As well as festivals, the Park offers a choice of food markets, from the down-to-earth fruit and veg market at France Farm, to the varied stalls at Loch Lomond Shores Farmers’ Market.
The charm of unassuming farmer James ‘Jim’ McKechnie’s fruit and veg market at France Farm is its unpretentiousness and its boxes and boxes of simply displayed fruit and veg. It’s bring-your-own-bag though you’re welcome to recycle a cardboard box, and they only accept cash & cheques. You’ll get a heap of brilliant seasonal fruit & veg for a bargain, including large trays of Scottish strawberries or raspberries for jam-making, as well as lovely local beans, peas, tomatoes and much more, plus varieties you simply can’t get in supermarkets.
France Farm is a hidden foodie sweet spot in Gartocharn by Loch Lomond, a village which sits, appropriately, beneath a hill known as The Dumpling owing to its similarity to the Scottish Clootie Dumpling cake.
The market is run from the farm every Friday from 8am-2pm. The same market also pops up at Boquhan Estate near Kippen off the A811 on Wednesdays and Thursdays (8am-2pm), with additional stallholders including Willie’s Fish Van from Oban, Mhor Bread and Cakes from Callander, and sometimes Edenmill meats & pies from Blanefield.
This traditional bunting-strewn market, complete with stripy awnings is on at Loch Lomond Shores in Balloch every 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month. Everything you’d expect is here, depending on the season, such as local breads and cakes, smoked fish, Scottish cheeses, fresh pies, preserves, meat straight from the farmers, and foodie gifts galore. Well worth a visit if only to stock up on pressies such as jams and gins. There’s plenty of parking and lots to do for families on this developed shore of the loch.