The leaves are beginning to turn orange, Strictly’s back on TV, and pumpkin spice lattes have arrived at Starbucks, all of which can mean only one thing: autumn is here. And while lovers of the season will likely already be planning long crisp walks and cosy nights in under blankets, perhaps the ultimate autumnal activity, especially when it comes to IG-worthiness, is pumpkin picking.
While it’s a Halloween tradition probably most associated with the U.S., the U.K. has been increasingly getting in on the pumpkin-picking action over the past few years. Whether you want your pumpkin for carving come Oct. 31 or wish to use it for pumpkin-based recipes, there are some brilliant places you can go to pick the perfect squash.
Before you head off to your nearest patch, you’ll want to be prepared. That means wrapping up warm as the weather begins to turn, pulling on your wellies, and bringing a good strong bag for your transporting your pumpkin(s) safely home.
When selecting a pumpkin to cook with, BBC Good Food recommends avoiding any with bruises or imperfections on the surface, and opting instead for a smooth, shiny outer skin. The way to test whether your pumpkin is ripe for cooking with is also easy; simply knock on the surface and listen. If it’s ripe, it’ll sound hollow.
With that said, here’s where to go in 2021 to find your pumpkin.
Pumpkin Picking In England
Secretts at Hurst Farm, Surrey
A huge farm that grows around 30,000 pumpkins each year, Secretts is a pumpking-picking mainstay and even offers tractor rides to get you out into the fields. Secretts is open for pumpkin picking from Oct. 23-30.
Piglet’s Adventure Farm, Kent
This cute adventure farm has a whole host of fun activities to try out at its annual Pumpkin festival including carving. This is a great option for London-dwellers who want to get out of the city. Open for pumpkin picking every weekend in October, and every day between Oct. 23 and Oct. 30.
Avon Valley's Pumpkin Patch, Bristol
Pick your own pumpkin at this huge patch in Bristol, which you can then take home and carve yourself. As well as the pumpkins, there’s plenty of other entertainment on offer here, including performers and even a pumpkin slingshot! Open selected dates throughout October.
Farmer Copleys, Yorkshire
Located thirty minutes from Leeds is Farmer Copleys, home to a pumpkin patch of a staggering 130,000 pumpkins of 27 varieties. Picking is available from Oct. 3 to Nov. 19, meaning there’s no rush to get out there yet either.
Mr Pumpkin, Derby
Live in or around Derby? You’ll want to visit Mr Pumpkin, which is home to nearly 90,000 pumpkins of 40 different varieties. Prices start at just £2 each, which is cheaper than many other options out there.
Cattows Farm, Leicester
Visit Cattows for access to over 170,000 pumpkins in 40 different varieties, for a day of picking fun. It’s open daily from between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. throughout the entire month of October.
Pumpkin Picking In Scotland
Arnprior Farm, Glasgow
Less than an hour’s drive from central Glasgow, Arnprior is home to 10,000 pumpkins including — wait for it — giant Cinderella ones. It’s open for picking between Oct. 12 and Oct. 31.
Craigies Farm, Edinburgh
If you live in or around Edinburgh, you’ll want to visit Craigies, which is a favourite of the area. As well as the must-do pumpkin picking, you can also pick your own apples and enjoy pumpkin-shaped shortbread in the cafe. Open from Oct. 8 to Oct. 31.
Udny Pumpkins, Aberdeen
As well as their annual pumpkin picking extravaganza, family run Udny is also offering children’s pumpkin planting sessions (cute), along with animal visits. Tickets are on sale now at their website, and the site is located nine miles north of Aberdeen.
Pumpkin Picking In Wales
Greenacre Market Garden, Pembrokeshire
As well as pumpkin picking, visitors to Greenacre can also enjoy marshmallows around the campfire and a visit to the Halloween grotto. This is a great place for families or those who are still kids at heart to go to for a day of fun.
Gower Halloween at Poundffald Farm, Swansea
Pumpkin picking at Poundffald begins early on Oct. 8 this year, with the Halloween festivities culminating in the Halloween Party festivities (think broomstick-decorating and haunted barns) beginning on Saturday, Oct. 23.
Powells Farm, Powys
Every Saturday in October, Powells Farm is offering hourly slots for those wishing to get their pumpkin picking on. As well selecting the perfect squash, you’ll also get to spend plenty of time in the great outdoors to enjoy the fresh air, along with the farm’s many animals.
Pumpkin Picking In N. Ireland
Streamvale Open Farm, Belfast
Streamvale is offering daily three hour pumpkin patch sessions at its farm, which is known to be the “original and best” pumpkin patch experience in Northern Ireland. It’s open Saturday, Oct. 16, Sunday, Oct.17, and Friday, Oct. 22 to Sunday, Oct. 31.
Causeway Fun Farm, Bushmills
Located in Bushmills village, Causeway Fun Farm is offering a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it pumpkin picking opportunity between Oct. 27 and Oct. 31, so get in there quick! As well as picking yours, you’ll be able to carve in the special carving barn.
Fermanagh Fun Farm, Enniskillen
There’s something a little special about pumpkin picking at Fermanagh Fun Farm: the spooky ghost train that takes you to and from the patch. You’ll also have an area specially designed for carving if that’s what your pumpkin is for. The festival is on Oct. 23 and prices begin at just £2.