Burley’s Apple Pressing Festival

It feels like autumn has already passed by in a flash, a fleeting moment of oranges and browns, but looking back, the start of the season feels a long way behind. In the wake of Bonfire Night, it’s too easy to start thinking about what’s coming next. One thing that slow living has taught me, however, is to not rush through the seasons or wish the time away. As long as the orange leaves are still scattered under our feet, autumn is very much alive.

One of our first autumnal adventures this year was the annual apple pressing festival in Burley. Locals and visitors gather together for a weekend of cider tasting, homemade treats and tractor rides. It’s an event that could easily rival Star Hollows’ quaintness. Each year the festival is held at the New Forest Cider, a cosy restaurant and B&B in the heart of the village.

We arrived to the festival in full swing, a scene of fairground music and, of course, plenty of apples. With a live band, activities and market stalls dotted around, there was plenty to explore. We sipped our hot mulled cider on the edge of the orchard, taking in the unusually warm October day. When the music got a little too loud and we’d had enough of the sun in our knitted jumpers, we wandered back down through the village, stopping in the woods along the way. Here the atmosphere was a complete contrast – calm, peaceful and subdued to the festival’s buzz. The dappled light from the sun filtering between the trees would have been enough to keep me here for the rest of the afternoon.

A gin and tonic outside at one of the local pubs overlooking the village finished off our cosy autumn Saturday. The glow of the sun that day now feels like a distant memory with the arrival of November and its chills – but for me, autumn is here to stay a little longer.

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