The Three Counties Food and Drink Festival is the most exciting culinary event to hit Malven in…as long as we can remember. Packed with first-rate local and artisanal food products to sample, award-winning chef demos to watch and fantastic stalls to browse, this event has us clearing our diaries for Sat 29 and Sun 30 July in anticipation.
Win two free one-day tickets to the show (worth £24)
As readers and lovers of The Extra Mile, we know that you love to eat locally. You like sampling freshly-made flavours and talking to producers who really care about where their ingredients come from. At the Three Counties Showground in Malvern, this is exactly what you can expect. To give you a little helping hand on your way to the show – freeing up a few pounds to spend on the excellent foodies wares once you get in – we’ve got a pair of tickets to give away. Simply visit our Facebook or Instagram pages and Like the relevant Three Counties food and Drink Festival post, tagging in a friend, to be in with a chance to win. We’ll announce the winners on 24 July, to give you a handful of days to get organised.
What's on at the Festival
There is an embarrassment of activities to enjoy, including demos, tastings, cocktail-making, family-friendly workshops and more. There’s a Celebrity Chef Cookery Theatre, with guests including Rosemary Shrager, John Whaite, Matt Pritchard, Chris Bavin, Matt Tebbutt, Jean-Christophe Novelli and Masterchef finalist, Pookie.
To find out more, visit The Three Counties Food and Drink Festival, and set your Sat Nav for WR13 6NW now (opens Google Maps). To be in with your chance to win two free tickets, head over to our Social channels and Like and tag in a friend now. Good luck!
We pride ourselves on championing some of the very best, and most considerate producers in the country, but some of them really go the extra mile when it comes to minimising their use of chemicals and nurturing nature in the process. Here are a few of our favourite cafes, restaurants and farms walking the organic talk, but for more stops featuring organic goodies, just have a look at the ‘find a stop’ section of our website and search using the ‘organic’ icon.
Run by the CEO of the Soil Association, the Royal Oak has the organic ethos in its DNA. The dining pub stands at the centre of Eastbrook Farm, an organically run outfit in Wiltshire’s Marlborough Downs, and serves home-reared meat and home-grown produce. You will genuinely taste the difference in the quality of the ingredients. Mouthwatering.
The beans might not be grown on our shores, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t care where our coffee comes from. Owens sure does. Committed to supplying organic beans from ethically run estates, the company walks the sustainable, nature friendly talk. That means you can rest easy when you sup on a cortado and cake on the sunny terrace.
As a proudly biodynamic, community-owned farm, Plaw Hatch is guaranteed to supply similarly organic ingredients to its café. After watching the cow milking at 4pm, head to the pantry to stock up on locally produced cheese, honey, loafs of sourdough, and veggies from the garden, and grab a coffee and cake while you’re at it.
There are more than 2,000 organic products at this beautiful farm shop in the Durham countryside. Careful stewards of the countryside, the owners here rear cows, sheep, pigs and chickens in step with the local wildlife. Stop in to stock up on deli goods and enjoy a nice cold drink.
A trail-blazer in the organic movement, Fordhall Farm ditched chemicals in its farming more than 65 years ago. Today, it’s community-owned and still true to its nature friendly ethos. The same goes for the food in Arthurs Farm Kitchen, housed in a beautifully renovated old dairy. Enjoy plates made from organic cheddar, pasture-fed pigs, and chemical-free jams.
Shelves at this socially inspired enterprise are filled with organic vegetables – many grown up the road at the charity’s own fabulous Snakehall Farm, which is committed to organic growing methods. The same ethos applies to the food available in the café, where you can grab a barista coffee and warm bake from the kitchen.
Road tripping to Glastonbury? Looking for somewhere to stop for food on your way to the mighty Glasto? If you’re in need of proper, good food ahead of a weekend of hedonistic indulgence, we’ve got you covered. These fabulous local businesses are mere minutes from some of the main road routes to the great tented music city.
Driving to Glastonbury from the north: Hartley Farm Shop
For those wending their way south of the M4 on the way to Pilton, it’s worth planning a stop at Hartley Farm Shop near Bradford-on-Avon. You can line stomachs with proper farm house breakfasts or wood-fired pizzas (depending on the time of day) and grab some car snacks for the onward journey. We’ll never stop going on about sausage rolls as a supreme car snack, and theirs are excellent. A first-rate place to stop to eat en route to Glastonbury.
Heading to Glasto off the M5: Honey and Ginger
If you’re driving the fast M5 route to Glastonbury, it’s a short swoosh off the carriageway to find Honey and Ginger. As the Extra Mile is Bristol-based, you’re in our stomping ground so we’re regulars at this fabulous shop and café. Grab yourself a frothy coffee and pastry to tide you over the rest of your journey, and if you’re a late arrival to the festival and passing on a Friday, don’t miss the doughnut specials.
Driving to Glasto from the east: Teals Farm Shop, Somerset
Driving to Glasto from London or the east? The A303 takes you most of the way from London to the Glastonbury festival site. The most direct Google maps route will take you off a little earlier to cut through Warminster, but stay on the main road a bit longer and you’ll avoid some traffic AND get to stop at the marvellous Teals Farm Shop. You can stock up on camping supplies in the cavernous food hall, have a hearty plate in the café, or cool down with a gelato ice cream.
Driving west to Glastonbury: Longstock Park Farm Shop
If you’re driving from the east to Glasto on the A303 and want to find somewhere good and local to eat on your way, a 10-minute detour can have you at the door of Longstock Park Farm Shop. Estate-harvested ingredients are whipped into delicious brunches and lunches and the cakes are second-to-none. Grab a bench in the orchard to peruse the set listings over an iced coffee before you reach festival bedlam. This is actually the farm shop of Waitrose and Partners (not a lot of people know that) so the quality is predictably high.
Driving to Glastonbury from Wales: visit Haughmond Village Store
Driving down to the festival of festivals from North Wales? Split the journey at Haughmond Village Store, Café and Bakery. As the name suggests, it’s an all-rounder. Pep yourself up with a coffee while you charge your electric car, tuck into a homemade pasty, or stash some sandwiches and supplies for later in the journey.
Driving from Wales to Glastonbury: Forage Farm Shop
Those making the pilgrimage to Glastonbury from South Wales would do well to stop at Forage Farm Shop. A celebration of Welsh food and flavours, the kitchen serves up tantalising and hearty meals (even late into the evening on summer weekends), so you can enjoy a proper feed before letting loose on the dance floors. The farm shop shelves are stocked with seasonal, natural products too, so it’s a good place to stock up the cool box.
Driving to Glasto from the South West: Sheppy's Cider Farm
Get into the Glastonbury spirit by pausing your journey at a Somerset cider farm. Sheppy’s is a well-established family cider business that has successfully branched out (pardon the pun) into hospitality. Non-drivers could sup a refreshing glass of the good stuff, while everyone will enjoy the sizzling sausages and tasty plates in the café. Stash some deli goods in your bags for some decadent festival treats later in the weekend. A classic West Country stop on your way to the West Country’s best-known event.
Food stop near Pilton: take me to The Bridge
Just half an hour away from Pilton, you’re probably at the fringe of the festival traffic here, so if the queues are getting too much pull into The Bridge Bakery and Canteen for a tasty brunch, cooling sorbet milkshake, or moreish cookies. Enjoy a moment of rest on the banks of the River Parrett before embarking on the final furlong of your Glastonbury journey. A great place to stop to eat on your way to Glastonbury
Buy The Extra Mile Guide: find better places to eat
Enjoy finding places to eat near you and near motorway junctions that are more interesting than boring big brands? Buy The Extra Mile Guide, out now and currently an Amazon No. 1 Bestseller (as at April – June 2023). It’s packed with almost 300 better places to eat where you can find local food and flavours produced, picked or made by local people, to help support the UK’s small food businesses.
Coming next from The Extra Mile team: The Coastal Café Guide
In 2024, Printslinger Publishing (the team behind The Extra Mile) will bring out a new guidebook to the best cafés and places to eat around the UK’s coastlines. Visit our new website here and follow us on FB and Insta to keep up to date with Coastal Cafés. Got a great suggestion for somewhere that would be great in this new coastal café guidebook? Email us today. Happy Glastonbury, all!
You’re enjoying a road-trip around glorious Scotland when the hunger kicks in. You ask yourself, “Where to eat near me?”, “Is there a great farm shop near me?” Perhaps you want a cosy local café for some tasty specialities, or a dog-friendly café near you. The Extra Mile guide is full of fab places to stop for food whether you’re eating in, taking-out or compiling the picnic to end all picnics from fresh local produce.
With The Extra Mile guide (buy yours here), you can find dog-friendly cafés, farm shops with EV chargers, and family-friendly places to stop near you. Take a look at some Scottish highlights, below, from our bestselling guidebook. We’ve teamed up with the award-winning Loch Leven’s Larder, to offer a fantastic picnic hamper for two to one lucky winner, in celebration of National Picnic Week 2023 (see below).
No#1: Loch Leven's Larder in Kinross
Pictured above, Loch Leven’s Larder is very near to Junction 8 of the M90. It’s an award-winning farm shop, café, food hall, bakery, deli, gift shop and more, with high-quality local food, whatever-the-weather walks, quirky corners, a wonderful canopy café and more.
To help The Extra Mile celebrate National Picnic Week in 2023 (June 17- June 25), they are offering our readers and followers the chance to win a Scottish Picnic Hamper in our June competition – visit The Extra Mile on Facebook for more details and to enter (runs until end June).
#2 Charleton Fruit Farm and Farm Shop in Montrose
If you’re looking for some fruity PYO fields or a family-run farm shop near you in Montrose, enter: Charleton Fruit Farm. The happy folk in The Stables serve tasty meals all day long, from soups and salads to ever-popular panini and an arsenal of cakes. There’s even the occasional BBQ and the proper burgers alone are worth the detour.
The Pod in the Park offers hot dogs, ice-cream and teas and coffees to go, with PYO pumpkins, raspberries, apples and pears in season. The farm shop stocks home-sewn crops and local gifts and delicacies galore. The fortress and treasure hunts create excellent journey breaks for those travelling with children. A great farm shop in Montrose.
#3 Cairn Lodge Services and Farm Shop in Douglas
Picnic seekers will love Cairn Lodge, a first-rate farm shop and kitchen that champions exceptional Scottish food, drink, craft and design. Its as-good-as-homemade cakes, savouries and colourful seasonal salads come from over 50 local producers. If you’re travelling through Douglas, Cairn Lodge has a fab café near you that isn’t to be missed.
There’s no mass defrosting here. There are snacks and artisanal gifts galore, while the coffee bar has charging points to help humans and devices top up together. This dressed-to-impress destination is a sister company to the famed family-run Gloucester and Tebay services and farm shops. A top-notch local-food focused café in Douglas.
#4 The Bothy Bistro in Burghead
If exploring the coast between Inverness and Aberdeen, there are some great foodie stops and cafés near you like The Bothy Bistro (and its sister eaterie, Bootleggers on the Hopeman coast). ‘It’s fresh and exciting because it’s not posh’ said Masterchef judge William Sitwell, naming this bistro among his top 15 favourite UK restaurants.
Owner Ruth likes to know where things are caught or picked, and loves promoting her local flavours. Driftwood décor suits this coastal address, which is a failsafe stop-off if seeking artisan coffee and still-warm goodies from the in-house bakery to take on your coastal cruise or picnic. A first-rate independent café near the coast in Burghead.
#5 Gloagburn Farm Shop in Perth
Gloagburn Farm Shop. What a find! If you’re adventuring around the Perth area seeking picnic goods, this is just four minutes from the A9. Want a great farm shop near you? This is it. Set in the gently rolling hills of Perthshire, its view is maximised for those inside by the stunning floor-to-ceiling windows. Food with a view at its best.
The farm shop has its own beef, eggs and home-baking, plus artisan products such as pottery, art prints and homewares. Everything stocked here must pass the family’s ‘tried and tasted’ test before reaching the shelves, so it’s a great place to stock up on supplies for your picnic or holiday destination.
#6 Unorthodox Roasters and Café in Kinross
If you seek coffee grounds for your picnic or self-catering holiday cafetière or moka pot, visit this independent coffee roaster which is near you if you’re passing Kinross. Unorthodox Roasters have some great names for their locally roasted coffee beans: Mindblown is our favourite brew by a country mile.
There are some great sightseeing spots around, from Lochleven Castle and Lochleven Nature Reserve to the Lomond Hills Regional Hills. Get your coffee and cake to go for an impromptu picnic and take a few pouches of their moreish coffee beans to enjoy once home. A memorable café near the M90 and A81.
#7 Craigie's Farm Shop and Café in South Queensferry
Looking for somewhere to eat near you in South Queensferry? Look no further than Craigie’s Farm Shop and Café. Found near the M90, Craigie’s is perfect for those seeking a sit-down meal, or who want to browse the impressive local foods on offer in the café and farm shop.
The shop has a butchery, the Buffalo Farm, and the café crams local ingredients into a menu of salads, sandwiches, specials and home-baked cakes and coffee to have in or take away. Dog-friendly and handy for picnics on Craigie Hill.
#8 Kilnford Farm Shop and Café in Dumfries
If you’re travelling on the A75 and seek a café or farm shop near you, set a quick course for the Kilnford Farm Shop and Café, just one minute from the A75. The farming family puts animal welfare first and rears world-class Galloway beef and Blackface lamb: there are superb BBQ cuts and picnic treats to be found.
In a hurry to get to your picnic? Order a veggie or fruit boxes in advance to collect – though you might want to stay awhile anyway to browse the cheeses, meats and olives at the deli. At their new Kilnford Bothy, try the ‘Steak, Cattle and Roll’ burger (a hit with gourmands and punsters alike). A great farm shop and café in Dumfries.
#9 Drift Café on the coast in North Berwick
A superb ‘container’ café in a spectacular location on the North Berwick coast is Drift, off the A1 near West Barns. You can eat in at the café for food with a view, or buy wraps, rolls, coffees and cakes to go.
Drift works hard with Scotland’s agritourism sector and its small, cooked-from-fresh menu has earned it a Visit Scotland ‘Taste Our Best’ award. Buy to go and picnic on the beach below.
#10 The Mainstreet Trading Company, St Boswells
If you’re looking for a unique café in The Borders or St Boswell’s, The Mainstreet Trading Company really is something else. You can pick up all kinds of things there, from picnic materials and coffee, cake and savouries to eat in or take away, to deli items, books and gifts.
A previous winner of Britain’s Best Small Shop, The Mainstreet Trading Company (books, café, deli and home) should feature in every journey via the Borders. Browse the fabulous bookshop before refuelling on dishes inspired by the boss’s ‘Cookbook of the Moment’, perhaps.
Win a picnic hamper from Loch Leven's Larder
Thank you once again to the multi-faceted Loch Leven’s Larder for providing us with a Scottish goodie-packed hamper for our National Picnic Week (17-25 June 2023) competition this year. Simply pop to our Facebook page to enter, no purchase necessary.
We’ll pull the winner at the end of June and will be in touch to send out your hamper. With such incredible farm shops and scenic spots all across Scotland, we think it should be National Picnic Year…every year!
Buy our bestselling food guidebook today
The Extra Mile is the perfect gift for people who like to eat well when on the move. It’s packed with farm shops, independent cafés, tearooms, pubs, delis and ice-cream parlours. Maps help you find cafés and restaurants near you, and filters help you find dog-friendly places to eat, family-friendly restaurants, EV chargers and more.
Head to our Shop to buy your copy for just £14.99 (+ postage). Buying direct helps support another small independent company: us! Thanks for reading and good luck in the June 2023 National Picnic Week competition: visit us on Facebook for more. If you’re a venue keen to feature in our next book, email us today.
Looking to make a proper road-trip of it? You’re going to need a campervan. Like Airbnb, a number of companies now offer campervan hire direct from owners, so you can rent a home-on-wheels no matter where you are in the country.
A platform for renting recreational vehicles, with a range of sizes and styles. Van owners are all personally verified by the team and RAC cover means you don’t need to worry about breaking down. Some owners will even deliver the van to your holiday destination.
Home to more than 1,000 private campers, you can take your pick on Paul Camper. Although the sharing website was born in Berlin, it’s spread to the UK and has a range of vans across the country. Handovers are in person so you can visit it and take it for a test drive before finalising the booking.
Specialists in hiring out bespoke campervans, Quirky Campers rents out a range of beautifully designed motors so you can live out your #vanlife dreams, if only for a little while. The company prides itself on sustainable credentials so expect vans fitted out with masterfully reclaimed materials (see picture below from Quirky Campers), as well as carbon offsetting for your driving miles.
Boonies are a New Zealand term for beautiful, untouched places, so Go Boony is a nod to where the founders of Go Boony met – on a campervan trip, naturally. They claim to have the largest fleet in the UK, with pet and bike friendly options easy to find.
Suitably inspired to hit the road? Find perfect pitstops and idyllic farm shops at which to shop and stock up, in The Extra Mile guidebook – friend of campervan gloveboxes everywhere – or by using the online Venue Finder.
Did you know that around 4,400 islands make up the British Isles, although only around 210 are inhabited. UK ferry journeys can offer a fresh perspective on the coastline. To add a voyage to your overland journey, find inspiration with this collection of six of the country’s most unique crossings.
The wonderfully named Scrabster, on Scotland’s North coast, is a jumping off point for a short-ish (90 minute) hop to the Orkney archipelago. It takes passengers past the Old Man of Hoy, a famed 137m high sea stack off the coast. The archaeological wonders on Stromness (below) are something else.
The original crossing point between Skye (pictured below) and the mainland, a small ferry crosses this narrow channel in season. It’s an unusual turntable design, so the ferry pulls up alongside the slipway and the crew turn the deck to embark cars and passengers. Sure, you can drive over the bridge to get to Skye these days, but if you do you’ll miss the sea eagles, otters and seals that frequent the waters. Grab a coffee at the Shore Station café to stop and enjoy the view.
Kingswear to Dartmouth
Crossing the water saves drivers a lengthy detour round the river Dart and gives a lovely view of the picturesque harbour town, including the castle and Royal Naval College; keep eyes peeled for helicopters as well as wildlife. Two boats make the crossing, straightforwardly named Lower Ferry or Higher Ferry.
The shortest route across the Solent, this 40-minute journey spirits you from the New Forest to the tranquil Isle of Wight, passing Hurst Castle on the way. On the other side of the water you’ll see its counterpart, Yarmouth Castle, which was built by Henry VIII as a gun platform to defend the waterway.
Another time and mile saver, this crossing saves drivers the 27-mile alternative route round the Truro River. The King Harry Ferry (pictured below) has been transporting passengers to the Roseland peninsula since 1888, and today’s incarnation offers calming views through the glass side, and a view onto the chains guiding the boat across the water. Find out more about the route at Fal River Ferries.
Affectionately known as the Vomit Comet, thanks to the rough ride it can offer in high seas, the Scillonian III takes passengers on a nearly three-hour journey to the UK’s southernmost islands. Hope that the weather is fine so that you can enjoy the beautiful views of Cornwall’s coast as it glides past. Explore timetables for your next adventure with Isles of Scilly Travel.
Inspired to take a road trip, boat trip or best-of-both-worlds trip? When travelling across the UK to actual ports or simply metaphorical ports of call, don’t forget to check that The Extra Mile is in your glovebox (with the Venue Finder on home-screen speed-dial) to ensure your journey eats are as memorable as the trip itself. Get your copy here.
As a rainy, lumpy country, there is no shortage of waterfalls in the UK. After a hot, dry summer where most dwindled to trickles, one benefit of the seasonal turn to drizzle is that the waterfalls are back in full display. Waterfalls also emit negative ions which are said to be good for your health, helping with mood, sleep, metabolism and our immune systems. For a truly restorative stop, work one of these into your journey.
Waterfall Country: The Brecon Beacons National Park
Though famous and increasingly popular, it would be churlish not to mention the Brecon Beacon’s famous waterfalls at the southwestern corner of the national park. The Four Falls Trail is a well-trodden route taking in several of the area’s finest. Wales’s answer to the rain forest, the area is as magical as it is fragile, so do make sure you stick to the paths and take litter home (which we hope would be a no brainer). Visit Waterfalls Country on the National Park website – the lovely falls pictured below are in Neath.
Grey Mare’s Tail, Dumfries
Watch the water tumble 60m from Loch Skeen into the Moffat Valley. Consider a ranger-guided walk to learn more about the fossils, rare upland plants, ring ouzels and vendace found here. The drive from the M74 to the reserve along the A708 is said to be one of Scotland’s most scenic as well. Find out more with the National Trust for Scotland.
Thornton Force, Yorkshire
A popular cascade on Yorkshire’s waterfall circuit, the water here falls over the edge of a limestone cliff to dramatic effect. It’s one of several falls on the Ingleton Waterfalls walk (so named for the nearest town) and is the most popular. If you want it to yourself, try timing your visit for a weekday. The Dales are home to more than 50 waterfalls, so if you’d rather find a lesser known one, try one on this list. Uncover the area courtesy of the My Yorkshire Dales website.
Aber Falls, Snowdonia
Just a short distance from the A55, Aber Falls (pictured above) is an impressive introduction to the Snowdonia National Park. It’s at the foothills of the Carneddau where the Afon Goch (Red River) descends into the Menai Straits. The 4.5km path is accessible to all and has picnic areas and open spaces for running off some steam. Explore Aber Falls online before planning your trip. Image (c) Snowdonia.gov.wales.
Hellgill Force, Cumbria
Although Aira Force is arguably Cumbria’s most famous (and there ought to be a lot of waterfalls in England’s watery lake district), Hellgill Force is an impressive slot-canyon fall at the start of the River Eden under the Crinkle Crags fell. It’s easy to reach from the B6259 and there’s a small parking area available at Aisgill Moor Cottages. Find out more about Aira and its neighbouring falls here at Visit Cumbria.
North Glen Sannox, Arran
Beautifully clear waters slip over the granite stone here in a pretty series of waterfalls (pictured below). If your trip is taking you out to the islands of Scotland’s west coast, make this one of your stops. And if the islands aren’t on your itinerary, consider adding Arran, which at a 55-minute ferry ride from Ardrossan, is one of Scotland’s most accessible. Explore North Glen Sannox’s pools and falls.
So memorably named we had to include this one in mid-Wales! At Water-break-its-neck, hills and rivers combine to create a selection of tall falls. It’s easy to reach through a forested path and is suitable for little legs as it’s only a kilometre there and back from the car park. Explore Water-break-its-neck (pictured below) and surrounds on this Country File recommended walk.
Europe is beginning to catch on to the North American hobby of leaf peeping, a term used to describe trips dedicated to the seeking out of blazing autumnal colours. The Japanese call it momijigari which means maple viewing, more specifically, but the quest for colourful leaves is the same. Who hasn’t gaped in wonder at the golds and russet reds of the UK’s woodlands as the seasons change? What better reason for an autumnal exploration? Here are some of the UK’s best leaf peeping spots.
Gibside, Tyne and Wear Designed for its stunning views and now a National Trust property, Gibside (pictured above), at the edge of the Derwent Valley near Gateshead, is heaven for leaf chasers with 720-acres of beckoning woodland. Download one of four walking routes through the landscaped parkland to maximise your stop.(Image (c) National Trust)
Wintour’s Leap, Gloucestershire
Enjoy the sylvan colours of the Forest of Dean blazing around the horse-shoe sweep of the river Wye from the unique vantage point of Wintour’s Leap, just to the north of Chepstow (pictured below). It’s also a popular climbing spot, if any adventurers have their ropes and harness in the boot. Visit Dean Wye has lots of great ideas for activities in and around the region. (Image (c) Visit Dean Wye.)
Llanwrst, Wales Is there a more iconic image of autumn in Wales than the Tu HwntI’rBont tea room (pictured below)? We don’t think so. Make this Virginia-creeper clad cottage part of your autumn road trip to see it in its full, fiery glory.
(Image (c) Tu Hwnt I’r Bont.)
Glen Affric, Scotland
Sometimes touted as Scotland’s most beautiful glen (though it’s a hard-fought crown), Glen Affric’s woodland and moorland come alive in autumn as the leaves change colour. With a 10-mile circular walking circuit, prepare to enjoy them from every angle.
(Image (c) Visit Scotland.)
Stourhead, Wiltshire Famous for its spectacular hues in autumn, the National Trust’s Stourhead property is decadent in its autumn splendour (pictured below). Enjoy this quintessential view across the lake towards the Pantheon to see the colours in reflected glory. (Image (c) National Trust)
The Extra Mile glovebox guidebook brims with excellent eating choices, designed to take motorists just off the main roads and into the lovely communities and locally run foodie businesses hidden around each corner. This autumn, escape the monotony of the Services and the bland forecourt food at A road garages around the country. Use The Extra Mile book or online map to eat more memorably. To buy a copy for yourself, or as a gift for a favourite, frequent-travelling friend, visit our online shop today.
Nominations are welcomed from (or for) independent cafés, cosy tea rooms, quirky pit-stops and welcoming farm shops – within a 15-minute drive of a motorway or main A-road junction – to feature in this useful glovebox guidebook and on its companion website. Is there anywhere we really shouldn’t miss?
Writer, Kerry O’Neill, said, “We’re keen to fill the upcoming fourth edition of this sell-out guide with some classic and new foodie destinations to help drivers avoid the monotony of motorway services. We’ll uncover the best farm shops, cafés, tea rooms and eateries we can find near motorway and main A-road junctions, many of which would love a helping hand following the challenges of recent years. The Extra Mile helps its readers find and support the small and independent food and drink businesses who are going the extra mile to keep us all fed and watered in local, low-food-mile style.”
England, Scotland and Wales: the café hunt continues
In early Sept 2022, Icelandic foodie and photographer Iris Thorsteinsdottir will set off to explore Scotland’s off-motorway and A-road wilds on a quest to find more venues to join The Extra Mile while author Kerry O’Neill continues her quest across Wales and England.
Nominate yourself or a favourite venue
To nominate a venue to join The Extra Mile – Delicious Alternatives to Motorway Services for the team to visit, go to Find a stop to see if it’s already part of the collection. If not, submit the information at Join the Guide. Nominations should be interesting and independent (or part of a small regional chain) with a strong locally-sourced food ethos. They must be within a short drive – 15 minutes maximum and the closer the better – of a motorway or main A-road junction in mainland England, Wales or Scotland. Most importantly, they should be friendly, foodie and fabulous!
Who can be nominated?
Coffee shops and tea rooms
Cafés and bistros (including those within gardens or visitor attractions)
Breweries, wineries or distilleries with sit-in food options
Family-friendly and dog-friendly spots
Buy a copy for yourself or for a gift
The Extra Mile – Delicious Alternatives to Motorway Servicesis the essential glovebox guidebook for anyone seeking interesting eats while exploring England, Scotland and Wales by car. It’s the ideal gift for drivers, food lovers and gloveboxes everywhere. The most recent edition (ed. 3, 2019, by Laura Collacott) sold out and was refreshed and reprinted for 2022 by Glovebox Guides. The new, fourth edition is being compiled now, with a deadline for inclusion of 30 Sep 2022. The book will be in good bookshops and online in 2023. For updates and an alert when the new edition is available to order, subscribe to our newsletter on the homepage. Buy the current edition now while stocks last.
The Extra Mile guidebook The Extra Mile – Delicious Alternatives to Motorway Services is the essential glovebox guidebook to memorable food and drink experiences while on the move. It helps readers replace monotonous motorway food with the fresh, colourful and often locally sourced flavours of over 300 independent cafes, growers, makers and bakers, all within a 15-minute drive of a motorway or main A-road junction. Plan your journey, explore the alternative eateries and eat better when on the move, while supporting local producers.
The Extra Mile website The Extra Mile site is an extension of the print guidebook with venue details and a ‘search by map’ function to direct hungry drivers to their chosen foodie venue. The site is updated regularly, with a curated collection of stop-offs, eateries and farm shops featuring in each new edition of the book. To submit a venue or request to join the collection, visit Join the Guide.
Glovebox Guides Glovebox Guides is an imprint of Printslinger Ltd, the independent publishing company run by renowned slow food lover, Alastair Sawday. Glovebox Guides will publish the fourth edition of The Extra Mile – Delicious Alternatives to Motorway Services in 2023 as the first in a series of new titles. Buy direct from Glovebox Guides to ensure you get the refreshed 2022 reprint.
Kerry O’Neill, author Kerry O’Neill is a UK-based travel researcher and writer with an MSc in literary tourism. She has collaborated with key sustainable travel, food and wine brands including Secret Compass Expeditions, Sustrans, TravelLocal, Sawday’s Special Places to Stay, Sidetracked magazine, Avery’s Wine Merchants and FoodWorks South West. The Extra Mile is her first collaboration with Glovebox Guides.
Laura Collacott, writer of the first three editions of The Extra Mile, is back on the road in June 2022. She’ll be making a cameo appearance in the new edition of the book (due out in spring 2023), as she’s seeking out memorable new venues in the North East for the fourth edition of our essential glovebox guide to good food on the move. Laura found a moment to reveal the reality of life on the road. It’s a hard job, but somebody’s got to do it after all…
“Ah, the joy of being a food writer. We know what you’re thinking. Meandering from café to farm shop, chatting idly to the good people behind them, languorously tucking in to gargantuan sandwiches, feasting on slabs of cake and scratching farm pigs behind the ear. Gently fattening.
In truth, finding the good cakes and best breakfasts involves a lot more legwork. It starts with poring over maps and trawling the internet for places that look promising, followed by long days on the road zipping from place to place and diverting to follow tip-offs from locals or the glimpse of a promising signboard. Many of the places we visit don’t make the cut for various reasons – too greasy, too bland, too unfriendly; simply not special enough.
But for those that are – special enough – those that we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to a friend, we set to work. We speak to the owners to find out why they set it up, and their food ethos; to staff to find out how it runs and where the ingredients come from. We talk to customers to find out what they like best about the place and what their favourite dishes are. We explore the shelves and inspect the menu, tasting mouthfuls where we can and taking extensive notes. Then we’re off again, on the hunt for the next.
Far from eating cream teas in every stop (we’d be the size of houses if we did), this is a life of hastily eaten pastries and scotch eggs on the hoof. A life of broken snatches of Radio Four shows and disgraceful crumb- and paper-strewn cars.
Sometimes there are long, dispiriting stretches where nowhere fits the bill. But when you do stumble across a fantastic place, where the welcome is all wide smiles and the owners are foodies who can name the farmers who supply the eggs and salad leaves…it makes the empty miles melt away.
And then there are the views. The sweeping, moorland vistas or emerald hilltops that you just can’t see from the motorway. The countryside traffic jams caused by a string of ducklings crossing the road and the little-known towns that surprise you with their vibrance. That’s when we’re sure it really is worth going the extra mile.”
Order The Extra Mile book now
The updated third edition of The Extra Mile is being prepared for print now and will be back in the shops around mid to late July 2022. We’re updating everyone’s opening hours so that you don’t turn up for a slap up feed when a cafe is closed, and we’ve removed those places that are no longer open. Order from our Shop today and your book will arrive and may even still be hot – or at the very least a little bit lukewarm – off the actual press. If you order it elsewhere online, it will likely be people’s older stock of the 2019 edition so our top tip to ensure you get the 2022 reprint with up-to-date intel is, buy directly from us.
NEW edition coming in 2023
Laura and our other similarly discerning roving reporters are on the road in 2022, seeking out more great finds to feature in the fourth, spring 2023 edition of the book. Subscribe to our newsletter (scroll down the homepage to enter your email) and keep an eye on our social media channels for news of its release. Don’t forget to let us know if you discover any terrific eateries while on your travels this year. We’d love to feature their local characters and flavours in our new collection of independent cafes, pubs, restaurants, farm shops, ice-cream parlours and attractions across the land.