By Parkdean Resorts on 08/08/2023
Looking for the perfect Halloween activity to get into the spooky spirit? What better way to get those autumn vibes going than with an afternoon out pumpkin picking at your local farm? It's a great activity for all to enjoy, whether it's a family outing with the kids during an October half term UK holiday, a romantic stroll in the fields or a day out with the girls to get those seasonal snaps for the ‘gram - don't forget the Uggs and spiced latte!
Pumpkin-picking is a two-for-one activity, as half the fun is out in the field, choosing the perfect shape, size and colour - then the festivities continue at home where you can carve your perfect creation. It's a great way to keep little kids (and big kids) entertained during darker nights and school holidays.
If you're looking for the best pumpkin patches or even tips on growing your own pumpkins at home, you've come to the right place. Read our ultimate guide from the pumpkin pros at Parkdean Resorts.
Choosing the best pumpkin to pick
If you're picking a pumpkin to carve, you should think about the size first. While it's tempting to go for the biggest one you can get your hands on, it can be hard work hollowing out and carving a giant pumpkin with thick sides, especially for younger kids. You'll be scooping and sawing into the early hours of the morning if you're too ambitious!
Our top tip is to go for a sturdy pumpkin - not too big, not too small, with a flat bottom so that it stands upright, making carving and displaying your work easier. The best pumpkins will be deep orange in colour and should feel firm to the touch, too soft and it could be mushy inside. It's also worth checking the stem is still securely attached, to avoid picking one that’s overly ripe. Once you've picked your perfect pumpkin, give it a gentle tap, it should sound hollow inside. Don't tap too hard though, as they bruise easily.
If you're not planning to carve your pumpkin, you'll find plenty of variety on offer, with weird and wonderful shapes and colours of squash - perfect for an autumnal doorstep display or to add a seasonal flourish to your kitchen counter.
When’s the best time to go pumpkin picking?
Many UK farms offer pumpkin picking throughout the spooky season, starting at the beginning of October. The peak time to go pumpkin picking is during the October half term, as this is when most of the farms open their gates for pumpkin pickers. If you want the best of the crop though, we recommend going earlier on in the holidays and arriving in the morning.
Some farms also allow you to book online to secure your slot. We’d recommend searching your local farm's website or social media pages before you set off, to check opening hours and make sure they have plenty of produce on their fields.
With so many pumpkin patches to choose from this October, we've picked out some of our favourites across the UK to get you started.
Where to go pumpkin picking near me
There are hundreds of pumpkin patches to choose from in the UK this October. Some farms even offer pumpkin picking events for kids with spooky activities and fields adorned with ghoulish decorations, making for the perfect photo opportunity.
Many farms also offer a great selection of seasonal winter vegetables for sale alongside, too. Why not pick up some fresh produce and cook up a hearty meal when you get home? You'll need the energy after all that carving!
1. Humble Bee Farm’s Pumpkin Patch & Halloween Trail, Scarborough
- Address: Humble Bee Farm, Flixton, Scarborough, YO11 3UJ
The Humble Bee’s Pumpkin Patch and Halloween Trail event is open on selected dates between the 14th October and the 4th November - with hourly time slots starting from 10AM. Here you can pick out your perfect pumpkin and even carve it on-site in their barn. Once you've created your spooky masterpiece, head out on their Halloween Spooky Trail, with frights and delights for all ages. If you're feeling too frightened, their resident donkeys, alpacas and guinea pigs are sure to put a smile on your face, while the Hive Cafe Bar has plenty of food and drink on offer if you've worked up an appetite.
Entry is £10 per child and includes a pumpkin. For adults and infants who don't want a pumpkin, entry is £6 or free for under 2s. Booking is strongly recommended, so head over to Humble Bee Farm's website to secure your slot today.
2. Laverock Hall Farm, Northumberland
- Address: Laverock Hall Farm, Blyth, Northumberland, NE24 4HE
Laverock Hall Farm is open to the public for pumpkin picking fun on weekends throughout October. There's no need to book, and parking and entry are free - you simply pay for what you pick and take away! With several varieties of pumpkin on offer and prices starting from as little as £1, it's a brilliant value day out. Plus you'll find Halloween goodies and produce on sale in their farm shop.
The team at Laverock Hall Farm are pumpkin patch experts, having grown them annually for many years - it's the place to go if you're looking for a prized pumpkin in the North East this October. Plus, the farm is just a short drive away from both Sandy Bay and Whitley Bay Holiday Park, making it an ideal outing if you're holidaying nearby over the half term.
3. Foxes Farm Produce, Essex
- Address: Foxes Farm Produce, Aldham, Colchester, CO6 3PR
If you’re looking for somewhere to go pumpkin picking in Essex, then look no further than Foxes Farm Produce in Colchester. The patch is open on selected dates from the 30th September and throughout the October half term. As well as plenty of pumpkins to choose from, there’s also a food stall serving up sausage and bacon rolls as well as burgers and refreshments - making it the ideal afternoon out.
You’ll need to book online if you’re planning a visit. Keep an eye on Foxes Farm Produce’s website for tickets and availability. If you’re heading to one of our holiday parks in Essex this half term, it’s the perfect place to stop off.
4. Wester Hardmuir, Scotland
- Address: Wester Hardmuir Fruit Farm, Wester Hardmuir, Nairn, IV12 5QG
This pick-your-own fruit farm is well worth a visit in the summer and autumn, with an array of delicious seasonal fruit on offer. However, in October, the farm transforms into northern Scotland’s top pumpkin patch.
Keep an eye on Wester Hardmuir’s Facebook page for details of the start of this year's pumpkin picking season, with their pumpkin patch due to open 7 days a week through most of October. Located just a short drive from Nairn Lochloy Holiday Park, it’s a must-visit if you’re staying in the area for half term.
5. Cowbridge Farm, Wales
- Address: Marlborough Grange Farm Crossways, Cowbridge, Wales, CF71 7LJ
If you’re heading to South Wales this October, make sure you stop by Cowbridge Farm to get your Halloween fix. With loads of pumpkins to pick, it’s the perfect place to take the family for a fun day out. There’s even a well-stocked farm shop, too, where you can pick up some delicious local produce for dinner.
There’s no need to book, just keep an eye on Cowbridge Farm’s Facebook page for their 2023 opening dates. It’s just 20 minutes’ drive from Trecco Bay Holiday Park, making for an ideal afternoon outing once you’ve had your fill of the exciting on-park entertainment.
6. Hill Farm, Norfolk
- Address: Hill Farm Farm Shop, Norwich, NR12 7BA
Our top pick for Norfolk is Hill Farm - nestled amongst endless green fields, it's famed for its annual pumpkin patch! Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture those perfect seasonal snaps. You’ll also find a farm shop on-site too, with plenty of tasty produce on offer to take back home.
If you’re staying at one of our holiday parks near Great Yarmouth this October, make sure you check Hill Farm’s Facebook page for details. It’s just a 30-minute drive from Great Yarmouth, so it’s a great place to stop off and break your journey, or pop out to for an afternoon of family fun.
7. East Grange, Durham
- Address: East Grange Farm, High Shincliffe, Durham, DH1 2TB
This farm has been growing pumpkins since the springtime and they’re excited to welcome visitors back to their pumpkin patch in October 2023. Little ones will have loads of fun roaming the fields with a wheelbarrow and picking out the perfect squash! The farm is also open in the summer too, where you can explore their spectacular fields of sunflowers, and in winter when you can pick out an extra special Christmas tree.
Just a 20-minute drive away from Crimdon Dene Holiday Park, East Grange Farm is a must-visit if you’re staying nearby. Follow their Facebook page for dates and details of when you can book your tickets.
How to grow pumpkins yourself
To grow your own pumpkins, you’ll first need some pumpkin seeds. You’ll find these for sale at garden centres and some big supermarkets. You can also simply collect them from the inside of a pumpkin when you carve it - so you can save a supply for the following year.
To start, plant your seeds in a small pot with some compost, and place it in direct sunlight. Pumpkin plants love the rain, so make sure you give your pot plenty of water when it’s first planted. The best time to plant them is during the spring, giving your pumpkins enough time to fully grow, ready for harvesting in October.
Once your seeds sprout and the vine starts becoming long, you’ll need to replant it in the ground to give it lots of space to grow. If you don’t have a garden, you can still replant it in a large pot on a balcony or patio.
As your pumpkin plant develops, the vine will start to grow big leaves and yellow flowers. After this, you’ll see baby pumpkins starting to grow along the vine. They’ll start off green in colour, then once the seasons change and the weather cools down, you’ll see them get bigger and turn orange - ready to harvest and carve!
How much is pumpkin picking UK?
Prices tend to vary depending on the size of the pumpkin you choose, but usually, the price for a pumpkin in the UK is between £1 and £5. Depending on the farm you visit to pick your pumpkins, you may need to buy tickets. Tickets for pumpkin picking events tend to be inexpensive, usually no more than £5 and often a pumpkin will be included in this price. We recommend planning ahead and checking your local farm’s website or Facebook page for prices and ticketing information.
Can I bring my dog pumpkin picking with me?
We know the family’s not complete without your four-legged friend, that’s why many pumpkin farms welcome dogs to the fields so they can join in too. One of the dog-friendly pumpkin patches on our list is Humble Bee’s Pumpkin Patch in Scarborough. Some patches do have a ‘no dogs in the field’ policy so be sure to check before you bring your canine companion.
Don’t forget, you’ll also find a range of dog-friendly accommodations available at all of our holiday parks.
Halloween fun with Parkdean Resorts
The fun doesn’t stop in the field. It’s the perfect activity to combine with an October half term break, and nobody does Halloween holidays better than Parkdean Resorts!
You’ll find a huge range of spooky entertainment and activities on offer at our parks across late October, from zombie raves to ghost walks - and, of course, pumpkin carving. Hurry, our Halloween breaks are always popular. Explore our deals and book your October half term break online today.