With the autumn season well and truly here and Halloween approaching (have you got your halloween decorations yet?), there’s never been a better time to embrace the season with pumpkin picking.
Nothing says autumn better than the hardy pumpkin. When it comes to finding the ideal place for some autumnal pumpkin picking, it might just be closer than you think.
And once you’ve got your chosen pumpkin home, the possibilities are endless. From cooking them in delicious recipes likepumpkin pureeor pumpkin pie, to carving your ownautumn decorations, there’s plenty to enjoy about these seasonal vegetables. It’s just a question of getting your hands on one.
Where are pumpkins grown?
They may be native to North America, but this autumnal vegetable can also be grown in your own back garden if conditions are right. They need a sunny position, moisture-retentive soil and shelter from cold winds and they will thrive.
This also means that across the UK there are plenty of areas where they are grown and you can pick your own pumpkin.
Best places to go pumpkin picking in the UK
Avon Valley Adventure & Wildlife Park, Bristol
Open 17/18/24 October-1 November
Run separately to the farm, this year Avon Valley will behosting its massive pumpkin patch festival on weekends and during half-term. Book an entrance time slot and then you can roam through the muddy fields to your heart's content. Or if you prefer, you can choose any of the pre-picked pumpkins inside.There’s free parking and visitors are free to stay as long as they like after booking a slot.
Doddington Hall, Lincolnshire
Open 10-31 October
In the grounds of the historic Doddington Hall, simply follow the signs via the Kitchen Garden and you'll find a sight to behold. Remember your wellies in case things get muddy as you choose your pumpkin and Halloween costume wearing is encouraged too. It's free to visit the patch and visitors just pay for what they pick. Remember to bring cash as you won't be able to pay for your pumpkins via card.
Undley Pumpkin Patch, Suffolk
Open until 31 October
This patch has been running for over 20 years, and this year it promises to be bigger and better. Usually covering 50 acres, this year will see the patch set across an impressive 75 acres. This will allow for plenty of space for social distancing as well as provide even more pumpkins to pick. With indoor space hotly contested if it rains, remember to bring an umbrella just in case. There will also be a themed maize maze celebrating NHS and key workers and even donkey rides.DISCOVER MORE
Pembrokeshire Pumpkins, Pembrokeshire
Open 17/18/23 - 31 October
If you're based in South Wales then look no further than Pembrokeshire Pumpkins this autumn. With a whole field of pumpkins ripening up nicely, you'll be spoilt for choice. There’s no official booking system, though visitors are encouraged to let them know which date and time you plan to visit. Remember to bring wellies and don’t miss the Spooky Trail if you're bringing a young visitor along. Weather permitting marshmallows and popcorn can also be enjoyed around the fire pit.
Picking Patch, Hampshire & West Sussex
Open 17/18/24-31 October
The Picking Patch is back at Fordingbridge in Hampshire this year with over 25,000 pumpkins to choose from and free entry. With crafts and seasonal food and drinks on offer there's plenty to keep visitors of all ages happy. And if you fancy a bit of peace and quiet, you could even head on over to the Pumpkin house..
Birchfield Family Dairies, North Yorkshire
Open until 31 October
Explore 6 acres of pumpkins at Birchfield Ice Cream Farm’s annual Pumpkin Festival, with loads of sizes and varieties to choose from. Simply pick up a wheelbarrow to help you carry your pumpkins back to the car. And with muddy fields afoot, don’t forget your wellies, especially if you're taking little ones. There is also a carving barn, farm maze and a woodland walk for everyone to enjoy, for £3 entrance fee per person.
Craigies Farm, Edinburgh
In the summer months Craigie's Farm's PYO is overflowing with strawberries and sunflowers, but when the weather turns, they have you covered. Come autumn, there are pumpkins a plenty, perfect for carving or cooking with. And if you fancy something a little extra, they have lots of apples too! Book your entry vouchers for everyone online from £1.50 and see what you can find.
East Grange, Durham
Open 16-31 October
If variety is the spice of life, then East Grange is the perfect choice for pumpkin picking. With 20,000 pumpkins in 8 acres of space, including 27 varieties, 6 different colours and a whole range of sizes, this is a perfect North Eastern spot to pick up a pumpkin - or three! Remember to book in advance, and you only pay for what you pick, ranging from £1 for small and £9 for the largest. There will even be wheelbarrows on site to help you carry your load back to the car.
Skylark Maize Maze & Funyard, Cambridgeshire
Open until 1 November
With their week of wickedness, Skylark Maize Maze & Funyard is transformed. There are pumpkins galore, for £2 each, and you can even settle down and do some pumpkin carving there. Along with other family-friendly activities like Den Building and a Phantom Blaster Tractor Ride, this is the perfect day out for the whole family. Book now to get your tickets.
Cattows Farm, Leicestershire
With over 170,000 pumpkins, squashes and ornamental gourds, Cattows Farm will spoil you for choice this autumn. Varieties range from the unusual white Snowman and Ghost pumpkins to adorable mini Munchkins that are all across social media this time of year. Sold by weight, the pumpkins could be as little at 20p so why not head their way for some affordable fun?
Cammas Hall Farm, Hertfordshire
Open until 31 October
Tickets are going fast, so don’t forget to book if you want to explore Cammas Hall Farm to find your pumpkin this year! Their pumpkin patch boasts over 20 different varieties of pumpkin and squash. There are also Halloween crafts and colouring sets available to buy for younger visitors and a Halloween Maize Maze to enjoy. And for those who think a picture captures a thousand words, the farm makes for a wonderful photo opportunity.
Cairnie Fruit Farm, Fife, Scotland
This year Cairnie Fruit Farm celebrates 21 years of Pick Your Own Pumpkins and their experience couldn’t be clearer. Home to an astonishing 12,000 pumpkins, they are great for Jack-o’-Lanterns or delicious recipes likepumpkin spice latteandpumpkin pureeso it’s definitely worth giving both a go this year. Book now to secure your entry to the farm and bag yourself the perfect pumpkin.
Windmill Animal Farm, Lancashire
Open until 31 October
This year their famous Pumpkin Picking Adventure is back! Each pre-booked ticket you purchase comes with one pumpkin of your choice and once you arrive, you won’t be able to stop yourself from picking up a few more. The ticket also includes access to the open farm attraction so you’re free to explore as much as you like. Wheelbarrows are provided but remember to bring your wellies in case of wet weather!
Happy pumpkin picking!