Strawberry Picking in North East England - What to Expect this Summer


We love visiting Brocksbushes Farm near Hexham to pick strawberries and are honestly over the moon that we have still been able to enjoy this tradition this summer. 


Strawberry Picking at Brocksbushes



Before You Go (Book in advance)

You must pre-book online. Slots are released around 4 days in advance (they need to monitor how much fruit they have left), my best advice is to sign up to the Brocksbushes newsletter here. As soon as slots are released, you will receive an email. There were plenty of slots available when I booked ours (just after I received the email). The price is £2 per person with under 3s free. 

The payment system Brocksbushes uses isn't the best but they are looking at changing this. Some people seem to manage to pay just fine but others (like me) encounter problems. My payment kept being declined and I ended up blocking my card in the end. Oops. 

Anyway, I tweeted Brocksbushes who sorted it out for me. They explained it can be something to do with Javascript or the way I inputted my address. I know through looking at their social media that they have helped other customers who have not been able to use the online system too - I did not receive special treatment. 

I know businesses can encounter problems, especially at the moment when there is so much change to deal with. I always say I do not mind problems at all, it is how businesses deal with them that really matters and Brocksbushes really went above and beyond for us - huge thanks to Natalie for helping and getting our booking & payment sorted. 

There was a sign saying only groups of up to 4 could book at a time but I guess they can be a little flexible with this, especially if you have little ones with you. 


Car Parking 

Brocksbushes Car Park

We booked a 4pm slot on a sunny Wednesday evening. The car park was actually busier than I expected but there are loads of spaces as it is huge. Parking is free. Brocksbushes is not accessible via public transport as far as I know. 

Update - a reader has mentioned it is indeed possible to visit via public transport. Please see below for instructions: 





Strawberry Picking Entry 

Strawberry Field Entry

You do not walk through the shop as like previous years, fruit picking entry is to the left of the shop if you are looking at it, just behind the sausage-making portacabin. You can't miss it. There is a little booth where you show your booking confirmation on your phone before proceeding through the fields. 

Bags / picnics are not permitted in the fields. Dogs are not allowed in the fields (except guide dogs) however they can be exercised in the car park. 

Toilets 

Brocksbushes Toilets

The main toilets in the cafe are currently closed but there are two portaloos just before you enter the fruit picking fields. 

Hand Sanitiser 

Brocksbushes Hand Sanitiser

There are hand sanitising stations before and after you leave the fields. We were given instructions as we entered the fields to follow the one way route. 

You can help yourself to as many baskets as you like. At the moment, strawberries and gooseberries are available but cannot be mixed in the same basket. As a guide, a full basket should set you back around £10. If it is over-flowing/heaped, expect to pay around £13. 


Pick your basket

One Way System 

 
I love the one way system of entering one way and exiting another. You walk through the raspberry plants and then across to the strawberries. They are really well signposted. 

signs to strawberry fields

strawberry picking baskets

Walking / Ground Conditions 


You walk on straw between the strawberry plants. If it has been raining, it can get pretty muddy. I am unsure of the official policy but I think a wheelchair/pushchair may be a struggle unless you stick to the perimeter. 

Update - some people have mentioned they have used a buggy here and it has been ok. 

It is not far to walk so toddlers should manage just fine and families with babies seemed to be using baby carriers. 

Strawberry Fields 

strawberry fields

There were plenty of strawberries on the day of our visit, especially as you walked down the rows towards the exit. Brocksbushes recommend you leave the green stalk on the strawberry when you pick it. 

Unfortunately, we witnessed people who just abandoned baskets of strawberries in the field or picked them then threw them away on the ground. So annoying and disrespectful to Brocksbushes.

This kind of behavior also just puts prices up for the rest of us. Please only pick strawberries you intend to buy and do not eat strawberries on the way around either (it is stealing from a local business which makes me feel sad. You wouldn't eat a banana walking around ASDA and not pay for it). 

No picnics or your own food are allowed in the fields but on the day we visited it was hot and obviously, the kids were allowed to take their bottles of water and juice with them.  



strawberry picking at brocksbushes





Harry's lockdown hair is coming on a treat......





Lots of Space 


There was loads of space. We spread out over around three rows and had them to ourselves with another family being so far away we would have to shout really loudly to talk to them. 




Paying for your Strawberries 

paying for strawberries

For those who have been to Brocksbushes before, the payment hut is in the same place just at the edge of the strawberry fields near the main shop building. 

I was really impressed - there is a hand sanitising station as you leave and then to pay, the attendant is set back in his hut with the scales and payment all being on the customer side. Payment was contactless and we did not need to touch the scales. 

You keep the basket you have picked your strawberries in and this is how you carry them home. 

Our strawberries came to £8.20 so including our entry fee, £18.20 which yes, is expensive. Worth every penny for us though. Strawberry picking is a tradition we love and we are just so pleased we have been able to still enjoy it this year. 

The way I look at it, this works out at £3.64 per person which considering we ended up with LOADS of strawberries and enjoyed an evening out, is a brilliant price for us and cheaper than lots of other activities. 


No Play Area


With the new restriction easings announced for 4 July, the play area may be back then but at the moment, it has been completely removed which is sad as we usually love grabbing a drink and letting the kids play but obviously, this is for the best for now. 

I expected to have to exit through the farm shop but the route actually curves around the back straight to the car park. I have to say, hats off to Brocksbushes. I am certain they would have made more money by allowing people to walk through the shop to leave as normal but they have very obviously put safety before profit and ensured the shop does not become too busy. 


Take-away Hut in the Car Park 

Tearoom Takeaway

The main tea room is closed at the moment but they have set up a cute little takeaway in the car park so you can still get your fix. They are open 9:30am - 4:30pm. We just missed them so were not able to sample anything but if their tearoom is anything to go by, it will be lush. 

There is no seating but there is plenty of grass by the car park - pop a picnic blanket or camping chairs in the boot. 

Takeaway Tearoom Menu

Click & Collect Pick Up 

brocksbushes click and collect

I absolutely love that Brocksbushes has launched a click and collect service (they deliver to certain postcodes too). I was super tempted to place an order to collect while we were there (click here to browse/place an order) as there is loads of choice but to be honest I am SO sick of meal planning and food shopping at the moment so I have left it to Steve this week. 

If you do decide to use the service, you simply drive up to these booths and honk your horn and an assistant will pop your order in your boot (instructions are provided in your email / on the booths). We watched someone do this and I was super jealous! Maybe I should have stayed in charge of meal planning this week after all. 

Farm Shop 


The farm shop is open from  9:30am - 6pm (5pm Sundays). Entry is limited - they seem to let a couple of people in at a time, wait for them to pay then let a few others through. We sent the kids to sit by the car while we visited. 


The shop follows a one way system and seems to be a lot less stocked than normal. They had lots of lovely fresh veg, fruit, deli items, bakery items and butchers though. We only went in for drinks and ice cream to enjoy with our strawberries later on. 


The cashier is behind a glass screen and you can help yourself to bags / pack your own if needed. 


We enjoyed our cold drinks from the shop under a tree in the car park field before heading home. I feel super confident with the measures Brocksbushes have in place. Not once were we within 2 metres of another person, there was plenty of hand sanitiser available and we still managed to have a fun time / feel relatively normal. 

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