Strawberries start fruiting any time from the early summer all the way through to the beginning of autumn. These sweet red fruits are a favourite for many people and while you can buy them in abundance in the supermarkets, there is something truly special about going out there and picking your own tasty strawberries.
Plus, whenever I have been strawberry picking, I’ve noticed that there are some real monsters out there, the size of which you’d be hard pushed to find in your local Sainsburys.
Not only do you get a much better crop when you can get out in the field and PYO strawberries but it’s a lovely activity to do as a family. Some much needed outdoor time gets the kids away from electronic devices and most places have a cafe or bar where you can relax in the sun after collecting your yield.
But if you’ve been wondering is there any strawberry picking near me then we’ve got good news. There are thousands of pick your own strawberry farms dotted around the UK and some are really wonderful.
In this guide, we’ll run through some of the very best strawberry picking near me as well as giving you some handy tips on how to make the most of your visit.
Top 10 Strawberry Picking Locations In The UK
There are so many PYO strawberry farms around the UK that it would be impossible to visit every single one without dedicating your entire summer to strawberry picking alone. No matter where you are in the UK, you’ll find strawberry picking within a few miles so you won’t have to travel far.
While we couldn’t possibly list every single location in the country, we have put together this list of our top ten strawberry picking spots for delicious, fresh fruit.
1 Hillfield Nursery – Norfolk
Hillfield is a family run nursery that is set in 30 acres of stunning countryside. A visit here is well worth it since there’s so much to see and do including that all important strawberry picking.
Take a mooch around the farm shop that sells a wide range of homemade products as well as the nursery with an amazing selection of plants.
If you want to mix your strawberries with other fruits then why not try the apple pressing service? Hillfield is home to more than 250 apple varieties and offers some delicious fresh juices to whet your whistle when you’re done picking strawberries.
2 Chilton Manor Farm – Kent
Located in Sittingbourne, Chilton Manor Farm is a wonderful place to take the kids to enjoy a spot of strawberry picking as well as engaging in several other activities.
Here, you’ll find a quaint little farm shop with lots of delicious local produce and handmade gifts. The PYO field is open every day apart from Mondays and even when the strawberries go out of season, the farm puts on plenty of other things such as pumpkin picking at Halloween!
3 Sandhill Strawberry Farm – Merseyside
The song Strawberry Fields Forever hailed from this part of the country so it would be criminal not to include a Merseyside PYO farm.
Sandhill farm is a traditional working farm set in rural surroundings that offers PYO fruit all year round with a focus on strawberries in the summer.
There’s the chance to sit on the tractor and at certain times of the year, the farm shop will be filled with special treats like pumpkins and Christmas trees!
4 Grove Farm – Bedfordshire
Grove Farm opens its door for eager strawberry fans from June each year. Here, you’ll find a wide range of fruits and vegetables depending on the season and they’re some of the best quality in the country!
What we really love about Grove Farm, however, is that they’re making a real attempt to remain sustainable in terms of packing. You can find out more details about this on their website.
5 Bearstone Fruit Farm – Staffordshire
Located in Market Drayton, a quaint little town in rural Staffordshire, Bearstone Fruit Farm truly is a hidden gem.
As well as strawberries, you’ll have the opportunity to pick delicious blackberries and redcurrants. When you’re done, there are refreshments including cold drinks and tasty homemade cakes.
6 Sharnfold Farm – Sussex
Down in Eastbourne, you’ll find the lovely little Sharnfold Farm which makes for the perfect family day out. During strawberry season, you’ll have the chance to get out into the fields and PYO but there’s so much more going on here throughout the year.
There are special events at Halloween and Christmas but no matter when you visit, you’ll be able to interact with animals like sheep and fuzzy alpacas. There’s a farm shop and cafe, trails to walk, a play area and even fishing.
If you want to include strawberry picking as part of a wider day out then Sharnfold Farm has got you covered.
7 Copas Farms – Buckinghamshire
Spread across two locations, the Copas farms offer the chance to pick your own strawberries as well as rhubarb and asparagus picking. What a way to stock up your pantry!
The farm also has a farm shop where you can get your hands on local produce and there’s a maize maze to keep you and the kids entertained after you’ve finished harvesting.
8 Scalby Grange – Yorkshire
Scalby Grange is located in East Riding, Yorkshire and is a small family run business that opens from June for hungry strawberry pickers.
But then fun doesn’t end when summer is over as the farm takes on a spooky new personality and pumpkin season arrives. Head over at Halloween to PYO pumpkin, if you dare!
9 Forde Abbey – Somerset
Forde Abbey and Gardens is a stunning estate set in rural Somerset that has some of the best strawberry picking in the area. The produce here is top quality and ideal for making jams and desserts or for enjoying on its own.
But when summer comes to an end, there is still so much more going on here. There’s a goat farm, beautiful gardens to explore, a stunning house that’s home to the Mortlake Tapestries and you can even hold events like weddings here.
This is another brilliant location if you want to include strawberry picking as part of a bigger day out with the kids.
10 Scaddows Farm – Derbyshire
Having catered to PYO lovers for the last 30 years, Scaddows Farm is one of the best places to pick strawberries in the East Midlands. Located just outside of a quaint little village called Ticknall, the farm and farm shop produces some excellent quality fruits.
It’s free to get in and there are a whole host of other fruits on offer such as gooseberries, raspberries, blackcurrants and much more. There’s also a vineyard for the grown ups!
Why Pick Your Own Strawberries?
Picking your own strawberries is often a little more expensive than just going to the supermarket and picking up a punnet. But where’s the fun in that? I’d much rather pay a little extra and have some fun than have to stand in a long line in Asda for some lacklustre fruits.
Keep in mind that you may have to pay to get into some pick your own strawberry farms. However, for the most part, they’ll take this fee off whatever you buy so it’s not the end of the world.
Aside from the price, there are loads of reasons why picking your own strawberries is a wonderful family activity.
For starters, if you have children, this is a brilliant way of introducing them to how food grows and where their food comes from. What’s more, it’s an excellent opportunity to get everyone outdoors and enjoying some fresh air. Plus, you’ll do a decent amount of walking and getting exercise is never a bad thing.
On top of that, you’re spending time as a family and making memories. Picking strawberries might be the simplest of activities but for your children, it’ll be a memory they cherish. And anyway, with so many of these PYO farms offering other activities, you can often make a day of it.
When you PYO strawberries, and other fruits, the taste is usually a lot better than what you’d get from your local shop as the fruits are picked in season.
Have you ever thought about how the simple act of buying strawberries from the supermarket can impact the environment? When you purchase strawberries from shops, the food will have been transported for miles and miles. This has a direct impact on the environment so picking your own is much more eco friendly as the food miles are reduced. On top of this, you’re also supporting local businesses and with the current financial climate, that’s really important in helping local economies thrive.
Making The Most Out Of Visiting A PYO Strawberry Farm
I’ve heard a lot of people tell me that they’ve been disappointed when going to a PYO farm. But this is usually because they haven’t taken the right approach or attitude to the activity. You can get a really good yield at these farms but there’s a few things to keep in mind before you get started and these tips will help you make the most of your visit.
Don’t Start At The Front
When you get to the strawberry farm, you’ll notice that most people head for the first few rows of plants as these are easier to access and save walking. However, if you head to the farthest part of the field, there will be fewer people and this is where you’ll find an abundance of untouched fruits.
Check How Ripe The Fruits Are
It can be tempting to just jump in and grab any strawberry you see but remember that you’ll have to pay for whatever you take home so always try to get the best quality fruits. Looking for those that are fully ripe is the way to go but you’ll need to inspect the fruit first as some can look ripe but are only halfway there. The whole strawberry should be red and this tells you it’s ready to be picked.
Most of the time, it’s OK to try a strawberry to see what the quality is like before you commit to picking. Farms don’t tend to have a problem with this. But they will have a problem if you and your kids go around the field helping yourself to mouthfuls of fruit the entire time. Be respectful that this is someone’s living and only try one fruit to test it.
Pick Your Strawberries Correctly
A lot of people just grab the strawberry and pull it off the plant. But when you do this, you pull out the plug and this will damage the fruit causing it to become bruised. As a result, the fruit won’t last long. It’s better to take hold of the stem and break this off the plant.
Store Your Strawberries Correctly
I’ve seen a lot of people putting strawberries in the fridge and I can see why they might do this. We’re conditioned to believe that food keeps for longer in cool temperatures and while this is the case with some things, other foods, like strawberries are better when they’re at room temperature.
This is because they will quickly lose their sweet flavour when you keep them in the fridge. No, they won’t keep as long out of the fridge but if you want the best taste and quality, this is the way to go. Just eat them as soon as possible after picking.
Check Times And Dates Before You Go
The opening times and dates of PYO strawberry farms will differ each year according to the weather and how well the fruits have grown. Before you head off, it’s worth taking a look at the website of your chosen farm to make sure you won’t be disappointed when you get there.
There is something super satisfying about picking your own strawberries and it’s a brilliant way to get the family out of the house and enjoying making memories together. The fruit you’ll get from these PYO farms is second to none and there’s often a lot of other things going on so you can make a full day of it.
With PYO strawberry farms located all around the UK, you’re never too far away to get in on the action. We’ve listed some of the best strawberry picking but there are tons more to be discovered.