Alton has been the home to traditional country markets for more than 1000 years. It is one of the most valuable market recorded in the Doomsday Book and today the town reflects this heritage through the interweaving of its medieval, Tudor and Jacobean buildings with the Georgian Town Hall, Victorian facades and modern arcades. The market tradition too has kept pace with changing times and today the many markets and specialty shops combine the needs of modern day living with the relaxed and magical atmosphere of an English country market town.
A warm welcome awaits all shoppers to the main town market held every Tuesday in the High Street, whilst a more intimate atmosphere can be enjoyed at the Alton Friday Market for home produce held every Friday in the Methodist Church Hall. A regular antique, vintage and craft fair is held at Chawton on the third Sunday every month, and Alton hosts regular Farmers Market and Craft Market, as well as a variety of specialty markets and fairs held throughout the town. These range from the Model Railway and Bottle Fairs through to the Petticoat Lane Markets and the Teddy Bear Festival. In addition Walls Travelling Fair arrives on The Butts for each of its Charter Fair Weekends to provide all the fun of a modern and safe travelling fair.