Where to pick your own
Grab your straw hat and wicker basket: it's summer in England, which means it's time to PYO. From sumptuous strawberries to gorgeous green veg, here's where to pick 'em.
Despite the juice stains and paying-to-do-manual-labour, picking one’s own fruit and veg in local farms is unassailably charming so it’s time to dust off the broad-brimmed straw hats, grab the children and head to the fields.
Rutland Water Fruit Farm, Rutland
This tiny family-run fruit farm (four acres to be precise) offers juicy strawberries and raspberries all summer long but because they’re so small, they often sell out before they can even advertise PYO season. If you’re local, pop your head in to see what they’re offering and you may just get lucky. Oh, and dig this, they grow great spuds here too (not for picking) but there’s always heaps to choose from.
Cattows Farm, Heather Coalville
It’s hard to believe that this Coalville farm in North West Leicestershire has been offering PYO for more than 30 years now. Today they have 10 acres of traditionally grown strawberries (eight different varieties), three acres of raspberries along with gooseberries, blackcurrants, redcurrants and blackberries. Sunflowers are also available later in the summer for pick your own. When you’re done, don’t miss out on the excellent tea room serving a gorgeous selection of cakes and desserts.
Wymeswold Fruit Farm, Wymeswold
There’s an abundance of juicy fruit waiting for you in this Loughborough farm – everything from raspberries to rhubarb and more. Jump on the tractor at the weekend to get a lift to the best picking spots and while there, the kids can enjoy the the mini ferris wheel here every day too. Open Mon – Sat from 10am and no booking required.
Grange Farm Soft Fruit PYO, Copston Magna
Bliss out in the beautiful and peaceful countryside as you take your pick (geddit?) from the likes of blueberries to blackberries and there’s even broad beans. The small fruit farm is located in the quiet village of Copston Magna near Hinckley and Lutterworth and are currently only offering slots for up to 6 people and don’t forget to book a slot via their website.
Whetstone Pastures Farm, Whetstone
A biggie in our ‘hood for hand-picked punnets. With 600 acres to play with, you can pick a range of fruit, vegetables, but here, life’s a bowl of strawberries – or rather a punnet – and these juicy red bad boys are the big players at this Blaby farm. You can also pick gooseberries and later in the summer there’s black currants, red currants, raspberries and blackberries. Once in, follow the signs and park on the grass, pay for your punnets and then start picking. Open Tues- Sun from 10am.