The UK’s favorite apple trees: in-depth information about the top varieties

When it comes to quintessential British fruits, apples top the list. These versatile and delicious fruits have been part of the UK’s agricultural heritage for centuries, with a variety of apple trees cultivated throughout the country. Whether you’re an experienced gardener or a budding enthusiast, growing your own apple trees can be a rewarding experience. This article contains a brief interview with the owner of a tree nursery chrisbowersWe’ll take an in-depth look at the top apple tree varieties growing in the UK, exploring their unique characteristics, flavors and how to care for them to ensure a bountiful harvest.

1. Bramley

Classic British Cooking Apple

Bramley apples are an iconic British cooking apple known for their tart flavor and excellent cooking qualities. Named after its originator, Mary Ann Brailsford, who planted the first Bramley tree in Southwell, Nottinghamshire in the early 19th century, this apple variety has been a staple in British kitchens for generations.


large, green-skinned apples

exceptionally pungent and acidic taste

Excellent for pies, crumbles and sauces

strong tree

Growing Tips:

Plant in a sunny location in well-drained soil

Prune regularly to maintain shape and encourage fruiting

Harvest in late September to early October

Bramley apples are renowned for their ability to retain their shape and flavor when cooked, making them the perfect choice for apple pies and crumbles. They also make delicious applesauce and are often used to add tart flavor to various savory dishes. If you’re a fan of traditional British cuisine, a Bramley apple tree is a must-have in your garden.

2. Cox Orange Pippin

king of sweet apples

Cox’s Orange Pippin is the undisputed champion of dessert apples in the UK. This apple variety is prized for its excellent flavor, which has a perfect balance of sweetness and acidity, as well as a unique aromatic quality that sets it apart from the rest.


Medium-sized apples with golden-orange peel

Sweet, rich and aromatic taste

Ideal for eating fresh, in salads or making juice

Requires a sunny and sheltered location

Growing Tips:

Plant trees in a safe place to protect them from strong winds

Prune in late winter or early spring to encourage air circulation.

Harvest in early October for best flavor

Cox’s Orange Pippin apples are a true delight to the palate. They have a crisp, juicy texture that bursts with flavor with each bite. These apples are perfect for enjoying as a sweet snack, adding a touch of beauty to fruit salads, or making juice for a refreshing and aromatic drink.

3. Search

early bird apple

For those who can’t wait to taste freshly picked apples, Discovery apples are a delightful early season variety. It is one of the first apples to ripen in the UK, offering a sweet and slightly tart flavor that captures the essence of summer.


Bright red apples with light red color

sweet and slightly spicy taste

Excellent to eat fresh and in salads

Thrives in most well-drained soils

Growing Tips:

Plant in full sun for best fruit production

Prune in late winter or early spring to remove any dead or crowded branches.

Harvest from late July to early August

Discovery apples are a treat for those who want a taste of sunshine in every bite. Their vibrant red skin and juicy, crisp flesh make them a favorite for snacking, and they add color to fruit salads. If you’re looking for an early season apple variety to brighten your garden and your palate, Discovery is an excellent choice.

4. Egremont Russet

The Rustic, Nutty Delight

If you appreciate apples with a unique and distinctive flavor profile, the Egremont Russet will definitely catch your taste buds. This variety is famous for its red skin, which gives it a rustic appearance, and a distinctive nutty flavor.


Small to medium-sized apples with red, rough skin

Sweet, nutty and slightly spicy taste

Ideal for eating fresh, in a cheese platter or making cider

Adaptable to different types of soils

Growing Tips:

Plant in a sheltered location to protect against late frost.

Prune to maintain an open canopy and allow sunlight to reach the fruit

Harvest in late September to early October

Egremont Russet apples are a true connoisseur’s choice. Their unique texture and flavor make them a perfect companion to a cheese platter, where their nutty notes complement a variety of cheeses. Additionally, the juice of Egremont Russet apples is highly prized for use in making traditional English cider.

5. Festival

Sweet and Crisp Allrounder

Gala apples have gained popularity in the UK for their sweet and crisp pulp, making them an excellent choice for those who enjoy a mild and sweet apple. The Gala apple, originally from New Zealand, has found a welcome home in British gardens.


Medium-sized apples with red-orange peel

Sweet, crisp and mildly spicy taste

Great to eat fresh, in salads or make applesauce

Thrives in a variety of soils

Growing Tips:

Plant in full sun for best fruit development

Prune in late winter or early spring to remove crowded branches.

Harvest in late August to early September

Gala apples are a favorite for families and individuals who prefer a sweet apple variety. Their delectable crispness and honey-like sweetness make them a perfect addition to lunchboxes, fruit salads and homemade applesauce. If you’re looking for an apple that is both versatile and delicious, the Gala is an excellent choice.

6. Worcester Pearman

Classic English Apple

Worcester Pearman is a classic English apple variety that has been grown in Britain for over a century. This apple is popular for its sweet and aromatic flavor, which is reminiscent of traditional English apple orchards.


Small to medium-sized apples with red and green striped skin

sweet and aromatic taste

Ideal for fresh foods and desserts

Adapts well to a variety of soil conditions

Growing Tips:

Plant it in a sunny location for best quality fruits

Prune in late winter or early spring to maintain shape and remove dead wood.

Harvest in late August to early September

Worcester Pearman apples are a taste of nostalgia, reminiscent of simpler times and the charm of English orchards. Their sweet, aromatic flesh is perfect for enjoying fresh or using in classic British desserts such as apple crumble and tarts.

7. Jazz

Modern, Tasty Apple

Jazz apples are a relatively recent addition to the UK apple landscape, but they have quickly gained popularity for their exceptional flavor and crisp texture. This variety is a hybrid of two well-known apples, the Braeburn and the Royal Gala.


Medium-sized apples with bright red skin

sweet, spicy and delicious

Excellent for eating fresh, in salads or snacking

Thrives in well-drained, fertile soils

Growing Tips:

Plant in a sunny location with good ventilation

Prune to maintain an open canopy and remove any diseased branches

Harvest in late October to early November

Jazz apples are a modern delight for those who want a burst of flavor with every bite. Their crunchy texture and intense sweet-tart flavor make them an ideal choice for enjoying fresh, cutting into salads, or simply eating as a snack.

8. Lord Lamborn

Versatile All-Purpose Apple

Lord Lambourn is a versatile apple variety that has been a favorite in the UK for its balanced taste and adaptability. Whether you’re looking to eat them fresh, make cider, or make delicious apple-based dishes, these apples are available to you.


Medium-sized apples with yellow and red striped skin

Sweet, slightly spicy and aromatic taste

Ideal for fresh eating, cooking or juicing

Grows well in a variety of soils

Growing Tips:

Plant the plant in a sunny location with adequate drainage.

Prune to keep the canopy open and remove diseased or dead branches

Harvest in late September to early October

Lord Lambourn apples are a versatile choice for any apple lover. Their sweet, aromatic flavor and firm texture make them suitable for a variety of culinary applications from snacking to baking to juicing. They also make a delightful addition to homemade cider blends.


As we’ve explored these top apple tree varieties that thrive in the UK, it’s clear that there is a perfect apple for every taste and purpose. Whether you’re a fan of tart baking apples like Bramley, prefer the sweet and fragrant delights of Cox Orange Pippin, or the early season joys of Discovery apples, there is an apple tree waiting to grace your garden.

Remember that proper care and attention to your apple trees is essential for a bountiful harvest. Regular pruning, adequate sunlight and well-drained soil can go a long way in ensuring healthy and productive apple trees.

So, whether you’re an experienced gardener or just starting your fruit growing journey, consider planting one or more varieties of these spectacular apple trees and enjoy a taste of the British countryside straight from your backyard. With the right care, you’ll be harvesting your own delicious apples in no time, adding a touch of tradition and flavor to your culinary adventures. Happy apple growing!