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Faversham: Brogdale Cherry Fair features pie-eating contests, the cherry pip spit challenge and lots of cherries

By Angela Cole

There’s some cherry good weekend fun being served up in Faversham this weekend.

The annual Brogdale Cherry Fair offers the chance to sample the delights of the Kentish cherry ripe from the heart of the National Fruit Collection.

Visitors can get messy in the cherry pie-eating contest - the no-hands fun competition which encourages really getting stuck in to cherry pie.

Brogdale's Cherry Fair
Brogdale's Cherry Fair

Or you can take the cherry pip spit challenge and see if you can break the Brogdale record. The judges will be getting out the tape measure as visitor vie for the title of the longest cherry pip spit. The whole family can have a go and try to challenge the record, which is a staggering 53ft.

On the day, you can head to the cherry barn to see a fact-filled cherry display and sample some tasters of the fruit of the moment. With more than 325 varieties of cherries in the National Fruit Collections on the site in Faversham, there’s history, flavours and delights to taste. You could sample the Sweetheart, which is one of the most popular modern cherries; the 18th century Coroom, which is a small cherry but with a big flavour, and the pale yellow Vega cherry and Donisssens Gelbe Khorprlkirshe, which has a juicy flavour and yellow skin which makes it stand out. Discover the fruit-filled orchards on a guided tractor trailer or walking tour as Brogdale’s knowledgeable guides lead you on a journey through the orchards and their history as they fill with fruit.

Brogdale's annual Cherry Fair
Brogdale's annual Cherry Fair

Pack a picnic and enjoy it in the meadow and follow it with a cherry selection or cherry ice cream from the Brogdale Fine Fruits shop, or from the artisan food stalls. There’s also the chance to shop handmade crafts by local artists enjoy the tunes from the ukulele group performing live throughout the day. For those hungry for knowledge, they can learn about the history of cherries and choosing your own cherry tree, micro brewing with Mad Cat Brewery, beekeeping with Canterbury Beekeepers and learn all about pests and diseases which can catch your fruits trees in the garden.

Pig racing at the Brogdale annual Cherry Fair Picture: Tony Flashman
Pig racing at the Brogdale annual Cherry Fair Picture: Tony Flashman

Little ones can get stuck into cherry crafts, discover where all the magical cherry fairies have hidden their fairy doors and get their faces painted before having a bounce on the assault course. Or, to top the day off, get them to bring along their bravest teddy bears for the ride of their lives with the teddy bear parachute. Visitors can also meet the animals in the animal corner and cheer on their favourite porkers in the pig racing, or take a gentle ride around the site with the Faversham Miniature railway, as it makes its way through the orchards.

Brogdale’s Cherry Fair will be held on Sunday, July 15. For details call 01795 536250 or visit brogdalecollections.org

Dave Giles won the cherry pie eating competition last year. Picture: Tony Flashman
Dave Giles won the cherry pie eating competition last year. Picture: Tony Flashman

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