There’s nothing better than a market to sample local culture and pick up something unique. Here’s which ones to go to with a bit of food, flea and everything in between across the country.
Bakery, Market, British
Award-winning Swansea Market is the largest indoor market in Wales. Found in the heart of the city, it is the best place to try Welsh delicacies like laverbread and cockles, due to the Swansea’s proximity to the sea. There are over 100 stalls selling a range of wares including traditional Welsh fayre, along with gifts, jewellery, toys and lots more. Plus, you can relax at one of the cafés and coffee shops.
Not only is Hay-on-Wye a lovely place to visit, with stunning natural scenery beside the River Wye and quaint shops and cafes, but it’s got a great weekly market too. Hay Market Day, as its also known, has been trading for more than 700 years and comprises over 40 stalls selling a range of local goods, including food and clothing. It is a held in the centre of Hay-on-Wye every Thursday, 8am to mid-afternoon. Stall are situated in Memorial Square, Cheese Market, Butter Market and around the Clock Tower.
When you visit Cardiff, it’s virtually a requirement to go its indoor market if you want an authentic taste of the city. There are little cafes, healthy and veggie snacks at Milgi Market and Clancy’s, pet shops and all kinds of food stands as well as clothes, gifts and books all being sold under one roof. Don’t miss the cooked Welsh cakes which are still warm from the hot plate. Located on St Mary’s Street, one of the main streets in the city centre, you’ll also be perfectly positioned to visit other highlights such as nearby Cardiff Castle and the shopping centre St Davids.
A large car boot sale with loads of bargains on second hand goods available. Some of the items on sale are from house clearances, which will give bargain hunters who love a rummage to find something they like a real thrill. The stall holders are friendly, chatty folk by all accounts. There is also fresh fruit and vegetables on sale and plenty of parking in the car park. It’s on every Thursday and Sunday from 8am to 4pm.
This popular artisan market was established nine years ago and is found in the Anglesey town of Beaumaris. It is relatively small, with sixteen producers selling a variety of goods, like crafts and food. In fact, no stall sells the same thing to ensure each stall holder isn’t directly competing with another. On top of the treats being sold, you also get to see live owls, thanks to the North Wales owl sanctuary, which attends each time to educate and entertain. The market operates on various dates, from 10am to 4pm.
Aberystwyth Farmers’ Market, held every first and third Saturday in the month was started in 2000 and has become acclaimed for the quality of produce. There are only about 30 stalls but collectively they have won awards for their wares. In 2011, the market was voted among the Top 10 Farmers’ Market in the UK and it won Best Food Market in the BBC Radio 4 Food and Farming Awards 2014.
This market on the picturesque island of Anglesey, off the mainland’s northwest coast, is held on the third Saturday of each month. It is an indoor market located at David Hughes School, Menai Bridge and has plenty of free parking. It sells seasonal, locally grown fruit and veg, fresh bread and cakes, crab caught nearby and free range poultry, plus much more. Many of the producers are award-winning and have True Taste, Great Taste and UK Local Food Heroes status.
This bustling antique and flea market is held at Carmarthen Showground and comprises 200 stalls, both indoor and outdoor. Whether you’re a collector or just looking to browse, you’ll likely find something for you with a range of antiques at different price points, collector pieces as well as vintage goods. The £4 admission fee (for adults) is well worth it. The market is on from 10am to 4pm and there is plenty of parking.
Builth Wells International Antiques and Collectors Fair
This market is only held twice a year, but given its vast size, you’ll soon see why. Held at the Royal Welsh Showground, Builth Wells, there are up to a thousand stall holders from far and wide in attendance, placed across a huge indoor and outdoor site. You’ll need to set aside at least a whole day of the two days it runs for to see it all comfortably. To reach the fair, there’s a drive through beautiful countryside near the English border and you’ll be in good company, with about 10-15 thousand visitors. The opening times Saturday are from 8.30am to 10am costing (early entry) £10, and entry from 10am to 5 pm is £5. On Sunday from 10am to 5pm it is £5 admission all day.