It’s Scotland’s premier Sunday market, but Errol is much more than just a market, as MTN editor Matt Steele discovers
THEY say all good things come in threes – and it’s a saying that was definitely proved true when I visited Errol Sunday Market recently. Errol has the reputation for being Scotland’s premier Sunday market, and no wonder – there were three big events on the day I visited, with the Sunday Market, Toy Fair and the Tayside Classic Car Show. Wow! How lucky was I?
People travel from all over Scotland to experience the atmosphere and the variety of commodities on offer at Errol Sunday Market. There are over 200 regular traders and space for over 300 on the outdoor car boot section, while the indoor facilities can accommodate many more traders under cover, during all weathers.
There is also free public parking for over 2,000 cars and a car boot sale that attracts between 100-300 car booters each week, making this a great family day out.
This was my first visit to Errol Sunday Market – and it certainly won’t be my last. I was very pleasantly surprised at what I found when I arrived. Set in over 100 acres of land, it is owned and operated by the Morris Leslie Group, and located on the old RAF Errol airfield, which lies halfway between Perth and Dundee, meaning it’s ideally situated to draw people from far and wide. Not only is it Scotland’s largest indoor Sunday Market, it is also the biggest Car Boot Sale, too.
The weather was on our side and the sun was out during my visit- and what a spectacle! It was fantastic to see all the old classic cars, gleaming in the sun. Without giving my age away, I remember driving and owning similar vehicles to the ones here today for the Classic Car Show!
It was great to see them all on display, bringing back fond memories of the Rover, Ford Anglia, Vauxhall Viva, VW Beatle, MG sports cars and many more. I guess like most of you guys out there it’s amazing to think of the number and variety of cars we have each owned in our day – and I for one haven’t stopped yet!
Errol’s covered market hall was built in 2014, providing much-needed comfortable all-weather shopping facilities as well as a much more welcoming environment for traders and shoppers alike. Each unit is equipped with electricity and the complex benefits from central heating throughout – a very popular feature for shoppers and traders, especially during the winter months.
Over recent years the Morris Leslie Group has heavily invested in the market, raising the quality of the facilities available. The group is always looking to further enhance the experience for the benefit of traders and shoppers, its most recent upgrade – representing an investment of more than £100,000 – has been in a new toilet block, with showers and baby changing room. They were officially opened on Sunday, June 16.
Facilities like these are excellent and totally transform and enhance the market’s image, replacing the old toilet facilities. The whole site also benefits from having CCTV coverage, and a recent wi-fi upgrade, enabling traders to use credit card facilities.
While town centres are losing their buzz and shops closing down due to high rates, Errol Sunday Market offers a fantastic shopping environment, with all the hustle and bustle of a traditional market, mixed with the quality and convenience of an out-of-town retail centre.
Where else can you get your groceries for the week, order your new garden furniture, buy a few wedding and birthday gifts or go for a spin on the carousel.
Errol Market is also proud to be part of the Real Deal, working together for fake-free markets.
There are many long-standing traders on Errol market, and none more so than Dougie Cunningham from AB Bakery. Dougie has spent more than 20 years on the market and loves every minute of it. He has watched the market grow and progress over that time, and is delighted at how trader numbers have increased and just how footfall has grown.
Peter and Norma Swallow from Burgerland are also long-standing traders and have served up delicious food on Errol Market for over 28 years, and over the years have a few stories to tell, I bet!
Tom Falconer of Westside Plants, has a fantastic display of flowers and plants, and everything you need for the garden from wooden garden furniture, garden tools to BBQ sets, all under one roof – and what a fantastic colourful display for the eyes to behold! It’s well worth a visit for all of you with green fingers out there.
Errol Market benefits from having the availability to trade undercover depending on seasonal changes, with covered halls ranging from 5,000 sq ft to the Jim Clark Hall which is an impressive 28,000 sq ft.
This is extremely useful as part of the market’s future development and specialised events programme plan. Over the last couple of years, Errol has been home for many dog shows, toy fairs and the hugely-popular Tayside Classic Car Show, which takes over all of the 25-acre events field.
Keith Payne, the market manager, told me he is very proud of all that has been achieved at Errol Market. Both he and Diana Nandraziova, the market liaison assistant, work tirelessly along with other staff members to bring a market and an events experience second to none.
His task is not an easy one. Since joining the Morris Leslie Group in April 2012, he has formulated a business plan to develop the retail and events offer, increasing trader numbers and permanent market stalls on site. As part of the ongoing development, traders get the use of portable cabins and storage containers, providing secure-dry storage.
Errol Market is open every Sunday, trading between 8am and 3pm with the exception of Christmas and New Year weeks. For all market-related matters, please contact Keith on 01821 641113 (office) or 07885 275797 (mobile). Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The indoor halls are fantastic for holding special events, like dog shows and sports events, while the showground area is ideal for circuses and stunt shows.
If you’re looking to hold an event – large or small, indoor or outdoor – look no further. Errol provides all the space and facilities you could wish for. For example, one of the forthcoming events in the calendar is the Gospel Show.
In fact the whole area provides fantastic facilities for hosting Major indoor and outdoor events, something I am sure Keith and his team will look to capitalise even further on going forward.
- Driver training at Errol
Meanwhile, if you or a member of your family are looking for a place to hone their driving skills, or maybe prepare for a driving test, Errol is the place to come. A large section of the former runway has been specially allocated for driver training. Just bring your car here and practice in a safe and secure environment.
There are even parking bays marked out to practise parallel parking and reversing skills, as well as a series of driver challenges marked out by cones to test and improve driving skills.
Please be aware that under-17s and learner drivers must be accompanied by a parent or a driving licence holder and can only drive within the designated training area.
Advanced driving and trailer training is also available for those who wish to practise for their HGV tests. For all driving enquiries please contact 01821 642333 (office) or 07813138642 (mobile). Email: email@example.com
During my visit I was fortunate to experience the atmosphere of the market, and the added benefit of the Collectables and Toy Fair, with new and exciting displays, which brought back many childhood memories – and a wish that I had held on to my old toys and games!
The next Toy and Collectables Fair will be held and located in the dedicated Auction Hall adjacent to Errol’s popular Sunday Market on September 29. So if you have a toy collection gathering dust in the loft you might like to sell or even just be happy to display and share your childhood memories with others.
Remember to put that date in your diary – and make sure you regularly visit the website for updates on all the exciting events at Errol. Go to: www.errolssundaymarket.co.uk