Living in a metropole city like London can be quite weary, especially for nature-lovers. We all need a short break from our exhausting daily life. So, we would simply look for relaxing atmosphere as a short getaway from the bustling city. Therefore, countryside is a good choice for 1-day or half day trip. However, is there any interesting activity to do in that rural area beside enjoying the refreshing landscape? The answer is absolutely yes!
For some people, hand-picking fruits may be a perfect way to relieve themselves while enjoying the lush and greens. Moreover, these days it’s a very popular activity to do in a place called Pick-Your-Own Fruit. It’s also a great place to bring your children and teach them about harvesting fruits. So, take a bite of your own fresh fruits and indulge in the nature!
1. PARKSIDE FARM
Located in Enfield, northside of London, Parkside Farm is the most popular pick-your-own farm. So, what make this farm famous among the others?
Parkside Farm was opened for public for the first time in 1979. They only have four acres of farm field back then. However, they continuously growing that now their area is close to 50 acres with approximately 20 crops grown. Some of them including the berries family, spinach, beetroot, sweetcorn, tomatoes and more. Most importantly, they grow strawberries with table-top systems which makes harvesting become easier.
Why? Because you don’t need to bend down just to pick the fruits! The other developments like potted raspberries, potted blackberries and table-top tomatoes are currently on process. Furthermore, you can also see the crops calendar from their website to see the approximate harvest time.
The interesting part is, you can also stay for a day picnic after picking your own fruits on the farm.
The other facilities such as car parking and farm shop are also available on site. Some things you may buy at the shop are ice creams, cold drinks, meringues and Parkside honey.
However, if you plan to visit during COVID-19, you have to purchase an e-ticket first. This because they need to ensure that the farm won’t be overcapacity to keep the social distancing. You can book the tickets online from their official digitickets website. For more details, please refer to information below.
Official website : https://www.parksidefarmpyo.co.uk/
Official e-ticket website : https://parksidefarmpyo.digitickets.co.uk/tickets
Phone : 020 83672035 (24hr)
Address : Parkside Farm, Hadley Rd, Enfield EN2 8LA
Price : £3.00 per adult/child
Opening hours : Tuesday – Saturday from 9 AM – 5.30 PM
2. HOME COTTAGE FARM
Situated approximately 20 miles (one-hour drive from London city centre) to the west, you’ll find the tranquil Home Cottage Farm. Even though this place isn’t as popular as Parkside, there’s no reason to skip this farm. Why? Because this home-based farm is modestly yet unique. They actually raise some chickens and sheeps and the amusing part is, they let them wander around the farm. In addition, some of the other wildlife such as birds, butterflies and insects are the farm regular visitor. So, you’ll surely feel like being greeted at your own home.
When they first established the pick-your-own fruit & vegetables in 1975, Home Cottage Farm has grown lots of apples. Therefore, people said their apples are very delicious. Based on their website, they have at least 18 kind of apples. But actually, this farm is more than just wide arrays of apple trees. They also grow autumn raspberries, blackberries, four kind of plums, pears and honey as well.
Most importantly, they claimed that they never coat their fruits with wax or preservatives. Even pesticides or chemicals are prohibited across the area. So, all of their farms are environmentally-friendly.
Due to COVID-19 situation, they only open for pick-your-own on a first come first serve basis. For more information about the crops calendar and their latest news, please kindly visit their official website.
Official website : https://www.homecottagefarm.co.uk/
Phone : 01753 653064
Address : Bangors Rd S, Iver SL0 0BB
Price : –
Opening hours : Tue & Thu 2 – 5 PM, Sat & Sun 11 – 5 PM
3. GARSONS ESHER
Garsons at Esher is a place that is being called as UK’s largest pick-your-own. They have 155 acres of farming area with sustainability and environmentally responsible in mind. It was opened for public for the first time in 1871 and the farm has continuously growing ever since. As a result, it’s now a home to 30 crops with 75 different varieties of fruits, vegetables and flowers. Some of them are sunflowers, dahlias, berries, apples, sweetcorn, courgettes, beetroot, broccoli, peas, cabbages and more.
As an award-winning garden, Garsons surely has some prominent facilities. For example, they have Pool and Spa, Garden Centres, Clothing Stores, Pet Care, Restaurants and Farm Shops.
You can find gifts and homeware at the Garden Centres and have a lunch or dessert at the Restaurant. In addition, you can also search for local produce, meats and poultry at their Farm Shops. Further, you’ll have the chance to enjoy selection of wines, beers and ciders there. In other words, you can absolutely find anything you need for a relaxing day here! So, what are you waiting for? Go drive to the southwestern side of London and find this huge garden area!
During COVID-19, pick-your-own entry in Garsons Esher is strictly by pre-booked pass only. Additional information like how to purchase the pass and crops calendar can be found on their official website.
Official website : https://www.garsons.co.uk/
Phone : 01372 460181
Address : Winterdown Rd, Esher KT10 8LS
Price : Minimum spend of £4 per adult
Opening hours : Mon – Sat 9 AM – 5 PM, Sun 11 AM – 5 PM
4. COPAS FARM
Copas Farm is one of the places that offers pick-your-own both at two locations. The first is located in Iver while the second is in Cookham. They have various seasonal fruits including strawberries, cherries, raspberries, asparagus, blackcurrants, plums, peas, beans, apples and sweetcorn. Most importantly, they can assure that they use minimal amounts of fertilizers. So, you are guaranteed to pick the best healthy crops.
When you’re finished, make sure to visit their Farm Shop. Who knows that you may find something that you need there. They sell some local produce including apple juice, chutneys, honey, oil, cream and eggs in house. Bear in mind that nothing could beat the homemade products!
Copas Farm is now opened for public with pre-paid voucher (Iver field only). Besides, you only have 2 hours to spend inside. So, please kindly visit their official website to book the tickets online.
Official website : https://www.thefruitfields.co.uk/
Phone : 01753 652727 (Iver branch), 01628 529511 (Cookham branch)
Address : Calves Lane Farm, Billet Ln, Iver SL0 0LU
Price : Minimum spend of £4 per person
Opening hours : Tue, Thu & Sat 10 AM – 4 PM, Sun 10 AM – 3 PM (please note that the last entry is 2 hours before closing)
5. HAWKSWICK LODGE FARM
Hawkswick Lodge Farm is a popular fruit fields with pick-your-own system. Situated in north-western side of London, this farm is only 26 miles away from the city centre. It is a family-run farm with lots of fruits varieties inside. You can find strawberries, raspberries, blackcurrants, blackberries and gooseberries or even redcurrants. However, please note that they can be quite crowded because they charge just a bit cheaper for visitors. Besides, they also have the rare gooseberries and redcurrants with high quality that are difficult to find. Make sure to check their fruits calendar and enjoy picking on your own!
For more details, please check their official website as they are very likely to update everything there. For instance, they write about the opening and closing of pick-your-own season. It’s wise to ensure that all is clear before you go out during this pandemic.
Official website : https://www.hawkswickfruit.co.uk/
Phone : 01727 831224
Address : Harpenden Rd, St Albans AL3 6JG
Price : Minimum spend of £3 per person (20% pensioners discount every Tuesday afternoons)
Opening hours : Tue – Fri 10 AM – 6 PM, Sat & Sun 9 AM – 4 PM (note that the last entrance will be 30 min before closing)
6. CROCKFORD BRIDGE FARM
Crockford Bridge Farm is one of the oldest farms in Surrey. They cover 80 acres of farm fields and was ran by family since 1970. You can find broad variety of fruits and vegetables inside. Some of the fruits are the berries family including gooseberries and currants, for instance redcurrants. The other vegetables like rhubarbs, pumpkins and squashes, beetroots, carrots, asparagus, broad beans, courgettes and marrows are there too. Most importantly, they claimed that they don’t use polytunnels. This means their farm is environmentally-friendly because they just reduce the use of plastics. As a result, Crockford Bridge Farm has high quality crops with delicious taste.
When you’re finish picking the fruits, you can also visit their shops that are available on site. To clarify, they opened an ice cream parlour, tea shop and a farm shop for visitors. You can also bring your children because the place provides a playground area.
Crockford Bridge Farm is open for public during COVID-19. However, please note that they have some strict rules to be followed. For instance, they maintain the farm capacity so people can always do the social distancing. Booking in advance is also not available. Please refer to their official website for the other necessary information.
Official website : https://www.crockfordbridgefarm.co.uk/
Phone : 01932 846611
Address : New Haw Rd, Weybridge, Addlestone KT15 2BU
Price : Minimum spend of £4 per adult
Opening hours : Mon – Thu 10 AM – 17.30 PM, Fri & Sat 10 AM – 18 PM, Sun 10 AM – 17 PM
7. HEWITT’S FARM
Hewitt’s Farm is fruits as well as vegetables farm. It is located in the south-eastern side of London, 21 miles away from city centre. The place covers 78 acres of farmland with variation of strawberries raspberries, pumpkins, plums, apples and blackcurrants. In addition, they also grow sweetcorn, Swiss chard, French beans, courgettes, beetroot, squashes and marrows.
This family-farm has already stand since 40 years ago, so their quality is highly undoubtedly. Further, you can also buy eggs, honey, pickles, jams, bags of potatoes, logs and kindling at the farm shop. They apparently sell pure apple and pear juice too, in case you long for them outside the season. Now, it’s time to enjoy the pick-picking!
Please consider to visit their official website or their Facebook page for more information regarding COVID-19. It’s recommended to call them before your visit and make sure to ask the crops that are ready to harvest. This will prevent you to come in vain.
Official website : http://www.hewittsfarm.co.uk/
Phone : 07768 105669
Address : Court Rd, Chelsfield, Orpington BR6 9BX
Price : –
Opening hours : Tue – Sun 9 AM – 5 PM