The UK’s best apple orchards to visit this autumn
Stroll among apple-laden trees at one of the UK’s many orchards this month as they mark the arrival of autumn and this year’s harvest. From family-friendly apple days with live music and crafts to cider farm tours, here are a handful of events to inspire you. None nearby? Check if your local English Heritage or National Trust site is hosting an apple event.
Brogdale Cider Trail, Kent, 28-29 Aug
Brogdale Collections, near Faversham, is home to the National Fruit Collection and orchards bursting with heritage varieties of apple, pear, plum, quince and cherry trees. Listen to live folk, dance, swing, pop and country music across three stages, try food from pie and mash to Madagascan cuisine, and taste over 50 local ciders – with the chance to vote for the people’s favourite and win a prize.
A free shuttle bus will run from Faversham train station. Visit on Heritage Orchard Days on 25 & 26 Sep and 16 & 17 Oct for another chance to tour the fruit collection and pick your own at harvest time. Tickets from £10, available from brogdalecollections.org
Armagh Food & Cider Festival Weekend, Northern Ireland, 9-12 Sep
Restaurants and producers across the county will put on an exciting menu of apple-themed events, including harvest wreath and apple bath bomb workshops, orchard visits, bramley apple cookery classes and even a cider-themed murder mystery dinner. Prices vary, available from visitarmagh.com
Taste East Devon, 11-19 Sep
New for 2021, this festival promises nine days of events from the region’s producers and restaurants, including butchery classes, seafood menus, brewery tours – and lots of apples too. Country estate Deer Park will host an evening of cider and wood-fired pizza, including an orchard tour, on Monday 13 Sep; cider maker Courtneys of Whimple will be serving up cocktails, sausages and apple pie in the orchard (with a side of apple picking) on Saturday 18 Sep. Prices vary, visit tasteeastdevon.co.uk
Apple Festival at Audley End House and Gardens, Essex, 25-26 Sep
The kitchen garden at this country house near Saffron Walden is home to over 150 varieties of apple. Learn all about growing your own from expert gardeners and enjoy live music. Included in standard ticket admission price from £20.90, available from englishheritage.co.uk
Theatre, music & cider at Burrow Hill, Somerset, throughout Sep
Burrow Hill Cider’s cider bus has been a fixture at Glastonbury Festival for 30 years, parked near the pyramid stage. Throughout the summer, its Cider Bus Saturday events, featuring local food trucks and live music, have brought the fun to the producer’s Somerset farm. Between 8-30 Sep, Wassail Theatre will stage promenade-style performances of show Apples & Angels in the orchards; on 11 Sep, band Snake Snake Snake will celebrate the start of the harvest. Price vary, some events free, visit somersetciderbrandy.com
Clovelly Apple Day, Devon, 27 Oct
Picturesque fishing village Clovelly is well known for its annual apple days. Try your hand at making apple bath bombs and corn dollies, bob for apples and tap your feet to live music, and bring your own apples to be juiced for free (or pay a small fee for pasteurisation and bottling). There’ll be a farmer’s market, tours of Clovelly Court Gardens and apple-theme cookery demos too, plus 10 different ciders to try at the harbour’s Red Lion pub. Standard admission to Clovelly from £8.26, available from clovelly.co.uk
Looking for recipes to use up a glut of apples? Discover recipe ideas here.