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Low Sizergh is one of our favourite Farm Shops and has just been named in the Times top ten of Farm Shops in the UK, as well as being shortlisted for the prestigious Farmer Retailer of the Year.

Low Sizergh Barn has been owned and operated by the Park family for 40 years, and their Farm Shop is in its 30th year. The Farm and Barn Shop are located just off the A591 main route into the Lakes as you turn off the M6 at Junction 36.  With a cafe, farm shop and deli, and a gift shop selling unusual cards, art, clothing, and more, it’s an ideal place to head for as a stop-off to treating yourself to local goodies and the first taste of Cumbria.

Seen as a local treasure in the Lakes community, they have just reached the final stages of the Farm Retailer of the Year in Newsquest’s Farmer Awards, with results on October 1st.  They also appeared this month in The Times top ten of Farm Shops in the UK and starred in the Hairy Bikers Go North, particularly Growing Well.

The Hairy Bikers at Growing Well

Alison Park and her brother Richard, with Richards’s wife and son Matthew, have spent all their lives working in the family business, and they also employ a further 40 people from the local community.

Set in a 17th-century Westmorland stone barn, the dairy farm shop showcases a host of produce from the farm and its on-site organic vegetable business: Growing Well, a mental health charity, organic farm, and training centre,  as well as the county’s growers and makers, and artisan food producers nationally.

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Kendal Creamy cheese

Alison Park said: “We are so proud of the nomination for food retailer of the year as it shows just how hard our farm shop and café team have worked through really challenging times.  The staff went above and beyond to ensure our customers still had access to wholesome food.”

“At the start of the pandemic, we created a completely new service with phone shopping and collection or delivery, and online ordering. We also created a range of ready meals made from scratch in the kitchens and suitable for the freezer. It meant family from away could call and order for us to deliver to local relatives when they couldn’t get there personally.

With the café closed, we decided to get creative with our outdoor takeaway area, adding seating when permitted, along with gazebos up tables & chairs. We’ve really tried to meet community needs. People have long used us as a meeting place, whether to enjoy a hearty Farmer’s Breakfast, lunchtime special, afternoon tea, or a chat over a brew and cake. We’ve tried hard to make that experience as normal as possible, whilst keeping folk safe.

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Viewing the milking parlour from the cafe

On the food front, Low Sizergh has always been about bringing local people together with the people who grow and produce their food. Their award-winning cheeses are made with the farm’s milk, and many of the vegetables and salad leaves sold are grown by on-site mental health charity, Growing Well which also operates a crop-share scheme for local people. Of course, many of these home-grown delights are used in the café, so you can taste them first-hand.

Make sure you are there in time for watching the cows being milked at 3.30pm daily through the gallery window of the café, and you can even buy a litre of the herd’s fresh raw milk from the vending machine opposite the milking parlour. It’s such an immediate connection and really highlights the farm to fork philosophy here.

There’s a two-mile farm trail around Low Sizergh, down to the pond, and through fields and ancient woodland, where you might just spot some faeries in the glade! Then treat yourselves to a scoop of ice cream, made with milk from the cows of course by Windermere Ice Cream company.

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Windermere Ice Cream van with an important delivery!

Alison concludes: “That’s just one of many relationships built up over years here that makes what we do so special. We are rooted in our community and couldn’t think of a better place to be.

Low Sizergh Barn is a brilliant place to visit, either on your way into the Lakes to stock up on goodies for your holiday or on your way home to take some delicious memories with you.

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