Now's the time to pick your own fruit and veg near London
Feast on fresh fruit, stock up on veg and enjoy a day out at the best pick-your-own farms near London
There are plenty of pick your own (PYO) farms within a short drive of central London, typically open from late spring through October (peak season is from late June to early August), where you can stock up on everything from chard to rhubarb to berries and beans. Just walk, pick, pay by weight and enjoy the fruits of your labour when you get home.
Photo: Clem Onojeghuo
Lower Mount Farm, Long Lane, Cookham, Berkshire SL6 9RF
Calves Lane Farm, Billet Lane, Iver, Buckinghamshire SL0 0LU
With two locations – one in Berkshire, one in Buckinghamshire – Copas Farms has plenty to entice for those looking for PYO fruit and veg: strawberries, asparagus and rhubarb is ready to pick in Iver, while those heading to Cookham can get their fill of the first of the season's strawberries, broad beans and asparagus. From July, runner beans, cherries and raspberries are up for grabs, while sweetcorn and apples are available in August and September.
Advance pre-booking is essential and both farms have a 24hr phone line to call and double-check what is growing before you visit.
Parkside Farm, Hadley Road, Enfield, Middlesex EN2 8LA
You don't need a car to visit Parkside. Gordon Hill station is less than 30 minutes' walk and Cockfosters tube station is around three miles away (there's usually mini cabs waiting). The cooler-than-average weather means 2023's picking season is a little delayed, but Parkside aims to reopen from mid-June (check here for the latest). We are promised the crops are looking good. Strawberries are a speciality in early summer, then from around July though to September time there will be an abundance of currants, raspberries, beetroot, spinach and Swiss chard.
You need to pre-book a time slot in advance and it's wise to call the 24hr message line to check what's in supply before making the trip.
Photo: Cristina Georgescu
Hawkswick Lodge Farm
Harpenden Road, St. Albans, Hertfordshire AL3 6JG
Make it a jam-making, pie-baking weekend by visiting Hawkswick Lodge Farm first. It's a family-run farm where you can pick soft fruits like strawberries, raspberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants, blackberries and gooseberries. They expect to open around 18 June but check back for updates.
No booking necessary but visitors are advised to call the helpline to confirm crops and opening hours.
Photo: Artur Rutkowski
Garsons, Winterdown Road, West End, Esher, Surrey KT10 8LS
Garsons has it all: a massive garden centre, a compost drive-through, a farm shop and restaurant, and there's also a PYO farm with broccoli, peas, cabbages, sugar snaps, carrots, beetroots, apples, dahlias and more. There's a fantastic pumpkin and squash patch in the autumn, too.
Visitors must book a farm pass in advance.
Photo: Chiara Conti
Court Rd, Bromley, Chelsfield, Orpington BR6 7QL
Head to Hewitt's to pick a selection of fruit and veg like strawberries, gooseberries, spinach, Swiss chard, red currants, blackcurrants, raspberries, peas, broad beans and spring onions. Check here for details.
No advance booking, just check the farm is open and then show up.