A FREE festival of cheese due to take place this summer will see some of the finest farmhouse cheese-makers in the north come together at The Courtyard Dairy near Settle - recently named by The Sunday Times as amongst the best cheese shops in the UK.

A total of 11 farm cheesemakers will be at the event on Sunday, July 7 including Mary Davenport who just won 'supreme champion cheese' at the British Cheese Awards for her 'snowdrop' cheese.

And it won't just be all about cheese, the makers will also be joined by Kirkstall Brewery, Bouncing Cows' Ice cream - with a blue cheese ice cream flavour, not perhaps everyone's first choice of ice cream, and The Cheese Truck doing hot-grilled cheese toasties.

Throughout the day there will be demonstrations and talks on cheesemaking, cookery, beer and cheese matching, as well as gorgeous kid goats to pet.

And opening the event will be Giggleswick and Settle Brass Band with what else? a rousing performance of the theme tune to everyone's favourite cheese fans, Wallace and Gromit.

Andy Swinscoe, joint owner of the Courtyard Dairy with his wife, Kathy, said it was a rare treat to get so many cheesemakers together at one event.

"It's really great to bring together the few remaining small farm cheesemakers in the north, and showcase these little family farms and their rare, hard to find cheeses in one place," he said.

"A lot of these farmers and cheesemakers rarely leave the farm so to have them all in one place at the same time is a rare treat."

Kathy added: "It's one of my favourite days of the year. This year we'll even have a cheese to taste that's made right here with milk from Settle - Settle and North Yorkshire's own cheese. You can be one of the first ever to try it."

Others attending the event will be Graham Kirkham, of Lancashire Cheese fame, Mario Olianas, Leeds Blue; Sam and Ben Spence, Yoredale Wensleydale; Nicola Robinson Gott, St James Cheeses; Chris and Paul Burgess, Long Swale Cheese; the Noblet family, Fellstone; Stonebeck, Kalkaber Cheese, LowFields Farm; Doddington Cheese, Cote Hill Farm and Errington Cheese.

The cheese festival on Sunday, July 7, will take place from 11am to 3pm at The Courtyard Dairy, off the A65 at Austwick, near Settle.