THEM HERE: Mature estate woodlands including London's great parks and the grounds of stately homes in the home counties.

WALK HERE: Download our 'Richmond Hill' walk from www.lfto.com/cwroutes


Farmed salmon is more sustainable than the increasingly scarce wild fish, but intensive salmon farms have come in for criticism. Look for fish reared on the west coast of Scotland, in sea lochs with strong tidal currents. These minimise the impact of the waste on the surrounding ecosystem, and the flesh of the salmon will be firmer and leaner.

GET IT HERE: Inverawe Smokehouse, Taynuilt, Argyll (www.smokedsalmon.co.uk).

WALK HERE: There are pretty woodland walks direct from the visitor centre.


While we can't actually refer to it as champagne, sparkling English wine is now regularly beating French fizz in blind tastings. Our friends across the Channel are so worried that they're busy buying up swathes of Sussex and Kent in a bid to stop English winemakers stealing any more of their thunder. So if you usually indulge in a drop of fizz to celebrate the festive season, buying British is the way to go this Christmas.

GET IT HERE: Ridgeview, West Sussex (www.ridgeview.co.uk); Chapel Down, Kent (www.chapeldown.com); Camel Valley, Cornwall (www.camelvalley.com).

WALK HERE: The Camel Trail passes beneath the Camel Valley Vineyard, while Ridgeview's vines grow on the chalky slopes of the South Downs - download our 'Ditching Beacon' walk from www.lfto.com/cwroutes


No Christmas dinner is complete without some chipolata sausages on the side. Buy British and look for a minimum of 80% meat content - ideally from outdoor-reared free-range porkers such as Gloucester Old Spots or Tamworths.

GET THEM HERE: Cowmans Famous Sausage Shop, Clitheroe, Lancashire (www.cowmans.co.uk).


For perfect devils on horseback, you'll need bacon that roasts nice and crisp rather than steams itself in the oven - so a good dry cure with no excess water is essential. Look for handsalted rashers that have been cured over time, not injected with artificial smoke and frozen before slicing.

GET IT HERE: Denhay Farms, Bridport, Dorset (www.denhay.co.uk).


Turkey is the centrepiece of the traditional Christmas lunch, so it's worth seeking out a good one. Organic freerange birds that have been reared naturally in the open air will cook more evenly and taste better, so the additional investment definitely pays off.

GET IT HERE: Woodlands Farm, Kirton, Lincs (www.woodlandsfarm.co.uk).

WALK HERE: See the turkeys - and several other animals - on the 1.5-mile trail around Woodlands Farm.


Once an English Christmas fixture, goose has made a bit of a comeback as families look for a more strongly flavoured alternative to turkey. You'll be spooning fat from the roasting tray every hour, but it's ideal for roast spuds!

GET IT HERE: Seldom Seen Farm, near Billesdon, Leicestershire (www.seldomseenfarm.co.uk).

8. HAM

Gently simmered in orange juice and spices, studded with cloves and slathered in marmalade before roasting, the traditional Christmas ham is almost as important as the turkey. The Woodall family have been producing outstanding hams in the western Lake District for nearly 200 years - call in at their tiny shop in Waberthwaite then explore the gorgeous valley of Eskdale.

GET IT HERE: RB Woodall, Millom, Cumbria (www.rbwoodall.com).

WALK HERE: Download our 'Muncaster' walk at www.lfto.com/cwroutes


Love 'em or hate 'em, sprouts are among the few fresh vegetables available in deepest winter, as they grow above ground and are best harvested after a hard frost. Acres of Brussels are grown in the fertile Fens to reach their peak in late December.

GET THEM HERE: TH Clements, Boston, Lincolnshire (www.thclements.co.uk).


If you plan to make your own, best get your skates on as 'stir-up Sunday', when you're supposed to make the mixture and let it mature, is on November 23rd. If you've left it too late, try the gourmet puds from the Lakeland artisans who introduced sticky toffee pudding to the world.

GET IT HERE: Cartmel Village Shop, Cumbria (www.cartmelvillageshop.co.uk).

WALK HERE: Pick up a Cartmel pud then wander up the Cistercian Way to the top of Hampsfell for stunning views over expansive Morecambe Bay. Download our 'Hampsfell' route from www.lfto.com/cwroutes


No festive feast would be complete without a selection of cheese. Ours would be sure to include the following: Caerphilly, Crumbly Lancashire, Hartington Stilton, Isle of Arran Cheddar, Somerset Brie and Wensleydale.

GET THEM HERE: Hartington Cheese Shop, Derbyshire (www.hartingtoncheeseshop.co.uk).

WALK HERE: The pretty village of Hartington, at the head of Dovedale in the Peak District, has recently restarted production of its distinctive stilton. Download our 'Hartington' route from www.lfto.com/cwroutes


At 1164ft above sea level in the upper reaches of Glen Trium, Dalwhinnie is Scotland's highest distillery, and its soft, sweet whisky makes the perfect digestif after your bumper Christmas lunch. It also makes a warming tipple for a cold day on the hill.

GET IT HERE: Dalwhinnie Distillery, Inverness-shire (www.discoveringdistilleries. com).

WALK HERE: Explore Glen Trium on our walk beside the falls below the distillery: download 'Glen Trium' from www.lfto.com/cwroutes