10 of the best PYO farms in East Anglia
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Nothing beats juicy, sun warmed strawberries picked by your own fair hand. Make the most of your local PYO farm where you can bring home several punnets of the berries for a fraction of the cost at the supermarket. Here are some of the best PYO farms in East Anglia.
1. Friday Street Farm, Saxmundham
On site you'll find a farm shop filled with local produce, a butchery, excellent café and even an unusual homeware store. But in summertime it's all about the strawberries. Thousands of the berries are grown in the season and you can either pick your own, or grab a punnet from the shop on your way to the beach at Aldeburgh.
2. Wiveton Hall, Wiveton
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A gem of a place in North Norfolk, where there are gardens, a farm shop and gift shop to explore. The café is very good indeed, boasting views over the marshes from its location right in the heart of the fruit farm. We recommend one of the pizza or tapas evenings, which run regularly during summer. Either would be a magical way to end a late afternoon picking strawberries (and later raspberries) in the grounds.
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3. Alder Carr Farm, Creeting St Mary
Easy to find off the A14 close to Needham Market. The farm shop is packed with local and ethically sourced produce. Have a bite in the excellent café. And browse the other businesses in the courtyard. Outside you can pick strawberries, then tayberries, raspberries, blackberries, black and red currants in season. The farm even makes its own award-winning ice creams using home grown, hand-picked fruit.
4. Fairgreen Farms, Middleton
Blueberries are often feted as 'superfruits' owning to their richness in important antioxidants. This farm celebrates the berry and it's one of the only place you can pick them locally – from around mid-July. The farm is open from 9am to 5.30pm Monday to Saturday. Call before you go though.
5. McLauchlans, Boxted
An enormous fruit farm near Colchester. In the shop you can buy ready picked fruits and local veg and cream, as well as frozen fruits (perfect for smoothies). But you cannot beat getting out in the sunshine picking your own strawberries. Redcurrants and broad beans are on their way, with raspberries, blackcurrants and dessert gooseberries later on in the year.
6. Hillfield Nursery, Haddiscoe
A whopping 19 different fruits, including 200 varieties of apple, are grown here, with own grown fruit and veg, frozen fruit, homemade jams and unique apple juices available in the shop. As well as PYO strawbs, blackcurrants, blackberries and redcurrants, this is the place for worcesterberries, josterberries and even sunberries.
7. Goslings Farm Shop, Trimley
The home of Suffolk Strawberries. At the moment you can pick strawberries, gooseberries and redcurrants, with raspberries, blackcurrants and blackberries to come. As well as home grown fruits, the shop sells local cheeses, juices, meats, fish and more. There's a café open on Fridays and weekends. And you have to visit the kune kune pigs.
8. White House Farm, Norwich
There are so many reasons to visit this family-friendly farm on the outskirts of Norwich. First, it officially makes the best banger in the city, having taken the top award at the recent food festival. Secondly, the farm shop is filled with excellent local produce, much of which is used in the café. Pick your own strawberries are a speciality.
9. Willow Farm, Polstead
You might see the family from this farm at local markets selling their home pressed apple juice. But in the summer, follow the signs from the A1071 to them, and pick your own strawberries and raspberries. This is a rustic, off the beaten track kind of place, which is a huge part of its charm.
10. Blofield PYO, Blofield
Easily found just off the A47 via Norwich Camping and Leisure's car park, you can pick strawberries, then raspberries, blackberries and more here from 9.30am to 5pm Tuesday to Saturday, or from 10am to 4pm on Sundays.