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Fruit picking
Photograph: Parkside Farm

London’s best pick-your-own fruit and vegetable farms

Whether you’re after summer-ripe berries or autumnal apples, you can take your pick at these farms in and around London

Written by
Katie McCabe
&
Alexandra Sims
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Tired of bland, plastic-wrapped supermarket produce? Go straight to the root with a day of fruit and vegetable picking on these pick-your-own farms in and around London. Core picking season is May to August, but the produce available depends on the season. Go along in June to fill a punnet with gleaming strawberries, delight in sunflowers in August, or gather autumnal apples, pumpkins and squashes in September – the choice is yours! London is surrounded by farms with acres of PYO fields to keep you busy all summer.

Not only does a sunny day of fruit picking make a glorious, cobweb-blasting day trip, it's also a brilliant way to bump up your green credentials by picking up groceries without all the shrinkwrap. It'll make for gorge selfies, if you're into that kind of thing. Plus, it's a fun way to keep the kids entertained outdoors. 

REMEMBER: Check the farm’s website beforehand to find out what produce is available, as crop seasons change from year to year. And no eating while you pick. Keep all your juicy finds in their punnets for weighing up.

RECOMMENDED: Outdoor London

Pick-your-own farms

  • Things to do
  • Borough of Enfield

One for the car-less Londoner (isn’t that 99 percent of us?!), this Enfield farm is in easy-ish reach of the city. Walk for 25 minutes when you get to Gordon Hill station and you’ll find this bit of green belt growing 20 different crops across its 50 acres. Strawberries are grown using a ‘table top’ system, so you don’t have to bend ’n’ pick like a sucker. Crops can be changeable, so always call ahead. Minimum spend is £4, and remember – no berry poppin’ in the fields. Fuel up afterwards on ice creams, meringues, and cold drinks from the farm shop.

Book a time slot in advance. Check crop availability ahead of your visit on 020 8367 2035 or www.parksidefarmpyo.co.uk. You’ll find regular updates on Facebook

  • Things to do
  • Borough of Bromley

Whatever your produce preference, this 78-acre family-run Orpington farm probably grows it. Over the summer months, you can usually pick everything from strawberries, raspberries and blackcurrants to spinach, chard and beetroot. Or, hold out until the beginning of autumn when the apples ripen and free tractor rides begin on Sundays.

Check crop availability ahead of your visit on 01959 534666 or www.hewittsfarm.co.uk.

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  • Things to do
  • Surrey

Strawberries are a particular speciality at Crockford, which offers ripe fruit from core season in June right up until September. Or delight in broad beans, peas, squashes or asparagus, depending on the season. When you’re done, visit the on-site gelateria for ices made with own-grown fruits. The farm – set in 80 acres in West Surrey – is one of the oldest continually cultivated spots in the county and is mentioned in the ‘Doomsday Book’. Again, you’ll need to call ahead to find out what’s ripe. 

Bookings required, find out more here. Check opening days and crop availability on Facebook, call 01932 846611 or check www.crockfordbridgefarm.co.uk

  • Things to do
  • Kent

Run by brothers Toby and Max Williams, this 150-acre farm near Dartford in Kent specialises in strawberries and raspberries, which are available to pick in June and July. After then, you'll find courgettes and courgette flowers, plus fields of sunflowers for a beautiful bouquet to take home.

No need to pre-book for PYO, just turn up. Check crop availability ahead of your visit on 01322 669711 or www.stanhillfarm.co.uk

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  • Attractions
  • Farms
  • Surrey

The Thompson family have been running this Surrey farm as a pick-your-own for nearly 35 years. It’s a bigger operation than most, with its own restaurant, farm shop and garden centre, so you don’t have to do too much planning (though it’s a much easier day out if you have a car). Garsons also grows its strawberries table-top, and if you’re lucky, you’ll have your pick of raspberries too. It’s £4 for a Farm Pass to allow access to the PYO farm, which must be booked in advance. There are 155 acres to cover, so come with a plan of attack.

Check crop availability ahead of your visit on 01372 464389 or www.garsons.co.uk

  • Things to do
  • Buckinghamshire

Noisy broods of chickens will greet your arrival at this wholesome soft fruit farm in Buckinghamshire (there’s the odd sheep too, but they mostly keep to themselves). There are raspberries and blackberries aplenty and, towards the end of August, you can go and relieve the gnarly old apple and plum trees of their fruit. Everything sold the farm shop is grown on site, even the honey (thanks to the resident bee colony).

Check crop availability ahead of your visit on 01753 653064 or www.homecottagefarm.co.uk

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  • Things to do
  • Hertfordshire

Better move quick if you want to pick your yield at this Hertfordshire farm – its strawberries, blackcurrants and raspberries tend to get snapped up by crowds of quick-fingered visitors. If all goes well, you can pay the £3 minimum to pack your punnet with as many of those July strawbs as you can. Depending on when you decide to visit, there might just be a few redcurrants growing too, ready to fulfil their Christmas jelly destiny.

No pre-booking required, but call to check timings and crop availability ahead of your visit on 01727 831224 or visit www.hawkswickfruit.co.uk 

Or... try some wild foraging

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