Carve out some fun this autumn with our top pumpkin patch recommendations in Devon, Cornwall, Somerset, and Dorset.
Halloween is just around the corner. And whether you’re gearing up for a big fancy-dress party or keeping it lowkey, there’s nothing like a bit of pumpkin carving to get you in the mood for the spooky season.
To give you a head start, we’ve researched the most Instagrammable pumpkin patches in top Southwest locations.
Are you holidaying in Devon or Cornwall this October half-term? Well head on down to The Lost Gardens of Heligan in St Austell, Cornwall, for the Most Instagrammable pumpkin patch experience in town. Their harvest celebration “Heligan Harvest” doesn’t offer pumpkin picking specifically, but the patch itself is not to be missed amongst the themed events this October. 35,500 people have tagged themselves posing there so far, so it’s clearly a good day out!
Lost in time after WW1, the gardens of 200 acres were restored in 1990. The site now holds National Collection status from Plant Heritage for its Camellias and Rhododendrons. With events all year round, guests can enjoy a stroll through the gardens and the UK’s only outdoor jungle, where they can take in the farm, wood and wildlife – plus, it’s dog friendly; perfect for anyone holidaying with pets this autumn.
Darts Farm in Topsham, Devon, is the second most Instagrammable place with a pumpkin patch where you can pick your own to take home with you, with 'dartsfarm’ collecting 22,600 hashtags. Home to one of the first ‘pick your own’ businesses, Darts Farm is an award-winning farm and farm shop featuring animal enclosures, fishing ponds, a nature trail, an artisan school, seasonal events and multiple places to eat and drink. Their Pumpkin Festival begins at the start of October, where a range of different-sized pumpkins are available to pick and take home to carve.
Third place is Pennywell Farm, which is in Buckfastleigh, Devon. The hashtag #pennywellfarm has been shared alongside 12,600 posts so far. A great day out for all the family, Pennywell offers an assortment of activities, animals, and rides, plenty to eat and drink, as well as seasonal events like Halloween pumpkin picking.
Completing the top five places to visit for pumpkin patches is the Eden Project in Boldeva, and Flambards in Helston, both of which are in Cornwall. The Eden Project has 11,500 hashtags to #edenprojectcornwall and 679 to #halloweden, their annual Halloween event, where guests can grab a pumpkin. Meanwhile, Flambards has 8,400 posts containing #flambards, 806 to #flambardsthemepark and 194 to #flambardscornwall. Both locations run their pumpkin-related events between the 22nd and 30th of October 2022.
Looking for ideas on where to visit pumpkin patches in Somerset and Dorset? Why not pop down to Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm, which is the most Instagrammable pumpkin spot in Somerset with over 8,000 tagged posts.
From 17th October until 6th November, visitors will be able to help harvest the 100-acre site and pick their own pumpkins. With a dedicated pumpkin corner complete with both full-sized and miniature wheelbarrows, there will be plenty of opportunities for guests to snap some autumnal family photos. There will also be daily Creepy Crawly Talks and an Owl Trail for children and adults alike to enjoy as part of the Pumpkin Fest celebrations.
Puxton Park came in second with 6,800 Instagram posts containing #puxtonpark. Open every weekend in October and every day of the October half-term, the pumpkin patch is free to visit and take pictures in.
Visitors can also enjoy the park’s other facilities for a fun-filled day out for all the family, including an adventure park, soft play area, miniature railway, water rides, animal zone, tractor rides, restaurant and farm shop.
In third place was Thistledown Farm, with 2,800 posts on Instagram. This pumpkin patch is open from 8th October for weekend visits and is open every day from 22nd – 31st October. Prices for pumpkins vary between £2-10 depending on the size of your chosen pumpkin. Pumpkin carving can also be added on for an additional £1 per pumpkin.
Sopley Farm Shop came fourth across both counties with 2,500 tagged Instagram posts, but topped the list for pumpkins patches in Dorset. The farm offers seasonal PYO fruits, sunflowers and beans, making it a firm favourite for locals. Additionally, guests can enjoy delicacies from the farm shop and bakery to take home or enjoy at the site’s picnic area.
Avon Heath Country Park (1,200 posts) completed the top five places with pumpkin patches in Somerset and Dorset, with a special event on 30th October to decorate pre-hollowed out pumpkins. This is the best option for anyone who wants to avoid the picking stage and get straight down to some creative carving!
And if you’re after somewhere to rest your head after a long day in the pumpkin field, check out our range of holiday cottages in Somerset, perfect for exploring the local area.
If you’re planning to head off on your own pumpkin-picking adventure this October, follow these tips to secure the most perfect pumpkins and ensure they stay in top condition for Halloween:
1. The firmer and heavier the pumpkin, the better.
2. A consistent colouring and texture will indicate the pumpkin is in good health and will make for the best photos.
3. Slap your pumpkin. If it sounds hollow, it’s ripe and ready to harvest.
4. Check the stalk. A pumpkin that is ready to be picked will have a brown or golden stalk and will feel hard and dry.
5. Leave the stalk long to slow rotting – avoid cutting the stalk shorter than three inches.
6. Store them away from direct sunlight and avoid any wet areas.
7. Save carving until a few days before Halloween.
8. Always double-check the opening times of a pumpkin patch before turning up to avoid disappointment.
We collated a list of places hosting pumpkin patches or pumpkin related events based off those that ran in 2021. We noted the number of Instagram posts tagged with a related hashtag for each location on 13/09/2022 (Devon and Cornwall locations) or 15/09/2022 (Somerset and Dorset locations). For the full list of locations analysed, please see this spreadsheet.
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