A fruitful visit to the National Apple Festival

National Apple Festival

National Apple Festival © brogdalecollections.org

GTO designer Erica Smith visited the home of the National Fruit Collections at Brogdale, near Faversham in Kent for the National Apple Festival.

Erica and her friends were greeted by a bustle of stalls selling crafts, food and drink and so it took them a while to find The Apple Barn, where apples from around the world were on display. A ‘bar’ was selling bags of local apple varieties as if they were real ales, and visitors who brought a mystery apple from their garden could show it to experts, who identified them on the spot.

Erica samples an apple

Erica samples an apple

There was cider for adults, and apple carving, eating-appleson-strings and other games to entertain children, plus rides on a miniature railway running around the estate.

Erica says, ‘The highlight for us was the walking tour (available daily with a private guide for groups) of the orchards, with more than 2,300 varieties of apple tree all bearing fruit. Our expert guide asked us if there were any particular apples that we’d like to try, and led us directly to the trees. Everyone left with their bags and pockets bulging with apples of all varieties.’