, The best farmers’ markets to visit in the UK this summer, The Nzuchi Times

The best farmers’ markets to visit in the UK this summer

, The best farmers’ markets to visit in the UK this summer, The Nzuchi Times

Over the course of the coronavirus pandemic, farmers’ markets have been able to remain open to the public – classifying as essential businesses. Although some did have to temporarily close and others were subject to criticism in the early days of the pandemic, it is worth noting that these outdoor markets provided a safe alternative to shopping in the supermarket.

Appearing to rise in popularity, London Farmers’ Markets says they’ve seen “a three-fold increase in the number of customers who’ve discovered their local farmers market over the past year”, with Director Cheryl Cohen adding that the team have received “many messages thanking us for keeping their local farmers’ market open, as it’s been their only weekly destination, shopping safely in the open air for fresh seasonal produce.” 

While farmers’ markets were a source of safe shopping for some throughout the various lockdowns, they remain open, once again, as a perfect summer activity to seek out in the UK. At their best, they offer the freshest, tastiest and most varied produce – from fresh seasonal vegetables, to local meats, fish and cheeses.

With the nation’s appetite for outdoor activities set to increase this summer – and with many of us making the most of the humble staycation – here are some of the best food and farmers’ markets to visit in the UK.

With the nation’s appetite for outdoor activities set to increase this summer, here are some of the best food and farmers’ markets to visit. 

Blackheath Farmers’ Market, London 

Held every Sunday in the car park of Blackheath station, this busy and diverse market serves one of south-east London’s prettiest villages. Fresh fish from North Sea Seafood, Norfolk beef and lamb from Beatbush Meats, and affordable veg from a variety of organic and conventional Home Counties growers make it possible to do a weekly ‘big shop’ at this market – before buying a burger and a coffee to enjoy on the nearby heath. 

Every Sunday; 10am-2pm; Blackheath Station Car Park, London SE3 9LA 

Stroud Green Market, London 

Set in a school courtyard on the charming back streets of Stroud Green in north London, this market is one of London’s best. It straddles the line between affordability (see Perry Court Farm’s brilliant seasonal fruit and vegetables), local produce (mostly from London or the Home Counties, including brilliant honey from Tottenham Marshes and Islington) and hot food.

This convivial market often features live music and, you may be pleased to hear, is situated directly opposite one of London’s best pubs

Every Sunday; 10am-2:30pm; Perth Rd/Ennis Rd, Opposite The Fullback, London N4 3HB 

Penshurst Farmers’ Market, Kent 

This award-winning farmers’ market, held on the first Saturday of each month, exclusively holds stalls from within a 35-mile radius, ensuring the best in freshness and seasonality. Even the fish, which comes from Hastings, is on point. 

“It feels like a proper farmers’ market should, as in it only sells food, drink and plants (no crafts),” says chef and food writer Julie Friend. “All the sellers are the actual producers or growers and can tell you every fine detail you need to know. It’s also in the most stunning setting in the grounds of Penshurst Place, so it’s very easy on the eye.” 

First Saturday of each month; 9:30am-12pm; Penshurst Place Car Park, Penshurst Place, Penshurst, NR, Tonbridge TN11 8DG

St Albans Farmers’ Market, Hertfordshire 

As with Penshurst, this farmers’ market, held on the second Sunday of the month, has a strong emphasis on the local. Most produce is from Hertfordshire, with all the farmers’ markets classics covered and some of the area’s best street food. Local Becky Alexander, a food writer, is a keen fan of the Redbournbury Mill stall, which produces bread from local wheat milled at the eponymous mill, just outside the city. 

Second Sunday of each month; 8am-2pm; St Peter’s Street, St Albans AL3 5DJ

Bury St Edmunds Farmers’ Market, Suffolk

Suffolk Market Events host five markets, in Lavenham, Sudbury, Ipswich, Colchester (pre-Covid), and Bury St Edmunds. The latter is favoured by food writer Nicola Miller, who lives nearby. 

Held on the second Sunday of each month, the market features a stunning variety of delicious food, from fresh bread, meat and fish to vegetables, vegan food, chutneys, craft beer, local crafts and more. For Miller, the market has “always been a joy to visit but over the last year, it has been a godsend. Never has it felt more important – and nourishing – to shop in a beautiful location, meet the producers who all live within 30 miles of the market, and buy their food, drink and crafts.” 

Second Sunday of each month; 10am-3pm; The Traverse, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk IP33 1BJ 

Stroud Farmers’ Market, Gloucestershire 

This weekly Saturday market is famed for its lively atmosphere – you’re likely to encounter as much live music as local asparagus. But the produce is top notch, too. Local fruit and veg, much of which is organic, is the name of the game here, including some of the finest local strawberries when in season. Locals cite Pippin’s Doughnuts as some of the best in the country, and the perfect fuel for a morning scouring the market.

Every Saturday; 9am-2pm; Cornhill Market Place & surrounding streets, Stroud GL5 2HH 

St Nicholas Farmers’ and Producers’ Market, Bristol 

St Nicks Market has traded since 1743, so for a farmers’ market in an historic setting, look no further than this Wednesday market, which comes with the added benefit of being situated near further shopping potential, such as the daily St Nicholas Indoor Market. 

, The best farmers’ markets to visit in the UK this summer, The Nzuchi Times

Look out for some top produce such as meat from Elm Tree Farm, located in Bristol itself, Frocester Fayre’s amazing pies, and Pullins Bakers’ award-winning breads. 

Every Wednesday; 9:30am-2:30pm; St Nicholas Market, Corn St, Bristol BS1 1JQ

Moseley Farmers’ Market, Birmingham

Since 2000 the Moseley Farmers’ Market has been providing Birmingham with some of the best produce in the Midlands, routinely picking up regional and national awards. The market emphasises local (within 50 miles), seasonal and affordable produce, and has a wider range of fresh and prepared produce stalls than most. 

The next Market is Saturday June 26th, 2021 9am to 2pm; Alcester Road, Birmingham B13 8HS

Malton Monthly Food Market, North Yorkshire 

Billing itself “Yorkshire’s food capital”, Malton has become a foodie hub in recent years. Its market, held on the second Saturday of the month, showcases the best food from God’s Own County. Alongside premium produce, street food and music are on offer at the picturesque site by St Michael’s Church.

Michelin-starred chef Tommy Banks, who lives nearby, is a fan. “There’s always a guy making pies out of Yorkshire puddings or burritos, it’s quite cliche but very popular. Malton also has the most amazing food festival, which attracts 60,000 visitors over two days, it’s pretty rocking.” 

Second Saturday of each month; 9am-3pm; Market Pl, Malton YO17 7LX

Kendal Farmers’ Market, Cumbria

Set in the historic and pretty market town, Kendal Farmers’ Market is small by modern farmers’ market standards, but it certainly makes up for it in quality and authenticity. Held on the last Friday of each month, expect delights like freshly baked farmhouse breads, cakes and pies, local Lake District meat, brilliant cheese and hog roast. Watch out for Ginger Bakers’ berry and beetroot brownies, Sillfield Farm’s wild boar sausages and Lovingly Artisan’s ancient grain sourdough breads. 

Final Friday of each month; 9:30am-3:30pm; Market Place, Kendal LA9 4TN

The Garage Farmers Market, Chilwell, Nottinghamshire

As farmers’ markets go, this bi-monthly meet on the outskirts of Nottingham is unique, located in an old bus depot owned by the same family for five generations. Local produce is the name of the game on the second and fourth Sunday of each month (there are several and varied other events on other days). 

Each week around 25 stalls flog local breads, cheese, patisseries, pies, vegetables and alcoholic drinks. A particular favourite is the fresh lasagna. On the first and third Sunday of each month, a fine food market sits alongside a vintage craft market. 

Second and fourth Sunday of each month; 10am-2pm; The Garage, 63 High Road, Chilwell, Beeston NG9 4AJ

Riverside Farmers’ Market, Cardiff

Riverside is a weekly Sunday farmers’ market that has been running since 1998, making it one of Wales’ longest running and most popular. Its picturesque setting, on the banks of the River Taff and overlooking the Principality Stadium, are a draw, but not as much as the excellent produce.

With over 30 traders, Riverside is on the larger end of the farmers’ market scale, and you’ll find a stunning array of Welsh meats, cheeses and vegetables. Smaller sister markets have since opened in the Cardiff suburbs of Roath and Rhiwbina.

Every Sunday; 10am-2am; Fitzhamon Embankment, Cardiff CF11 6AN

Stockbridge Market, Edinburgh 

Part of a triumvirate with Leith Market and Grassmarket Market, this weekly Edinburgh stalwart has been a Sunday favourite for years. According to journalist Poppy McKenzie Smith, who used to sneak out of school to buy croissants at the celebrated Au Gourmand Boulangerie, it is “small but perfectly formed”. 

The market features the requisite range of traders: local organic veg, a cheesemonger, smoked fish, meat, and a healthy array of ready meals and more, although hot food is currently on hold. 

Every Sunday; 10am-5pm; Stockbridge Market, Saunders Street, Edinburgh EH3 6TQ

Bowhouse Market, Fife 

Set in the beautiful East Neuk of Fife, the Bowhouse’s regular weekend markets see the Balcaskie Estate turned into one of Britain’s very best markets, with producers from all over Scotland descending on the covered market. Many of the estates’ pioneering producers are also showcased, with meat, cider and fresh vegetables, alongside perhaps its most famous player, baking luminary Andrew Whitley’s Scotland Bread. 

Second weekend of the month; 10am-4pm; Bowhouse Farm, St Monans, Anstruther, Fife KY10 2DB 

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