Cumbria sourdough specialist Lovingly Artisan has been named as the best artisan bakery in Britain for the second year running.

Run by husband-and-wife team Aidan Monks and Catherine Connor, the bakery claimed the top spot of the Bakers’ Dozen 2024 – a list which details the top 13 artisan bakeries in Britain as voted for by industry experts. More than 100 specialists from artisan bakers to suppliers, consultants, and lecturers were asked to vote for their favourite artisan bakeries.

The Bakers’ Dozen was revealed on Tuesday 30 January at British Baker’s The Artisan Collective event. Sponsored by Angel Refrigeration, Craggs & Co, and Rondo, the event celebrates artisan bakeries and the people behind them. It featured workshops, networking, and community-led learning sessions, while offering people a platform to facilitate conversation and share skills.

“Each of the 13 bakeries on the list has been recognised by industry experts and their peers as a beacon of dedication, passion, and skill, as demonstrated through lovingly handcrafted products and the people who make them,” said Amy North, editor of British Baker.

“It’s great to see such a diverse range of bakeries, which span the width and breadth of Britain from Berwick in Scotland down to Eastbourne in the south of England, on the list meaning communities across the nation have access to some wonderful baked goods.”

An artisan bakery is where baked goods – such as bread, buns, pastries, and cakes – are made by skilled bakers by hand, often utilising longer and more traditional processes. Quality of ingredients and the end products are high on the agenda, and as a result, artisan bakeries typically only have a handful of sites.

Here is the Bakers’ Dozen 2024:

Baguettes in a basket

Source: Getty Images / sergeyryzhov

13. Cottonrake Bakery, Glasgow

For the past 10 years, Cottonrake Bakery’s ethos has been centred on fluid growth and learning. As an independent bakery serving Glasgow’s West End, it sees its role as delivering an outstanding product but also embedding itself in and supporting its community.

As such, it strives to expand and improve its offering of baked goods with the likes of shortbread, frangipane tarts, cardamom buns, and macarons on the menu.


Pollen bakery counter

12. Pollen, Manchester

Quality above everything – that’s the ethos at Pollen bakery and café in Manchester, which has been serving up sourdough, cakes, and pastries since 2016. Run by Hannah Calvert and Chris Kelly, it was born from a love of great food, fermentation, and flavour and has two sites in Manchester – one in Ancoats and another at Kampus. It also supplies many restaurants, bars, and cafes with its products.

The bakery says there are exciting things on the horizon as it looks to expand its operations team in 2024 to uphold its culture of creativity and development while producing seasonal products with standout flavour.


Outside the Arôme bakery in London

Source: Arôme

11. Arôme, London

French techniques are the cornerstone of Arôme, but its menu extends far beyond that of the average Parisian patisserie, drawing inspiration from Singapore and Japan as well. Croissants, pain au chocolat, and tartes fine aux pommes grace its menu alongside the signature Arôme Honey Butter Toast – a thick slice of caramelised Shokupan bread that’s crispy to the bite but soft and fluffy on the inside.

Arôme, which was founded by French-born pâtissier Alix André and Singaporean restaurateur Ellen Chew, opened its first permanent site in Covent Garden in late 2020.


Inside Stir Bakery's site on Green Street with a lovely selection of breads and pastries on the counter

Source: Stir Bakery

10. Stir Bakery, Cambridge

Stir Bakery first opened its doors in April 2017. Since then, it has become a weekend destination for locals seeking freshly baked sourdough, rye, focaccia, and brioche as well as pastries and cakes. Its bread takes ‘care, attention, and time’, according to the bakery, and embraces local and seasonal ingredients where possible. Available loaves include a Treacle & Rye Sourdough, Linseed & Cornflour Loaf, Seeded Rye Loaf, and Seed & Grain Sourdough.

Stir recently relocated to a new state-of-the-art premises – a project overseen by Baker of the Year finalist Sandor Bagameri – which now includes space for the safe production of gluten-free and vegan bakery goods.


A woman standing behind a bakery counter with delicious looking pastries on it

Source: Bostock Bakery

9. Bostock Bakery, North Berwick

Queues are not uncommon at Bostock Bakery, which has been dubbed ‘Scotland’s larder’. It specialises in slow fermentation, high hydration breads, French-style pastries, cakes and tarts, as well as savoury items. Every element is made from scratch, using local suppliers for meat, fruit, and vegetables. Menu items include savoury brioche baked with a whole egg inside and cheese on top, sausage rolls with beautifully flaky pastry, and cheese croissants topped with gruyere.

The bakery team is headed up by Ross Baxter, who has upwards of 20 years’ experience within the industry including time working with Michelin Star chefs across Scotland.


8. Poppyseed Bakery, Eastbourne

Flavour is the name of the game at Poppyseed Bakery, which promises to have something to tickle everyone’s taste buds from apple crunch muffins to award-winning sourdough. In fact, the bakery has taken home four Britain’s Best Loaf trophies over the years.

The business was established by Lee and Kirsty Smith in 2003 as Bexhill Farm Kitchen, changing its name to Poppyseed Bakery in 2016. It has shops in Eastbourne and Bexhill, adding a new one to its estate in late 2023, from which it serves a variety of artisan breads, cakes and tasty treats.


Two people stood behind the counter at Toad Bakery in London

Source: Caitlin Isola

7. Toad Bakery, London

Founded in Camberwell, Toad Bakery’s bakers can be observed making breads, pastries, cakes, and more day in and day out thanks to the open plan bakery.

The menu changes regularly as the bakery team strives to use seasonal fresh ingredients as much as possible. However, there will always be classics such as croissants, cinnamon buns, and Danishes on offer alongside a selection of sourdough made with UK-grown, sustainably-farmed grain.


6. The Street Bakeshop, Basingstoke

Two-time winner of British Baker’s Baker of the Year, Tim Goodwin, leads the team at The Street Bakeshop on its journey to create fantastic baked goods that people love to eat time and again. Everything served at its site in Old Basing is made by Tim and the team from scratch with loaves, sausage rolls, hot smoked meat sandwiches, and pastries among the delectable goods available.

Visitors to the bakery can see the products come to life as they grab a bun and a latte, sit back, and watch the bakers at work.


5. Farro, Bristol

Farro is new to the Bakers’ Dozen for 2024. With a small team behind it, the ‘growing and ambitious’ bakery specialises in viennoiserie and sourdough.

The head baker and team actively seek new ways to incorporate freshly milled, local grains into its seasonal offering. As such, the menu is diverse and changeable with croissants, kouign-amann, and babka among the items to grace its counter.


4. Northern Rye, Newcastle Upon Tyne

Based by the river in Newcastle’s bustling Ouseburn district, Northern Rye is a handcrafted, small batch bakery specialising in sourdough breads, viennoiserie, sandwiches and great coffee.

It has grown from humble beginnings in 2017, where it was started in a flat kitchen by Robbie Livingstone to supplying sourdough and viennoiserie for its shop and other independent businesses across the city. Northern Rye prides itself on using great ingredients with Ampersand butter, Land Chocolate, and Gilchester Organics Flour, which puts the ‘rye’ in Northern Rye.


Outside The Dusty Knuckle's location in Dalston

Source: The Dusty Knuckle

3. The Dusty Knuckle, London

Located in London’s Dalston and Harringay neighbourhoods, The Dusty Knuckle is a purpose-driven bakery and café which strives to use its busy operations to help at-risk youths take forward steps in their lives through on-the-job training and mentorship.

Menu items range from loaded sandwiches made with freshly baked bread to woodfired pizzas, as well as pastries, sourdough loaves, and more.

The bakery moved forward in 2023 with a new space for its pastry production as well as a refurb for its Harringay site and a new office. It also raised some dough via Kickstarter to help with its training programmes. The baking and cooking classes also remain a firm part of its offering to bakery fans.


2. Bread Source, Norfolk

Bread Source describes it role in the community as to ‘craft products that fill you up, make you smile and fuel your day’ with a delightful line-up of products designed to do just that. There are sourdough loaves, seeded rye breads, handcrafted croissants, cardamom buns, sandwiches and more from its sites in Norwich and Aylsham and also online.

It’s among the bakeries to climb the list this year, jumping from fourth position in 2023 to the number two this year. It’s also made an impact at the 2023 Baking Industry Awards with bakery manager Daniel Girling a finalist in the Baker of the Year category and night supervisor Jordan Skeet winning the Rising Star Award for his talent and tenacity in the early stages of his career.


1. Lovingly Artisan, Cumbria

This small, creative bakery based near Kendal on the edge of the Lake District prides itself on its use of slow fermentation and organic British flours to make loaves full of flavour and nourishment.

It was founded by award-winning baker Aidan Monks, who is described as a ‘truly innovative and ethical baker’, working closely with farmers and millers to source the best flour he can. He champions the use of heritage-grain flours in sourdough baking to create breads that are ‘good for the tummy, good for the soil and good for the soul’. His wife Catherine is also at the helm, helping to champion the bakery, its staff, and its products throughout the community it serves.

Lovingly Artisan’s products include the multiple award-winning Malted Barley Tin Sourdough, Dark Chocolate Malt & Orange Sourdough, Northumberland Rye, and Danish Rugbrød, as well as Saffron Buns and Cinnamon Twists to name but a few.

While it has a loyal, local following, Lovingly Artisan’s products are also available via its website for delivery across Britain.