A12, Junction M25/A1023; 8 minutes
Tues-Sat 8.30am-5.30pm (café 4.30pm)
Vegetarian or vegan options
Parking available onsite
Surrounded by fields and backed by the rearing embankment of the Weald Park hill fort, Calcott Hall Farm is a haven from the crush of the M25 and Dartford Tunnel. The timber-beamed shop, partially powered by solar panels, is a treasure trove of delicacies from cloudy pressed juices and Tiptree gin to Colston Bassett stilton and wild rabbit. Load up your holiday hamper with Essex-grown produce, locally reared meat and sustainably caught fish. Many a variety of fruit and veg are grown in the fields just outside.
The shop stands at the edge of the 120-acre farm where the McTurk family have tended the land for decades. Family is still very much the watchword. Daughter-in-law Niki is behind the latest addition, the Barnyard Café, which serves up farm-worthy breakfasts and tasty lunches – crispy baked potatoes, doorstop sandwiches – alongside devilishly good hot chocolate.
Parents can release energetic children into the tractor-themed play area alongside the café. (The farm is not accessible directly from the A12; use A128.)