Whether you’re on a weekend getaway or a luxurious week long holiday, Sussex has so much to offer when it comes to food and drink. If you fancy hanging up your apron for an evening, there’s a huge variety of places to eat, from Michelin-starred restaurants to cosy country and coastal pubs, but there is something extra special about spending time together creating the perfect meal at home.
Whether you’re huddled up for a Sussex Christmas or basking in the summer sunshine with a picnic on the beach, you’re going to need some exceptional produce to make your meals magical – which is where farm shops come in. From the wine-producing hills of the South Downs to the shingle-shored, fish-rich coastline, Sussex is a veritable larder for stunning produce that’s best picked up from a local farm shop where you’re guaranteed fresh quality and no air miles. From carefully reared succulent meats to straight-from-the-ground vegetables, and hearty craft ales to hot buttered sourdough bread, buying locally produced, artisanal foodstuffs is the best way to experience a true taste of Sussex.
So, to get your appetite well and truly going, here’s a great selection of farm shops in Sussex for you to discover for yourself.
Cowdray Farm Shop, Midhurst
Cowdray Park, Midhurst GU29 0AQ
Part of the magnificent Cowdray Estate, which lies beneath the South Downs in the heart of the National Park, this award-winning farm shop lies near Midhurst in West Sussex and offers a huge range of tasty treats to take home with you. From seasonal fruit and veg to their own butchery (famed in particular for their succulent sausages) - not to mention a deli stacked high with cheeses and a mountain of freshly baked bread, cakes and pastries lovingly created by the in-house chefs - it’s deliciously easy to fill cupboards and bellies here.
For something a little different, try their fresh, hand-crafted sushi or local venison, or take a break from cooking and pick something from their great selection of luxurious frozen meals, all made in house and ready to take away with you. Opposite the farm shop is Cowdray Lifestyle where you can browse gorgeous homeware, local crafts, and gifts that make excellent presents to take home with you. While in the area, there’s a lovely circular walk that begins and ends in Midhurst, following the River Rother beneath the dappled shade of the ancient woodland.
Runcton Farm Shop, Chichester
Pagham Road, Runcton, Chichester PO20 1LJ
Set in the village of Runcton near the historical city of Chichester, this farm shop sources local produce from over 70 local suppliers as well as growing over 40 different crops themselves. Being such a prestigious crop farm, fruit and vegetables play a huge role at Runcton Farm Shop with an ever-changing display of succulent, seasonal produce.
In addition, there’s a delicatessen that offers a large range of cheeses, cold meats, pork pies, sausage rolls, quiche and a sandwich bar – ideal for putting together a picnic – while the butchers, bakery, and wide range of gins are well worth perusing. If you’re a little peckish, there’s a café on site too that’s perfect for coffee and cake. Afterwards, take your picnic goodies and head to Chichester Harbour, a stunning National Landscape that has 19 viewpoints to choose from where you can sit and gaze over the water.
Middle Farm Shop, Lewes
West Firle, Lewes BN8 6LJ
If you’re exploring the town of Lewes in East Sussex and its fascinating medieval castle, make sure to pop into Middle Farm Shop at some point to stock up on tasty fare to take back to your holiday cottage in Sussex. With its own bakery on site, it’s a must for cakes and oven-fresh bread, while a selection of meat, cheese, free range eggs, milk, seasonal fruit and vegetables, pickles and preserves, and a host of other delicacies are all sourced from within Sussex.
Middle Farm is also home to the National Collection of Cider and Perry that’s housed in their Cider Barn – a mecca for any passionate cider drinker where you can sample over 100 different draughts (though perhaps not all at once!) and take some bottles home with you. There’s also a great selection of local ales, wines from Sussex vineyards, meads, country wines and fruit liqueurs. If you have little ones with you, they can visit the farm animals (tickets for this need to be booked in advance online), including pigs, llamas, rabbits, guinea pigs, goats, ponies and a donkey, and there’s a play area where they can let off steam.
Westons Farm Shop, Horsham
Westons Hill, Itchingfield, Horsham RH13 0BD
Nestled in the lovely village of Itchingfield near Horsham, this fantastic farm shop has been running for over 20 years, providing seasonal, local produce such as their hand-reared beef, pork, and lamb, while fruit and veg comes from neighbouring farms nearby. You can also purchase fish, award-winning cheese, and other dairy products, bakery goods, and store cupboard essentials.
If you’re looking for a cheers-worthy offering, their wine selection has a great range of local wines – perfect for evenings in your holiday home. This is a great place to visit when combined with an appetite-building walk at nearby Knepp Estate, a 3,500 acre rewilding project that has pretty paths and trails to explore.
Charlie’s Farm Shop, Pulborough
Bury, Pulborough RH20 1NP
Farming dairy cows since 1919, Charlie’s Farm Shop opened in 2013 and is run by husband and wife team Charlie (the farmer) and Sarah (the shop manager). As you’d expect, this farm shop, which lies near Pulborough, specialises in dairy produce such as milk, yoghurt, and luxury ice cream, as well as its own reared beef, pork, and rose veal. Working closely with other farmers, there’s also a good range of lamb, game, seasonal fruit and veg, wines, beers, bread and a mobile fish stall every Thursday.
Combine your visit with a walk at the RSPB-managed Pulborough Brooks in the Arun Valley, with its stunning views over the South Downs and trails to explore, as well as wetlands, ponds, and ditches that are home to a plethora of birds such as nightingales in spring, nightjars in summer, and falcons during the winter months.
Tablehurst Farm, Forest Row
London Road, Forest Row RH18 5DP
Tablehurst Farm is a proper community affair and totally biodynamic, which means that everything sold in the shop is produced from scratch on site - the fruit and veg is grown in their six hectare garden! Located near Forest Row, organic meat is the farm’s best-selling product, with beef, chicken, pork and lamb available all year, while bread is baked at Fermento Bakery (also on the farm).
You can get home-grown eggs, dairy, and culinary and medicinal herbs (from their healing garden), as well as lots of dry goods, organic wines, spirits and beers. There’s also a pie kitchen, which produces 50 different types of pies, pastries, sausage rolls, quiches and ready meals to take home with you. If all that makes you peckish, there’s a small café on the farm and from April to the end of September there’s a wood-fired oven ablaze for sourdough pizzas on Fridays and BBQs on Saturdays.
For something a little different, the farm also hosts various workshops, from pickling and making kimchi to sourdough and preserving – a great way to learn a new skill while on holiday! After you’ve filled baskets (and tummies) with lots of goodies, head to nearby Ashdown Forest for a woodland walk.
Goodwood Farm Shop, Chichester
Chichester PO18 0QF
Showcasing the produce of the Goodwood Estate and Home Farm, a visit to their farm shop is well worth it when in the area. Providing food for the Chichester area for over 300 years, the estate doesn’t use pesticides or fertilisers, so you can browse award-winning organic meat, dairy, beer and gin during your visit.
With a butchers and dairy on site, everything is created just steps away from the shop, so everything is as fresh as can be - whether you’re after succulent beef, lamb, and pork or creamy milk, cream, and fragrant cheeses. The farm also has a brewery using organic hops and malted barley grown on the estate, while there’s a great selection of Gusbourne’s award-winning wine, using grapes grown near Goodwood. Take the opportunity to explore the 11,000-acre estate with a lovely walk – there’s a host of trails you can explore while working up an appetite.
Eggs to Apples Farm Shop, Etchingham
London Road, Hurst Green, Etchingham TN19 7QP
Nestled deep in the High Weald, a beautiful National Landscape, this fantastic farm shop has been running for three generations since the 1960’s. The name Eggs to Apples originates from the Latin phrase ‘Ab ova usque ad mala’, which means ‘From beginning to end’, originating from when the Romans would begin their meal with an egg and end with an apple. That same concept applies to the farm shop, which aims to provide everything you’ll need for your meals, selling organic, affordable fruit and veg, pantry stables such as honey, jams and pulses, a deli with local cheeses, cured meats, antipasti and quiches, and a butchers serving seasonal meat and game.
In addition, there’s a great little café or, if you have a busy day planned, you can get your caffeine hit to go from their coffee bar (and maybe a decadent pastry to go with it). Afterwards, head to Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest, an award-winning collection of conifers that’s home to over 12,000 specimen trees and a wonderful setting for a walk, followed by a picnic of your farm shop goodies.
Feeling hungry? Take a look at our beautiful holiday cottages in Sussex and start planning your foodie escape today.