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Bakewell Markets

Bakewell Farmer's Market

Bakewell Farmer's Market is the second biggest farmers market in the UK and generally takes place on the last Saturday of every month, except for December, from 9am to 2pm. Its popularity has grown from strength to strength and is now regularly attracting more than 5000 visitors. It is so popular now that many of the 70 stallholders sell out before closing time, so get there early if you want to buy your cheese, beer, wine, meat, game and vegetables. It is produced by The Foods from the Peak District Project and many cafes, restaurants, hotels and bed and breakfasts all take pride in offering fine local produce at the market, advertising themselves, giving out free samples, but also providing information and products to purchase.

Peak food products are definitely the main attraction, past and present and for those with a sense of history, there is a feature on Foods of Yesteryear, which includes the infamous 'lumpytums', oat balls in milk. There features the local legendary Buxton and Bakewell puddings, Ashbourne's gingerbread as well as Hartington Cheese. The Peak District has such a vast range of distinctive and unusual produce and the success of these local businesses help boost jobs and the local economy no end. With quality being key to the market's success, many of the stall holders hold the Peak District Environmental Quality Mark for businesses who support the National Park's natural assets, or if they receive any financial support from the New Environmental Economy programme.

The market takes place undercover at the Agricultural Business Centre less than 2 minutes walk from the centre of Bakewell, a stroll across the crystal clear River Wye, and next to the very large public car park. There is ample parking adjacent to the farmer's market with very easy access for wheelchairs and prams; there are masses of parking spaces for cars and coaches. It's great to wander around the market, sample the wares and support local businesses, perhaps grab some lunch to take away and walk in the wonderful recreation park - don't be tempted to eat in the car park because picnicking is not permitted but why would you, with all the glorious other parts of Bakewell to explore?
The farmer's market is organised by Derbyshire Dales District Council and has a waiting list of more than 50 traders now. It is held at the District Council's Business Centre, which celebrated its 13th anniversary in 2011. Winchester is only one step ahead and able to boast a larger number of stallholders, but as the second largest farmer's market in the country, Bakewell is also home to one of the UK's top five livestock markets.

The farmer's market is essential for farmers and producers to ply their wares, swap gossip and meet new customers. It's a great way to boost the tourism in Bakewell as well as being yet another attraction for visitors.  The local hotels and B&B's thrive when the farmer's markets and livestock market s are on parade and many local cafes and pubs take on extra staff during the market days themselves.  How lovely it is to know you are purchasing top quality Peak District produce from home grown sources, organic or hand reared and that you can rest assured the quality is superb.

Bakewell Livestock Market
Bakewell livestock market is infamous and farmers come from miles around to buy and sell. The expert auctioneers are Bagshaw's of Bakewell and they certainly know their stuff. Having had over 130 years of experience in livestock auctioneering they operate the livestock markets at the District Council's Agricultural Business Centre, mixing the traditional and modern methods of sale.
In a typical year, around 200,000 sheep and nearly 40,000 cattle and calves are sold through Bakewell livestock market and with the facilities at the agricultural centre being second to none, the cattle and sheep penning and sale rings are all under one roof together, so rainy weather is not an issue. There are offices, cafes and conference facilities and even a drop in medical clinic for farmers.

With the town centre only being a short walk away and simply a lovely stroll across the footbridge, pause awhile, if you have the time, to watch the huge trout swimming in the crystal clear waters of the River Wye below your feet. The livestock handling facilities are fantastic and very up to date, with extensive unloading bays, sorting and numbering races. With the huge car park available, there is also an extensive lorry parking area with a well equipped wash and wheel area and disinfecting tank equipment at the exit to the market.
The sale rings themselves are designed to exhibit stock to its best advantage and provide easy access for vendors and purchases alike. The main ring has a wonderful spiral staircase for access to the rostrum and viewing gallery overlooking the cattle penning area, so a bird's eye view is definitely on the cards.
With wheelchair access and a lift to the seating areas, nobody is left out and both main sales rings feature electronic displays information and linked directly to the office computer system, making up-to-date and modern arrangements for a very old traditional market.

Bakewell Stall Market
Bakewell is the busiest market town in the Peak District and I've had its own market since 1330. The livestock and stall markets are one of the main attractions to tourists and visitors, as well as the residents and the local community. Starting early that Bakewell marketplace and Granby Road, the outdoor market opens very early at 7.30 am and closes around four o'clock so ensure you get the early before stallholders sell up for the day.
Both the indoor and outdoor markets will have something to please everyone and probably help you with looking after your wallet. It has character and atmosphere which makes it unique shopping experience, with the finest and freshest foods, unique gifts and home furnishings. It boasts fashion and refreshing snacks. There is always a new face but certainly a whole host of regular faces and with regular events by local traders and external agencies, there's always sure to be something happening at one of Bakewell's markets.
Close to the town centre the markets are great to pop along to and then maybe take a stroll into the recreation centre and take advantage of some peace and quiet or pop across the gorgeous River Wye to the Business Centre. There are take away fish and chips, umpteen cafes to grab some lunch or why not take an ice cream for a stroll and enjoy the view?