Enjoy a trip to the Lake District Farm Shop

Saturday: A Lake District Farm Shop; (Channel 4, 8pm)

By Claire Cartmill
Friday, 16th July 2021, 5:00 pm

“It’s grim oop north.”

Well, that’s what we’re told anyway. In fact, we’ve heard it said so often that even some of us living there have started to believe it. And yes, there are areas of various inner cities that leave a lot to be desired – just as they do in the east, west and even the south – but the countryside is to die for.

And many of us don’t have to imagine the green and pleasant lands on offer either – during lockdown more people than ever have ventured out to explore these dramatic, picturesque and unforgettable vistas, drinking in the sights and sounds along the way.

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Tebay Head Butcher, Dave

Of course some TV viewers will already be familiar with them. Over the years, Countryfile has often highlighted rural communities in the north, with other programmes now jumping on the bandwagon.

Channel 5 in particular has done well out of the region, having hit on a formula for success by focusing on God’s Own County. The Yorkshire Vet and Our Yorkshire Farm have been huge hits, and look set to continue for some time to come. It could even be the case that an executive at Channel 4 spotted that fact and decided it was high time the broadcaster launched series that would appeal to the same audience.

That would certainly explain the appearance of Matt Baker: Our Farm in the Dales, which was shown on More4 earlier this year. Then, last week, A Lake District Farm Shop made its debut on the station. Okay, so neither show takes place in Yorkshire, but their subject matter sit nicely alongside Channel 5’s popular offerings.

If you missed the first Lake District programme, don’t worry, it’s now available on All 4. The first episode introduced us to the staff who run the family-owned Tebay Service Station. This week’s edition focuses on schoolchildren learning how to make sausages the traditional way, while a young entrepreneur sets out to impress, and a ceramicist shows off their wares.

To some, that may sound as exciting as drying paint, but the establishment, which was opened by John and Barbara Dunn in 1972 after the M6 was bisected their land, is far more than just petrol pumps and a handy few loos. Instead, it’s perhaps the nation’s prettiest services and has become a must-see spot for foodies visiting the area.

As the series’ title reveals, the business includes a farm shop, which stocks crafts, clothes and food items made and produced by locals, while the cafe serves dishes cooked up using traditional ingredients, including home-reared beef and lamb.

“When you pass through, you will know that you have arrived somewhere, not anywhere,” says the services’ website. “As you catch a glimpse of our place, which we are so proud to be a part of, we hope you will feel a part of it too.”

Whether that happens or not remains to be seen, but we fully expect hundreds, if not thousands, of viewers to head north after tuning in – learning how wonderful, rather than grim, the area really is.

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