4th-5th May – The Big Apple Blossomtime Festival 2014 (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 autumn 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 25th anniversary of the occasion when our award winning communities in these parishes first put together a collection of small rural events to enable you to share with us in our tradition of apple growing and cider making.

Grand Cider Tasting and Teas

Putley Village Hall, HR8 2QN
Sunday 4th May: 2pm to 6pm
Monday 5th May: 12noon to 5pm:

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

Also Paul Hand of  Bees and Trees with fruity activities; RSPB activities; Master Composter and Gardener, with advice on grow your own veg and compost making; tastings of locally reared pork sausages.

The cider and perry makers will have taken part in our annual Cider and Perry Trials, which takes place the same weekend.  Some will have sales tables selling cider, perry and apple juices and other homemade products.

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. You can enjoy a walk through the orchards around Putley, with or without a guide, then refresh yourselves with excellent homemade food. 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 4th 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.
11am 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)
12.30pm-2:30pm A Child’s View: Blossomtime through the eyes of a child – True Colours Education with art and craft resources for children to express their seasonal discoveries. Orchard trails too. Court Farm Aylton 
From 12.30pm Cheese ploughman’s lunch in restored Grade II* cruck barn. £5 (£2 for hot dogs).  Proceeds to Aylton Church and Herefordshire Growing Point. At Court Farm Aylton Flower Festival in the newly restored Church next door.
From 3pm Fiddlers Two – musical interlude drawing on the folk traditions of the British Isles and further afield. At Putley Village Hall

Monday 5th May

10am 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.
11.30am Guided walk (Part 1) through the orchards and fields of Putley. £1.50 (children free). (Parts 1 and 2 are different walks which can be done separately or joined together with a break for lunch) 1¼ hours. Meet Putley Village Hall 
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 (Part 2 – see Part 1) through the orchards and fields of Putley. £1.50 (children free). 1¼ hours. Meet Putley Village Hall
3pm Leominster Morris will dance at Putley Village Hall .
 4.30pm Cider with Rosie – Wye Theatre presents a rehearsed reading adapted from Laurie Lee’s book, based on his Cotswold childhood. 1 hour (approx). No seating so bring a low back chair, rug or cushion. The Big Hug, Dragon Orchard

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