Where to pick your own in Berkshire
Grab your straw hat and wicker basket: it's time to PYO. From sumptuous strawberries to green veg to blooming bouquets, here's where to pick 'em.
Somehow, despite the juice stains and paying-to-do-manual-labour, picking one’s own fruit / flowers / veg is unassailably charming. So dust off the broad-brimmed straw hats, grab the children and head to the fields.
We love a bit of wholesome rural fun here at Muddy and — as luck would have it — there are a fair few PYO farms to choose from. Time to break out your inner Milly-Molly-Mandy, clear out some fridge space, and pick some darned delicious in-season fruit. (Just remember to save a punnet to settle down and watch some fabulous tennis – essential sofa snacks for that true Wimbledon experience.)
Gray’s Farm, Wokingham
This is your moment to get your kids to eat their five a day (and pimp up your Champers, obvs). Pick your own season is in full swing. Slam in the breaks when you see the giant strawberry in the field at Gray’s Farm, near Wokingham. This is a PYO giant, offering 24 different crops from traditional soft fruits to veggies. Right now you can get your mitts on strawberries, raspberries, currants and gooseberries. Needing greens? Spinach, beetroot, broccoli beans and more are all ready to pick.
Copas Farm (Lower Marsh Farm), Cookham
Copas Farm is another big boy in the PYO world, with branches in Berks and Bucks apiece. PYO costs £4, to be refunded against the weight of the produce you’ve picked — strawberries, raspberries peas and beans at the minute, and soon to be cherries and blackcurrants. There is also a farm shop on site selling homemade apple juice, local honey, chutneys, cream, and eggs.
Cobbs Farm, Hungerford
PYO was cancelled at Cobbs Farm last year, but slowly but slowly it’s coming back to life. Strawberry picking still remains a no-go, but you can play gooseberry. Or pick them to be precise. Gooseberry season is open – and although it can be a prickly pick, you’ll get to use your haul in jams, desserts, and drinks. You’ll pay £7.99/kg.
Things are pretty simple at Hildred’s – top drawer, locally grown soft fruits and asparagus at affordable price. Right now your can get your hands on strawberries, gooseberries, red and black currants and raspberries. Open Tues-Sun, 9am-6pm.
Wheedon Hill Park (aka Farmer Paul), Aylesbury
PYO isn’t just about fruit: at Wheedon Hill Park near Aylesbury over the border in Bucks, Farmer Paul is bringing a sea of sunshine this August courtesy of his magnificent Sunflower Field. Head to the Cutting Area to choose and PYO sunflowers to buy (you’ll need your own secateurs), there’s a Sunflower Trail for the kids, pre-cut flowers to buy as well as wheat posies and other sunflowery goodies made by Mrs Farmer Paul. It’s thirsty work, that God for the café. :
Howe Farm Flowers, near Thame
At Howe Farm in Dorton you can pick your own beautiful bouquets of seasonal flowers, all hand-sown and sustainably nurtured. Available from April-October, visitors can either simply spend an hour picking blooms in lovely zinc buckets (£20), or upgrade to include a pot of tea and homemade cake in the garden once the buckets are full, for £55. Booking ahead is essential for both.
Green and Gorgeous Flowers, near Wallingford
Passionate about the environment, Green & Gorgeous Flowers grows a range of classic, nostalgic and unusual flower varieties in a sustainable manner, meaning the farm hums with insect and bird life. Drop in on Saturdays between 9am and 4pm to PYO, and also pick up vegetables, fruit, eggs, seeds, plants and even local hand-thrown pottery from the shop.