From farm-to-fork: discover Devon’s best farm shops and markets

Carmen McCormack Profile Image

Carmen McCormack

Guest Expert

5 min read

The places that will help you discover the real taste of Devon are farm shops and local markets. These humble heroes are (often quietly) doing wonderful things in the community. By championing and celebrating good farming practices, small-scale producing and artisan crafts and making, they are keeping important traditions alive as well as pioneering healthy land management practices for future generations. From handmade cheeses and local wines, to organic beef and home baked bread, you’ll find everything you need to keep your holiday cottage well-stocked with delicious food and drink from the selection of farm shops. Plus, vibrant markets in South Molton and Tavistock will make sure you find foodie treats and gifts galore to take home.

Tagged with:

Quicke’s Farm

Quicke’s is a celebration of all things cheese and they consider great cheesemaking to be an artform. The family has worked in harmony with the land for 14 generations, using time-honoured methods and tried and tested recipes to create the perfect cheddar; handmade, clothbound and slow-matured for a rich and delicious taste. They also sell a number of local ‘guest’ cheeses, from Somerset goat’s cheese to Sharpham brie as well as a range of yummy things to pair with your cheese: pâté, pickles and relishes, crackers, nuts and olives and some excellent local wines. If you want to dive into the production methods, book a farm tour to meet the cows, sample the cheese and find out how real cheese is made. 

Stay at The Old Piggery, a quirky space on a small farm. Side by side alfresco baths make it romantic for two plus there’s a sofabed for extra guests.

Darts Farm

From humble beginnings as the UKs first pick-your-own in 1971, to the award-winning farm shop you can visit today, Darts Farm is an ode to sustainable and regenerative farming practices overlooking the fertile Clyst Valley. Thanks to holistic land management and a native herd of Ruby Red Devon cows, the earth here is abundantly fertile. In season, the farm team picks fresh fruit and veg daily destined straight for the shelves in the farm shop. Beef is aged and butchered using traditional methods for superb taste and zero waste. You’ll also discover a selection of artisan products, from local wines to Devon cider and you can reconnect with nature on a stroll through the fields to the bird hide, before a farm-to-fork meal in the restaurant or café. There’s even a wellness spa on site. 

Stay at The Granary, Larkbeare Grange, a contemporary and thoughtfully-designed space around 30 minutes from the south coast, with big walks from the door.

South Molton Pannier Market

Open Thursdays and Saturdays 8.30 am – 1 pm

The charming town of South Molton sits happily beside the river Mole, a genteel sort of place with elegant Georgian houses and a good independent shopping scene. Known as the gateway to Exmoor, it’s the launchpad for Exmoor National Park and home to a thriving twice weekly market. Awarded Britain’s Best Community Market 2023, the South Molton Pannier Market hosts over 70 indoor stalls. Perfect for boosting your spirits whatever the weather. Browse the stall-holders offerings of homemade bread and cakes, local meat, freshly-picked flowers, cheese, pet treats, books, antiques, artisan crafts, original art and more! 

Stay at Exmoor Forest Inn and enjoy a local ale or cider, seasonal food and comfortable bedrooms. You’re near the highest point on Exmoor for grand walking and cycling.

Tavistock Pannier Market

Open Tuesday to Saturday 9 am – 4 pm

Tavistock is a beauty with lush Dartmoor views from every angle, the river Tavy rushing past and some fine architectural buildings. And at its heart, in the Market Hall just behind the town hall, the gutsy Tavistock Pannier Market. The market was granted its Royal Charter in 1105 and has continued to thrive ever since, drawing visitors from near and far who arrive to browse and buy from its smorgasbord of stalls. Discover antiques and second-hand books, artisan gifts and delicious cakes, jewellery, garden plants and more, they even have themed days. Cafés run around the perimeter for a choice of indoor and outdoor dining and this vibrant space ensures another generation of local makers can keep their craft traditions alive. 

Stay at The Horn of Plenty hotel, a pretty 1860s house in a very fine spot, lovely gardens with views, traditional bedrooms, good food and super-friendly staff.

Fordmore Farm Shop

The family have farmed at Frodmore since 1942. Today they rear a herd of dairy and beef cows who munch their way across vibrant Devon pastures as well as free-ranging chickens who scratch and peck to their heart’s content. All animals are reared organically. Committed to high animal welfare standards and land management, they have planted over 5,500 native trees. The Fodmore Farm Shop stocks their own meat, dry aged on site, as well as a selection from small-herd, ethical local producers who supply lamb and beef. You’ll also find an ethical fishmongers, café with menus bursting with local produce, deli stocked with more local delights and a small children’s play park to keep little ones amused. 

Stay at Redbrick Barn Loft, a roomy, stylish barn conversion in Devon’s rolling hills with panoramic views of the Exe valley.

Johns of Appledore

Johns, as it’s affectionately known, is a bit of an institution. This award-winning deli in two locations – Instow and Appledore – is a celebration of all things local. They champion farmers and producers, support the community and offer a source of inspiration against big, bland conglomerates. Visiting the deli to stock up on fresh fruit and vegetables is a pick-your-own veg box experience plus they sell artisan cheeses and local gins, a huge charcuterie section, lovely rustic breads and they even host workshops and events. Visit the cafés for delicious breakfasts, lunches and cracking afternoon teas. Both are family and dog friendly with outdoor eating spaces on Instow Pier and Appledore Quay, or you can take away your favourite dishes.

Stay at The Royal George a five-minute walk away. It’s a foodie and friendly reinvigorated old pub, with floor to ceiling estuary views. Bring the dog and hit the coastal path

Browse all our places to stay in Devon >

Want more travel inspiration? Get our email updates direct to your inbox >

Sign up >

Carmen McCormack

Guest Expert

Carmen is a freelance writer specialising in travel. She once lived in a bus in north Wales, skipped off to study in Barcelona, and now calls Bristol home. When she’s not tapping away on her laptop, she can be found reading (a lot), lake swimming (a little), and pottering on the allotment with husband and two kiddos. She’s currently dreaming about cold cerveza and torta in Mexico.

View more articles by this author

You might also like

Creating joy in every room: designing an eclectic Devon B&B

Christopher Wilson-Elmes

Sawday's Expert

5 min read

  • Community
  • Devon

Pocket guide to Devon

Carmen McCormack

Guest Expert

5 min read

  • Devon