Local has become a buzzword in the food sphere in recent years. The benefits are clear: buying and eating local produce is better for both the environment and our tastebuds – and it helps support small businesses. With that in mind, we’ve collated a handful of the best farm shops in the UK, known for selling some of the freshest food around.
When initially established by the Duchess of Devonshire in 1977, the Chatsworth Estate Farm Shop only sold meat from the estate farms. These days it’s a rather more extensive affair: you can buy everything from local honeys to venison steaks to freshly-made pies, with over 60 per cent of produce either produced or prepared on-site. Chatsworth is home to a number of livestock farms, meaning the meat is all local, while fruit and vegetables are supplied by Tomson’s of Buxton. Other delights include a fresh fish counter, a delicatessen and a patisserie, as well as a café which uses ingredients sold next door. Pilsley, Bakewell DE45 1UF
Another gem is Kimbers’ Farm Shop in Wincanton, run by a family who have been farming the same land for over 300 years. The shop is known for selling top quality meat, with the option to make your own hamper from the meat and pantry section. You’ll also find a dairy here, selling fresh cheese, milk and butter from the local farm in Somerset. Charlton Musgrove, Wincanton BA9 8HD
Perhaps the most famous farm shop in the UK is the Gloucestershire branch of Daylesford, often dubbed ‘The Harvey Nichols of the Cotswolds.’ Since being founded in 2002, Daylesford has grown to become one of the most sustainable farms in the UK. They were pioneers in the farm to table movement, and their organic offering today is better than ever. At Daylesford near Kingham you’ll find a shop, dairy, creamery, converted barn café, and farm where animals roam freely on organic pastures. Fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs are picked each morning from the market garden, before being taken just a few yards to the on-site shop and used to make dishes for the café. Daylesford near Kingham, Gloucestershire GL56 0YG
With a pick-your-own farm and huge wooden play barn, children will love Cobbs Farm Shop & Kitchen, located in Hungerford. Meanwhile adults can peruse the well-stocked farm shop, which features a delicatessen, butchery, fishmonger and florist. You can buy luxury dairy ice cream, freshly baked bread, preserves, chutneys, smoked fish, cheese and meats, before exploring the vineyard – their English sparkling wine, Alder Ridge, has won awards. Bath Rd, Hungerford RG17 0SP
Perched on the Berkshire-Hampshire border, Wellington Farm Shop is a foodie’s heaven. It was founded in 2005 by chef Lady Honor Montagu, who worked with the likes of Marco Pierre White in the past – and has been committed to sustainability long before it was fashionable. Much of the produce here is grown on the Estate itself, the rest being selected from local producers. There’s lamb from the Estate’s Welsh Black Mountain flock, cheese from Neal’s Yard Dairy, free-range Beechwood farm eggs and local handmade ice cream. You can also pick up a wide selection of fresh fruit and vegetables, honey made using beehives from the Estate, and delicious fresh cakes from the nearby Rosebud Bakery. If you can’t wait to sample the goods, head to the cosy café, open for breakfast, lunch or tea and cake. Welsh Ln, Reading RG27 0LT
Driving through the Gleno valley you may be lucky enough to chance upon The Dairy, a whitewashed building perched between Carrickfergus and Larne. Headed up by Sandra McDowell, the farm shop showcases the vast range of local produce Northern Ireland has to offer, selling everything from chutneys to chocolates to bread, alongside meat sourced from Sandra and her husband’s farm. There’s also a quaint little cafe serving breakfast, lunch and traditional roast dinners on Sundays, and a pretty courtyard with outdoor seating for sunny days. Afterwards, make a trip to the beautiful Gleno waterfall, just a few minutes drive away. 5 Waterfall Road BT40 3LE