Markets and Festivals
If you look from the top of the South Downs, your view will be filled with fields in most directions. 75 per cent of the South Downs is farmland of one kind or another. There are cattle grazing, orchards, vineyards and fields of wheat. This is a place full of things to eat and drink.
Unsurprisingly, with so much farmland, you will find plenty of farmers markets around the National Park, in both Sussex and Hampshire.
However, if you can’t wait until market day, you can visit some of the following farm shops:
- Charlie’s Farm Shop, Bury. Opened IN 2013 and sells fresh milk, cream and luxury from their own dairy. They also have an on-site butchery with meat from their farm together with the best of local produce.
- The Cowdray Farm Shop is situated in the 16,500 acre Cowdray Estate and offers a juice bar, fresh fish and uses traditional artisan techniques to make the best of local produce.
- Millfarm Organic Farm Shop, Alton, is a traditional family run farm and sells organic beef, lamb and pork in its shop. The farm shop also has a great selection of homemade pies, soups and quiches and they also have a café on site.
- Durleighmarsh Farm Shop, Petersfield is a firm favourite for picking your own fruit and vegetables, and you can see a calendar of what is available for harvesting here. Not surprisingly their shop is also bursting with freshness, as well as a plethora of other produce from around the region.
- The Sussex Produce Company, Steyning is an award-winning pure and simple green grocers whose reputation is dependent on the local suppliers they so lovingly promote. Not many green grocers expand into the world of making food, however, but this is no ordinary green grocer. Now serving breakfasts, lunches and afternoon teas in the café at the rear of the shop, this is a much loved local hangout. Especially their roast lunch on Sundays.
- Country Market, Bordon, is packed with its own fruit and vegetables, as well as regional dairy products, breads and jams. And if all that shopping makes you hungry, they have a café on site too. Applegarth Farm Shop and Restaurant has it all – a bakery, cheeses, artisan foods, meat, deli, and also a restaurant.
- The Bowtell Farm Shop in Alton is an award winning outlet and the site of a traditional family run farm run with traditional farming methods. They specialise in pigs, beef, lamb, chickens and guinea fowl although their shop is crammed with lots of earthy goodies, including a fine selection of local wine, ales and ciders.
- Middle Farm is just two miles from Glynde railway station if you want to pack your pannier full of picnic goodies at their farm shop before heading off across the South Downs. A family farm for six generations, their well-stocked shop includes their own home produced beef, pork and lamb as well as a superb bakery and a fine array of local cheeses. Their restaurant, with its log fire, is a perfect lunch stop.
For more information on buying local produce from around the South Downs, visit Big Barn.