What do you like to do on your holidays? It's incredible how many people list pottering around an interesting market as a 'must do' on the holiday list. Westport's a winner in this regard with a top notch market running year round - that's Westport Country Market, running every Thursday in the Boxing Club, James Street Car Park. Here's what the Irish Independent's Fiona O'Connell had to say about Country Markets:
“When it comes to markets, they're the real McCoy. Don't get me wrong; I love those trendy wooden buckets of olives that you find in snazzy city markets. But the produce around the country market corner is the royal family of the real thing, from local people making, baking or growing it.”
She is a big fan of the food on sale at country markets, saying, “The vegetables are freshly picked, unlike some you can find in big stores which spend months in cold storage or travelling in trucks across time-zones. Buying from a country market makes it easy to do your bit for the environment, as well as your taste buds.” Of the crafts Ms O'Connell enthuses, “Speaking of taste, there is a cunning selection of crafts for sale in my local market, from beautiful hand-woven baskets to a knitting nirvana of hats, scarves, and wrist warmers. Old-world tea cosies are a fraction of the price you'd pay for them in more salubrious surroundings.”
In conclusion, the article explains the importance of the market in the greater scheme of things, “Country Markets Limited is a classic example of the 'under the radar' resilience of ordinary people, who not only enhance their home and farm income this way but also sustain 'a vibrant rural life'.”
Westport Country Market takes place every Thursday morning from 8am to lunchtime and is one of the best examples of the country market in the entire country. Tourists and locals alike find their way to this cornucopia of local produce. The stalls may be piled high with goodies but get there early if you plan to carry out trophy-like bunches of flowers - the early bird catches the worm!