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The best places to pick pumpkins in Scotland this Halloween

Why not plan a family day out and pick your own pumpkins for carving this Halloween?

Published: August 28, 2020
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Traditionally it was a turnip, but these days pumpkins have become a Halloween staple in most houses and it has become a family day out to go and pick your own pumpkins.

Here are some of the best places to do so in Scotland.

Arnprior Farm, Stirling

Arnprior was the first Scottish farm to open a pick your own pumpkin patch in 2015.

Since then, the family-run farm has been inundated with welly-adorned pickers ready to choose their own Halloween treat.

Open for the pumpkin harvest from October, visitors can also enjoy other activities such as a kale maze, quad pods, face painting and chainsaw carving (sounds spooky!)

Last year, the farm launched glamping pods, which are individually decorated and kitted out with a cooking appliances, plug sockets and offer access to the private pool and hot tubs.

Tickets for pumpkin picking are on sale now, priced at £6 per car, and restrictions to stop the spread of the coronavirus will be in place for those visiting.

Posting on their website, owners Rebecca and Duncan have detailed these, saying: "In order to keep numbers to a safe level, this year we will reducing the number of cars that access our car park by 25 per cent, this will allow for much greater social distancing."

Other measures include hand sanitising stations, a one-way system into the pumpkin field and polytunnel, widened paths and zoned areas in the catering area, polytunnel and toilets to stop crowding and ensure two metre social distancing.

As with previous years, there will be a dedicated date night for those looking to spend a romantic evening among the pumpkins.

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Cairnie Fruit Farm, Cupar Fife


Picture: Cairnie Fruit Farm Facebook

This fruit farm is also known for its mega maze, making it an ideal spot to take the kids to this October.

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The maze is an artistically designed labyrinth of pathways and blind alleys extend over six acres and will keep the kids entertained for ages.

After the berry season (of which the farm offer strawberries, raspberries, red and blackcurrants, gooseberries, tayberries, cherries and brambles), visitors can get kitted out to pick their own pumpkins.

If you fancy more than one pumpkin and are struggling with the load, there's a handy wheelbarrow available to help with your harvest.

Pick your own booking is available online now and the pumpkin patch opens in October.

Craigie's Farm, South Queensferry

Craigie's is another farm that specialises in all kinds of pick your own fruit and veg.

It is also one of the closest farm shops to Edinburgh making it a great escape from the city.

Selling everything from fruit and veg, milk and dairy products to award winning sausages, Scottish cheeses, local gins and beers, the farm shop is well worth a visit any time of the year.

After picking your own pumpkin, why not enjoy lunch or a sweet treat from the on-site cafe while the kids run wild in the play area?

Entry vouchers can be bought online now, ahead of a visit and exchanged for a  basket and a map. Staff will then guide visitors to the best field.

Vouchers are £5 per adult and £2.50 per child, which is redeemable against fruit picked.

South Ardbennie Farm, Perthshire

pumpkin picking Scotland

Picture: South Ardbennie Farm

South Ardbennie Farm opened their pumpkin patch for the first time last year, with around 1500 pumpkins to pick from.

Dates this year include: and the price is £5 per car, which can be redeemed against the price of a pumpkin, with tickets available here.

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Pizza B. Goode will be serving up delicious sourdough Neapolitan pizza from their vintage Piaggio on the following dates at the farm : 16-17th, 23rd-25th, and 30th abd 31st of October.

Kilduff Farm, East Lothian

Established in 2018, Kildff's pumpkin patch is another relatively new kid to the block and offers families the opportunity to pick their own pumpkins as well as learn more about rural life.

Last year the dedicated culinary pumpkin patch was a huge hit, with nine different varieties successfully grown. This year the team have trialled a further four varieties to carve and cook with - something the owners are keen to promote to stop waste.
This year the patch is open for three sessions per day between the 16 – 19, 23 – 26 and 30 – 31 October. To keep track of numbers, tickets must be booked in advance by visiting the Kilduff website.

Tickets will go on sale at 12pm on 1 September.

Blair Drummond Safari Park, Stirling

(Blair Drummond, Stirling FK9 4UR)

This year will see a smaller pumpkin picking experience for those visiting Blair Drummond, due to social distancing, but families can still look forward to a fun day out.

From 1o October until 1 November, visitors will be able to visit the Safari Park’s pumpkin patch, choose their pumpkin (£3) and pose for photos.

Each one of the lantern/Halloween style pumpkins is grown off-site and then laid out in a fenced field next to the giraffe paddock.

Visitors to the park can look forward spending the day touring the drive-thru, visiting all the animals and exploring the latest exhibition - ‘World of Dinosaurs’. Other attractions include giant hay-bale spiders and fire-pits for toasting marshmallows.

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Tickets will be on sale from the 14 September, priced at £16.50 for adults and £13.50 for children. Members are free.

Balgone Estate, East Lothian

(Balgone Barns, North Berwick, EH39 5NY)

This family run farm, located on the outskirts of North Berwick, is the newest addition to Scotland's pumpkin picking experiences.

Not only do they have a pick your own pumpkin patch but there's also a pumpkin trail, which promises a lakeside adventure with lots of spooky characters to look out for along the way.

On the trail kids can stop at the witches hut, the Crooked Cauldron, which is a pit stop for toasting marshmallows.

The patch will be open from 16,17,18th - 23,24,25th - 30,31st of October. Pricing for the pumpkins will be based on the weight of the pumpkins - ranging from £2-£10.

More information and booking info is here.

M&D's Theme Park Outdoor Pumpkin Festival

The M&D's Pumpkin Festival is back, with all activities held outdoors in the grounds of the theme park.

Visitors can look forward to storytelling from Folksy Theatre, bash a pumpkin game, a pumpkin treasure trail, the Pumpkin Express and the pumpkin patch - where you can pick your own pumpkins.

All activities will take place from Saturday 10 to Sunday 18 October and then again on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 October and Saturday 31 October and Sunday 1 November. The first storytelling session begins at 11am each day and will run every 30 minutes until 4pm.

Tickets - which are priced at £8.50 which includes a hot drink or £10.95 which includes a pumpkin - must be booked online before arrival to adhere to the current guidelines on social distancing.

One for the diary...

The Farm Stall Kintyre, Bellochantuy near Campbeltown


Picture: The Farm Stall Facebook

This family-run farm has had a popular weekend of pumpkin picking,  so more of the same could be expected this year.

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind writes for The Scotsman on all things food and drink related.

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