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Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
Ariane Sohrabi-Shiraz & Ethan Davies

'I queued for an hour to visit Clarkson's farm shop - the burger van was better'

Thousands of people flocked to take a look inside Jeremy Clarkson's Diddly Squat Farm Shop when it reopened last month.

It coincided with the release of the second season of his Amazon Prime TV show Clarkson's Farm, which subsequently became one of the most watched shows in the UK.

Having seen the farm shop's journey on the show from when it was opened in 2020, The Mirror's Ariane Sohrabi-Shiraz was intrigued to see what it looked like now and what was drawing so many people to the Cotswolds destination. Here's what she made of the trip...

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I travelled to the Diddly Squat Farm Shop, which is located in Chipping Norton on the edge of the farm Clarkson himself owns, on a Thursday morning hoping to beat the afternoon rush. Travelling by taxi from Kingham Station, I passed an already full car park, with several vehicles forced to park on the road. According to the driver it's always busy in these parts – particularly on Saturdays.


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At 10.30am on a Thursday I didn't expect there already to be a queue across the field – but it appears I wasn't the only one who wanted to see what the farm shop had to offer. I did the same ritual as everyone else – posed for a picture in front of the Diddly Squat sign before joining the back of the queue, which was getting longer by the minute as more people started to arrive.

One thing I wasn't prepared for was how slow-moving the queue would be. Clarkson's farm itself spans 1,000 ares, but the shop is tiny, so it takes a long time to get to the front.

In true Clarkson-fashion, one of the signs I shuffled past painfully slowly said: "I'm from Yorkshire and therefore don't like spending money. That's why the Diddly Squat Farm Shop isn't big enough and because it's so small, that's why you're not standing in a queue, reading this. I'm so sorry. But I promise we have plans to do something about it, so the next time you come, everything will be better."

Customers queue to get into Jeremy Clarkson's Diddly Squat Farm Shop near Chadlington in Oxfordshire (PA)

As you queue you can spot several signs like these, as well as hundreds of markings on the side of the wooden building where people have written their names and where they have come from. After an hour spent trying to entertain myself by reading the signs and the casual vandalism, I realised the queue behind me had tripled.

An hour after joining the queue I finally entered the adorable farm shop – but the line didn't stop there. When you enter the shop, you're basically just still in the queue all the way to the till. According to the website, Diddly Squat is a "small barn full of good, no-nonsense things you'll like". Its goods are all produced on the farm or nearby in the Cotswolds.

Inside you'll find everything you could want from a farm shop – sausages, bacon and pork pies made at the farm itself, as well as eggs, honey, milk and bread. As expected, the prices are higher than your standard supermarket, but there were also quite a few items that didn't have prices on them at all.

Curiously, they didn't offer receipts at the till either, so it was a real mystery experience when purchasing anything.

(Mirror/Ariane Sohrabi-Shiraz)

It's clear from the items I picked up that it's quite expensive. I noticed that most people were coming out of the shop with only one or two items – perhaps also reflecting the fact that they have come mostly for the experience, or to buy some Diddly Squat merchandise.

After just minutes inside, I headed out and glanced over at the queue, which was now snaking across the whole front of the farm shop. Luckily they were handing out free bread samples so most people seemed in good spirits.

I was getting hungry myself, so I ventured to the back of the building where there's a full bar serving Clarkson's own Hawkstone beer, table seating overlooking the so-called Big View and a burger van. On the Diddly Squat website, they promise "the best hamburgers in the world" – so I had to give it a go.

Thankfully, this picturesque area was a lot more quiet, and only had a small queue which took a few minutes to clear. I purchased The Big View Burger, fries and a pint of Hawkstone beer.

The food all comes from the Baste burger van – and I was blown away by how good it was. The fries were perfectly crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside and deliciously seasoned.

I was told the potatoes come from a various different farms, as well as Clarkson's farm itself – depending on the time of year. The star of the show was no doubt the burger, which came with mature cheddar, homemade sauce, Hawkstone caramelised onions, pickles and salad.

The beef was succulent and tasty, and all the flavours and textures complimented each other. A Baste staff member told me the beef itself is from the farm – even suggesting that it was the "attack" cow that famously "smashed" into Clarkson's nether-regions while filming the Amazon Prime Show. I still don't know whether she was joking or not.

I washed it all down with a pint of Clarkson's own beer, which I had already seen a lot of people bulk-buying to bring home, so I was excited to try it. The lager itself is fresh and light and went perfectly with the food.

From the seating area you can't actually see the queue, so it was easy to just sit there and soak up the countryside views and listen to the music that was being played in the bar. It's clear that the Diddly Squat Farm Shop has become a huge tourist attraction, and the success of the TV show growing, there's no doubt people will still want to visit.

I'd definitely go back just to eat those burger and fries again – but I'd probably skip the hour long queue to get into the Farm Shop and head straight for the Baste van.

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