top of page
  • timbarber

Harrogate Blue - award winning cheese

Updated: Dec 2, 2020

Whenever I have friends up to visit particularly from down South, its always good to put together a bit of a Yorkshire cheeseboard. There are lots of artisan cheeses made across Yorkshire but for variety and taste Shepherd’s Purse is one of my personal favourites, particularly their Harrogate Blue.

For my sins, when I still worked in marketing back in 2013 – I ended up project managing and launching an online cheese magazine called The Cheeseboard. You can still see read copies of it on the link here -

Whilst writing an article about Yorkshire cheeses for an article tying into the Tour de France Grand Depart, I came across Shepherds Purse and their cheeses.

I found out that the cheeses were made by a mother and two daughter team in North Yorkshire. Mum, Judy Bell had started successfully making dairy alternatives for cow’s milk allergy sufferers. Shepherds Purse has now grown, into a proud, independent family business making cheese in the traditional way. The Shepherds Purse team is now up to 30 staff led by Judy’s two daughters Katie and Caroline.

By the way – the name Shepherd’s Purse was Judy’s husbands ideas who has been a farmer in Yorkshire all his life.

Whilst they make a Yorkshire Blue which is also a great cheese, I tend to favour Harrogate Blue which is a soft, luxuriously creamy blue veined cheese delivering mellow blue flavours with a slight hint of pepper to finish.

The cows milk cheese has a soft continental feel with a distinctive golden colour for a blue cheese and as well as being mellow and creamy it also has a slightly metallic spicy tang.

You don’t need butter just serve it on cheese biscuits. I find that a Hovis digestive with its slight sweetness works perfectly.

It turns out that Harrogate Blue was the first cheese co-produced by Katy and Caroline after taking over the running of the dairy.

If you don’t believe me that the cheese is that good – it actually won a Super Gold medal at the Global Cheese Awards in 2017 and since then it was judged to be the the 11th Best Cheese in the World at the World Cheese Awards.

The cheese now seems to be a bit more readily available now – they even stock it in my local Co-op, so if you have not tried it, give it a go and let me know what you think?

For more information about Shepherd's Purse and their other cheeses visit


bottom of page