One of my all time favourite summer activities growing up was strawberry picking!! I remember countless summer days crawling around strawberry fields in Upstate New York searching for the perfect fruit. Those are memories I couldn’t wait to create with my kids, but since moving I haven been searching for somewhere to pick your own strawberries in Ireland.
Strawberries are abundant and flavorful in Ireland. In June and July you don’t have to drive far to come across a small roadside stand selling Wexford Strawberries and New season potatoes, and yet I couldn’t find anywhere that would allow me to go and pick my own.
Finally after years of searching I found The Apple Farm in Cahir, Co Tipperary!
ThisIrishDad was paying attention…which wasn’t hard since I basically didn’t shut up about it for weeks…and booked a night away for the five of us complete with a visit to The Apple Farm for my birthday last summer.
The Apple Farm is less than an hour drive from Cork City, so an overnight wasn’t necessary, but why not. We opted for the Clonmel Park Hotel having stayed there previously. The hotel is spacious and family friendly. The staff went out of their way to keep the kids happy. We all enjoyed the pool which seemed spacious enough had it been busier. The hotel was clean, staff helpful and it was a good fit for the family and we got a great deal using SuperValu Getawaybreaks.
I can’t comment much on Clonmel town itself, other than it was easy to navigate both by car and foot. We were there during the Clonmel Junction Festival and had planned to take in some of the festivities, however the heat seemed to have gotten the better of the Prince and we ended up back at the hotel bar watching the hurling match and relaxing.
Sunday we stopped to get picnic supplies before heading to The Apple Farm which was less than 15 minutes drive back toward Cork once you leave Clonmel.
When you arrive at the farm you get a real sense of a family run operation. There is a picnic area, play area, shop and campgrounds. We were offered empty punnets and a box and pointed to the direction of the raised strawberry beds.
I quickly became consumed with leaving no perfect strawberry behind. The crop was abundant and there seemed to be an endless supply to choose from. ThisIrishGirl managed to fill half a punnet before the allure of the swings and slides pulled her away. ThisIrishDad and I filled the remainder of our punnets before stopping to eat lunch. The strawberries were €1.75 per pound and as we ate lunch we agreed that we simply didn’t have enough so took turns filling another three punnets.
It is a great place to spend an afternoon with kids and the strawberries are amazingly sweet. With nearly 10 pounds searched for recipes to try and how best to freeze strawberries.
There are several tourist attractions including Cahir Castle, the Swiss Cottage, Mitchelstown Caves and the Rock of Cashel all within reasonable distance of the farm making it easily a part of a day visit to the area of tourists or locals alike.
The Apple Farm is possibly a little known gem. Well worth the visit for strawberry picking. They also produce and sell their own apple juice and lemonade which was refreshing on a hot day. They have recently allowed you to pick your own apples in the autumn…which made this Upstate New Yorker’s hear sing!
**The strawberry season varies yearly depending on weather but is usually for 2-3 weeks in June/July. Contact The Apple Farm to find out details about this years picking season.