I’ve always loved the idea of fruit picking, but always seem to miss when the fruit picking farms are open – or maybe I just haven’t been playing close enough attention. This year, I was determined not to miss it and so on a rare Saturday when we had no plans, I packed us a picnic and we set the sat nav to Upton on Severn, Worcestershire for a visit to Clive’s Fruit Farm.
Where is Clive’s Fruit Farm?
The farm itself is just outside of Upton on Severn, very close to the Malvern Hills. Most of the route is the same way we’d travel to Ross-on-Wye and there’s something about that whole area that I just find simply beautiful. It was a little further away than we first thought, but it gave Pickle a chance to have a good snooze, and once we got off the M5, the views either side of the car were gorgeous. It’s the stomping ground of my fellow Johnson’s Baby Ambassador Danielle who blogs at Someone’s Mum – how lucky is she to live there?
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When we arrived, we found a spot to park (the car park doesn’t seem to be the biggest, considering how busy I can imagine it must get at peak times) but I did see a sign for additional parking. Pickle was still a little sleepy, so he cuddled up to me and we carried him over to the main fruit picking field.
Strawberries, Raspberries and Cherries
We picked up a couple of punnets, and went in search of the day’s best strawberries although there were also raspberries and cherries available for picking too. The first few poly tunnels were filled with raspberries, so we kept venturing down until we hit the strawberry tunnels. There were signs to point you in the direction of where the best crop was, but with a toddler running riot through the rows, it was difficult to keep track of where we were, and we often found ourselves in the zones that were taped off for future fruit picking days. Whoops.
Whilst the raspberry plants grew right from the floor, the strawberry plants were kept higher off the ground – which allows for much easier picking for adults, but makes it a bit trickier for toddlers. Pickle did still manage to pick some himself, but I think we’d have been better off trying a farm with the plants on the ground at this age.
It was a scorcher of a day when we visited, so I was worried the poly tunnels might make the heat excruciating but it didn’t seem to make the temperature rise which was good, and would make for good shelter if you visited on a day without clear skies. We had to walk through a few rows with little in the way of strawberries to pick until we came across more – I was a little worried we’d arrived too late in the day and would be disappointed, but it just took some time to find the right section!
You are allowed to sample the fruit as you go along (it’s a good job – I mean, try stopping a toddler… Pickle just wanted to eat them as soon as he’d picked them!), but at long as you don’t go mad. It is a business after all, and the price you pay is worth the experience and a punnet of the sweetest, tastiest fruit I’ve ever eaten.
Little Pickle’s Dad whizzed round, filling up his punnet in no time at all, but Pickle and I took our time. In the heat of the midday sun and probably feeling very ready for lunch, he asked to be picked up for a cuddle and then snuggled in. I knew then it was time to head out over to a shady spot for our picnic. With one a half punnets of strawberries, we made our way up to the weighing station, paid for our fruit and found a spot by the park.
What else is there at Clive’s Fruit Farm?
After our picnic, and once we’d had our fill of our delicious strawberries, we let Pickle have a little go on the park – although, he was perhaps a little young for it. Clive’s Fruit Farm has a cute little playground with a slide (too hot to slide down this weekend, but that didn’t stop Pickle climbing the stairs to the top), a climbing wall and bigger climbing frame. There were a couple of little rocking horse seats and a proper tractor to sit on which was very popular. Just as we were about to leave, we spotted a little animal feeding section, and had a quick gander!
The Farm Shop
We couldn’t resist buying a two pint bottle of ‘Wobble Juice’ cider from the onsite farm shop (mainly because you could help yourself by filling a milk carton with cider from a huge great big barrel. It goes without saying that once I’d turned the tap off, LPD couldn’t resist having a fiddle of it and ending up wasting a good half pint into the bucket below. Typical.
I’d definitely go strawberry picking again, and although Clive’s Fruit Farm was quite a journey for us (about a 50 minute drive), the surrounding area is so lovely that it makes for a gorgeous trip out. We finished off our afternoon by popping into nearby National Trust park Croome, which was only 10 minutes down the road. Another time, I’d quite like to try a fruit farm where the strawberry plants are on the ground, but I’m guessing Pickle will be just that bit taller next year anyway.
Visit their website to find out more about Clive’s Fruit Farm, or let me know where else you’d recommend for parents wanting to go fruit picking in the West Midlands. If you’re planning to visit, be sure to check their website, Facebook page or ring the PYO hotline (01684 592664) to make sure they have crop to pick before you go.