Where to pick your own in Somerset & Dorset
Grab your straw hat and wicker basket: it's summer, which means it's time to PYO. From sumptuous strawberries to verdant veg to blooming bouquets, here's where to pick 'em.
Dust off the sun hats, grab the children and sun screen and head to the fields to pick some darned delicious in-season fruit (and not just strawberries), summer veg and beautiful blooms. As luck would have it, there are a fair few PYO farms to choose from in Somerset & Dorset. Read on for the pick of the crop…
Sopley Farmshop & Bakery, Sopley and Cat & Fiddle Farm & Cafe, Hinton, both near Christchurch
Pick a berry, any berry – they’ve grow every kind here: strawberries, raspberries, tayberries, loganberries, gooseberries as well as blackcurrants, redcurrants and plums at this pair of fruit farms owned by the same people. Blackberries later in the year. PYO artichokes and broad beans, plus sunflowers, gladioli and other flowers. Other veg in the farmshop. Fresh bread, cakes and cream teas in Sopley’s new bakery; cafe at Cat & Fiddle. Open every day from 9am–6pm.
North Perrott Fruit Farm, North Perrott, near Crewkerne
No strawberries here, this is an apple farm, with different varieties of apple – for eating, cooking, juicing and cider making – ripening throughout the summer and into the autumn. Compare the taste of an apple picked straight from the tree with one from a supermarket – no contest. Farm shop, plants and cafe too. Open Mon to Sat, 9am–5.30pm; Sun 9am-4.30.
Farrington’s Farm, Farrington Gurney, near Bristol
They’ve planted 4 acres of sunflowers at the Somerset farm with giant play barn and farm park for the kids and someone’s gotta pick ’em when they’re ready in August.
Trehane Blueberry PYO, Hampreston, near Wimborne
The clue’s in the name, it’s all about the blueberries here – eight different varieties of the health enhancing fruit in fact – and they’re ripe and ready right now at the UK’s oldest blueberry plantation. Book a slot online or just rock up if you for a coffee, cake and cut flowers. Open Tues to Sun, 10am–4pm.
Lenctenbury Farm, Corfe Castle
Rock up – no need to book – to PYO strawberries, gooseberries , raspberries, black currants, redcurrants and blueberries. Check beforehand to see what’s ready. Could be PYO from home next year if you buy one of their potted fruit bushes. Open daily, 10am–5pm.
Ford Abbey PYO Fruit Farm, near Chard
Bring your own container to the beautiful historic house’s fruit farm (about a mile away from Forde Abbey itself) and fill it with strawberries, raspberries and gooseberries, all grown at table height for easy pickings. Open every day, 9.30am–6pm.
Exmoor Blueberries, Exford, Exmoor
Blueberries grown the heart of the extraordinary Exmoor landscape. The crop is still ripening – estimated ready for picking around the second week of August.
Abbey Farm Flowers, Abbotsbury
Pick your own bouquet of sustainably grown blooms in the grounds of a medieval abbey at this new flower farm. At the mo, expect gorgeous sunflowers, snapdragons, cornflowers, cosmos, dahlias and more. Dorset ice cream Baboo Gelato and a quick burst of flower water spritz are on hand to refresh. £15 for a vase full. Open Fri, Sat & Tues 10am–4pm.
Thurloxton Farm, Thurloxton, near Taunton
Ripe and ready to pick at this 25-acre family farm: raspberries, gooseberries, rhubarb, strawberries, loganberries, redcurrants, black currants and broad beans. Bring your own container. Local ice creams and drinks from their hut or bring your own picnic. Open daily 10am–6pm.