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Last Updated on 23/12/2020
As autumn closes in, leaves start to turn, jumpers are hauled out from the back of wardrobes and every supermarket, cafe and restaurant has something pumpkin-related to eat. Pumpkins are the essence of autumn. They symbolise harvest, warmth and their carved smiles decorate many a doorstep on Hallowe’en.
Whatever you plan to celebrate, you could grab a few from your local shop or you could do one better and get them fresh from the source. Throughout October, farms across the UK are inviting visitors to drop by their pumpkin patches and pick their very own pumpkins to take home.
From Queensferry to Belfast, Suffolk to Gower, here are the 11 best pick your own pumpkin farms across the UK. You can also expect Hallowe’en specials, donkey rides and socially distanced BBQs. Grab your wellies and let’s go:
Interesting facts about pumpkins
Photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez
Before we kick things off, I always like to add a few fun facts. So here goes, here are some interesting things you didn’t know about the pumpkin:
- The word ‘pumpkin’ that we know today was first used in the classic fairy tale ‘Cinderella’ in the 17th century.
- Pumpkins are grown on every continent except Antarctica.
- Pumpkins are 90% water.
- In early colonial times, the pumpkin was used as the pie’s crust, not the filling. They would cut off the top, remove the seeds, fill it with milk, honey and spices then bake it.
- Pumpkins are technically a fruit.
- There are about 45 varieties of pumpkin.
- Pumpkins were once recommended for healing snake bites and removing freckles (don’t try this at home!).
When are pumpkins in season?
Photo credit: Andrew Ward-Jones
Pumpkin season in the UK lasts from as early as September right through to December. Peak pumpkin time is October when they’re most famously harvested for their spooky associations with Hallowe’en.
Depending on crops, the best time to see pumpkins in the field and pick your own is throughout October before the first frost or when temperatures drop for an extended period of time. If you’re keen to see a pumpkin patch at its best, plan ahead and regularly check the website and social media channels of the pumpkin patches near you.
What should you wear?
Photo credit: Steffi Pereira
Since you’ll be spending most of your time outdoors and in a field, I would recommend practical clothing. Wear sturdy footwear that you don’t mind getting a bit muddy and remember to pack an extra jumper in case it gets chilly.
Rain is a possibility so check the farm website in case of cancellations and bring an umbrella or waterproofs along with you. Most farms should have bags for you to take your autumnal horde home with you but it doesn’t hurt to have a few reusable ones spare.
Photo credit: Ira Mint
It’s hard not to feel a little anxious about going out in the midst of a pandemic but rest assured these pumpkin farms are committed to keeping their visitors and staff safe.
There will be restrictions in place to help you maintain social distance and there will be plenty of hand sanitiser stations. Bear in mind that there might be longer wait times as the staff try to navigate the situation. It’s a new experience for everyone.
Social distancing rules, household numbers and wearing masks still apply and since I’m not a medical expert, I would recommend checking the government and NHS websites if you’re unsure. Rules tend to change from week to week too.
11 Best pumpkin patches in the UK
Photo credit: Jakob Owens
Now let’s dive into this fabulous list of pumpkin picking patches across the UK. COVID restrictions have made planning events and activities unpredictable this year, but these farms are expected to stay open with safety measures in place – at least for now.
Before you go, check the website and book tickets to avoid disappointment. Many of these farms are popular so it’s a good idea to get your tickets well in advance as there are only a limited number of slots available.
So, here’s a list of the best pick your own pumpkin farms across the UK. Dig out your boots and prepare for some pumpkin-hauling fun. Oh, and broomstick decorating anyone?
1. The Pop-Up Farm, Hertfordshire
Photo credit: Lesly Juarez
The Pop-Up Farm is a small, family-run farm near St Albans that, well, pops up throughout the year for various rural events and festivals (including a sunflower field – you can read all about that here). Their annual pumpkin patch is open throughout October on selected dates (you will need to pre-book). They have an enormous range of pumpkins and squashes that are perfect for eating and carving.
During your visit, you’re invited to grab a wheelbarrow and hit the field in search of your own pumpkin to take home. Make sure you make a note of some of their delicious pumpkin recipe suggestions before you leave so you can enjoy your horde at its best.
The Pop Up Farm, M1 Junction 9, Flamstead, St Albans AL3 8HT. Visit the website here to book tickets.
2. Crockford Bridge Farm, Surrey
Photo credit: Kristina Tripkovic
Just 30 minutes from London, Crockford Bridge Farm is a pick your own farm, food store and fun family day out. Throughout October, they have a dedicated pumpkin celebration. On selected weekends, you can rock up and get your hands dirty in the field or you can buy a couple from the farm shop.
If you’re keen to get your spook on, why not join them for their annual Pumpkin Festival from 17th -31st October? Prizes are given to the best fancy dress and you can get involved with activities, photo opportunities, pumpkin carving and hot food and drink. It’s a perfect pumpkin patch experience for Londoners wanting to escape the city.
Crockford Bridge Farm, New Haw Rd, Weybridge, Addlestone KT15 2BU. Visit the website here for ticket information.
3. Foxes Farm, Essex
With pumpkin patches in two locations (Basildon and Colchester), Foxes Farm invites visitors to get stuck in, grab a wheelbarrow and pick your own pumpkins to take home. The farm boasts over 15 different types of pumpkin and squash to choose from that are ready cut and waiting in the field for you.
If the weather holds you can nibble on a sandwich in the straw bale picnic area or warm your fingers on a cup of tea in the catering section. If you’re up for a bit of a puzzle you can even have a go at the scavenger hunt, just remember to bring your own pencil.
To keep with the COVID guidelines, you will need to book tickets in advance. It’s recommended that you go sooner rather than later as it’s not guaranteed that they’ll be open by Hallowe’en due to weather and available stock.
The Pumpkin Patch, Watch House Farm, Wash Rd, Basildon SS15 4ER and The Pumpkin Patch, Green Lane, Aldham (just off main road Halstead A1124), Colchester, CO6 3PR Check out the website here to find out more.
4. Poundffald Farm, Gower
Photo credit: Darya Tryfanava
Also known as the Christmas tree farm, Poundffald Farm puts on a real treat for Hallowe’en enthusiasts. Not only can you ramble through their pumpkin picking patch but you can also carve your chosen find there too.
If you want to get a bit witchy, from 24th-31st October, you can join them for a week of Hallowe’en inspired antics, including broomstick decorating and wand making. You can even meet and feed the reindeer as they relax before Christmas. Like most pick your own pumpkin events on the list, you will need to book tickets in advance.
Pundffald Farm, Three Crosses, Swansea SA4 3PB.
5. Bellis Farm, Wrexham
Photo credit: Anna Tukhfatullina
Bellis Farm is an independent family-run business near Wrexham which invites visitors to pick their own fruits and vegetables, buy fresh produce from the on-site farm shop and dine at the Strawberry Fields Restaurant. On weekends throughout October and the week leading up to Hallowe’en, you can get involved with their pumpkin patch and Spooky Maize (a maze made out of maize).
Sustainability is particularly important to Bellis Farm. They pride themselves on sourcing produce from locally sourced suppliers to reduce food miles. The restaurant uses the farm’s own seasonal fruits and vegetables as much as possible and they regularly donate to local charities (want to know more about what sustainability means in tourism? There a post about it here).
Bellis Farm, Wrexham Road Farm, Wrexham Rd, Holt Village, Holt, Wrexham LL13 9YU. Visit the website here for more information.
6. Craigie’s Farm, South Queensferry
Photo credit: Ana Essentiels
Located just outside Edinburgh, Craigie’s Farm is a rural retreat for city dwellers in search of wholesome food and fresh air. The farm has an impressive pumpkin patch with plenty of pumpkins to choose from throughout October.
Afterwards, why not wander over to the farm shop and stock up on some local produce, including vegetables and groceries? COVID restrictions depending, you can also book a table at their on-site cafe to relax in post-pumpkin picking.
On a normal day, you can even visit some of the resident farm animals but again, you will need to check the website for the latest safety measures.
West Craigie Farm, Queensferry EH30 9AR. Check out the website here to find out more.
7. Kilduff Farm, East Lothian
Photo credit: Craig Pattenaude
Kilduff Farm’s pumpkin patch is fairly new on the scene but since its opening in 2018, it was met with roaring success. Back for October 2020, it’s once again inviting visitors to step into their field (albeit socially distanced) and find their own favourite pumpkin to take home with them.
Kilduff Farm is a proud family-oriented farm with a passion for showcasing rural life to visitors and children of all ages. They’re keen to teach the value of local produce and the importance of reducing food waste. After all, pumpkins are not just for Hallowe’en!
Be sure to book your tickets well in advance as some slots have already sold out. Oh, and don’t forget to check their website for some fabulous pumpkin-themed recipes.
Kilduff Farm Drem, North Berwick EH39 5BD. Visit the website here to find out more.
8. Streamvale Farm, Belfast
Photo credit: Bee Felten-Leidel
From 17th to 31st October, Streamvale Farm will open its doors (and field) to a multitude of Hallowe’en shenanigans for the whole family to enjoy. You can choose a 2.5 hour time slot to pick your pumpkin and get it carved if you wish. Tickets also include tractor and barrel rides, live shows and a chance to meet the animals, including – wait for it – puppies!
During normal times, Streamvale Farm has been known to put on adult-only scare nights. Sadly, thanks to COVID they won’t be running this year but they will have extra evening sessions for both adults and families to attend. The patch will be floodlit and all the mentioned activities will be available. Just remember to wrap up warm!
Streamvale Farm, 38 Ballyhanwood Rd, Belfast BT5 7SN. For more information, visit the website here.
9. Cattows Farm, Leicestershire
Photo credit: Kiy Turk
Cattows Farm boasts the biggest pick your own pumpkin patch in the UK. There are over 170,000 pumpkins, squashes and ornamental gourds to choose from with over 40 different varieties. Some amusing names to look out for include warty Goosebumps, the Snowman and Munchkins.
Unlike the others, you don’t need to book in advance, you can simply turn up. The farm is open 7 days a week throughout October and you only need to pay for the pumpkins you choose.
You can also feed some of the animals and stop for coffee and cake at the popular on-site tea room. Before you go, I would check the website and social media channels in case availability changes over the coming weeks.
Cattows Farm, Swepstone Rd, Heather, Coalville LE67 2RF. Visit the website here for more information.
10. Maxey’s Farm Shop, Nottinghamshire
Photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez
Located in Nottinghamshire, the award-winning Maxey’s Farm Shop has a stunning pumpkin patch that you can visit and pick your own. A wheelbarrow and pumpkin field map will be on hand to help you choose your favourite variety and carry it back.
The farm also has a fun Hallowe’en-themed itinerary to get stuck into. You’re invited to wander along the Spooky Woodland Walk before catching a ride on James’ Pumpkin Carriage, make use of the photo opportunities and then head over to the Hallowe’en Gift Tent.
Hot food and drink are available with a BBQ and warm deli counter to enjoy. You don’t need to pre-book but they do have some restrictions in place to help you keep safe and socially distanced.
Maxey’s Farm Shop, Brickfield Farm, Hockerton Road, Kirklington, Newark NG22 8PB. Find out more information and book tickets via the website here.
11. Undley Farm, Suffolk
Photo credit: Emily Levine
Back for their 21st year of welcoming pumpkin pickers, Undley Farm is open for visitors during weekends and from 26th to 31st October. Set within the beautiful 75-acre site, the patch offers visitors the chance to pick pumpkins straight from the vine.
There are 30 varieties of pumpkin to choose from as well as 50 different types of ornamental gourds and squashes.
Visitors can expect to see a walking magician who will perform tricks in the field, donkey rides, Hallowe’en stalls and pumpkin carving demonstrations that’ll teach you how to perfect the jack o’lantern smile.
If you get peckish or a little chilly, make your way to the refreshments for a feast of burgers, hot dogs and hog roast baps as well as wood-fired pizza and plenty of pumpkin-inspired delights. Tickets will need to be bought in advance.
Pumpkin Patch & Maize Maze, Undley Road, Beck Row, IP288BX. Visit the website here for more information.
Photo credit: Lucie Liz
Whether you’re designing a seasonal display, carving up a few jack o’lanterns or making some delicious recipes, there’s no doubt that pumpkins are the pinnacle of autumn. And what better way to brighten up the cold winter nights than bringing a pair of these squat orange squashes into your home?
These 11enchanting pumpkin patches are bound to get you in the turn of the season spirit. Happy picking!
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