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The Best of the British Isles

We’re celebrating our favorite cheeses, products, and producers from Ireland and the UK all month long! Learn all about the facts and history behind these delicious and iconic staples with our interactive map and features on each cheesemaking region.

Click on the highlighted areas to learn more about each region


East Midlands

The East Midlands of England, which contains the counties of Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, and Derbyshire, maintains a bustling hub of blue cheese production, most notably of Stilton, one of the world’s most popular blues, which was granted Protected Designated Origin, so it can only be produced in this region. Along with Stilton, Colston Bassett Stilton and Shropshire Blue are spicy favorites from these cheesemaking counties.

If you like Stilton, you’ll love Stitchelton, the younger brother of the famed blue. Made as an homage to the original iconic cheese, Stitchelton is creamy and sweet, with traditional notes of caramel and spice.

Ireland

Of course, Ireland is known for producing potatoes and whiskey, but did you know it’s a cheese powerhouse as well? Though their farmhouse cheese moment happened later than some other countries, Ireland’s cheesemaking success can be seen in the popularity of Irish Cheddar and farmhouse favorites like Cashel Blue and Durrus. Varying wildly in flavor and texture, these unique cheeses maintain a distinct taste of place.

London

What comes to mind when you think of London? For us, Earl Grey Tea is the iconic British beverage that we associate with this metropolitan hub. While the technical origins of this herbal favorite are still a bit “grey,” what’s clear is that this timeless blend has been a staple of English Tea Time for centuries.

If you’re reaching for traditional Earl Grey, check out the Brave New Earl blend from Paper & Tea, a full-bodied ode to the classic tea with a hint of citrus fragrance, a hearty helping of juniper, and of course a dash of bergamot.

North West

When we talk about England’s North West region, the first cheese that stands out is Lancashire, which comes in three distinct styles--creamy, tasty, and crumbly. Buttery and rich, it’s made from combining the curd from three consecutive days, giving it a unique mouthfeel.

The other notable cheeses from the North West are Staffordshire and Cheshire, two equally as delicious and timeless examples of English cheesemaking.

Scotland

This small country is a big contributor to the cheese world. With over two dozen producers across the nation, Scotland’s climate and geography make it ideal for cheesemaking and aging, especially for hard cheeses--their specialty. Another Scottish specialty? Scotch whisky, a timeless and beloved drink from this British Isle. If you’re looking to sample some scotch, start with The Macallan, a brand renowned for its meticulous production and impeccable flavor.

South West

It’s the birthplace of Cheddar! This notable region of England, which includes Somerset, is packed with prominent producers who continue to make timeless favorites like English Cheddar and Cotswold. With lush, grassy hills and natural caves, the South West region is ideal for producing large wheels of firm cheese.

At Murray’s, most of our British cheeses hail from this corner of England, such as our bestsellers from Neal’s Yard Dairy and Quicke’s With a wide variety of cheddars and some unique cheeses like Driftwood and Morn Dew, it’s impossible to go wrong with a wheel from the South West.

Wales

This small nation on the west coast of Britain is known for producing Caerphilly, the only traditional cheese associated with Wales. This lush, supple cheese inspired New Hampshire-based Landaff Creamery’s Landaff cheese, a dense yet milky beauty with a yellow paste and mottled rind. Our favorite way to enjoy this rustic cheese? By melting it down for traditional Cotswold Rarebit, a simple and popular dish usually consisting of melted cheese and toast with mustard or spices. Check out our original rarebit recipe for Great Taste by Murray’s using Landaff as an American substitute for the beloved Caerphilly.

West Midlands

Most well known for the Green Belt that protects the farmland around this region, the West Midlands is a small area in the center of England that contains Birmingham, as well as smaller cities like Coventry and Solihull.

One of our favorites from this region is Berkswell, a dense, smooth, and delectably fruity wheel of raw sheep’s milk that changes its flavor profile seasonally. While the late season wheels are musky and yeasty, the spring cheese is bright and redolent of wild strawberries.

East of England

This notable region, which is home to the counties of Bedfordshire, Essex, Norfolk, and Suffolk, among others, is known for cheeses such as Binham Blue, Suffolk Gold, and Baron Bigod, but has recently been put on the map for its chocolate production. Based in the village of Orford, Suffolk, Pump Street Chocolate has been churning out world-famous treats for almost a decade. Located in a 15th-century building, this bread factory-turned-chocolate operation is beloved for its original, handmade blends of unique flavors.