I hope I’m not naïve in believing that in a post Covid world, many of us will continue to support and shop locally. And if the empty shelves in some of the big supermarkets have taught us anything, then it surely must be that local markets are more important than ever.
Besides which, when it comes to ramming a trolley full of processed food and bulk buys in a supermarket, compared to strolling around a market square, talking to producers and artisans and filling my basket with local cheeses, cold cuts and cakes, I know what I’d rather be doing. And Horsham Market is a great local market for doing just that.
If you’ve come by car, you can park in one of the Horsham Park car parks which makes it a pleasant walk from there to the Carfax where you’ll find the market. It’s a twice-weekly market (Thursdays and Saturdays) with up to 40 stalls on Saturdays. If you’re in need of a coffee before you dive into market day, there are plenty of independent coffee shops nearby all packed with personality.
The stalls themselves include the sort of splendid assortment that you want from a market – chutneys, cheeses, local sausages, artisan breads and bakes, flowers, jewellery, woodwork, bric-a-brac, clothing, pop up bars and street food.
In short, all sorts of local, organic, hand made and generally quirky stalls to allow for a good saunter and browse.
On a Saturday you’ll also often catch live music from the iconic bandstand and there is a leisurely vibe and atmosphere.
On the last Saturday of every month, there’s a vegan market which in its own right has up to 15 stalls. You’ll find it in nearby Piries Place. Just follow the twitten (narrow passageway) on the other side of the road that runs behind the bandstand.
The market won’t take you all day to explore but before you leave town, you could take to one of the Horsham District Heritage Trails. These are a Horsham Museum initiative (and you can find full details on their website). There is a Victorian and Edwardian Horsham trail (2.7 miles), a Wimblehurst Heritage trail (1.7 miles), and a more ambitious 6 mile Shelley trail. Alternatively, you could just try Horsham’s picturesque Riverside Walk (13 km).
There’s also an information board near the bandstand with details of Horsham’s historic landmarks if you just want to have a good look around and take in the town hall (venue of the acid bath murderer trials), the Causeway, Chesworth, and the De Braose memorial.
But if all that sounds like a bit too much hard work, you could just head to the Everyman cinema, sit and sip craft beers, wines, and spirits at the Sit and Sip in Piries Place or stock up on wine at the Horsham Cellar. It all sounds like a good use of an autumn Saturday to me.
While you’re in Horsham, you may also be interested in: