5th-6th May – The Big Apple Blossomtime Festival 2013 (Herefordshire) Preview

Address: Multiple locations around Herefordshire (Website)

Event Information:

For an afternoon, a day or a full weekend – the Big Apple is a special opportunity to enjoy the spring countryside in the Herefordshire parishes on the Marcle Ridge. The local orchards are famous for their cider fruit and excellent eating apples.

This is the twenty-fifth year that our award winning parish communities have put together a collection of small rural events to enable you to share with us in our tradition of apple growing and cider making.

Cider, Perry and Apple Juice Tasting

Putley Village Hall, HR8 2QN
Sun 5th May 2pm – 6pm
Mon 6th May 12noon – 5pm:

Each Blossomtime The Big Apple Association runs a competition for the craft cider and perry makers of the region (and beyond) to compete for the title of Cider Maker of the Year and Perry Maker of the Year. Over 60 cider and perry makers have entered this year’s competition.

On the Sunday and Monday the public will be able to taste the entries and judge for themselves.

Some of the winning entries may be available for purchase. (We don’t know who will win so we cannot be sure about this but you can be certain that a number of fine craft ciders and perries will be on sale!)

Please note that, as the main hall is licensed for the sale of alcohol for consumption on and off the premises, unaccompanied children under the age of 16 cannot be admitted.

Cider, perry and apple juice tasting£1.50 for 6 tokens on the door

Apple teas will be served in the village hall
Leaflets available for self-guided orchard walks


Paul Hand of ‘Bees and Trees’ with fruity activities;
RSPB activities;
Master Composter and Gardener, with advice on growing your own veg and compost making;
Tastings of locally reared pork sausages;
Tools for Self Reliance Cymru
with refurbished hand tools for sale.

Round and about

Once Upon a Tree at Dragon Orchard (HR8 2RG) ‘Open orchard’, cider and apple juice tastings, self guided orchard walks, sculptures & activities throughout the day for adults and children alike. More details on http://www.onceuponatree.co.uk/. 10am – 3pm

Roots Herefordshire – Kitchen and Food Store (HR8 2PZ) Local food hub of handmade, seasonal and high quality foods. Brunch, coffee and cake, lunches (booking 01531 670816). 10am – 4pm.

Trumpet Corner (HR8 2RA) Tea room offering freshly baked cakes, light lunches and afternoon teas alongside a vibrant art studio showcasing the work of local artists and artisans. 10am – 4pm

Westons Cider, Much Marcle (HR8 2NQ) Open all weekend. Guided mill tours (charge applies) at 11am, 12.30pm, 2.30pm, 3.30pm. Cider sales, Tea room, Children’s New Play Area and Westons Farm Animals. 10am – 4pm

Nearby pubs: Trumpet Inn (A417, A4172, A438 crossroads)
Woolhope:Butchers Arms, Crown Inn
Much Marcle: Royal Oak, Scrumpy House, Slip Tavern, Walwyn Arms

Other attractions

As well as the the Big Apple events you can come simply to enjoy this wonderful stretch of countryside. Fields, orchards and woodland create a living farming patchwork. The slopes of the Marcle Ridge offer splendid views across to the Malvern Hills to the East and to the West, Woolhope is within the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

We will have leaflets available for self-guided walks.

Special events

Sunday 5th May

9.30am A Walk above Putley 7 miles, steep in places. No dogs please – animals in some fields. Return via Aylton where lunch available (separate charge). Donations welcome. Meet Putley Village Hall.
11.15am ‘Of pears and the perry pear … a part of our heritage’ – a talk by Jim Chapman, followed by short visit to neighbouring collection of pear trees. Donations to Hartpury Heritage Trust. At Court Farm, Aylton
From 12.30pm Cheese ploughman’s lunch in restored Grade II* cruck barn. £5 (£2 for hot dogs). Prizewinning Nature Trail available (£1) to lead you to Putley Village Hall. Proceeds to Aylton Church and Little Princess Trust. At Court Farm, Aylton.
From 3pm Fiddlers Two – musical interlude drawing on the folk traditions of the British Isles and further afield. At Putley Village Hall
From 7pm Three Counties Cider Shop ‘Cider Club’ Launch Party! BBQ, Live Music and fine selection of draught ciders from the Three Counties. More information and to buy tickets go to http://www.threecountiescider.co.uk/.At Dragon Orchard, Putley.

 Monday 6th May

10.30am Natural history of orchards – guided walk to discover local wildlife with Herefordshire Ornithological Club. No dogs please. Donations welcome. 1½ hours. Meet Putley Village Hall.
11.00am Tour and sampling of Jus single variety apple juice. See where our apples grow, are pressed and pasteurised, and taste our award winning apple juice. £2.50 (children free) (proceeds to Little Marcle Church). 1 hour. At Birchley, Aylton (HR8 2QH, GR657366)
12 noon What is bottle-fermented cider? Simon Day of Once upon a Tree offers a short introduction to the techniques involved in making this distinguished drink (and why we’re not allowed to refer to it as ‘méthode champenoise’). At Dragon Orchard, Putley
From 12 noon Delicious lunches, proceeds to Village Hall. At Putley Village Hall.
1.30pm Guided walk through the orchards and fields of Putley. £1.50 (children free). 1¼ hours. Meet at Putley Village Hall.
3pm Leominster Morris will dance at Putley Village Hall .

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