You can pick the best pumpkin for carving this Halloween. (Photo: Marius Ciocirlan/Unsplash)
Halloween is one of the best holidays. You’ve got sweets, scary movies, costumes, and pumpkins – what’s not to love?
In the lead-up to Halloween, you may already be planning what to do for the big day, particularly whether you’re going for a sexy cat or a mask of Ghostface ready to scare all of your friends.
What you may not have thought of is where you can go pumpkin picking, to carve the perfect Jack O’Lantern for your porch, windowsill, or balcony.
Since London itself is quite compact, and mostly built-up, there aren’t many wide open spaces for pumpkins to live.
The good news is that there are many pumpkin patches a short train ride or drive away from London that you can get to in time for Halloween.
The perfect Jack O’Lantern starts with the perfect pumpkin. (Photo: Lukasz Niescioruk/Unsplash)
This Surrey farm shop hosts ‘Pumpkin Week’ where 30,000 pumpkins are available, ripe for picking.
Pumpkin picking goes from October 23 to October 30, and tickets only cost £3 – but you must book tickets in advance.
In addition to picking pumpkins from the field, there is a pumpkin-centric hot food menu and a fancy dress competition that all customers can enter by photographing themselves at three locations on site to win a hamper of goodies from the shop.
To get to Secretts, head to London Waterloo and take the South Western Railway train to Godalming. From there, you can get a taxi or a bus to the farm. There is also free parking on site and the journey would take just over an hour hours by car.
Priory Farm, Surrey
Over 10,000 pumpkins are available, whether you want them round or warty. (Photo: Priory Farm)
At Priory Farm, you can take a tractor ride to their pumpkin fields to pick your own for carving, with over 10,000 available in all shapes and sizes.
For kids, there is also a spooky discovery trail where you can hunt for hidden treasure. Pumpkin picking at Priory Farm is available all of October, but many dates are sold-out already so book your tickets soon.
Each ticket, which includes a tractor ride and admission to the pumpkin fields, costs £3.80.
To get to Priory Farm, you can take a Thameslink train from London Bridge to Redhill, which is a five-minute drive or a 20-minute walk away from the farm. To get there by car, it takes 1.5 hours, and free parking is available.
Foxes Farm, Essex
Pumpkin picking is a perfect fun day out with friends & family (Photo: Olivia Bauso/Unsplash)
Foxes Farm offers pumpkin picking in both Basildon and Colchester, with over 15 varieties of pumpkins to choose from.
The pumpkin patch has been operating since 2015 and tickets are available to book online from now until the end of October. One family ticket costs £6, which is valid for four people.
Get a Greater Anglia train from Liverpool Street to Billericay (yes, where Gavin from Gavin and Stacey is from) and then it’s a ten-minute bus or taxi ride from there.
Cammas Hall Farm, Hertfordshire
The pumpkin patch is available if you don’t want to trek through the fields. (Photo: James Wheeler/Unsplash)
Cammas Hall Farm is a pick your own farm with lots of fruit and veg available for picking all summer, but pumpkins are their specialty in October. There are several varieties to pick from, either from the field or from the ready picked pumpkin patch.
They also have a maize maze that costs £5 for admission, and a farm shop available on site with refreshments available. Depending on availability, tickets for the pumpkin patch costs between £2 and £4, with pre-booking necessary.
It’s easiest to drive to Cammas Hall Farm, which takes just over an hour. But, you can take a train from Liverpool Street to Bishops Stortford and then a bus afterwards.
Garsons Farm, Kingston
Nothing better than a pumpkin you picked yourself. (Photo: Priscilla Du Preez/Unsplash)
Garsons will be celebrating its 150th anniversary this year with over 10,000 pumpkins available to be picked. They are open every day in October and you must buy a ‘farm pass’ online in advance of your arrival.
Tickets for the farm only released only seven days before each date, meaning it won’t be booked out like other farms might be. Each ‘farm pass’ costs £4.
It’s only a one hour drive from London, or you can get the train from London Waterloo to Walton-on-Thames and then a taxi.
Covent Garden Pumpkin Market
This is more festive than Tesco, even if it’s not a PYO farm. (Photo: Covent Garden/This is Mission)
This isn’t a pick-your-own farm, but it’s a good alternative for those who either can’t make it to a farm outside of London or can’t get a booking.
It’s definitely a bit more festive than going to Sainsbury’s to grab a pumpkin, and you can see pumpkins, squashes, gourds, and a stunning floral display by Maison de Fleurs.
The market is open from October 29 to October 31, and is hosted by Apple Market – perfect to inject some Halloween in before the season’s over.
Head to Covent Garden station, on the Picadilly Line, to visit the market.
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