Big Cheese Days are back in Oxford

The month of May isn’t only the arrival of spring, the planting season for farmers, and blooming flowers. It also means the return of Big Cheese Days.

The event runs every Saturday in May along the Oxford County Cheese Trail bringing special offers, exclusive tastes, cheese factory tours, hands-on experiences, and extra cheesy menus. The Cheese Trail is a self-guide travel itinerary where you pick the activities and stops you want to visit.

Meredith Maywood is a Tourism Specialist with Oxford County and said there are some new stops this year. “There has been plenty of action with new cheesemakers opening up in the county. For instance, New Galma Dairy (near Mount Elgin) is new, and if you haven’t been by yet you can sample their delicious goudas on a baguette using an Arteflame grill.” 

Another recently opened cheesemaker is Golspie Dairy located on the 45th Line just outside Woodstock who are offering a rare, hands-on experience. “You can actually go in and stretch and tie a ball of mozzarella. We just tested it the other day and it’s so much fun.”

Meredith added there are plenty of familiar activities that have always been popular with cheese lovers. “You can get a taste of Welsh heritage with the Welsh Rarebit sandwich at the Red Dragon Dairy (near Salford). There are special menus at participating restaurants and activities happening throughout the county with over 32 stops on the Cheese Trail. A lot is going on.”

Tourism Oxford believes the trail is a fun way to kick off what a lot of people consider the start of the tourism season. “What is unique about the trail is it’s for everybody. I’ve seen groups of friends going around on motorcycles doing cheese country tours and hitting chocolate shops. I’ve seen multi-generational families go out on mystery tours so only one of them knows what the next stop is going to be. I’ve seen couples on romantic trips and groups of diehard foodie friends going out and having a good time together.”

The cheese trail did take a one-year hiatus several years ago and the plan was to have it available every other year but the public’s appetite meant having it offered yearly. “People look forward to this and interest in tourism is growing in Oxford County. Last year we had a 50 per cent increase in visitor inquiries and for 2024 we have already exceeded those numbers for January through April,” said Meredith. She added the Terra Nova Nordic Spa in Hickson has helped as well as the availability of the Cheese Trail year-round.

The tourism explosion in the county hasn’t gone unnoticed. Oxford is now gaining international attention, something that can only give local businesses a bigger boost. “We are on an international culinary trail for people coming to visit Canada. We are one of the stops in Ontario they suggest and we actually had people from the UK include us in their trip to the province for Big Cheese Days last year. We’ve had people from Belgium reach out and see what we are doing here.”

Tourism Oxford is constantly looking at new ways to bring more people into Oxford County, and Maywood offered a bit of a tease on a new project that will be unveiled soon. “We are working on a new tourism product and doing the branding now. We had our first destination meeting recently and there will be some new itineraries to make travel through Oxford County easier for visitors.” Meredith added it will suggest stops that are in close proximity offering plenty of entertainment and high-impact travel. The new initiative will be launching in June.

For more information and a list of all the stops on the trail visit

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