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Pumpkin picking, a somewhat American concept, has really taken off in the UK for Halloween, with patches and pick your own farms springing up all over the place. Here are some PYO farms and pumpkin patches surrounding London that are opening their gates to pumpkin pickers this year.
Due to the rural nature of these farms, you're probably going to need a car to get to most of them — and wellies.
Pumpkin picking at Crockford Bridge Farm, Surrey
The first pumpkin patch at this Surrey farm opened more than 15 years ago, and it's getting increasingly popular. This year, the pumpkin fields open to the public again on selected days. Head to the field pick your own pumpkin, or take home a ready-picked one (lazy) throughout October, and if you're a huge fan of orange gourds, there's a whole pumpkin festival in the latter half of the month.
Crockford Bridge Farm, Weybridge Surrey, KT15 2BU. Booking is essential for PYO, and tickets for the pumpkin festival will go on sale later this month.
Pumpkin picking at Four Winds Farm, Bidborough, Kent
This small, family-fun farm near Tonbridge in Kent offers all the seasonal goodness you could want — Christmas trees at Christmas, lambing weekends in spring, and of course, pumpkin picking in October. They haven't announced their dates or tickets for this year yet, so keep a watch on their website for more info.
Pierson Agriculture at Four Winds Farm, Penshurst Road, Bidborough. Advance booking required for pumpkin picking, every October.
Pick your own pumpkins at Secretts, Surrey
30,000 pumpkins grown from 12,000 plants form the centrepiece of Pumpkin Week at this Surrey farm and farm shop.
Pumpkin picking runs this year from 23 till 30 October, when you can pick your own pumpkins from the field. There's also a pumpkincentric and BBQd hot food menu, and a fancy dress competition. Entry fee is £3, book tickets in advance.
Secretts, Hurst Farm, Chapel Lane, Milford, Surrey, GUB 5HU. Advance booking required.
Pumpkin picking at Priory Farm, Redhill, Surrey
Take a tractor ride out to Priory Farm's pumpkin field on selected dates in October, and pluck your own gourd from the ground. Closer to Halloween, other events take place at the farm, including a spooky trail. Tickets for the tractor ride, and pumpkin picking, are £3.50 — and you'll need to book in advance.
Priory Farm, Sandy Lane, Redhill, Surrey, RH1 4EJ.
PYO pumpkins at Foxes Farm, Basildon and Colchester, Essex
Foxes Farm has two pumpkin patches in Essex, located close to Basildon and Colchester. They started by growing them for wholesale, before deciding to let the public pick their own. Ready picked pumpkins are available, but if you want to select your own, you'll need to book in advance.
Foxes Farm, Green Lane, Aldham, Colchester, CO6 3PR, and Watch House Farm, Wash Road, Basildon, SS25 4ER. Advance booking required.
Pumpkin patch at Cammas Hall Farm, Hertfordshire
Cammas Hall is a pick your own farm with a steady stream of crops all summer. But when the soft fruits are over, it's pumpkin time. There are several varieties available to pick here, including the knobbly Knucklehead, and the more unusual white Snowman pumpkin. Either harvest your own from the field, or choose from the ready picked pumpkin patch.
There are other Halloween activities, including a maize maze (£5), and refreshments and a farm shop are available on site.
Cammas Hall Farm, Needham Green, near Bishop's Stortford, Hertforshire, CM22 7JT. Advance booking required.