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1 hour 20 minutes from Huddersfield
Nearest train station: Head to Malton Station (5-minute walk)
When? 26 & 27 May
Malton has fashioned itself into the north’s foodiest village in recent years, and the reason for this is the annual feast from the east that is the Malton Food Fest. Here you can wander through an ancient market town, grabbing morsels of picky food and watching culinary masterclasses, all while loading up on specialist and artisanal fare. If the Malton Food Lovers Festival isn’t already on your fridge calendar, it really should be.
If you can’t make it to the Food Festival, don’t despair – Malton Farmers’ Market is held every second Saturday of the month.
1 hour from Leeds
Nearest train station: Ashton-under-Lyne Station (5-minute walk)
When? Last Sunday of the month
With black pudding, white pudding, rabbit, duck and all manner of pies, patés and pastries, meats and cheeses, Ashton Farmer’s Market is a real working food fest. That is, you come here to buy food, not browse it. And after 700+ years of trading, the market has got a firm handle on its role now. Speaking of rolls, if you’re visiting from out of town make sure you don’t miss the oven bottom muffins – there are lots of regional delicacies here but these flat floury bread rolls are a local staple, ideally served slathered in butter and crammed with salty chips.
1 hour 30 minutes from Edinburgh
Nearest train station: Penrith Station (6-minute walk)
When? Third Tuesday of the month (March to December)
This is one of the easiest markets to reach in the area, but there’s a lot to be said for heading to the region and touring the local towns and markets – Orton, Carlisle and Kendal all have farmers’ markets and Penrith also hosts a Food and Farming Festival in July.
If you want to find specialist, seasonal produce in beautiful surroundings, this is the place to go.
1 hour 20 minutes from Carlisle
Nearest train station: Edinburgh, Haymarket Station (5-minute walk)
When? Every Saturday
In the lee of Edinburgh Castle and just a caber’s toss from Haymarket Station, you’ll find Edinburgh Farmers’ Market. At last count there were 40 amazing stallholders here, touting everything from traditional food and drink to artisanal soaps and fancy-dan coffees… There’s also a stall called Clootie McToot Traditional Dumplings, which is a brilliant combination of vowels. Much of the produce is award-winning, best-in-class fare and it’s served up in a beautiful setting. If you’re here you’re also in the city’s West End, so you’ve Georgian splendour and a sporran-full of watering holes and tourist traps to get lost in too.
1 hour 20 minutes from Manchester Piccadilly
Nearest train station: Menston Station (20-minute bus ride - take the 33A)
When? Last Sunday of the month
The Campaign to Protect Rural England are unsurprisingly big fans of Otley Farmers’ Market. This market is right at the heart of a rural community, meaning visitors and locals shopping at the stalls here are putting money straight back into the local economy. It also helps that Otley is a lovely little market town (so lovely that it’s forever appearing in Emmerdale), and that the people here are a friendly bunch. So jump on the train to Otley and help support this brilliant web of stallholders and suppliers, by buying their amazing food.
1 hour 10 minutes from Liverpool Lime Street
Nearest train station: Bolton Station (7-minute walk)
When? Every day bar Sunday (details below)
Bolton Market isn’t a pop-up, once a month, farmers-only affair. This is your traditional sprawling indoor market, just 7 minutes from the station. Here, one moment you’re contemplating a pie and the next you’ll turn a corner and be consumed by that fug peculiar only to pet food stalls. The market hall is open (as Morrissey almost sang) every day bar Sunday. The Fish and Meat market is open every day except Sunday and Tuesday afternoon, and the Open Market is open on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
Come here for a good leg stretch and to experience the old-style markets that used to flourish everywhere in the north west.