The best British fruits to look forward to throughout summer

·8-min read
british fruits in season
Eight seasonal British summer fruits Sam Barnes - Getty Images

British summer fruits come and go quickly, so make the most of them now while they last. From sprucing up your cocktails to enhancing a breakfast cereal, we've showcased the top eight seasonal British fruits for you to enjoy this summer.

Which fruits grow in summer in the UK?

The list of fruits that grow in the UK is predominately berry-based and include the following: blackberries, blackcurrants, blueberries, cherries, damsons, greengages, gooseberries, loganberries, plums, raspberries, redcurrants, rhubarb, strawberries and tayberries.

What is a popular summer fruit?

Without a doubt, it would have to be strawberries, predominately due to Wimbledon and its popularity of serving it in a Pimm's while watching a tennis game. But let's not forget about British cherries as they really shine when they're in their peak season too.

What's in season during the UK summer?

For a full list of what's in season from June - August, check out our complete guide to eating seasonally, every month of the year.

Let's take a look at our eight favourite fruits and how best to eat, store and serve them.


best british seasonal fruit
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The British season for strawberries is from late May through to September, which during this time they should be bright red and wonderfully sweet. In the supermarkets or greengrocers (or when picking your own), look for a bright red skins, verdant green tops and a nice sheen on your strawberries. Avoid bruised looking or soft to the touch strawberries and always refrigerate them once you get them home. Consume them within 3-4 days once refrigerated.

How to extend the shelf life

  • Always keep them whole with the tops on until you wish to consume

  • Only wash them once you wish to consume, don't wash them and then store

  • Line an airtight container with dry paper towels which will absorb the moisture from the berries and prevent them from getting mouldy too quickly

  • Store them in a single layer to prevent mould from spreading quickly from berry to berry

Freezing strawberries

Frozen strawberries are delicious in smoothies whilst defrosted strawberries can be used in baking.

Rinse your strawberries prior to freezing and hull. Either keep your strawberries whole or roughly chop them depending on what you plan to use them for. Flash freeze your strawberries in a single layer on baking sheet lined with baking parchment. Once they are frozen, transfer them to an airtight container or sealable bag and freeze until required. Frozen strawberries should be consumed within 8 months.

Fresh strawberries

Traditionally, fresh strawberries are of course delicious in smoothies and on top of breakfast cereal. However, some more exciting ideas may include throwing them into savoury dishes like a romaine salad or dare to dip them in pepper (yes pepper!), as apparently it enhances the flavour of the fruit.


best british seasonal fruit
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These little green berries are juicy, tart and full-flavoured. They are in season the same months as the strawberry but are at their best June through to early August. Look for a bright green and firm gooseberry if you are going to cook them, and a softer, juicer berry if you are looking to eat them raw.

How to use gooseberries

Gooseberries are delicious in crumbles, pies and tarts. They are also perfect for jam-making because of their high pectin content. However more unusually, try a Yorkshire classic and pair with them with mackerel – just poach the berries with a little water and sugar. Make sure to top and tail you gooseberries prior to cooking to eating.

How to store

Gooseberries can be kept in an airtight container refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. If you wish to freeze your gooseberries, top and tail them, rinse them and place them in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment. Once they are frozen, transfer to an airtight container or sealable bag and freeze for up to 8 months. They can be used straight from frozen or thawed in the fridge overnight.


best british seasonal fruit
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Elderflower has a very short season, blink and you'll miss it! It's only around for about 2 weeks, from the end of May to mid-June, so pick it while you can. Preserve it in a cordial for cocktails, sparkling wines, or pop the cordial into ice cube trays for ice cubes with a flavour.

Where can you find?

Elderflower can be bought from specialist shops and some websites online, but it's free to forage. Make sure you forage from public hedgerows (not private or conserved land) and only on a cloudy or rainy day as this will insure a few insects in the flowers as possible. To make sure, give the flowers a quick shake prior to clipping them to get rid of any insects.

You cannot freeze raw elderflower so when you get home, rinse the flowers and hang them upside down to dry. Turn them into what you intend to use them for within the same day.


best british seasonal fruit
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Forced rhubarb arrives early in the year between January and March; however, field rhubarb's season is from April to June and tends to be thicker-stemmed, bright red, and tarter than forced rhubarb.

How can you use your rhubarb?

This brightly coloured fruit can be used in both sweet and savoury dishes. Delicious baked into crumbles, tarts and cheesecakes, or stewed down with water and sugar to enjoy in a fool or atop pancakes and Panna Cottas to cut through any sweetness. Rhubarb can also be paired with savoury dishes. Lightly pickle your rhubarb to enjoy in recipes such as flatbreads or cook down into a sauce and serve with duck.

Follow our extensive guide to freezing rhubarb and have a supply stashed in your freezer all year round.


best british seasonal fruit
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Coming into season in May until late summer, British raspberries are a delight: plump, juicy, packed with flavour. When buying your raspberries look for fruit that are a deep, vibrant pink in colour, dry, glossy and double check for any mouldy ones.

How to extend the shelf life

Raspberries can turn bad very quickly, and once one is mouldy, the rest will quickly follow;

  • Before refrigerating your raspberries, remove any mouldy ones and discard

  • Line your container with paper towels to absorb any excess moisture

  • Store in the middle of the fridge to prevent your raspberries from touching the back of the fridge and discolouring

  • Freeze them by placing them on baking sheet lined with baking parchment. Once frozen transfer to an airtight container or sealable bag. Freeze for up to 8months. Raspberries are best used straight from frozen rather than defrosted.

Use your raspberries in baked brownies, sprinkle over cereals, or turn your gin & tonic into a fizzy pink spectacle.


best british seasonal fruit
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English cherry season comes in mid-July and ends mid-September. When buying cherries make sure to look for them with their stems still attached as this makes them stay fresh for longer. Look for a glossy skin, firm and free of any bruises and wrinkles.

How to store

You can store your cherries in the fridge in a sealed bag or airtight container for up to a week. If you have room in your fridge, you can ensure a longer shelf life by spacing out your cherries (making sure they don't touch) on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment.

Freezing cherries

For best results, use frozen cherries straight from frozen rather than defrosting them first. For ease of use from frozen, pit your cherries prior to flash freezing them on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment.

Use your cherries in desserts such as brownies, tarts and cobblers or savoury dishes such as duck pies to cut through the richness of the meat.


best british seasonal fruit
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Blackberry season starts at the beginning of August and ends mid-October and are best picked as soon as they are ripe. Blackberries should be deep black and plump, if they are red or purple they are not quite ripe yet.

Where to find

You can buy your blackberries from most supermarkets or greengrocers when in season, however they are best when picked by your own fair hand! Grab a container and set off to brambles near you and pick straight off the bush. Make sure to pick them from quite high up in the bramble to prevent as much contamination as possible. When you return home, rinse them under cold water before consuming.

Blackberries work wonderfully in desserts such as tarts, roulades and buns. Make a quick blackberry compote to drizzle over yoghurt for breakfast by stewing with a little lemon juice and sugar to taste. Like raspberries, blackberries can really enhance a G&T too!


Plant, Fruit, Berry, Elderberry, Flower, Leaf, Food, Currant, Zante currant, Flowering plant,
Plant, Fruit, Berry, Elderberry, Flower, Leaf, Food, Currant, Zante currant, Flowering plant,

Blackcurrants are in season June and July and they're a much forgotten fruit that you rarely find in the supermarket. Keep an eye out as you’ll be lucky to get your hands on them. They're deliciously tart and highly aromatic making them perfect for jams, crumbles and summer puddings.

Whilst it's fiddly, make sure to remove any tiny stalks before cooking.

Blackcurrants can be frozen in exactly the same manner as any other soft berries.

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