Now that spring has arrived, visiting a Dorset farm shop could be a great way to spend a relaxing afternoon while supporting your local food producers. Although often more expensive than supermarket alternatives, their fresh produce and home canned products are hard to beat in terms of freshness and flavor.
In our farm shops, the range of what’s on offer has never been better – nowadays visitors to a farm shop are as likely to find hot sauces and aioli as marmalades and chutneys. Dorset is blessed with a wealth of such outlets, many of which have been reviewed by users of the TripAdvisor online travel guide.
Below is a selection of the top rated ones, all of which have an impressive average of 4.5 out of 5 from previous visitors on Tripadvisor.
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Gulliver’s Farm Shop and Kitchen
Address: Gulliver’s Farm, Station Rd, West Moors, Ferndown, BH22 0JG
Rating: 4.5 out of 56 reviews
This foodie’s paradise sources its restaurant ingredients from Sturt’s Farm, which is located just up the road. Meat, eggs and vegetables from Sturt’s are also available in the shop, as well as raw (unpasteurized) milk, for those who make their own cheeses.
He is also part of a social enterprise called Sturt’s Community Trust, which creates opportunities for adults with learning disabilities to work in agriculture, retail and catering, so the pounds spent there- down do good locally. One reviewer said: “Excellent venue, fabulous home cooking and happy friendly staff. Love the cozy yurt and the star of the show are the beautiful pygmy goats.”
Marcia Farm Shop
Address: Clapcotts Farm, Spetisbury, Blandford Forum, DT11 9DF
Rating: 4.5 out of 12 reviews
Although this place has not received many reviews on Tripadvisor, it has more than a thousand fans on its Facebook page. And looking at its recently released new menu, it’s easy to see why.
As well as serving dishes like potato cake with smoked trout and cream cheese, or beef and red wine stew lasagna – using as local produce as possible – the on-site restaurant hosts live music on weekends. One reviewer said: ‘Stopped for coffee while on a group bike ride. Great service, good coffee and a relaxed, friendly place. Plenty of outdoor and covered seating. Cakes and snacks looked really good but I resisted.
Address: Longthorns, Wareham, BH20 6HH
Rating: 5 out of 326 reviews
Longthorns Farm is a ‘back to nature’ campsite accommodating tents, caravans, motorhomes and motorhomes – but it also has an exceptional farm shop. In addition to camping essentials you may have forgotten to pack, this store offers local produce, including award-winning luxury Purbeck ice cream.
One reviewer said: “It was great to see local products (including the delicious Purbeck ice cream) available for purchase in the shop alongside products that are alpaca themed or made from wool. ‘alpaca.”
Address: North Allington, Bridport, DT6 5HP
Rating: 4.5 out of 174 reviews
Just three miles from West Bay, Washingpool Farm is run by three generations of the Holland family. Since 1971 it has grown to include an award-winning farm shop, restaurant, caravan/motorhome site and two gites.
The 80-acre working farm produces its own Devon Ruby Red beef, eggs, and a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and flowers, all sold on-site. They can even deliver baskets and fruit baskets to your home.
One reviewer said: ‘We stopped in for breakfast today and were not disappointed. Thank you to the lovely ladies who looked after us with friendly, efficient and excellent service… Full English breakfast and vegetarian breakfast were great.
Kate’s Farm Shop
Address: Wareham Road, Dorchester, DT2 8HN
Rating: 4.5 out of 21 reviews
Kate and Andy, champions of local produce, stock everything from fresh fruit and vegetables to gift items and fresh cut flowers. Visitors to their shop will also find necessities like pet food and treats like pastries and cakes, making it very easy for them to spend money there.
One reviewer said: ‘They have a full range of lovely local fruit and seasonal vegetables, as well as Dorset cookies, cakes, preserves and other goodies. The owners couldn’t be more helpful, even delivering to us on the way home during lockdown.”
Home Farm shop and tea rooms
Address: Home Farm, Tarrant Gunville, Blandford Forum, DT11 8JW
Rating: 4.5 out of 56 reviews
Offering everything from locally sourced eggs to afternoon teas, Home Farm offers visitors their weekly essentials and an enjoyable day all in one. Past visitors have taken to TripAdvisor to praise its bacon, cakes and vegan options, meaning everyone is sure to find something tasty inside.
One reviewer said: ‘Our visit originated in a search for farm eggs. However, it turned into a lunchtime visit and a thriving shop. In a field adjacent to the dining hall there were perfectly healthy hens and goats – of great interest to visiting children and dogs.
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