As a productive agricultural area, the Cotswolds is the ideal place to sample local produce and there are many farmers’ markets dotted across the region in the various market towns and villages. From locally produced cheese to specialty sausages, there is an extraordinary range of quality food created here. Take a morning out to explore one or more of the wonderful markets listed below.
The Stroud farmers’ market is one of the biggest and busiest farmers markets in the United Kingdom and is also known for being a bit of a celebrity haunt. While it has been featured by multiple cooking shows and major national publications, it has not lost its authenticity with all produce and crafts gathered or created within a 17-mile radius. It is also multi-award winning, scooping not one but two FARMA awards for Best Farmers’ Market and Radio 4’s Best Farmers’ Market in the country in 2010. The market has between 50 and 55 stalls depending on the season, including Cotswold cheeses, chutneys and preserves, specialty butchers, cooked food stalls, ice cream, and certified organic traders. The market also has several special events throughout the year such as the Apple Day festivities in October, Christmas events in December, and the occasional cooking demonstration from local celebrity chef, Robert Rees.
When: Every Saturday, 9 am – 2 pm
Where: Cornhill Market Place & Surrounding Streets, Stroud GL5 2HH
Named the best farmers’ market in Gloucestershire by Cotswold Life, the Cheltenham market has a variety of stalls offering produce including fruit, vegetables, preserves, cakes, cheeses, free-range meat, and plants. In December this bustling market is joined by a 10-day Christmas market offering various crafts and gifts. It was established over 12 years ago and is enthusiastically supported by the local community.
When: 2nd and 4th Friday of the month, 9 am – 3 pm
Where: The pedestrianized area of the Promenade, outside Cavendish House or in front of the Long Gardens
Sitting beneath the medieval spires of the Church of St. John the Baptist, this charming market has a range of locally brewed beer, baking, fruit and vegetables, pies, and game. All primary produce is grown in the surrounding area and secondary produce must be made locally with at least one ingredient coming from the surrounding area. Regular stallholders include Corinium Ales who recently won Best Farmers’ Market Stallholder in the Cotswold Life Food & Drink Awards.
When: 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month, 9 am -1 pm
Where: Cirencester Market Place
4. Chipping Norton
There has been a market in this Oxfordshire Cotswolds town since the 13th century and its medieval market square is now also the site of its monthly farmers’ market offering fresh, local food from the surrounding area. Stalls offer a variety of produce including baked goods, fruit, vegetables, meat, plants, preserves, honey, plants, beverages, and dairy.
When: 3rd Saturday of the month, 8.30 am-1.30 pm
Where: Chipping Norton Market Place
With between 18 and 20 stalls, this farmers’ market is one offers an array of meat, vegetables, cheese, preserves, cakes, and other produce. There are also a range of artisan craft stalls. In addition, most market days include live music giving it a festival vibe. The surrounding town is worth exploring with interesting shops and restaurants.
When: 4th Saturday of the month, 9 am-1 pm
Where: Mortimer Gardens, behind the Bus Station, Central Nailsworth
Other Noteworthy Cotswolds Farmers’ Markets
When: 4th Sunday of the month
Where: Countrywide Stores
When: 2nd Saturday of the month, 8.30 am – 1 pm
Where: Town Hall
When: every Friday, 9 am-3 pm
Where: The Cross and Southgate Street
When: 2nd Thursday of the month, 9 am – 1 pm
Where: Market Square, Stow-on-the-Wold, GL54 1BL
When: 2nd Saturday of the month, 9 am – 1.30 pm
Where: Abbey Car Park, off Gander Lane, GL20 5PG
When: 3rd Saturday of the month, 9 am – 2 pm
Where: Town Centre
When: 1st Saturday of the month, 9 am – 1 pm
Where: Wotton Town Hall, Market Street
When: 4th Friday of the month
Where: Market Place