Dreaming of deliciously fresh strawberries picked straight from the field? While London can boast of several great city farms, you’ll need to head further afield to pick your own strawberries. Actually, many farms experience such big swarms of city dwellers heading out of London this summer that they’ve created a booking system to keep control of the hordes.
Booking ahead is actually much better for everyone to avoid disappointing visitors turning up at the farm only to realize that all the delicious strawberries have been snapped up a long time ago. So be quick to take action and book a visit to one of the following top 7 strawberry farms outside of London:
When are strawberries in season in England?
The strawberry-picking season near London kicks off in early June and continues all the way until the end of August. During these warm summer months, the strawberry farms in England become a haven for fruit enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. It’s the perfect time to plan your visit and relish in the joy of hand-picking plump, sun-ripened strawberries straight from the vine.
What’s the price per kg for pick-your-own-farm strawberries?
The expected cost per kilogram of pick-your-own strawberries in England in 2023 is between £6 and £7. Strawberry prices often change throughout the season based on supply and demand. When there are a lot of ripe strawberries, the price might be lower. But if there aren’t as many, the price could be higher. Farms adjust their prices to make sure everyone is happy and to keep their farms sustainable.
Is it cheaper to pick your own strawberries?
Picking strawberries at a farm tends to be 10%-20% more expensive than buying the cheapest versions from a supermarket. However, picking your own strawberries at a farm offers a special experience, fresh berries, and enjoyable moments, which can make the slightly higher cost worth it for those who want a fun and hands-on adventure.
1. Crockford Bridge Farm – Surrey
Prices: Farm passes £4/£2 (adult/child) – deducted from purchases
Crockford strawberries are among the best you can get your hands on near London! You’ll even get the opportunity to enjoy locally made ice cream made from farm strawberries. Crockford Bridge Farm is in West Surrey on 80 acres and is among the county’s oldest continuously cultivated areas. Many families have Crockford as a firm summer-favourite visiting year after year. However, available crops change from week to week, so make sure to check in advance to avoid disappointment. If you’re planning to pick during the weekend, you should remember to book a time slot ahead to make sure you get your hands on those delicious strawberries.
Phone: 01932 846611 Web: crockfordbridgefarm.co.uk
2. Stanhill Farm – Kent
Prices: Punnet of Strawberries = £3.50
Stanhill Farm is 150 acres and is run by Toby and Max Williams. The farm produces 20-30 varieties of vegetables and fruit, varying by season. You’ll find courgettes, runner beans, carrots, and sweetcorn ready for harvest after the strawberry season ends. If your fingers feel tired, you can take a walk around the maze that runs through the farm’s maize fields. Stanhill is a large farm with a lot of visitor capacity, and it’s not necessary to book in advance.
Phone: 01322 669711 Web: stanhillfarm.co.uk
3. Garsons Farm – Surrey
Prices: Farm passes £4/£1 (adult/child) – deducted from purchases
The Thompson family has operated this farm for decades and has been a pioneer in perfecting the Pick Your Own (PYO) concept. The farm is larger than many strawberry farms around London, covering a whopping 155 acres. There’s a restaurant, farm shop, and garden centre, so everything is set for a perfect full-day experience. Garsons also grow strawberries at tabletop height, so you don’t need to bend down when picking. If you’re fortunate, you might even get your hands on raspberries. You will need to book in advance for a Farm Pass, which is available online.
Phone: 01372 464389 Web: garsons.co.uk
4. Hawkswick Lodge Farm – Hertfordshire
Prices: Minimum spend of £3.00 per person, except for children under 5 years.
Hawkswick opened on July 10th, and reportedly there were long lines of punters lining up to secure a place in the strawberry fields. You must act swiftly to grab your harvest at this Hertfordshire farmland as it’s not as big as some of the largest farms outside London, and eager visitors quickly snap up strawberries, blackcurrants, and raspberries. If everything goes according to plan, you will only need to pay the £3 minimum to fill your punnet with as many July strawbs and strawberries as possible. As always, we recommend calling in advance to ensure your favourite crop is available for picking on the day you’re going.
Phone: 01727 831224 Web: www.hawkswickfruit.co.uk
5. Hewitts Farm – Bromley
Prices: Pay for what you pick – no minimum spend or farm passes required
On Hewitts farm covering 78 acres, you can pick several different crops such as strawberries, blackcurrants, and spinach during the summer months. And if you’re lucky, you might even get a free tractor ride on this beautiful farm run by the same family for generations. There’s no requirement to book ahead as it stands now, but check the farm’s website or call in advance.
Phone: 01959 534666 Web: https://www.hewittsfarm.co.uk/
6. Stonepitts Farm – Kent
Prices: Pay for what you pick – no minimum spend or farm passes required
Nestled at the base of the North Downs in the charming village of Seal, Sevenoaks, Kent, lies the picturesque Stonepitts Farm. This idyllic location offers breathtaking views of the magnificent Holmesdale Valley, a sight that has captivated locals for generations.
Today, Stonepitts Farm has become a beloved destination for those seeking a delightful experience. In the summer, our Farm Shop becomes a bustling hub for pick-your-own soft fruit, allowing visitors to pluck the juiciest strawberries straight from the vine.
But that’s not all Stonepitts Farm has to offer. Throughout the summer, the farm comes alive with a series of exciting “pop-up festival” events. Held on enchanting Thursday evenings, these gatherings showcase the talents of local musician Dan Clews, as well as an array of remarkable homegrown and international artists. It’s an opportunity to enjoy live music in a truly captivating setting, surrounded by the natural beauty of the farm.
Phone: 01753 653064 Web: https://stonepitts.com/
7. Parkside Farm – Enfield
Prices: Pay for what you pick (Strawberries £6.19 per kg) – no minimum spend or farm passes required
Unlike many other farms around London, Parkside Farm is not too remote to be accessible from London by public transportation. Don’t expect a tube stop next to the farm; you’ll need to walk a good 25 minutes from the nearest Gordon Hill railway station. This piece of greenery has 20 crops on its 50 acres, with strawberries growing at just the right height, so you don’t need to bend down too much. Check their website or call ahead to make sure you don’t get disappointed as crops change over time. Remember to book ahead of visiting.
Phone: 020 8367 2035 Web: parksidefarmpyo.co.uk
Tips for picking strawberries
The centre of every cluster is where the largest berries are found. Pick fresh berries when they are fully red. Of course, you won’t get all the berries at once, so farms typically harvest strawberries every two to three days. That’s also why you’re often required to book a picking slot in advance so the farm can give the plants a break between each picking session.
Strawberry season lasts only three to four weeks, so you shouldn’t waste time deciding to head out of London to pick strawberries. After the strawberries are fully coloured, you can pick them with only one-quarter of their stem attached. Picking strawberries in the morning is best, as they are still cool. Strawberries can bruise easily, so be careful when picking them. Unblemished berries will last longer and keep better than bruised fruit. Certain varieties of strawberry, like Surecrop, snap easily with some of the stem attached. Sparkle and others bruise easily, so be careful when removing the stem.
To harvest strawberries:
- Grasp the stem between your thumb and forefinger and gently pull and twist the stem.
- Allow the berry to roll into your palm.
- Place the fruit in a container.
- Continue picking this way, ensuring not to overfill the container with berries.
Once picked, cool the berries immediately. However, please don’t wash them until they are ready for use.
Strawberries can be kept fresh for up to three days with refrigeration, but they will go bad quickly. Don’t worry if your strawberry harvest was too large to eat or for you to give away. Strawberries can be frozen well and used for desserts or smoothies. In addition, strawberries can easily be made into jam.
What are the best areas for strawberry picking near London?
- Kent – the “Garden of England,”: Farms in Kent usually win the race to produce the first English strawberries in spring. It’s the number one producer of strawberries in the UK and home to numerous pick-your-own strawberry farms. Kent’s favourable climate and rich soil contribute to the exceptional quality and flavour of the strawberries grown here.
- Surrey: Just south of London, Surrey is another prime location for strawberry-picking adventures. Farms in areas such as Guildford, Godstone, and Reigate offer picturesque landscapes and bountiful strawberry patches. Enjoy a day trip to Surrey and immerse yourself in the tranquil countryside while picking some of the juiciest strawberries around.
- Sussex: Nestled along the southern coast, Sussex is a delightful region for strawberry picking near London. Farms in areas like Chichester, Crawley, and Lewes offer picturesque countryside settings where you can enjoy the fun of picking your own strawberries. Revel in the coastal charm while savouring the sweetness of freshly harvested berries.
- Essex: Located to the northeast of London, Essex is home to several family-friendly strawberry farms. Farms near towns like Chelmsford, Colchester, and Brentwood provide visitors with the chance to enjoy a day in the countryside, picking strawberries and indulging in other farm activities.
- Hertfordshire: Just a short distance north of London, Hertfordshire offers charming pick-your-own strawberry farms within easy reach of the city. Farms near St. Albans, Hitchin, and Hemel Hempstead are popular choices, allowing visitors to escape the urban hustle and enjoy a day of berry-picking bliss.
- Buckinghamshire: Situated to the northwest of London, Buckinghamshire also boasts some lovely strawberry farms. Farms near Aylesbury, High Wycombe, and Milton Keynes provide opportunities for families and strawberry enthusiasts to enjoy a fun-filled day in the countryside, surrounded by fragrant strawberry fields.