Where to Experience the Bounty of Autumn in the UK

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Autumn Harvest

Autumn in the UK is a season of rich harvests and vibrant colors. While you might associate fruit and vegetable picking with the warm summer months, there are plenty of orchards, farms, and pick-your-own (PYO) spots that stay open well into October. This means you can enjoy the late-cropping delights of apples, pears, plums, and a cornucopia of vegetables. Don’t forget the eye-catching gourds and pumpkins that adorn the landscape as well. So, grab your wellies, and let’s explore where you can indulge in this autumnal tradition.

1. Rectory Farm, Oxford, Oxfordshire

Nestled in picturesque countryside just a stone’s throw from Oxford, Rectory Farm is a delightful destination for PYO enthusiasts. As you wander through the fields, take a moment to visit their shop and savor a slice of cake in their excellent cafe. In September, you can pick late sweetcorn, strawberries, raspberries, and admire beautiful gladioli. By October, it’s time for pumpkins and gourds, with a bonus discount if you bring your reusable containers.

2. Hillfield Nursery, Thorpe-Next-Haddiscoe, Norfolk

At Hillfield Nursery, the apple season kicks off early in summer and extends well into autumn, offering an impressive selection of 250 apple varieties, some quite rare. Keep an eye out for treasures like the William Crump or the Ellison’s Orange. They also cultivate plums, quince, and medlars, a unique fruit resembling a cross between an apple and a rosehip, which are picked hard, sour, and unripe in autumn and later transformed into aromatic sweetness.

3. Cattows Farm, Heather, Leicestershire

Once the soft fruit season winds down, Cattows Farm undergoes a Halloween-themed transformation starting on September 30th. Unlike many pumpkin patches, Cattows offers more than just your typical carving pumpkins. Here, you’ll find a variety of squashes, gourds, and even knobbly ornamental options, like the harlequin.

4. Canalside Farm, Great Haywood, Staffordshire

Canalside Farm has been a local favorite for 40 years, offering strawberries and raspberries during the summer months. If you time it right in early autumn, you might still snag some Elsanta strawberries. If not, there are around 15,000 squash, gourds, and pumpkins, including intriguing varieties like Turk’s Turban, Cougar, Corvette, and Secretariat, awaiting your harvest in October.

5. Cammas Hall, Hatfield Broad Oak, Hertfordshire

Cammas Hall is not just about pick-your-own; it’s a destination for culinary delights. Enjoy cream teas, homemade sausage rolls, and Grandma Pam’s cakes. The PYO season runs until September 10th, offering the last of the sweetcorn, strawberries, and blackberries. Come back on October 1st when pumpkins take center stage.

6. Hewitts Farm, Chelsfield, Kent

Early autumn at Hewitts Farm means a bounty of cooking apples, plums, sweetcorn, and perhaps even beetroot, spinach, and chard if you’re lucky. Later in October, pumpkins and gourds make their appearance. If you can’t find what you want in the fields, their farm shop has you covered with a variety of locally sourced produce, from honey to handmade pickles and chutneys.

7. Roundstone Farm, Worthing, West Sussex

Hop on the tractor ‘train’ at Roundstone Farm for a delightful tour that lasts until the end of September. This PYO offers an extensive list of autumn crops, including plums, raspberries, rhubarb, sweetcorn, pumpkins, squash, and a variety of vegetables. Whether you’re after sweet or savory, there’s something for everyone.

8. Craigies Farm, South Queensferry, Edinburgh

Craigies Farm, located in Scotland, is a popular spot that sees over a quarter of a million visitors annually. September might still have some strawberries, runner beans, French beans, and sunflowers to offer, with apples ripening just in time for October. And of course, pumpkins will be there to welcome you.

9. Maynards Farm, Ticehurst, East Sussex

Nestled in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Maynards Farm boasts a late September harvest of plums, pears, apples, cobnuts, and blackberries. After your fruitful picking, consider a visit to the 14th-century pub, The Bull, located on the farm’s border.

10. Trevaskis Farm, Hayle, Cornwall

Trevaskis Farm, just a few miles inland from St Ives, boasts over 80 varieties of fruits and vegetables. While summer visitors may have indulged in the soft fruit offerings, autumn brings a fresh supply of eating and cooking apples. Additionally, the farm’s shop and restaurant showcase the best of local produce, making it a holistic foodie experience.

11. Hawarden Estate, Flintshire, North Wales

Hawarden Estate is more than just a farm; it’s a complete destination. From a pub and shop to a bakery and deli, this place has it all. In autumn, you can pick currants, plums, pumpkins, raspberries, and pears. Grab a punnet and head to the fields for a memorable day of picking.

Autumn in the UK is a time when nature generously shares its bounty, and these PYO spots are perfect places to embrace the season. Remember to check ahead, wear appropriate footwear, and resist the temptation to eat all your pickings before you pay. Happy harvesting!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Autumn Harvest

Is fruit and vegetable picking in the UK limited to summer?

No, many orchards, farms, and pick-your-owns stay open until October, offering late-cropping fruits and vegetables in autumn.

How can I find out the opening times for these PYO spots?

Opening times can vary, so it’s best to check with the specific farm. Social media is a great resource for up-to-date information.

What should I wear for fruit and vegetable picking in autumn?

Wear sturdy shoes, as even dry weather can lead to muddy fields. Dress comfortably for the outdoors, and be prepared for the possibility of mud and puddles.

Are there any discounts or incentives for bringing my own containers?

Yes, some PYO farms offer discounts if you bring your reusable containers. It’s a great eco-friendly practice.

Can I find unique or rare fruit varieties at these farms?

Absolutely! Some farms cultivate rare apple varieties and unique fruits like medlars, providing a chance to try something different.

Are these farms suitable for families and kids?

Yes, many of these farms are family-friendly, with activities like tractor rides and pumpkin patches, making them ideal for children and adults alike.

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NatureLover12 September 12, 2023 - 7:39 am

Sooo, wut u sayin’ is I can find dem rare apls? Cool beans!

FarmFresh88 September 12, 2023 - 2:04 pm

Y’all check them links for info, ’cause it’s pickin’ time!

FruitFan21 September 12, 2023 - 6:34 pm

Great list, gonna go pickin’ sum apples for sure!

MuddyBoots23 September 13, 2023 - 1:55 am

Don’t forget your wellies, it’s gonna get muddy out there!


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