Harvest Time in Rural Oxfordshire: 5 local things to do
Harvest is in full-swing. The corn fields are full of golden stubble, forest paths are brimming with bright and fiery colours and crisp, crunchy apples are bursting from our trees. We want to help you make the most of it all, so, here are some ideas of how you can fill the upcoming weeks with some harvest celebration and fun. From cider tasting to astronomical night tours, we’ve chosen our local top 5.
1) Autumn Fair at Harcourt Arboretum, Oxford Botanic Garden
Date: 13th October, 11:00 to 16:00
Tickets: £6 adults, children go free with a paying adult
A must-attend event. This local botanical garden is made up of a stunning 130 acres. It contains the best collection of trees in Oxfordshire (apart from at Nicholson’s, of course), including some of the oldest redwoods in the UK. This is a great day out for all the family with the opportunity to enjoy traditional folk music whilst tasting some fresh local produce. Who doesn’t love pig roast and cider. You can’t get more autumn than that! Children can be let loose in this wonderful location to meet birds of prey and take part in activities including spinning wool and weaving willow. A blissful break from the screens and the chance to get some fresh air in the lungs! Fortnite and Age of Empires versus hawks and Acer trees – it’s an easy choice for all you parents, and the kids are guaranteed to love it.
2) Stowe Apple Weekend
Date: 6th and 7th October, 10:00 to 16:00
Tickets: Event is free, but normal admission applies (£12 adult, £6 child, £30.00 family)
Yes, this is technically in Buckinghamshire. But, it isn’t very far out of our reach and well worth the drive. Did you know that apple trees take four to five years to produce their first fruit? No? Well, you clearly need to learn more about apples, one of the most widely grown tree fruit. This is a weekend all about apples. You can watch apple pressing demonstrations, try out some fresh juice and learn about the different heritage varieties. If those activities won’t entice you, we all know the phrase ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away.’ This may not be entirely true but apples do in fact contain no fat, sodium or cholesterol and are a great source of fibre. So, buy some tickets for the nutritional benefit and the joy of being outdoors.
3) White Horse Hill Evening Sky Tour
Date: 10th October, 19:00-21:00 (plus 2 later dates)
Tickets: adult £5, child £2.50
A more unusual option if you fancy something unconventional. This event provides the opportunity to enjoy a tour of the night sky on White Horse Hill, a fascinating ancient landscape and the perfect stargazing spot. You won’t be left to gaze in cluelessness. A local expert Adrian West will be your guide and will teach you about the mythology of the stars and their relationship with the ancient people that lived in this location. He has written astrological articles for popular online science magazines as well as guides and articles for the BBC, Met Office and National trust. Adrian is clearly a star astronomer (what a pun!) If you’re a night owl rather than an early bird this event is ideal for you. And if not, make sure you bring your coffee thermos to ensure you stay awake and enjoy the beautiful view of the night sky. You’ll be able to wow friends and family with your new knowledge when dining together outdoors!