We spent the day at Brogdale Farm this weekend, for their annual Strawberry Festival. We rode the tractor-trail around the enormous orchards, we took a miniature train-journey in the sun. The Girls bounced madly on the bouncy castle before spending what felt like weeks in the craft tent, painting rocks and plates before worshipping at the altar of face-painting.
We brought a picnic with us, which we ate in the shade of a hazelnut tree, enjoying a very rare summer day, but there were so many food stalls, as well as the lovely Courtyard Cafe- which is a permanent fixture. We bought fruit from the Food Stall and meat from the butchers, delicious fruit juices from Tiddly Pomme and quaffed Pimms from another stall. It was such an enjoyable experience.
Brogdale is home to the National Fruit Collection: they literally grow a species of every apple pear plum cherry and other fruits that can be grown in this country. In addition to all the other amazing facilities on offer, Brogdale literally has 4000 reasons for you to visit. You can visit throughout the year to tour the Orchards and enjoy the permanent attractions in the Market Square but there are several special weekends throughout the year when there are extra benefits, such as the Strawberry Festival.
Don’t be disappointed that you have missed it though: the Cherry Festival is but a few weeks away on 20th and 21st July. There’s a Cider Festival on 24th and 25th August and the annual Apple Festival on 19th and 20th October: if you ever wondered what a table laid with 600 different varieties of apples looks like, try it out. We went a couple of years ago. You could literally eat apples from dawn to dusk without tasting the same species twice.