As the Forest of Bowland’s reputation for artisan food spreads across the country, Katie Wilson at Bowland and Bay is showcasing some of Lancashire’s best artisan food and drink
After 30 years in various tourism and buying roles, the pandemic prompted Katie Wilson to reappraise her life and start her own business.
After 2020 she set her heart on supporting independent artisans in her homeland, developing sustainable micro-adventures, that bring visitors closer than ever before to the latest and finest food around the Forest of Bowland AONB.
Bowland and Bay specialises in food tours across the Forest of Bowland and Morecambe Bay – showcasing the very best produce the region has to offer.
From the wheel of her comfortable Mercedes people carrier, Katie takes groups of up to eight on a magical foodie tour of the finest artisans in the region.
Created for food lovers, in the belief that by eating together and sharing stories, visitors have the opportunity to really engage with producers and reconnect with Lancashire’s unique ‘terroir’ on a deeper level.
Katie’s itineraries offer full and half day food tours, each include 7-8 artisan foodie adventures for adults and children over the age of 12 years. Adventures can include cheese and ice cream at the farm, freshly made bakes and comfort classics. Visiting award winning micro-brewers, gin distilleries and inns. There are plenty of opportunities to buy pantry delights along the way.
Strictly for grown-ups are Katie’s weekend Brewery Tours, visiting five breweries, where guests can taste over 15 beers or sample local craft gins, alongside superb street food.
“For me, Lancashire is one of the UK’s hidden gems,” said Katie. “Our food scene is right up there with renowned foodie hotspots like Burgundy in France or Portland in Oregon and a lot of that is down to our climate.
“Lancashire’s climate means we have incredibly lush grass which in turn means our farmers produce great milk which is turned into some of the best cheese in the country.
“The climate also means we can produce great beef, and all the products you associate with that – including, of course, our famous pies!
“We also have the coastline of Morecambe Bay within easy reach, and the unique seafood that this iconic part of the English coastline produces.
“Lancashire really has it all and I think it’s time the county really shouted about its food culture – not just for foodies from the UK – but from all over the world.”Katie Wilson, Bowland and Bay
Katie runs bespoke tours for larger groups or scheduled tours which couples or individuals can join and meet fellow foodies on the day. There’s such a vast array of options, no two tours are identical and customers can shape their own itinerary to match their tastes, interests and appetites!
“We might visit six or eight artisan producers, ranging from fantastic bakers and pastry chefs, to microbreweries in a barn, a gin distillery high up in the fells or a Michelin-starred restaurant,” said Katie. “One thing you can be sure of however, you won’t go home hungry. This is Lancashire, we do things properly here – there’s no half measures or tiny portions!”
Bowland and Bay Food tours start at £85 per person for a half-day Lancashire Foodie Adventure – including all tastings. For more details, consult our tour schedule.
Contact us direct to discuss your specific needs: 07476 001539 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Based below Nicky Nook fell, Lancashire
Exploring Bowland in a minibus is a more sustainable choice than arriving and travelling by private car. Katie can collect guests from Preston, Lancaster and Clitheroe stations, reducing traffic and pollution in this environmentally sensitive landscape and minimising your carbon footprint.
By visiting and shopping at local cafés, inns and artisan producers, you’re supporting the local rural economy, which increasingly depends on tourism to supplement declining incomes from farming.