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 for Halloween 2020.
Due to the rural nature of these farms, you're probably going to need a car to get to most of them... and wellies. Note that the Covid-19 situation is ever-changing, so keep an eye on venues for the latest information and regulations.
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 — plus, 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 the pumpkin festival for Halloween 2020, and temperature checks are in place. Note there are currently no toilets available for the public.
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. It's 24-31 October this year, with pumpkin picking, face painting, a fancy dress competition and food and drink on offer.
Pierson Agriculture at Four Winds Farm, Penshurst Road, Bidborough. Advance booking required for October 2020 — on sale 1 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.
2020's pumpkin picking runs from 24-31 October, when you can pick your own pumpkins from the field, though the other usual events aren't running this year due to Covid restrictions. Keep an eye on the website for more details. Entry fee is £2.
Secretts, Hurst Farm, Chapel Lane, Milford, Surrey, GUB 5HU. Advance booking required for October 2020, and you must arrive within your time slot to gain entry.
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. 2020 details here.
Priory Farm, Sandy Lane, Redhill, Surrey, RH1 4EJ. Advance booking required for October 2020.
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. Usually, there's a corn maze on-site too, but unfortunately Covid-19 means that's not opening tis year.
Foxes Farm, Green Lane, Aldham, Colchester, CO6 3PR, and Watch House Farm, Wash Road, Basildon, SS25 4ER. Advance booking required for October 2020.
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 usually plenty of other Halloween activities, including a maize maze (extra charge). Refreshments and a farm shop are available on site too — at current, you need to book in advance to visit the cafe, though no booking is required for the farm shop.
Cammas Hall Farm, Needham Green, near Bishop's Stortford, Hertforshire, CM22 7JT. Advance booking required for pumpkin picking in October 2020.
Pumpkin picking at Nathan's Farm, Chalfont St Giles
Thanks to Londonist reader Petra who tipped us off about Nathan's Farm, a livestock farm in Chalfont St Giles which also offers pumpkin picking. It's the closest pumpkin patch we know of to central London, and the closest one to a tube line (Chalfont & Latimer is approximately a 10-minute taxi ride away).
No word yet on whether there will be pumpkin picking in 2020, but keep an eye on Facebook.
Nathan's Farm, Chalfont Road, Chalfont St Giles, Bucks, HP8 4BT.