A NORTH Yorkshire cheese shop has achieved national recognition as an independent retailer.

The Courtyard Dairy, based at Settle, was awarded a coveted runner up place in the Observer Food Monthly Awards 2015 for the best independent retailer.

In their 12th year, the awards honour the best in British food and drink, identifying the best restaurants, producers and retailers in the UK.

Owner Kathy Swinscoe said: “We’re over the moon that the Observer judging panel agreed with the many Observer readers who voted for us – it’s a testament to our brilliant staff and loyal customers.

"Since we opened three years ago we’ve been so well supported by the people of Settle and Craven District and are truly grateful for their continued support.”

Located just outside Settle on the A65, The Courtyard Dairy prides itself in supporting and championing traditional farm-made cheese.

These unique cheeses are then aged to 'perfect maturity' on-site by Kathy’s husband Andy, who previously studied cheese-making and maturing with some of the best cheesemongers in France as well as the South West.

“Something the judges particularly took notice of was our ethos to offer unique cheeses that are made on small, individual farms,” added Kathy. “We’re very lucky to work with family farms that we love, and also to be part of a vibrant town and friendly rural area that makes us proud to be in Settle.”

Earlier this year The Courtyard Dairy was named best specialist retailer in the North West at the Farm Shop and Deli Awards.