High Weald Dairy is located on Tremains Farm in Horsted Keynes, in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It’s set in a very green part of West Sussex with rolling countryside, lots of trees and woodland and stunning views. The dairy farm is home to 250 Friesian cows and produces small batch, high quality cheeses, using cow, sheep and goat milk, much of it organic.

It runs regular home cheese making courses where you can learn how to make at least three different cheeses at home. If you’re a foodie, smallholder or just love cheese it’s a real treat to be able to come to this local dairy and discover the secrets of cheese making.

It’s a very hands on course, which is brilliant; starting with 10 litres of milk (cow, sheep or goat) you add starter cultures and rennet to coagulate the milk, then cut the curd, heat the curds and whey, drain the whey off and press the curd in a cheese mold. It’s a very satisfying process and quite straightforward once you know what you’re doing. You also get to make fresh soft cheese and halloumi, which you can take home at the end of the day. The course goes on all day and includes a homemade lunch and visit to the Dairy to see cheese making in action. You get a fascinating insight into the farm and it’s a great opportunity to learn more about a family run West Sussex business that’s producing quality products in an innovative, sustainable way.

If you want to stay overnight so you can spend some more time in the area, they have a handful of lovely bell tents for hire in Wild Boar Wood. Deers Leap Park near East Grinstead isn’t far away either. You can hire mountain bikes (or take your own) and get to grips with a variety of mountain bike trials whilst enjoying acres of West Sussex farmland.

But for us it’s all about the independent food producers in this part of West Sussex. If you want fabulous homemade bread to go with your High Weald Dairy homemade cheese, head to Sussex Kitchen in East Grinstead and the nearby Plaw Hatch Farm Shop where you’ll find lovely organic vegetables, preserves and other foodie treats that really celebrate West Sussex and its abundance of fresh, seasonal produce.