Britain’s best pick your own

Liz Barrett nips off with a basket to find her favourite spots to pick your own fruit.

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Eddisbury Fruit Farm, Cheshire
Visitors to this family-run farm should make a beeline, or should that be treeline (ahem!), for its apple products, most notably the Cheshire Apple Juice, Cheshire Cider and Cheshire Fruit Wine, with apples grown, pressed and bottled at the farm. Perched on the edge of Delamere Forest, the farm, which dates from the 1930s, also grows a large selection of soft fruits for picking, including gooseberries, strawberries, raspberries, tayberries, loganberries, redcurrants and whitecurrants. And if you plan your trip on the third Saturday of the month you can also take advantage of the Vale Royal farmers’ market, which runs from 10am to 2pm.
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Brocksbushes Farm, Northumberland
This is a true tennis fan’s dream – 50 acres dedicated to the growing of, mainly, strawberries. But to while away a few more hours in the Tyne Valley countryside you’ve also got the choice of gooseberries, raspberries, blackberries, tayberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants and plums (available from September).
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Over Farm, Gloucestershire
With trailer rides and farm animals for petting, Over Farm is the ideal place to bring the kids for the day. The farm also grows 80 varieties of fruit and veg, and you can, quite literally, take your pick from strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, runner beans and, usually, pumpkins.
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Clives Fruit Farm, Worcestershire
Clives is the PYO to go to for apples and pears. The harvest, which runs throughout August and September, includes local varieties such as the Worcester, as well as the Vistabella, Gala Must, Royal Gala, Howgate Wonder, Bramley, Cox Orange Pippins, Queen Cox, Russet, Scrumptious, Delba D’estival, Kaly, Spartan Crispin, Jonathan, Jonagold, Ida Red, Falstaff and Braeburn. That’s some list. If you’ve still got some picking power left after all that, Clives also stocks the following pear varieties: William, Conference, Comice, Concorde and Glou Morceau.
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Sharnfold Farm, East Sussex
There’s a plethora of fruit pickings to be had down at Sharnfold Farm, with apples, blackcurrants, plums, raspberries and strawberries sharing the 40-acre farmland with onions, runner beans, pumpkins, squash, beetroot, sweet corn and herbs. And while you pick your fruit, the kids can pick an animal to pet from the farm’s rabbits, guinea pigs, chickens, ducks, horses, goats, cows, pigs and sheep.
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