If you're looking for something fun and unusual to do this weekend, why not visit a pumpkin patch? While picking pumpkins is typically seen as an activity popular in America, it has recently caught the interest of Brits. Pumpkin patches are still rare in England, but there are a number of farms and garden centres around London that grow pumpkins, so you can now pick them yourself.
1. Weybridge Wyevale Garden Centre, Surrey
This garden centre is located in Addlestone, which is within an hour's drive from London. The pumpkin patch is open until the end of this week and there are plenty of Halloween-themed games and activities to keep your kids entertained. These include face painting, apple bobbing and pumpkin carving. Entry to the patch is only £1, and it goes towards local charities. It's advisable to book in advance to avoid disappointment. (Open 10am to 5pm). Visit the website here.
2. PYO Pumpkins, Kent
PYO Pumpkins in Medway has two fields of pumpkins to choose from. It is a bit of a way outside London, but there is a great selection of pumpkins, so it's totally worth it. You can also pick squashes, if you wish. Remember to bring strong bags to carry your pumpkins in as there aren't any available in the farm. (Open 10am to 4pm). Visit the website here.
3. Cammas Hall Farm, Hertfordshire
Cammas Hall Farm is a fantastic place for Londoners to pick pumpkins. You can even make a day out of it - restless kids can amuse themselves in the play area, and there is also a maize maze and nature trail. The farm shop stocks pumpkin carving kits and LED pumpkin tea lights, so there's no need to buy these elsewhere. (Open 9am to 5:30pm). Visit the website here.
4. Marsh Farm, Essex
Marsh Farm is another relatively close option for those living in London. Unlike the other patches mentioned in this article, the one in Marsh Farm is open on Halloween itself. Visiting this pumpkin patch will give you the opportunity to learn more about pumpkins, and you can pet the animals living on the farm. You can either carve your pumpkin in the marquee or take it home. Tickets are available online for £10.99, or you can buy them at the farm for £12.50. Entrance is free for children under 2. (Open 10am to 5pm). Visit the website here.