Where to go Blackberry Picking in North East England

Blackberry picking is one of Jack's favourite pastimes - he loves it and asks continuously if we can go as soon as he spots the first green berries on the bushes during our walk home from school. It's something that our grandparents and parents did and a tradition I'm keen to pass on and keep alive.

Where to go Blackberry Picking in North East England & Easy Blackberry Crumble Recipe for Kids

Blackberry season generally runs from late August-October. Mid-September is usually a prime time for picking. There are loads of spots across the North East, generally anywhere with a woodland will work. Here's a list of some of the best places as tried by myself over the years or recommended by readers:

    Where to go Blackberry Picking in North East England

    Where to go Blackberry Picking in North East England & Easy Blackberry Crumble Recipe for Kids

  • Marden Quarry
    Marden Quarry is a bit of a hidden gem in Whitley Bay. This is where we went picking in September 2019 and there were loads of berries by the lake. There's free on-site parking. Postcode: NE25 8PN. Find out more here.
  • Druridge Bay Country Park
    The walk around Ladyburn lake offers plenty of opportunities to pick blackberries. The walk is just over a mile and pushchair friendly (continue past the steppy stones to avoid them). There's a cafe (seasonal opening), visitor centre, play park and beach too so plenty to do and make a day of it. One hour's parking is free (you still need a ticket), small charge after this. Postcode: NE61 5BX. Find out more here. 

  • Plessey Woods
    Plessey Woods is where I used to go blackberry picking with my grandad. It's a lovely woodland walk (although steep in places) and there are accessible routes for pushchairs. There's a fab new play park, cafe, visitor centre and sculpture trail too. Parking is free for one hour (you still need a ticket) and then there's a small charge after this. Postcode: NE22 6AN. Find out more here. 

  • Exhibition Park
    Exhibition Park is in the heart of Newcastle City Centre just behind Great North Museum. As well as blackberry picking, there are play parks, a cafe, sports pitches, a model boat lake, free train rides on the first Sunday of every month and Wylam Brewery too. Postcode: NE2 4PZ. Find out more here. 

  • Wansbeck Riverside Park
    Wansbeck Riverside Park is a large nature reserve in Northumberland. There's a riverside walk, lots of wildlife to spot and a play park for kids. It's great for dog-walking and a popular fishing spot too. Parking is free for the first hour (you still need a ticket) and then there's a small charge after this. Postcode: NE63 8XX. Find out more here. 
  • Holywell Dene
    Holywell Dene is a beautiful woodland walk in Northumberland and North Tyneside. You'll walk through ancient woodland Postcode: NE26 4RN. Find out more here. 
  • Northumberland Park
    Northumberland Park in North Shields is one of our favourite parks. There's a play area, lake, wildlife, sculptures, beautiful gardens and a cafe too. Plus there's a full programme of events. There's free parking on the streets nearby or it's a few minutes walk from Tynemouth Metro Station. Postcode NE30 2ES. Find out more here. 
  • Tynemouth Station
    Lots of readers have recommended the area around Tynemouth Station for blackberry picking. Perfect for combining with a trip to the weekend market. There is free and chargeable parking available in Tynemouth and lots to do here to fill a day. Or you can get the Metro straight to the station. Postcode: NE30 4RE.
  • North Tyneside Waggonways
    There are over 30 miles of walks to enjoy around the North Tyneside Waggonways and lots of people have recommended these walks as some of the best places to find blackberries. Find out more and pick a trail here. 
  • Stephenson Museum
    There are plenty of blackberry bushes around the Stephenson Railway Museum and you can combine with a trip to the museum (it's free) or Heritage Train Ride. Parking is FREE. Postcode NE29 8DX. Find out more here. 
  • Rising Sun Country Park
    This is where the kids usually go blackberry picking with their grandparents and they usually find loads. There are different trails to follow, woodland walks, a community farm, play area and cafe. We love it here. Parking is free. Postcode NE12 9SS. Find out more here. 

Where to go Blackberry Picking in North East England & Easy Blackberry Crumble Recipe for Kids
Blackberry Picking at Marden Quarry, Whitley Bay

  • Beware of prickles - both on the blackberries and the leaves/stems. Young children should be supervised. If you're sensitive, wear gardening gloves. 
  • Always have a sandwich bag in your handbag during blackberry season as you just never know when you may stumble across a bush. 
  • Take wet wipes - blackberry picking can be a messy business 
  • Sometimes my kids ignore this rule but personally, I would not eat berries straight from the bush. Dogs love to wee on Blackberry bushes! Always wash first. 
  • If you can, try and get to the back of the bush as people tend to pick from the front and then move on. We find it handy to work in teams - one person pulls the stem forward and another picks the berries. 
  • Only pick ripe berries and try to leave the stalk on the bush.

Easy Wild Blackberry Crumble Recipe

This is a brilliant, simple recipe which the kids can get involved with. Heidi (aged 10) made this by herself. 

400-500g blackberries
3 tablespoons of caster sugar
225g plain flour
150g soft brown sugar
75g unsalted butter
1 teaspoon baking powder

1 - Remove stalks and wash the blackberries in a sieve or colander. Gently pat dry with kitchen roll.
2 - Arrange the blackberries in a shallow ovenproof dish and sprinkle with caster sugar.
3 - Rub the plain flour, soft brown sugar, unsalted butter and baking powder together until it resembles a crumble mix.
4 - Sprinkle the crumble mix on the berries and bake at 180 degrees for 30-40 minutes.
5 - Leave to cool and serve with warm custard.

Where to go Blackberry Picking in North East England & child-friendly crumble recipe

Where to go Blackberry Picking in North East England & crumble recipe

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Please follow social distancing rules & Government guidelines , wash hands regularly and use alcohol hand gel (especially before eating), respect the local area. leave no trace, take litter home, park responsibly and if somewhere is busy on arrival, please consider leaving and returning at a later date. If you have any Coronavirus symptoms, please stay at home and follow NHS advice. 

Always check updated opening hours / protocols / parking advice and charges with venues direct before setting off as things may have changed since this post was published. 

My recipe was adapted from this recipe by Northumberland Wildlife Trust.

Looking for more recipes? Check out 42 Easy Blackberry Recipes by Country Living or  51 Blackberry Recipes by BBC Good Food. 

Let me know where you recommend for Blackberry Picking.

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Easy wild blackberry crumble recipe for kids



  1. I loved blackberry picking when I was young too, we used to walk miles and miles to the next village to find the best bushes (it felt like miles and miles when we had little legs but looking back now I'm not sure it was actually that far!)

    Love that you made crumble with yours - we used to turn ours into milkshake! We'd mash up the berries and blend them with ice-cream and milk in Mum's blender - then we'd make her drink it! It was always the colour of paint water and had bits in it .. poor Mum!

  2. We have been meaning to go blackberry picking for a couple of weeks. We have a ton in our back lane and my dad has a hedge full! The Blackberry Crumble looks delicious. Well done Heidi! x

  3. Love this guide, especially seeing my new fave Druridge Bay featured! We have tonnes of blackberries on our estate and I've seen lots of people picking them, must get involved. Crumble is so delicious! Melis x


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