Sloes in London

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notsofast
Posts: 1
Joined: 13 Sep 2009, 23:26

Sloes in London

Post by notsofast » 27 Sep 2010, 22:55

Hello
I made my first bottle of sloe gin last year, having stumbled upon some laden brambles last year. Went camping in East Sussex last weekend, hoping to pick a sloe or two, but was disappointed. The hedgerows were straining with blackberries but not a sloe to be seen. :( Plan B is a quick foray into the immediate countryside (say 45-60 mins out of London) this weekend but I need to know where to go. Any ideas? We live close to Victoria station so Kent or Sussex are ideal. Or are there sloes to be found in London?
Any kind information would be much apprecaiated. I won't plunder your favourite spots - I'm only looking for a pound or two!

Somnophore
Posts: 53
Joined: 26 Sep 2010, 17:23

Re: Sloes in London

Post by Somnophore » 28 Sep 2010, 07:50

Not sure how you managed to not find any, they're everywhere this year, personally if I was in London I'd try somwhere like Richmond park or something like that, also North and South of London you have a canal network, I don't think i have ever walked down a canal for more than a couple of miles without seeing blackthorn bushes.

Fat Badger
Posts: 18
Joined: 29 Oct 2009, 09:38

Re: Sloes in London

Post by Fat Badger » 28 Sep 2010, 13:59

i live in London - very near Richmond Park. I can confirm there are no sloes there! I've have finally found a patch on the river Thames near Hampton Court. There are loads so if you want precise directions I'm more than happy to provide - but you should find some a bit more local if you look.

If I was you I'd get on a bike, take a rucksack and some carrieer bags and just head out along towpaths etc and keep you eyes open.

Early Bird
Posts: 37
Joined: 30 Sep 2010, 13:41
Location: Molesey, Surrey

Re: Sloes in London

Post by Early Bird » 30 Sep 2010, 14:25

Hi. I just registered on this forum which I found quite by accident. I assisted my mother in slow gin making more years back than I care to admit to and have recently been thinking about having a go alone. I live about a mile from Hampton Court (Molesey) and would be very interested to learn where the patch you mentioned is (if there are any left by now, they are indeed very early this year). I should also mention that I don't intend plundering the whole patch as I only want enough to make maybe 2 or 3 batches. One for Christmas and some to keep. All advice gratefully accepted.

Dawn

Fat Badger
Posts: 18
Joined: 29 Oct 2009, 09:38

Re: Sloes in London

Post by Fat Badger » 01 Oct 2010, 15:57

Hi Dawn,

No probs - you're in luck because the patch is in Molesey (i'm from Teddington and this is 1st sloes I've found in the surrounding area!).

Theres a few places - I'm unsure of the name of the road, but if you are on the main road heading towards Walton. Go past the big Tesco and keep down for a bit, on the side of the road where the big water works are there are row upon row of Blackthorn.

If you are slighty worried about the fact they're growing next to a water works (poss sewage!) which I wouldn't be at all, there is another patch.

If you go along the Thames path you'll find quite a few sloes all along, particularly where the caravan site is.

Hope this helps. I've just made a few litres (including sloe grappa!) from sloes picked from there. There were still plenty and they should be perfectly ripe around now.

Early Bird
Posts: 37
Joined: 30 Sep 2010, 13:41
Location: Molesey, Surrey

Re: Sloes in London

Post by Early Bird » 02 Oct 2010, 09:46

Many thanks for that FB. I can't say that I've noticed either patch but when I go to Walton along that road I am driving so therefore not likely to spot things alongside the road (unless I knew to look). I'm not worried at all about their location other than accessing them. I shall have to try and spot them from the road and see if I can park somewhere to get them. I'm assuming the ones on the towpath are up that way as well? I have walked along there several times, but I wasn't aware of a caravan site. There are a few trailers/mobile homes at Apps Court, do you mean those? Either way, I shall be heading out shortly to give my poor dog her long awaited morning walk so I shall take a bag and see if I can find them :) Once again, many thanks.

Early Bird
Posts: 37
Joined: 30 Sep 2010, 13:41
Location: Molesey, Surrey

Re: Sloes in London

Post by Early Bird » 02 Oct 2010, 11:48

An update. I walked towards Walton along the path as far as the lock and I did find a couple of bushes. The berries did look very small and on tasting seemed quite sweet (they must be very ripe). Sadly no time to get any today, but I shall be back. Thanks again for the heads up :D

Fat Badger
Posts: 18
Joined: 29 Oct 2009, 09:38

Re: Sloes in London

Post by Fat Badger » 05 Oct 2010, 11:38

Just thought I'd let you know - the name of the road is Hurst Rd. Go past Tescos heading towards Walton. On right hand side of road, the perimiter to the Water Works - loads of Sloes.

Early Bird
Posts: 37
Joined: 30 Sep 2010, 13:41
Location: Molesey, Surrey

Re: Sloes in London

Post by Early Bird » 11 Oct 2010, 12:40

Thanks for that FB, I think I've seen them and will certainly bear them in mind. It's worth also mentioning to you the Wilderness, which is a public area off Molesey Park Road in East Molesey right by the Molesey Juniors football ground. I was over there yesterday and found quite a few. Some were definitely sloes, some I think might be Bullace (which I confess I had never heard of before I read this forum) and I found some damsons as well. It looks to me as though the bushes have been well picked over already (I scratched my hands to bits getting right into the middle of one bush) but there are still some there if you look for them.

el_duderino
Posts: 1
Joined: 17 Oct 2010, 15:18

Re: Sloes in London

Post by el_duderino » 17 Oct 2010, 22:17

Fat Badger wrote:Just thought I'd let you know - the name of the road is Hurst Rd. Go past Tescos heading towards Walton. On right hand side of road, the perimiter to the Water Works - loads of Sloes.
Yep - just to confirm they were still there as of yesterday morning, lots of them - thanks Fat Badger, really appreciate your help.
Fat Badger wrote:If you are slighty worried about the fact they're growing next to a water works (poss sewage!) which I wouldn't be at all, there is another patch.
I was less bothered about them growing next to a water works than I was about all the muck thrown up to about chest height by the passing traffic :? The ones growing higher up were fine though, I just needed to bend the branches down to head height to pick them.

A large bag of sloes and 4 bottles of gin later and I'm looking forward to a pretty merry Christmas 2011! Thanks again.

johnnyblaze
Posts: 1
Joined: 18 Oct 2010, 16:36

Re: Sloes in London

Post by johnnyblaze » 19 Oct 2010, 16:28

Hi,
I'm new to the forum.

I have picked sloes in both Worwood Scrubbs and even Hyde Park (near the horse excercising area). There are still plenty left in Wormwood Scrubs but for the Hyde Park ones you'll have to wait untill next year, I've picked most of the good ones.

Fat Badger
Posts: 18
Joined: 29 Oct 2009, 09:38

Re: Sloes in London

Post by Fat Badger » 20 Oct 2010, 09:46

el_duderino - glad they got picked.

I'm done for this year I think, though might pick one more bag to put in the freezer.I'm glad I've found abundent supply within cycling distance of my house.

Early Bird
Posts: 37
Joined: 30 Sep 2010, 13:41
Location: Molesey, Surrey

Re: Sloes in London

Post by Early Bird » 11 Nov 2010, 12:36

Pleased to know you got some as well el duderino. I got a fine bagful from there although I had to leave a lot be since they were across the ditch and I couldn't reach them. I shall certainly be on the lookout for blossom come spring so I can mark the locations for future investigation :)

tomhill
Posts: 2
Joined: 27 Oct 2011, 09:43

Re: Sloes in London

Post by tomhill » 27 Oct 2011, 11:18

Hi Fat Badger,

I am new to the Sloe Gin making but want to try my hand this autumn. I wondered whether you knew if there were any sloes this year on Hurst Road by the waterworks - as per the conversation this time last year? I live in hampton so was going to explore this weekend

Any help much appreciated

Tom

anniec
Posts: 30
Joined: 03 Aug 2011, 02:17

Re: Sloes in London

Post by anniec » 28 Oct 2011, 14:50

Tom, as this forum is quite slow lately, you might get a better response by putting a request out on your local freecycle board. Someone very kindly sent me an annotated Google map of my local area (not London, sorry) to get me started this year. Once you have found your first ones, it will become addictive to scan any hedgerows you pass by, and you'll probably find your own supplies easily from then on. :)

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