Family Days Out: Dovecote Farm

Be rewarded with the fruits of your labour by going strawberry picking.

It’s the perfect way to get all the family involved – and it’s fun too!

If you want to try your hand at strawberry picking and enjoy a cup of tea with a slice of home-made cake while the kids have fun playing outside, then Dovecote Farm, Shop & Buttery is an ideal destination.

Our family headed here recently to take advantage of the strawberry picking season – which is in full flow here.

We’d never been strawberry picking as a family of five, so there was plenty of excitement in the air when we told the kids we’d be going.

The fact they love eating strawberries helped too!

For us the farm was only a five-minute drive away and is easy to find.

We went on a lovely sunny Sunday and it was already busy when we arrived at about 10.30am.

We headed down towards the shop where we were given guidance on the cost of certain baskets (when filled to the top) – which helps you to keep an eye on how much you’re likely to spend at the end of your picking session!

The farm’s strawberries are all under tunnels so can be picked in all weather conditions.

Once we picked up our baskets, we were directed to rows six and seven, where we could pick strawberries to our hearts’ content!

So off we went. The strawberries are off the ground at about waist/table top height, so if you have smaller children they might need some help in picking.

Ruby is only two so definitely needed help. But she loved me helping her to pick the really big red ones!

Kai and Ella had their own baskets and it wasn’t long before they were excitedly showing us the juicy, bright red strawberries they were picking.

Both were trying to find – and pick – the biggest ones!

You could literally spend hours picking the strawberries – although it would costs a small fortune!

After about 15 minutes of picking, both of the kids’ baskets were full so we headed back to the shop to pay.

The baskets were weighed and our efforts cost just under £6 which I thought was very reasonable.

As it was such a lovely day, we then wandered to the children’s play area.

Here you will find lots of climbing frames, a few slides and swings. There is also The Buttery here – a restaurant serving home-cooked food made to order.

As we wanted to sit outside with a snack, we just popped in to The Buttery to order drinks and cakes (you’ll be given a wooden spoon with a number on to make sure the food goes to the right place).

It was busy outside so we didn’t have a seat but that didn’t matter. It was a lovely day so we sat on the grass.

While we waited, we tucked into the strawberries – and they tasted delicious!

Probably more so knowing that we picked them all ourselves.

The kids were then off, playing on the play equipment.

It was less than a 10-minute wait for our order, and it was worth it.

I’d ordered a lovely piece of home-made Victoria Sponge and it was scrummy.

There are lots of different elements at Dovecote to keep parents and children alike happy.

So if you’re a seasoned strawberry picker or have never experienced it as a family, then it’s certainly something I’d recommend.

Strawberry picking here will be available until late September (although there are other fruits which can be picked – just check with the farm on what’s available, when).

How to get there

Dovecote Farm is three miles north west of Kettering.

From the A43 in Geddington, turn into Newton Road and follow the road for half a mile and the farm is on your left.

If you’re travelling via the A6003, take the turning signposted to Geddington and follow for about one mile.

Go past the turning to Newton and the farm is the next turn on the right.

Opening times

The farm is open seven days a week:

June to September – 10am to 5pm

October to May – 10am to 4pm

For more information visit or call 01536 742227.

Other things you’ll find here

The Buttery is the farm’s restaurant which offers traditional, home-cooked food made to order, while the farm shop sells preserves, hand-made cakes, fresh eggs, bread and pre-picked soft fruit (available in season).

There’s also a children’s play area with swings, slides and climbing frames to help keep them entertained.