Ledbury Country Market
It’s a Friday morning and Burgage Hall on Church Lane in Ledbury is bustling with activity. There’s a smell of breakfast in the air, and despite the relatively early hour, there are already several people browsing the stalls or enjoying food from the kitchen.
Many of those coming through the door do so on a weekly basis, to buy their favourite items. Others have travelled from further afield; visitors from north Gloucestershire and south Herefordshire use the market as the start of a day out in the town. Tourists from much further afield sometimes pop in and invariably take something away. The market opens at 8.30am and there are usually those who arrive at the very start, enjoy a breakfast and stock up on their favourite items. It’s fair to say the Country Market has become something of an institution for Ledbury.
The stalls sell a wide range of produce, all of which has something in common – it comes from local producers. The veg stall has many seasonal favourites, while the cakes offer a mouth-watering choice. There is smoked meat and fish, locally-sourced honey and a vast range of preserves. When in season, a wide range of local fruit as well as eggs, savoury items, garden plants and seedlings are for sale. Everything has been grown, cooked or stitched within a 15 mile radius of the town.
The origins of country markets like this owe their existence to the formation of the Women’s Institute. Ledbury’s first WI Market was founded in 1944. It remains popular today and if you pop in for a look one Friday morning, you’ll see why.