Fruit picking season is here so stock up on strawberries, raspberries and more at these 'pick your own' fruit and veg farms from Edinburgh the Borders, Perth to the Highlands
Many people think fruit growing in Scotland is more hassle than it's worth. With harsh winters and summer temperatures that are far from tropical – the climate can be challenging for growing berries and other fruits. Yet during fruit picking season the dozens of fruit farms across the country are proof that our fertile land and climate actually offers the optimum conditions for certain fruits.
From honeyberry orchards in Invergowrie to the soft fruits in the North East, there's fruit growing happening all over near you, and those with an entrepreneurial eye have started using it to produce fresh apple juice, jams and preserves. On top of all that, during peak seasons many farmers open their door to the public, so we can reap the fruits of their labour. We've picked out some of the best fruit farms across Scotland so you know where to take your punnet this summer.
If you're fruit picking early on in the season, the only fruit ready and ripe will be strawberries. Raspberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants, gooseberries, tayberries, cherries, brambles, pumpkins and sunflowers will all be available in the later months. The Maize Maze at Cairnie Fruit Farm opens in mid July when the crop is between four and five feet tall. Cairnie House, Cupar, open from mid Jun–Oct.
Choose from strawberries, brambles, rhubarb and more at Craigie's, where they operate a 'Pick, Weigh and Pay' system. The farm also runs jam making classes, showing you how to make your fruit last longer. Once you've finished, explore the farms nature trails and meet the animals. West Craigie Farm, South Queensferry
A family-run farm in the Scottish borders which has been growing fruit for over 50 years. This year Border Berries are opening early as a result of a mild winter and warm spring. Their Tutti Frutti cafe serves cream teas, cakes, sandwiches and smoothies so you can refuel before or after filling your punnets. Rutherford Farm, Kelso, open from Thu 29 Jun
Famous for their raspberries, Broadslap sits in the Earn Valley, sheltered by the surrounding Ochil hills. Fruit availability is dependent on the season but typically they grow strawberries, raspberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants and gooseberries. Dunning, Perth and Kinross, open from Jun–Oct
Based up in the Highlands, Black Isle Berries is run by Torquil, Lynn and their three sons. They sell fruit and vegetables at Dingwall's farmers market, the Ferintosh Community Market, shops in the local area, as well as their own farm shop. Ryefield Farm, Tore, Highland
A pick your own strawberry farm just north of Aberdeen. Look out for their resident donkeys Snoop Dawg and Scooby Doo. Potterton, Aberdeen, open from Jul
JM Watson grow their strawberries in the natural environment rather than in polytunnels which means you can soak up the Perthshire scenery while picking your fruit. In late July, most fruit is ripe enough to pick and at that time potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli and cabbages are also available to buy from the farm shop. Mill of Montague Farm, Balbeggie