I’m often looking for unique things to do at the weekends. I absolutely love exploring local events and, this weekend, we found a very quirky little one: Apple Day at Cressing Temple Barns in Essex!
Autumn is well and truly in the air and we’re all ready to hide away under the blankets watching movies… Whilst on the look-out for something different to do with a very autumnal, blustery weekend, we spotted a few signs for ‘Apple Day’. A short search later, we discovered it was very local to us! Boots on, scarves bundled and coats zipped, we headed to Cressing Temple Barns.
The Apple Day is actually in its third year and is a free event for all the family yet it was my first time visiting as Graceful Blog, an Essex blogger! Despite often visiting the historic Cressing Temple Barns for their food festivals and ‘back-in-time’ events, we were complete newbies to the Apple Day. Unsure of what to expect other than apples (of course), we explored the unique event.
The Cressing Temple Barns are Grade I-listed barley and wheat barns, built in the 13th century. These incredible buildings are amongst the oldest timber barns around, dating back to the Knights Templar – Think chainlink armour, swords and noble steeds!
With apple experts on hand (yes, that’s a thing!), visitors were encouraged to bring along an apple from their own trees for identification. We were quite sure that ours aren’t anything too exciting – The apples on our tree are more interesting than a crabapple but not in the league of Granny Smiths. Lots of the apple-curious were having theirs looked into and compared alongside the plethora of apples in the team’s local collection. Spot the Chelmsford variety!
For the foodies, a range of chutneys and jams from local producers were on sale. Apple juice, ciders and meads were also available to try and buy. Honey from the estate’s beehives was even bottled and ready for customers – Did I mention that a spoonful of local honey is a good little trick for hay fever sufferers?
As with every Cressing Temple event, the entertainment always delivers. Wood-whittlers and a falconer boasting a hefty bird-of-prey collection were amongst the experts showcasing their skills. Local farmers, cheesemakers and pie artisans completed the mix with an epic VW campervan serving sparkling refreshments catching my eye!
A group of morris dancers filled the barns with their jingly clogs and ribboned-sleeves. Everyone who joined in seemed to really enjoy themselves, putting smiles on the faces of those who jigged along to the music. Creating their own music, the band members played folk tunes on wooden flutes with drums banging along and, of course, the bells jingling away. Check out their flowery drum!
Medieval reenactors are practically guaranteed at any Cressing Temple scene so it was only apt that they filled the Tudor gardens and barns. Resplendently-clad characters interacted with the visitors; Curating fanciful marzipan fruits, sharing their apple-craft skills and imparting wisdom on by-gone legends & superstitions (one involving the number of seeds in an apple!).
Wandering through the ornate walled-gardens, we explored carved, wooden structures and foliage archways. The grounds were lined with meticulous herringbone pathways, intricate fountains and frosty succulents. Mysterious wooden doors appeared at every turn in the walled gardens, looking characterful as though they’d lead you back into another era.
Seeding as the Apple Day was juice around the corer from us, it was an appeeling event.
Did you seriously expect to get through this whole post with zero apple-related puns? You underestimate my pun skills!
If you’re interested in finding out about more events held at Cressing Temple Barns, check the Visit Parks website.
Cressing Temple is also home to a Tiptree Tea Room, serving cream teas, lunches and other delights from the Tiptree HQ.
If you’re looking for other cool things to do, take a read of this post jam-packed with bucketlist-worthy ideas!
If you’re a Londoner, you might prefer this post for some of my ULTIMATE things to do in London.
Do you have a penchant for quirky local events? What do you like to do with your autumnal weekends? Leave me a comment below…