Summer is finally with us in London, and that means long days, some pretty epic sunsets, picnics in the parks, pints in beer gardens and the arrival of some pretty succulent strawberries, raspberries, blackcurrants and blackberries. Luckily for us Londoners, you don’t have to travel to the end of the world to get your hands on some of these juicy treats – here’s our rundown of the best places to fruit picking in London:
1. Parkside Farm, Enfield
Kicking off this roundup of the best places to go fruit picking in London is one that is actually in London. Hop aboard the train to Gordon Hill station in the London Borough of Enfield, and a quick 25-minute stroll will get you to Parkside, a pick-your-own fruit farm that has a whopping 50 – yep, seriously – acres of fruit in which to pick.
We’re not just talking about strawberries either – there’s plums, blackberries, raspberries, and other goodies here too. Best of all, the strawberries here are all grown on raised platforms, so there’ll be no appointments with the chiropractor required after a visit to this one! Post-pick, why not head to the vast Trent Park which has its own petting zoo?
You’ll find Parkside Farm at Hadley Road, Enfield, London, EN2 8LA. Nearest station is Gordon Hill. Check their website for opening times.
2. Hewitts Farm, Orpington
Another addition to this roundup of the best places to go fruit picking in London which is also technically in London, Hewitts Farm is a cute, family-run spot set in 78 acres of countryside just outside Orpington. The family have been here for well over 45 years, and they’ve got everything from strawberries to pumpkins here, which are just crying out to be picked.
On top of this, there’s a cute little farm shop which sells everything from duck eggs to apple and pear juice sourced from local farms in the surrounding region. They’ve also got christmas trees for sale during the Christmas season.
You’ll find Hewitts Farm at Court Road (just off the A224), Orpington, Kent, BRG 9BX. Nearest station is Knockholt Kent Station. Check their website for opening times.
3. Garsons PYO Farm, Surrey
Garsons is an award-winning garden centre and farm shop located right in the heart of Surrey, which is home to one of the largest pick-your-own fruit farms in the country. There’s everything here from delicious fruits to fresh vegetables and even flowers too, and the picking season runs from early June all the way through to late October.
Like Parkside, they also grow their strawberries table-top here, and come during the right season, you’ll have your pick of raspberries too. It’s £4 for a Farm Pass for adults, and just a quid for kids, which allows access to the PYO farm. Note that it needs to be booked in advance via their website.
You’ll find Garsons at Winterdown Road, Esher, Surrey, KT10 8LS. Nearest station is Hersham though we’d recommend driving if you can. Check their website for opening times and to book your pass.
4. Hawkswick Lodge Fruit Farm, Hertfordshire
Another family-run spot located just to the north of St. Albans in Hertfordshire, the Hawkswick Lodge Fruit Farm specialises in growing soft fruits including strawberries, raspberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants, blackberries and gooseberries.
Rumour has it that this year they’ve got a bumper crop of raspberries in the offing, and the actual pick-your-own process couldn’t be simpler. You’ll be provided with a basket, and all you have to do is pick the fruits you want, weigh it and then pay for it – Bob’s your uncle!
You’ll find Hawkswick Lodge Fruit Farm at Harpenden Road, St Albans, AL3 6JG. Nearest station is St. Albans City, though we’d recommend driving if you can. Check their website for opening times.
5. Spring Gardens Nursery, West Sussex
The next addition to this roundup of the best places to go fruit picking in London and nearby is over a century old – so they certainly have got their pick-you-own down to a tee it has to be said. Located in beautiful West Sussex near the village of Ashington – right at the foot of the South Downs AONB – it’s a lovely little spot that also has a farm shop and a café-come-events-space to boot to.
In terms of produce which you can pick, they’ve got strawberries, cherries, raspberries, blackcurrants, redcurrants, plums, tayberries, loganberries, boysenberries, black berries, asparagus, sweetcorn, broad beans, runner beans, beetroot, potatoes… the list goes on!
You’ll find Spring Gardens Nursery at Washington, Pulborough, West Sussex, RH20 3BS. You’ll need to drive here as there are no stations nearby. Check their website for opening times.
6. Maynards, East Sussex
Sticking with the Sussex location – though this time in East Sussex – we come to Maynards, a charming pick-your-own fruit farm situated in the High Weald AONB. Also family-run, this spot offers excellent views over Bewl Water and the surrounding countryside, and there are some cute country pubs just a stone’s throw away.
Of course, you’re really here for the fruit picking, and this is one of the longest established pick your own fruit farms in the whole of the UK. They’re open every day from mid-Spring until Autumn, and you can opt to go cherry picking, strawberry picking, plum picking, apple picking or blackcurrant picking here – or a combination of all of the above! The world’s your oyster as they say.
You’ll find Maynards at Windmill Hill, Cross Lane, Wadhurst, East Sussex, TN5 7HQ. You’ll need to drive here as there are no stations nearby. Check their website for opening times.
7. Downingbury Farm Shop & Café, Kent
Set right off the A228 near Pembury – about ten miles south of Sevenoaks – the Downingbury Farm Shop & Café is a great place to stock up on some locally-sourced produce – including preserves, cakes, chocolate, apple juice, wine and ale, and an extensive deli range too.
A friendly spot, it’s also a great place to pick your own fruit, and they’ve got strawberries, raspberries, blackcurrants, redcurrants, blackberries and plums all for the taking – *ahem* buying – here. They’ve also got a lovely little coffee shop on site which makes a great cuppa and whips up some delectable slices of cake too.
You’ll find Downingbury Farm Shop & Café at Maidstone Road, Pembury, Tunbridge Wells, TN2 4AD. You’ll need to drive here as there are no stations nearby. Check their website for opening times.
8. Stanhill Farm, Kent
Sticking with Kent, we come to Stanhill Farm, just a few miles south of Bexley and 17 miles from Central London. Run by brothers Max and Toby Williams, it’s an 150-acre farm which grows 20 to 30 varieties of different fruit and veg.
After all that picking-your-own fruit and veg, replenish your batteries in the Berries & Beans Café, which serves tea, coffee, hot chocolate, cold drinks, toasties, cakes and ice creams too. They’ve also got their own ‘Maize Maze’ too. This year it’s themed to HRH (Her Royal Honeyness) Betty the bee, who’s missing her crown jewels in the middle of the maze! A good one to take the kids to perhaps?
You’ll find Stanhill Farm at The Farm House, Birchwood Road, Dartford, Kent, DA2 7HD. Nearest station is Swanley. Check their website for opening times.
9. Crockbridge Bridge Farm, Surrey
Our penultimate addition to this roundup of the best places to go fruit picking near London is Crockford Bridge Farm – a working, family-owned farm near Weybridge in Surrey. They grow 20 different kinds of crops here – including rhubarb, raspberries, strawberries, asparagus and blackcurrants – and you can pick as much of it as you want.
Outside of the Summer strawberry picking season, they also grow pumpkins and Christmas trees which are available to purchase at their ‘pumpkin market’ in October and ‘Christmas tree cabin’ from late November. Please note that if you’d like to pick-your-own, you’ll need to book in advance via their website. If the sun is shining, cool down with a delicious ice cream from their ice cream parlour.
You’ll find Crockbridge Bridge Farm at New Haw Road, Weybridge, Addlestone, Surrey, KT15 2BU. Nearest station is Addlestone. Check their website for opening times and to book your pass.
10. Home Cottage Farm, Buckinghamshire
Rounding off this list of the best places to go fruit picking in London is Home Cottage Farm – a lovely soft fruit and apple farm situated in Iver, Buckinghamshire, just to the west of Uxbridge. This is quite possibly the place to go apple picking in and around the city, and on top of apples they’ve got plums, pears, blackberries and raspberries which are rife for picking.
They’ve also got some tasty honey here, and plenty of wildlife – including bats and birds – which you may be lucky enough to spot. Please note that they are currently closed, but are due to open later in the Summer season.
You’ll find Home Cottage Farm at Bangors Road South, Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire, SL0 0BB. Nearest station is Iver. Check their website for opening times.
So there you have it – a rundown of the best places to go fruit picking in London and near London. With the sun shining, there’s no better time to check them out! Fruit is part of your ‘five a day’ after all, remember…