Looking for fun half-term activities for you and the kids? Then grab your wellies and head out on a fruit picking adventure. Get into the Halloween mood at some of England’s best pumpkin patches or collect some fruit for your autumnal bakes with a spot of apple picking at these popular pick-your-own farms.
Pick your own: Rectory Farm
Set in 45 acres of beautiful Oxfordshire fields, Rectory Farm grows over 30 types of produce, with plenty ready for picking well into October. Bring your own containers (you’ll save money as well as help the planet) and fill them with summer’s last strawberries and sweetcorn, or pick a big, bright bunch of sunflowers to take home with you.
If you’re visiting in October, be sure to grab a wheelbarrow and explore the farm’s first ever pumpkin patch. From dinky pumpkins to multi-coloured gourds, there are plenty of squashes to scoop up.
Cannon Hall Farm, in the Pennine foothills makes regular appearances on Springtime on the Farm and The Yorkshire Vet. Alongside its array of animals – including pygmy goats, alpaca and highland cows – this farm hosts one hell of an autumn pumpkin festival. Tickets, which include all-day farm admission, include a free pumpkin for every child, which you can pluck yourself from the patch. There’ll be pumpkin decorating stations too, as well as sheep racing tractor rides and lots of other themed activities to get stuck into.
While famous for its annual Shocktoberfest (Europe’s largest scream park), Tulleys Farm is also home to 20 acres of fields that produce a hefty 150,000 pumpkins a year, in lots of shapes, colours and sizes. Throughout October, you can wander around the sprawling vines to pick your own gourds – to carve a ghoulish face into, make a delicious pie or to decorate your house with. There are lots of photo opportunities throughout the field too, perfect for a little memento.
For a kid-free evening out, pop along to the farm’s Pumpkin Nights, where you can pick your own pumpkin underneath the moonlight before tucking into some fabulous food and drink at the Halloween Bar.
Set in 100 acres of countryside, Hatton Adventure World is home to over 450 animals and a medley of activities, shows and events.
Pop in to pick your own potatoes from the dedicated fields and, after you’ve filled your sacks, stay for falconry displays, magic shows and cuddles with the animals. Alternatively, come by during the October half-term for a spot of pumpkin picking, followed by a bewitching tractor ride and a tour of the haunted house.
Running for over two decades, Undley Farm is one of Suffolk’s most famous pumpkin patches. Open at weekends throughout October and every day during half -term, you can pick 25 varieties of pumpkins alongside 26 types of gourds directly from the vines.
As well as fruit picking, the farm has a bunch of family-friendly attractions to enjoy – from giant inflatables and pumpkin carving demos, to seasonal craft stalls and face painting. The piece de resistance, though, is the annual maize maze, carved out each year to celebrate everything Halloween (think pumpkins, potions and broomsticks). A golden pumpkin will also be hidden in the patch each day – find it and you’ll win a wheelbarrow full of pumpkins for free!
Perched on the Hertfordshire-Essex border, this family-owned farm is the ideal place for autumn fruit picking near London, and from October the Halloween-themed fun begins.
Trawl the pumpkin patch for more than 40 varieties of pumpkin and squash, meet real-life Halloween characters and navigate the spooky maize maze all in one afternoon. There are Pumpkin Night slots if you want to visit without the kids and the farm even host two ‘relaxed’ sessions where visitor numbers are restricted to allow for more space.
Kenyon Hall Farm has been growing pumpkins for over 30 years and is one of the biggest pumpkin picking destinations in England. Every October, you can book to visit the farm – exploring the fields filled with over 15,000 pumpkins of all different shapes, sizes and colours and lots of unique, pumpkin-tastic photo backdrops.
Make a day of it and let the little ones run wild in the outdoor play area, complete with wooden tipis, drain pipe tunnels, slides and even a tractor tyre sandpit. And don’t forget to stop by the farm’s café to fill up on sandwiches, pies, homemade cakes and ice cream.
Come October time, this family-owned farm in Surrey pull out all the stops for its annual Pumpkin Festival. Preceded by two weekends of pumpkin picking, lantern carvers big and small can get their hands on the perfect pumpkin for Halloween. There’s also lots of themed entertainment, tasty street food and plenty of quirky autumnal displays and arty installations too, making it picture-perfect for a selfie or two.
From late November you can even pop by to cut your own Christmas tree – one of the few farms in the South East to offer this experience.
Pull on some wellies and head over to Windmill Animal Farm this autumn. With over 20,000 pumpkins to choose from, the fields are a vibrant sea of orange that stretches in all directions. Take your time picking your perfect pumpkin before hauling your treasures back to the car in a wheelbarrow. As well as being great for sculpting scary faces, you could also use the flesh to whip up a sweet pumpkin pie or warming soup.
If you want to make a day of it, the farm has a maize maze to navigate, outdoor play areas for the kids and friendly farmyard animals who love a bit of attention. The rabbits and guinea pigs are a big hit too!
Go apple picking at this pick-your-own farm in Orpington, which also specialises in pears and a range of autumn veg. This charming spot is free to enter but you pay for what you pick, and with a lot of this produce, it lasts well into the winter – so stock up while you can! There’s everything from French beans to courgettes and peas, and a walk over to the orchard will lead you to plump, ripe Cox, Gala, Russet and Bramley apples, as well as Conference pears and quinces. Open every Tuesday to Saturday until the end of October, you have plenty of time to plan a visit.