Food & drink

Al fresco shopping

5 of Britain’s best outdoor markets…
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In-store shopping is more functional than pleasurable at the moment, but outdoor markets offer a way to still enjoy socially-distanced browsing and bargain-hunting.

Whether you’re looking for handmade jewellery, organic soap, wooden toys or the finest locally-sourced food and drink, you can’t beat the atmosphere of a traditional market.

We round up some of our favourite outdoor shopping options across Great Britain…

1. Norwich Market

With almost 200 stalls to browse, Norwich boasts one of the largest open-air markets in the country. It’s also one of the oldest, established in the 11th century by the Normans, so knows how to survive in a crisis. Characterised by its distinctive candy-striped awnings, it has a colourful, friendly vibe and offers an amazing array of clothes, children’s toys and jewellery, as well as meat, fresh bread, chutneys and cheese. It’s open Monday to Saturday, although some stalls have reduced their hours and there’s currently a one-way system to help us with social distancing.

Make a night of it: Best Western Annesley House Hotel or George Hotel, BW Signature Collection by Best Western

Norwich-Market

2. Loch Lomond Shores Market

For outdoor markets in gorgeous settings, they don’t come much better than the Loch Lomond Shores Market, held on the first and third Sunday of every month. Situated in Balloch against a backdrop of the loch and Ben Lomond, the market offers a wide range of Scottish produce and crafts. Let your taste buds be tantalised by smoked cheeses, freshly baked pies, homemade jams, chutneys, oils and shortbread. There’s also hot food stands among the stripy awnings and bunting – and even stalls selling gourmet dog treats. With plenty of other outdoor family activities at Loch Lomond Shores to keep you entertained, why not stay longer?

Make a night of it: The Winnock, Sure Hotel Collection by Best Western

Loch-Lomond-Shores-Market

3. Portobello Road Market, London

This iconic street in Notting Hill is home to the world’s largest antiques and bric-a-brac market. While it’s usually jam-packed with tourists, it’s been a lot quieter lately and now’s a great time to avoid the crowds. The market has been operating at reduced capacity throughout lockdown but is slowly beginning to spring into life again. You’ll find every kind of collectible imaginable here, from stamps and coins to jewellery and vintage clothing. As you stroll down Portobello Road, be sure to stop for a selfie in front of the famous blue door featured in the rom-com fave Notting Hill.

Make a night of it: Corus Hyde Park Hotel, Sure Hotel Collection by Best Western

Portobello-Market

4. Stroud Farmers’ Market

The smell of sizzling sausages and onions is enough to entice you in alone. This is one of the biggest and best farmers’ markets in the country – and has a handful of awards to its name to prove it. From Gloucester cheeses and honey to locally-brewed ales and ciders, there’s a feast of exceptional produce to sample. Fill up your hamper for a summer picnic or try the hot food on offer including sausage butties, vegan snacks and Indian street food. Open every Saturday from 9am-2pm, the market made a gradual post-lockdown return in June with social distancing measures in place to keep customers safe, and most stalls are now fully back up and running.

Make a night of it: The Gloucester, BW Signature Collection by Best Western

Stroud-Farmers-Market

5. Mold Market

The historic North Wales Borderlands town of Meld has been home to a street market since medieval times, and not even a global pandemic can stop it in its tracks. This vibrant outdoor market is held on the high street every Wednesday and Saturday. A warm, friendly Welsh welcome awaits, and you’ll get plenty of banter from the stallholders as they try to persuade you to part with your money for discounted clothing, plants, homeware, cakes and more.

Make a night of it: Wrexham Llyndir Hall, BW Signature Collection by Best Western

Mold-Market

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