Where to pick your own in Bucks & Oxon
Grab your straw hat and wicker basket: it's summer in England, which means it's time to PYO. From sumptuous strawberries to green veg to blooming bouquets, here's where to pick 'em.
Rectory Farm, Stanton St John, near Oxford
Rectory Farm is the biggie in our ‘hood for hand-picked punnets. With 45 picturesque acres to play with, you can pick a range of fruit, vegetables and flowers here, from asparagus and courgettes to strawberries, blackcurrants and raspberries – not to mention pumpkins, come autumn. It’s free to go (no booking required) and you only pay for what you pick, with discounts offered to those who bring their own containers to fill. Don’t miss out on the well-stocked farm shop and excellent café.
Horwood Cherries, Great Horwood
Open for their first ever PYO season this year, Horwood Cherries does what it says on the tin – namely, grows heaps of glossy, dark cherries for you to scoop up for yourself. The season only lasts until the end of July, so get in quick (with your own containers if you can). Pre-booking is essential.
Millets Farm Centre, near Abingdon
Though picking your own at Millets Farm isn’t free, the rather reasonable £1.50 entry fee is worth it for the abundant strawberries, cherries, raspberries and blackberries on offer – with plums, gooseberries and sunflowers arriving later in the year. In the meantime there’s plenty else to do on the farm: play areas, a carousel, petting animals, a garden centre and a farm shop. If you’re feeling peckish, there’s both the Farmhouse Kitchen and the Flower Garden Café providing freshly cooked, seasonal snacks and meals. Note: you need a ticket for PYO, and booking ahead is advisable.
Lillingstone Pick Your Own, near Buckingham
This family-run farm between Buckingham and Towcester first opened its doors to PYO in 2018, and they’re now one of the best summer days out in the area. Through June and July you can rove their excellent strawberry fields, with pony and tractor rides available at the weekends, and then come August their brilliant sunflower fields will be in bloom for you to pick from. Don’t forget to return in October to pick your own pumpkin.
Q Gardens Farm, near Abingdon
Things are pretty stripped back at Q Gardens Farm — as they put it, “we are simply a hut in a field” — but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a great day out. Currently available to pick are cherries for £8.50 a punnet, and strawberries and raspberries at a very reasonable £6 a punnet, with apples and pears available in the autumn. The farm shop just across the road is stocked with high quality local produce, including a fine display of deli pies to eat now or take home.
Copas Farm (Calves Lane Farm), near Iver
Copas Farm is another big boy in the PYO world, with branches in Bucks and Berks apiece. PYO costs £4, to be refunded against the weight of the produce you’ve picked — strawberries, cherries and raspberries at the minute, and soon to be apples, sweetcorn and plums. There is also a farm shop on site selling homemade apple juice, local honey, chutneys, cream, and eggs. Langley Country Park is just next door, so make a day of it with a picturesque wander through Capability Brown grounds, followed by homemade cake in the park’s tearoom.
Medley Manor Farm, Oxford
Based in Binsey in Oxford, this small family-run farm offers a wide range of seasonal fruits and vegetables for PYO. Runner beans, carrots, new potatoes, gooseberries, strawberries, and more are all up for grabs. During the PYO season, the farm also has a cute café selling a selection of homemade cakes, cookies, and scones. Best of all? It’s very close to central Oxford, if you wanted to top it all off with a bit of urban culture (or a shopping spree, perhaps?).
Peterley Manor Farm, Great Missenden
Berry season is underway at this Muddy favourite, with strawberries, raspberries, redcurrants and blackcurrants available for PYO. Bring your own containers for a discount, then fill your boots – no booking required. Missed out on the little red gems? Come back later in the season for plums and pumpkins. Whenever you visit though, a stop in the Muddy Awards-winning cafe, Barn Kitchen, is imperative.
Grove Farm, near Aylesbury
Just on the border with Beds, this farm boasts 80 acres and over 30 different fruits and vegetables to pick, though currently the focus is strawberries, blackcurrants, new potatoes and green onions. Bring your own packaging for free, and the farm will donate money to charity for every basket, punnet or bag saved (although you can buy directly from the farm if you forget). Want to make a day of it? Head for the nearby Ivinghoe Beacon, which promises epic panoramic views if you hike to the top.
Howe Farm Flowers, near Thame
PYO isn’t just about fruit: at Howe Farm in Dorton you can pick your own beautiful bouquets of seasonal flowers, all hand-sown and sustainably nurtured (in fact, we love from so much, we asked for Howe Farm Flowers for the Muddy Awards 2022!). Available from April-October, visitors can either simply spend an hour picking blooms in lovely zinc buckets (£22.50 for up to 35 stems), or upgrade to include a pot of tea and homemade cake in the garden once the buckets are full, £60 for two people. Booking ahead is essential for both.
Green and Gorgeous Flowers, near Wallingford
Passionate about the environment, Green and 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.
The Patch MK, Milton Keynes
This farm on the Bucks/Northants border may have been running since 2019, but it truly blossomed (sorry) during 2020, when outdoor fun became essential – their incredible sunflower fields were the star of Instagram all through August, and they’ll be returning this year, with tickets going on sale at the end of July. Return in October for their equally impressive pumpkin patch.
High Lodge Farm, near Abingdon
It’s all sunshine at High Lodge Farm, thanks to their golden crop of sunflowers available for PYO come August. We’re hoping for the return of ‘Sunflower Sundowners’ on Saturdays and Fridays, where you can wander through the sunflowers and enjoy a glass of fizz between 6pm and 9pm.
HAVE CHARMING BASKET, WILL TRAVEL
Lotmead Farm, over the border into Wilts, near Swindon
Little Paddock Flower Farm, Sevenhampton, Wilts
Grays Farm, Wokingham, Berks
Hildred’s PYO, near Reading, Berks
Prefer to buy your fruit ready-picked? Check out the best farm shops and delis in Bucks & Oxon
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