Nothing says summer like picking your own farm-fresh fruit and veg. All around London, Pick Your Own farms offer everything from strawberries to sweetcorn, beetroot to broccoli, French beans to Swiss chard. Bring the kids to eat local, show them where their food comes from, and support local farms. (If you don’t have the time or inclination to pick it yourself, many have farm shops as well.) Before you go, be sure to check the website to confirm opening hours and available pickings.
PICK YOUR OWN FARMS NEAR LONDON
NEEDHAM GREEN, HERETFORDSHIRE
Primarily a fruit farm, they grow quite a variety of sweet treats to pick including cherries and blueberries. In October there’s a plentiful pumpkin patch. You can easily spend hours here – there’s a cafe with loads of seating (no picnics allowed), farm shop, maize maze, nature trail and children’s play area. They also offer animal encounters and natural craft workshops.
To PYO you need to book a slot and purchase a voucher for everyone visiting; always check the website ahead of time to see what crops will be available to pick.
Tuesday and Friday mornings 9am-10am is reserved for the over 60s who are not required to book – just turn up
COOKHAM, BERKSHIRE AND IVER, BUCKINGHAMSHIRE
Copas Farms offers not one but two sites, in Cookham in Berkshire and Iver in Buckinghamshire. Stock up on your strawberries, cherries, raspberries, currents and broad beans as well as many other crops; the website lists what’s currently available. In the shop, you’ll find local honey, jams and more.
To PYO you will need to purchase a voucher online in advance of your visit. This will allow you entry at your chosen time (if available) within a 15 minute time slot and to remain on the farm for up to 2 hours.
CROCKFORD BRIDGE FARM SHOP AND PICK YOUR OWN
Close to Weybridge and offering pick-your-own from May to September, Crockford Bridge grows rhubarb and red currents, spinach and strawberries, beetroot and carrots, among many others. To top it off, they’ve got a cute ice cream parlour and tea shack.
In order to visit the PYO, customers are required to purchase a Farm Pass. These are released on a rolling 7 day period and availability is linked to the amount of crops in our fields available to pick. This ensures there will be sufficient crops to pick when you visit and helps reduce queues at peak times.
FLOWER FARM SHOP
Crops include strawberries, raspberries and cherries and plums; ring their PYO line to check the most up-to-date availability. You’ll also find a pub garden, Saturday Night Live Shows, a tea room, a farm shop and ale brewed in their farm brewery by the Godstone Brewers.
No need to pre-book for PYO here, simply enter the shop and inform the team that you would like to go picking, you will then be handed a punnet to place your fruit into, then return to the shop after you have been picking to pay for your produce – it’s as simple as that!
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ESHER, SURREY, KT10 8LS
Claiming to be the UK’s largest PYO farm, with 155 acres of fields to harvest, Garson’s conveniently maps out their current offerings, showing what’s available to pick and where. Browse the garden centre and then choose from fruits including raspberries and apples, fresh vegetables such as courgettes and sweetcorn and even beautiful sunflowers, dahlias and gladioli.
A Farm Pass is required for everyone entering the farm to PYO and must be booked in advance of visiting. Before booking please make sure you read through the details and check what crops are available to pick.
Grays Farm’s PYO run by two generations of the Grays family. It is open May to October and you can pick or purchase in the farm shop, a variety of fruit and veg including strawberries, currants, new potatoes, broccoli and courgettes. There’s a farm shop, too.
No entry charge – Just pay for what you pick. No need to book. There’s a central car park, toilets, play area, picnic areas and a farm trail.
More info HERE
Hewitts is a family run business set in 78 acres, just outside of Orpington Kent. They grow a wide variety of fruits and vegetables for PYO and also have a large selection for sale throughout the year in our farm shop. Plums and peas, swiss chard and spinach, cabbage and courgettes—all these and more are available to pick here. You can also buy honey, free-range eggs and bedding plants in the farm shop.
PYO opens mid-June.
Check back HERE for more information.
HOME COTTAGE FARM
IVER HEATH, BUCKINGHAMSHIRE
Just outside the M25, this farm grows everything it sells, mostly soft fruits and apples. In various months (generally July through October or November), you can choose from 18 varieties of apple and pear, plus plums, raspberries, blackberries and honey.
No opening date listed for 2022 yet, check back HERE for more info.
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MCLAUCHLANS OF BOXTED
BOXTED, ESSEX, CO4 5RB
Near Colchester, this farm grows the usual currants and berries, including jam strawberries and dessert gooseberries, plus sweetcorn and broad beans. The shop sells potatoes from a nearby village as well as cream from a local dairy, and offers freshly frozen fruit year-round.
No need to book, just come on down and get stuck in!
A beautiful place to PYO with rolling hills providing lush views. Crops here include ‘table-top’ strawberries—no bending required!—plus currants, raspberries and blackberries. Veg on offer ranges from spinach, Swiss chard and sweetcorn to courgettes, green onions, and French beans. The PYO has a per person minimum spend, and the shop sells, among other things, ice cream, meringues and chocolate dipping sauce.
Advanced booking is required for PYO, click HERE to book.
Stanhill Farm offers berries, beans, sweetcorn and more—and there’s even a maize maze with a theme that changes from year to year. Check the website to see what’s available, and come back for pumpkins October half-term.
No need to book in advance, just show up and PYO goodness.
Can’t leave London? Try a bit of urban foraging!
Our local parks and even canals are filled with produce ripe food picking. From elderflower for delicious cordial to blackberries for jam and much more. Check out sites like Forage London, and Abundance London in Chiswick for spots and group outings, or just have a look around your local green areas. Find a spot, grab a basket and enjoy. Best of all, it’s free.
Updated June 2022
Featured image from Cammas Hall Farm