Jeremy Clarkson has urged fans to avoid parking on the road when they visit his popular farm shop.
Clarkson, 62, closed the Diddly Squat Farm store after he caused outrage over his comments about Meghan Markle in The Sun, which both he and the paper have apologised for. He reopened it last weekend.
The crowds did pick up throughout the weekend, PA reports that on Sunday (12 February), cars could be seen parked on the grass verges into the farm following the public being warned by Oxfordshire County Council earlier this week to park “safely and considerately” near the farm.
Figures show it is hundreds of per cent higher than high street supermarkets like Aldi, according to SWNS. It reopened on Friday (10 February) and a small queue of 14 visitors mostly from London and the South East braved the cold temperatures to visit.
It is a far car from the massive crowds and tails of cars which flooded the farm last year and regularly annoyed locals. Here is all you need to know:
Where is Diddly Squat Farm Shop?
The self-depricating named farm is located between Chipping Norton and Chadlington, in the north of the Cotswolds. Clarkson opened a shop on the farm in 2020 and on its website it says it “is a small barn “full of good, no-nonsense things you’ll like. We do not, for example, sell kale”.
What has Clarkson said about parking?
In a post on Twitter, Jeremy Clarkson wrote on 19 February: “It’s really busy at the farm shop today and I’m sorry we can’t provide proper car parking. Until we can, the local police, who are very great and much on our side btw, do ask that people don’t park on the main road.”
Why did the shop close?
The Diddly Squat Farm Shop, which annoyed locals in recent years due to large crowds following the release of Clarkson’s Farm on Amazon, shut for several weeks following the owner’s controversial remarks about Meghan Markle.
It reopened on 10 February but prices were up, with the price of a large loaf of sourdough bread now standing at just under £6. A box of eggs costs £3.20, while milk from Clarkson’s ‘cow juice’ milk dispenser now costs £1.20 - all up on 2021 prices. The first customers to pay at the counter this morning spend £134 on just a handful of items.
Visitors, warmed by £2.50 small filter coffees, remarked that they were “surprised” at how few people arrived - though by 10:30am the car park had become fuller. Unlike other launch days no queues had formed outside - which have previously been known to completely obstruct traffic into the village of Chadlington.
“We thought there would be a lot more people actually”
Ravi Aggarwal, 36, and his partner from London were one of the first people through the doors at the shop when it opened at 9:30am. He said: “I’m a huge fan of the show, we’re just staying at a friends place just down the road so we thought while we were here we’d come and see the shop since it’s their first day back.
“We thought there would be a lot more people actually, we got here really early thinking it’d be really busy - but maybe that will come later. We just got some jams and some honey - along with a tea-towel for some memories.”
Another couple, posing for photographs in front of the ‘Diddly Squat Farmshop’ sign, said that they had nearly missed their chance to visit after booking a trip to The Cotswolds months ago. Billy White, 32, and his wife Laura, 36, from Essex, said: “We had booked months ago to come and visit some friends just around the corner.
“We had assumed that the shop would be open, but were quite disappointed when after we booked it we realized that the shop was closed. When we heard that it was re-opening today, we just had to drop in on our way home.
“We have come up here before and stopped in, but it was shut then too - so we were pleased to finally get to go inside. I hadn’t realised that it had shut because of the Meghan Markle article - he does like getting himself into trouble doesn’t he.”
Julie Miller, from Southampton, dropped in this morning as an early 65th birthday treat with her husband. The pair said that they had no issue with Clarkson’s comments and the closure, saying that the star ‘knew what he was saying’.
She said: “We’re dropping in to see our son this weekend, so we dropped in as a birthday treat for my birthday next Friday. I’d be happier if Clarkson was here, but it’s still been nice to visit. We’ve got some mementos; some beer, a t-shirt, and a potato too.
“You have to get a potato before you get a bag, so it was a good investment. I have no issue with anything Clarkson wrote, he knows what he is saying and you cant stop him writing that - I certainly can’t.
“He just says what he thinks most of the time and he often says what is in my head anyway, so I’m not bothered that he wrote it - especially as he’s apologized.”
Oxfordshire County Council said on Facebook: “Don’t park on the A361. It’s just too dangerous. And please avoid parking on the verges of the narrow Chipping Norton Road as it causes damage. The farm will be doing what it can to deal with the influx of visitors, so please follow signage on the day. But bear in mind the car park is small.
“If you are directed by staff, whether you are through traffic or visiting the farm shop, please be patient with them – they are trying to keep you safe and allow traffic to flow.”
How have the prices changed at the shop?
SWNS have noted the change in prices at the Diddly Squat Farm Shop following its reopening:
Diddly Squat Farm Shop costs (Feb 2023)
- Honey £15
- Coffee £6.95
- Eggs £3.20
- Milk (Cow Juice) £1.20
- Pesto £7.99
- Sausages £4.50
- Bread £5.95
- Pork pie £3.50
- Bacon £4.30
Diddly Squat Farm Shop costs (Oct 2021)
- Honey £15
- Coffee 200g: £6.96
- 'Diddly eggs': £2.90
- 'Cow juice': £1
- Rocket pesto: £4.50
How can you watch Clarkson’s Farm?
The show is available on Amazon, with the second season being released in full on 10 February. If you are an Amazon Prime subscriber you are able to watch the series on Amazon Prime Video.