NINE cider-making venues around Much Marcle are preparing to welcome a crush of visitors to the Big Apple event this weekend.

The celebration of Herefordshire cider and perry is making a welcome return after being cancelled due to coronavirus restrictions last year.

Among the venues around the the Marcle Ridge taking part on Saturday and Sunday are Gregg’s Pit, Awnells Farm, Woodredding, Lyne Down, Pope’s Perry, Hellens and Westons Cider.

All are offering free entry to show off their orchards and their apple pressing skills. Visitors will be able to taste the fruits of their labours, including ciders, perries, apple juices and even apple teas at Much Marcle Memorial Hall.

Big Apple secretary Jackie Denman said: “This year’s highlights include Nick Gates, author of ‘Orchard – a Year in England’s Eden’, leading a wildlife walk around the orchards at Gregg’s Pit and Awnells Farm; Gabe Cook, the Ciderologist, shining a light on the modern renaissance in cider; giving a hand to press perry pears from the ancient avenue at Hellens Manor; wheeling along with the Big Apple Bike Ride; and high-altitude tutored cider tastings on the Marcle Ridge. 

“Those who like to get out and do things for themselves will find the help that they need in practical sessions on maintaining orchards and wildflower areas with the traditional craft of scything, tool sharpening and the chance to buy refurbished garden tools.” 

A free tractor and trailer service, provided by Westons Cider, will run throughout the weekend ferrying visitors between six of the venues.

Meanwhile, Visit Herefordshire has unveiled details of three cider-themed cycle routes. 

The South Circuit passes through Ledbury, Bromyard and Much Marcle. The 59-mile circular route also takes in Hereford, Ross-on-Wye and Little Dewchurch.

The 49-mile Northern Circuit runs from Hereford to Weobley, then on to Pembridge, Eardisland and Monkland before arriving back in Hereford.

The 48.5-mile Western Circuit takes in Bredwardine and Whitney, Rowlestone Ewyas Harold, Abbey Dore and Peterchurch.

Maps can be downloaded and printed or viewed online. For details, go to For full details of the weekend’s Big Apple events visit