Taste of Wigton 2023
Nothing dampened the spirits at Taste of Wigton!
The weather may have been a little damp and chilly but there were still smiles on the faces of visitors at the first Taste Cumbria festival of 2023.
In the pretty town of Wigton they browsed the Producers’ Market with bulging carrier bags of food and drink, watched live music on the festival stage, tucked in to hot food and drink and beers, and even enjoyed an ice cream.
There was lots of family fun to be had too. There were fairground rides, crafts with Rainbow Jelly Foundation, circus skills from Usefool, and street art from Dr Hessian Sachs. Visitors could even learn about yoga or find out about Cumbria’s tea drinking habits with historian Steve White.
The weekend was kicked off with Wigton’s first Taste Cumbria Comedy Night. The events are a popular choice at the Cockermouth and Maryport festivals and bring something different for locals and visitors staying in the area.
Taste Cumbria Wigton will be followed by the Taste of the Sea festival in Maryport on Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 August, then the flagship Taste Cumbria festival in Cockermouth on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 September. Taste Cumbria Christmas on Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 December, also in Cockermouth, will end the year.
The Taste Cumbria food festivals have historically been organised by Allerdale Borough Council and will continue under the new Cumberland Council.
Tea. How do you take yours?
Come & find out how Cumbrians discovered a love of tea with historian Steve White at our Wigton festival. FREE talk 2pm, Saturday 22 April, in the Market Hall.
12 Noon – Cory Spedding
1pm – Steve Wharton
2pm – Lewis Forsythe
3pm – Ryan Davidson (The Reets)
4pm – Antics
Master storyteller Steve Wharton
Steve Wharton will be weaving his tall tales and Cumbrian quirks at the Wigton festival on Saturday 22 April. Find him in the Producers’ Market. You can see him on the music stage at 1pm too performing some folky tunes.
The Producers Market
All Things Nice by Ashley – bespoke resin gifts, jewellery and homeware
Andalucian Olive Company – olive oils, vinegars and dressings
Barkelicious – natural, meaty, gluten free dog treats
Bedrock Gin & Standing Stones Vodka – award-winning spirits from the Lakes
Blueberry Hill Preserves – handmade jams, sauces, pickles and chutneys
Bowes Dairy Produce – cheese and quality accompaniments
Chimney Cake Cumbria – homemade pastries
Coastline Brewery – quality beer and rum brewed on Walney
Cumbrian Coastal Kitchen – jams, vinegars and chutneys, packed with local ingredients
The Doggy Deli – natural treats, tested by four-legged foodies
Dogs Trust – the canine charity
Fellwater Coffee – speciality coffees, teas and cakes
Garden Organics – helping your gardens and veg patches grow
Hallsford Meats – hot food, freshly cooked, and meats to take home
Haverigg Smokery – perfectly smoked meats and fish
Jeni’s Brownies – fabulous sweet treats
Kick Ass Cheese – strong Cheddar with a kick
Manor Barn Organics – luxury candles packed with fruits, florals and fragrance
NADT – North Allerdale Development Trust, the Wigton community charity
The ‘Oss Box – milkshakes, hot chocolate, waffles and heavenly coffee
Pie Demand – tasty pies that sell out fast
Portobello Wood Fired – freshly cooked authentic Italian pizza
Reay’s Coaches – the local holiday and transport company
ReCa – the low waste refill shop
RSPB – feeding the birds and caring for our feathered friends
Shaw Meats – fresh meats to take home
Sipping Fox – brilliant beers, wines and spirits
Sweet Treats by Martin Frickel
Temon Farm Ice Cream – farm fresh fabulous flavours
The Three Wheel Gin Company – small batch handcrafted spirits
Wiga Wagaa – uniquely flavoured chilli products
Wigton Town Council
The Yolker – gourmet Scotch eggs
Taste Cumbria Wigton - Comedy Night
Venue - Wigton Market Hall
Date / Time - Friday 21 April - 7:30pm
This year for the first time, Taste Cumbria brings comedy to Wigton’s Market Hall. Join MC Mike Wilkinson & comedy greats, Harry Stachini & Silky, mixing hilarious stories with the occasional musical interlude.
The Taste Cumbria ‘Taste of Wigton’ 2022 food festival generated nearly £175,000 for the local economy according to new research.
An independent report says this is a return on investment of more than £9 for every £1 spent by the organisers, Allerdale Borough Council. That’s double the amount generated at the first Taste Cumbria festival in Wigton in 2021 which saw £4.44 generated for each pound invested.
The visitor numbers were excellent too, with an estimated 3,500 people coming to the town or which 87% had made the trip specifically to explore the producers’ market, watch the chef demonstrations, watch the live music and take part in the children’s activities.
The 2022 event also drew in more people from further afield. Seventy percent of the people at the event were from the Allerdale area, while in 2021, this figure was 76%. A quarter were from elsewhere in Cumbria and 6% originated from outside of the county, a figure which sat at just 2% in 2021. Visitors came from across the North East, North West, Yorkshire and Humber, and the West Midlands.
The satisfaction figures in the research were also very positive. Nearly everyone interviewed, 97%, said the event quality was good or very good and the same number of people said they would come to another similar event in the future, and 95% said they would recommend it to others. 94% said the quality of products was good or very good, and 97% rated the venue – Water Street car park and the neighbouring Market Hall – as good or very good.
There was good news for the town businesses too. When asked what else they would be doing in the town apart from visiting the festival, 64% said they would be visiting local cafes, pubs or restaurants for a meal or a drink, 45% would visit local shops and 13% said they would do some general sightseeing.
Councillor Mike Johnson, Leader of Allerdale Borough Council, said: “Seeing this boost for the economy is great news for Wigton and great news for Allerdale and West Cumbria. It reinforces what Taste Cumbria is all about – giving independent businesses an excellent showcase, and benefiting our towns in the process.
“One of the new additions to the festival format this year is the Young Entrepreneurs’ Market and that’s one thing I would like to see more of. Giving fledgling businesses a platform in front of thousands of people is all part of Taste Cumbria putting even more back in to the community.”
Photo credits - The Regsy - Mark Regan Photography
Wigton is hosting its second Taste Cumbria festival on Saturday 23 April 2022.
We brought lots of foodie fun to this pretty town for the first time last year and the feedback was fabulous. Our aim is to make the event bigger and better with even more for all the family to enjoy.
Here’s a flavour of the festival line-up – all of this is FREE to attend and ticketed events will be revealed closer to the time.
- Producers’ Market on Water Street car park
- Cooking demonstrations with some fabulous local chefs
- Outdoor picnic area with live music all weekend
- Hot food stalls
- Cake Off competition – see below for details
- ‘Picturing Wigton’ talk with author and photographer Trevor Grahamslaw – see below for booking information
- Young entrepreneurs’ market
- Art workshops to create a giant mural
- Fairground rides
- Children’s activities with Rainbow Wishes Foundation
- Face painting
- Futamura Treasure Hunt
Trader pitches are still available for the Producers’ Market and hot food court. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Priority will be given to Allerdale and other Cumbrian producers but we welcome enquiries from other areas. To submit your application for this event, please click on the booking form here.
Young entrepreneurs – FREE stalls available
We want to hear from those who have a small, independent business or who make, bake and create as an aside to school or college. Whether you are a baking whiz, create unique pieces of art or have green fingers, we would love to showcase your talents and support your business. If you are between 16 – 25 years old and would like to take part in one of our events please email email@example.com with your name, age and product information. A pitch space, gazebos and tables will be provided free of charge.
The nearest mainline train station is Carlisle – change here for the train to Wigton on the Cumbrian Coast Line. If you are travelling by car, follow the A595 from Carlisle, or leave the M6 at junction 42, take the A596 west and you should be here in 30 minutes. For bus timetables throughout Cumbria click here.
If you’re coming to our festivals by car, here’s a handy link to some of the car parks in Wigton. If you’re parking on the street, please check local signs for restrictions. You’ll need a timing disc for many of them – these are available from many local businesses.
Other 2023 dates for your diary
Taste Cumbria Maryport 12 & 13 August 2023
Taste Cumbria Cockermouth – 23 & 24 September 2023
Taste Cumbria Christmas in Cockermouth – 9 & 10 December 2023