I’d been promising my two sons – aged 4 and 2 at the time of writing – that we would go fruit and vegetable picking this year. But the time just ran away with us in the summer of 2017 so we decided to make a last minute dash to our nearest one, Grove Farm in Bedfordshire, just before it closes for the year. Watch our video below so you can see some of our highlights then scroll down for more information. EDIT Grove Farm is now closed until June 2018 so please don’t plan to visit.
What is Grove Farm?
Grove Farm is a pick your own farm located between Leighton Buzzard and Ivinghoe near Great Gap in Bedfordshire. It’s open between mid June and mid October depending on when everything is ready. They provide wheelbarrows, bags and containers, you then go and pick your fruit and veg and pay for it at the end. They grow around 30 types of fruit and veg but availability will vary depending on when you go.
Where is Grove Farm and when is it open?
The address is Grove Farm PYO, Great Gap, Ivinghoe, Leighton Buzzard, LU7 9DZ. It’s about 25-30 mins from Milton Keynes. It’s open June to mid October… so if you’re reading this in the winter or spring save this blog post for when it’s next open.
What was at Grove Farm?
On arrival we weren’t really given much information about the vegetables and what to find and where, just pointed in a general direction, so it was very much up to us to find our way around. We were warned that it was the end of season so there wasn’t as much as there had been. So we picked up one of the adult sized wheelbarrows and started to make our way into the fields. We first found carrots so pulled up a few of those before making our way to some potatoes then leeks and red cabbages, then on to the corn on the cob and onions then headed back up to pay.
What did we most enjoy about Grove Farm?
My sons most enjoyed sitting in the wheelbarrow. My 2 year old hasn’t used a buggy for some time, but he often uses a trike, scooter, or likes going on his dad’s shoulders so I (wrongly) suggested fairly early on that they could both sit in the wheelbarrow. This was a bad idea. They have a combined weight of 5 stone. I didn’t take my husband with me. My back and shoulders are killing. They on the other hand had a whale of a time. Another highlight was walking through the big corn plants – it felt like they were in the jungle which they both found great fun – as did I. My 4 year old generally liked having a go at pulling any vegetables out of the soil, the little one liked retrieving them and then going back in the wheelbarrow. Even I found it fascinating seeing what a cabbage looked like with roots on. If taking pretty pictures is your thing, and let’s face it who doesn’t love taking great photos of your children in fab settings, then you’ll get some lovely ones in amongst the veg – I think it’s Ivinghoe Beacon you can see in the background of some our ours. Overall we had a brilliant time – it’s a big open space to explore and regardless of what time of year you go, it’s just a delight to find some fruit or veg to pick yourself.
What could be improved at Grove Farm?
The signage wasn’t great. We only picked what we could identify and was written on some of the blackboards. I’m sure there was loads of different vegetables we could have picked, but we didn’t know what they were. I’d love to go around with someone who could tell us. There wasn’t much veg on the stands at the front of the farm other than green pumpkins – it looked a bit bare. I probably would have bought more of what we missed had it been there. It would be fab if they had smaller wheelbarrows for children – perhaps they previously have I don’t know. They’re only open for a half day on a Sunday, it would be great to stay longer.
Is it worth visiting and when can we go?
Going right at the end of season, you’re not going to get the luscious punnets of fruit that you would have done in the summer, but if you’re happy to pick a few vegetables (how many cabbages can you eat in one go?) then there’s still a fair amount there, plus it’s a really cheap couple of hours out – we spend just over £5 which was a bargain given how much the children loved it. It was also quite quiet so if you prefer somewhere less hectic then it’s quite peaceful. In 2017 it closes Sunday 15th October. Do check their website for opening times. At the time we visited they were open every day but closed at 1pm on a Sunday.
Any tips for visiting and how accessible is it?
It’s easy to park and relatively easy to find with the postcode. Definitely wear wellies and be prepared to get muddy. You are walking in fields so although there are flatter areas between each of the vegetable patches the ground can be uneven and muddy – there are no paths as such. You can buy drinks there but take your own food. Apparently there are picnic benches there but I’m not sure where they are. There are portaloos. You can pay by card.
I'm Laura, mum of two boys - aged five and three. I started this website at the end of Sept 2015 whilst on maternity leave. I now work four days a week and do this blog late at night once the little boys are sleeping. It's won several awards over the last three years and I continue to run it for free and mostly focus on free, cheap, and good value days out. Do drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to contact me. Don't forget to follow all of our latest adventures on facebook, instagram and twitter and have a look at all of the videos of the places we visit on my new Milton Keynes Kids YouTube Channel - subscribe to it for notifications every time I add a new place. And remember... you may been reading this post months after we visited, do check with the destination you're visiting for up to date opening times and prices. If you find this blog useful then please do comment on my posts and leave me a Facebook review - it makes doing this all the more worthwhile.