The Best Orchards to Visit in the UK

By Kerri Stolerman

2 years ago

Fresh fruit galore

In his ode ‘To Autumn’, John Keats lovingly writes on how this ‘season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’ blesses vines with fruit, makes tree branches bend with heavy apples, and generally ‘swells’, ‘plumps’ and ‘fills all fruit with ripeness to the core’. That is to say, autumn is the season of fruit ripe for harvest. Make the most of it by visiting an orchard: places of retreat and biodiversity where fruit trees are, well, fruitful. The self-sufficiency and circular ways of working that reside and occur within orchards make them havens for the modern and conscious eater. If you haven’t the garden space to grow your own fruit and veg, a day trip to an orchard can still very much be on the cards. You’ll find plenty available to visit located across the UK. Here is our pick of the bunch…

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The Best Orchards in the UK

Brogdale Collections, Faversham – Kent

Book a tour of the Brogdale Collections’ orchards during the open season of April to October and learn and sample their homegrown fruits. Their fruit collection consists of 4,000 different fruits including apples, cherries, medlars and plums, to name but a few, all of which can be explored via a walking tour, a self-guided tour for those who want to walk at their own pace, or a tractor tour, ideal for those less mobile.

The Orchard at Lyveden – Northamptonshire

The National Trust has been caring for The Orchard at Lyveden, previously owned by Sir Thomas Tresham, since 2000. Specialising in apples, visit on 15 October for a special Apple Pressing Day, or just explore the Elizabethan orchard which holds over 300 trees with 19 different varieties of apples.

The Best Orchards to Visit in the UK

Fenton House and Garden, Hampstead – London

Another National Trust treasure, Fenton House and Garden is a 17th century house nestled in London‘s idyllic Hampstead. Fenton has a 300 year old walled garden, in which an orchard full of apples and pears can be found.

RHS Garden Wisley – Surrey

The orchard at Wisley, with over 1,300 types of fruit, is the most accessible collection of apples, pears and plums in the UK. They also have a special collections area with a small-scale selection of gooseberries, currants, rhubarb, figs and other soft fruits.

RHS Garden Wisley, Surrey

Hill Close Gardens – Warwick

Hill Close Gardens consists of 16 hedged Victorian gardens with plentiful plots of fruit and vegetables, most specifically plums. Visit on 9 October for Apple Day, where guests can indulge a taste of rare types of apples.

Hughenden Manor – Buckinghamshire

Once the country house of Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, this 19th century home, now under the ownership of the National Trust, includes a beautiful walled garden. Sit amongst the fruit trees and vegetable plots and discover historical insights from the volunteer experts on hand.

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