markets & market towns
East of England
Nottinghamshire is a county with a fine tradition of hosting markets on a weekly or monthly basis with a great choice of places to visit either in the city or country.
Nottingham itself has the excellent Victoria Centre Market, which covers five regular open markets, its own car boot sale along with a number of specialist markets throughout the year.
Nottingham also has an excellent indoor market in the City Centre, with another also at Long Eaton where you are likely to find handmade jewellery, earrings, cards and handmade gifts.
Mansfield, lying on the river Maun and the largest town in Nottinghamshire has a main market on a Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and a Farmers Market on the third Tuesday of every month.
The historic market town of Retford was granted its first charter by King Henry III in 1246, which was extended in 1275 by King Edward I to allow a Saturday Market a tradition that continues today.
The open-air market - held in the market square each Thursday and Saturday - is very popular, whilst Friday is opportunity for browsers to seek out bargains at the Antique and Collectors Market. The third Saturday of every month sees a popular Farmers’ Market held, plus there is a ‘Crafty Corner Craft Market’ on the first and third Friday of the month between May and October.
The bustling general markets in Newark are also extremely popular with both locals and visitors, with the Saturday market in particular a vibrant focus for this historic market town. The general retail market is held on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, a collectors and antiques market staged on Monday, Thursday and bank holidays, and a Farmers market also held in Newark on the first Wednesday of each month.
With its elegant Regency houses and Minster church, the town of Southwell is also lovely spot to visit, no more so for its markets on Thursday and Saturday.
In neighbouring Derbyshire and the Peak District, traditional markets also play an important part in the shopping scene.
Derby city centre has plenty of choice, with the Eagle Market in St Peters Quarter, an undercover market housed in a modern building containing 340 stalls, offering a wide range of goods. There is also the fully restored Victorian Market Hall in Cathedral Quarter which has a variety of stalls with a separate Fish and Poultry sections. Then there is Allenton Market, a traditional open-air market on Osmaston Road which offers around 90 stalls with covered walkways.
Chesterfield market – held on Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays - is one of the biggest open-air markets in the country. Whatever you want to buy, there’s a stall selling it somewhere packed into the town centre.
There is also Chesterfield’s flea market which is fast becoming one of the largest in the country and a Farmers Market on the second Thursday of every month with a variety of local producers selling organic vegetables, rare breed meat, fish, Derbyshire honey, homemade cakes and cheese.
Chesterfield Artisan Market – held on the last Sunday of the month - is also well worth a look, as is the Victorian Market Hall which was originally built in 1857 and reopened four years after a major refit.
In addition to Chesterfield, expect to find lively town centre stall markets in places such as Ashbourne, Matlock and Wirksworth. Occupying two sites with over 160 stalls, Bakewell has the largest market in the Derbyshire Dales, plus has the UK’s second largest farmers’ market every month.
Lincolnshire is a popular draw thanks to a number of vibrant outdoor markets each week.
In Lincoln city centre you can expect to find local food and produce, artwork and ornaments, antiques and gifts, as well as meet local farmers, local artists and craftspeople at the great variety of markets through the year, including the famous Christmas Market at the beginning of December each year.
Dotted around the county are many delightful market towns that still have vibrant markets, many of which also date back hundreds of years.
From Alford, Horncastle and Louth in the Wolds, to Stamford and Market Deeping in the south, the county’s market towns are varied with a host of outdoor, covered and farmers’ markets; the latter with some of the region’s finest locally produced food and drink.
Leicestershire is also big when it comes to markets and the city’s historic indoor and outdoor Market is one to certainly visit. It has over 100 food, fashion and cosmetic stalls, and a great food hall providing a bright and airy environment for shoppers to buy meat, fish and other fresh produce.
Elsewhere Loughborough Market is open Thursdays and Saturdays on the Market Place the Town Centre. There is also a Vintage and Collectors Market every Friday, Farmers’ market on the second Wednesday of every month and a variety of seasonal markets and events, such as the Loughborough Fair. Melton Mowbray is renowned for its food and Farmers Markets held every Tuesday and Friday provide a showcase for quality meats and produce to be sold.
The market in the county town of Northampton has been held in the large Market Square since 1235. Monday is reserved for fresh fruit, vegetables, cut flowers and plants only, whilst Tuesday to Saturday are the general market days.
Elsewhere around the county, the historic weekly general market in Brackley can be found in the Upper Town square outside the Town Hall each Friday.
Corby’s outdoor market is open on Friday and Saturday located next to the Oasis Retail Park in Corby and offers a wide range of stalls, whilst the town’s Indoor Market is located in Corby town centre with permanent and traditional market stalls giving a variety of products depending on the day you visit.
There are many other great markets in Northamptonshire with historic traditions including in Daventry, Oundle, Towcester and Wellingborough.