My favourite farm shop.........

…has to be Low Sizergh Barn near Kendal.

It’s much too far away for a regular visit but, whenever we are in the Lake District (as we will be next week), it’s invariably our last stop before heading for home.

Why do we like it? Well. it’s a proper farm shop selling the farm’s own produce - not just a food shop that happens to be on a farm. Obviously they don’t just sell their own produce but there’s a committment to local produce and local producers. Of their own produce, there’s raw milk, which is very much a rarity these days, and cheese made from the milk. It’s usually a good place to buy Herdwick lamb and Galloway beef (perhaps the tastiest of both species) And, of course, Cumberland sausage (“Traditonal Cumberland Sausage” has European Union PGI status - and your guess is as good as mine if all that hard work goes straight down the toilet after Brexit). I’ll also be on the lookout for pickled damsons - I bought a jar a couple of years back and they went really well with the Xmas gammon leftovers.

Oh… and they have a decent cafe which overlooks the cow shed so if you’re there mid-afternoon you get to watch the milking while you have your coffee.

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John, thanks for the tip. We stopped at Sizergh Castle for lunch and a leg-stretch a few months back, on our way to Scotland.

We saw the barn and deliberated about stopping there for lunch or going to the National Trust cafe. Sounds like we made the wrong choice and should have gone to the barn instead. Next time! Though the castle was very pleasant to walk around.

Yep, castle garden is well worth a wander round. I’ve only had a brew in the cafe.