Autumn in Herefordshire is all about the harvest! It's a glorious time of year... trailers bring in the harvest of hops, apples and potatoes, whilst the scent of apples drifts on the air. And a series of seasonal events and experiences makes this time of year even more special.
1. Hop Garlands: Choose a fresh garland for your home
Townend Hop Farm, Bosbury near Ledbury
Open weekends in September: Saturday 11am - 6pm, Sundays 10am - 12pm, other times by appointment only
The scent, colour and texture of a hop garland is so special, adding form and natural beauty to interiors and events. Visit this beautiful, award-winning hop farm during the harvest to select your own fresh garland (£15), cut from the bine that morning. Their resident donkeys Herbie and Teddy will also be waiting to say hello. Coffee, tea and cake available (all proceeds to charity). Alternatively visit the web site www.hopgarland.com to order a garland (fresh or dried) to be posted to you direct.
There's also a special hop wreath making workshop on 25 September
More Info on visits to the farm
More Info on the workshop
2. Beerjolais Nouveau! Taste fresh green hop beer
At Swan Brewery, Leominster
1 October, 10am - 7pm
Harvest time means one thing to Swan Brewery, the chance to brew green hop beer. This seasonal draught perfectly captures the spirit of late summer with its zingy, grassy flavours. Over half the UK’s hops are grown in Herefordshire which is dotted with pretty hop yards, so it’s the ultimate way to celebrate the harvest. Time is of the essence - Jimmy starts making the beer whilst Gill heads to a nearby farm to collect the hop ‘cones’ which have just been picked from the bine. They are added to the brewing copper within the hour to ensure the fullest aromas. Come along to this special tasting event to savour their "beerjolais nouveau", otherwise known as Green Swan, straight from the cask and enjoy delicious eats from their friends at Origin Pizza.
3. Big Apple Harvestime 2021
Venues in and around Much Marcle
9 & 10 October
A weekend dedicated to celebrating the apple harvest, with lots of opportunities to enjoy the local orchards, see, hear and smell cider being made and taste many different varieties of apples, local ciders, perries and apple juices. The packed programme includes:
- joining a high altitude tutored cider tastings on the Marcle Ridge
- taking a wildlife walk with Nick Gates, author of 'Orchard - A Year in England's Eden'
- hearing Gabe Cook, the Ciderologist, shine a light on the contemporary story of cider, based on his new book 'Modern British Cider'
- wheeling along with the Big Apple Bike Ride
- pressing perry pears from the ancient avenue at Hellens Manor
4. Horse-powered Cider Pressing
23 & 24 October, 10am to 4pm
Fair Oak, Bacton, HR2 0AT
Free entry, donations to Laurie Engel Fund for Teenage Cancer Trust welcome.
See cider being made the traditional way! Tommy the Gypsy Cob will crush apples in the mill, with the help of his owners, Wendy and John Lloyd, and the team of cider makers working the old press. Visitors can taste and buy cider made last autumn, including the new Whisky Barrel cider and Fair Oak cider brandy, and watch the documentary film made by David Bishop, Horse-powered in Herefordshire.
5. Tours & tastings at vineyards
Coddington Vineyard, near Ledbury
Frome Valley Vineyard, near Bromyard
Wythall Estate, near Ross-on-Wye
Herefordshire’s cider-making credentials are legendary but our cup (or should that be glass?!) overflows with fabulous wine producers too. Enjoy vineyard tours and tastings, all in the most stunning of surroundings.
6. Pick Your Own Pumpkins
Pumpkin Pete's, Ledbury
Dates from 16 to 31 October
Visit this pumpkin patch, situated just outside Ledbury, to find your perfect Halloween decoration. With special guest appearances from Herefordshire foodies faves, The Beefy Boys and Origin Pizza - yum!
7. Foraging for Mushrooms
With Wild Food UK
Dates throughout September & October
2.5 hour guided foraging walk & wild feast: adults £50, 12-16s £25, under-12s free
Roam Herefordshire’s landscapes in search of delicious mushrooms. Plant hunters will be rewarded with a meal made from their seasonal finds, such as mushroom pasta and wild salad, followed by a fruit tart.
Linton near Ross-on-Wye 12 & 7 September, 2 & 29 October
Hay-on-Wye 26 September, 16 & 31 October
Eastnor 3,16 & 22 October, 5 Nov
Hereford 17 October
8. Pick Your Own Autumnal Flowers, plus farm-gate Black & Blue Pumpkins & Ornamental Gourds
With Ledbury Flower Farmer
Sept & October for flowers, end October onwards for pumpkins & gourds
Visit this fabulous farm on the outskirts of Ledbury for a bespoke Pick Your Own experience, choosing dahlias, sunflowers and more from the flower patch. Later in the season find dramatic black and blue pumpkins as well as brilliantly quirky ornamental gourds - all of which are not only decorative but edible too.
9. Learn to make cheese
Mondays and Wednesdays, by appointment
Book an experience day to learn cheese-making skills from a talented artisan producer. The tuition will guide you through every stage of the process from milk to maturation, for both hard and soft cheeses. The day runs from 8.45am to 4pm with lunch and refreshments provided. Groups of up to 6 people welcome.
10. Sample the season with a tasting menu
Superb tasting menus are available at several spots around the county. They offer the perfect way to explore local, seasonal produce, often sourced from the restaurants' own kitchen gardens or farms. Expect innovative taste combinations and superlative culinary techniques!