The best places to go pumpkin picking in and around Dorset

Photo credit: Smitt/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Photo credit: Smitt/Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

It wouldn’t be spooky season without a pumpkin or two, so we’ve rounded up some of the best places where you can pick your own in the run up to the 31st

Cat and Fiddle Farm and Café, Hinton

Sitting just on the edge of The New Forest, the Cat and Fiddle forms part of the Dan Tanner family and as a result it has an excellent reputation for growing fresh fruit and vegetables of the highest possible quality. During the summer months you can take home punnets of juicy strawberries and raspberries, but autumn sees the fields burst into colour with a huge number of pumpkins. The good news is that they're available for picking now, and will be in season throughout the whole of October - and better still, they've recently opened a café so you can warm up with a brew and a slice of cake once you've picked out the cream of the crop.

There's no entrance fee - simply pay for what you pick, and cards are accepted.

Sopley Farm, Christchurch

Just north of the Cat and Fiddle is the idyllic Sopley Farm, which sits on the Sopley to Bransgore Road - this also forms part of the Dan Tanner family, and it is again renowned for the quality of its fresh produce. Row upon row of pumpkins are ready and waiting, and the same rules apply: you just pay for what you pick.

Refuel at The Horsebox Café (we hear the cakes are too good to resist…) and for the perfect autumnal weekend, you can stay at their campsite which is located within the old orchard.

Lenctenbury Farm, Corfe Castle

This family-run farm was founded by Andrew Carlyle with the aim of producing high quality fruit and vegetables, and it certainly fits the brief: from June through to October you'll find a huge range of high quality produce here, and squash and pumpkins are currently in season until the end of the month. There is no entry fee, and you just pay at the end based on what you've picked.

Lenctenbury Farm is conveniently located just off the A351 - combine it with a trip to the one-thousand year old Corfe Castle for an ideal family-day out over the October half term.

Pumpkin Picking Patch, Fordingbridge

Think of all things Halloween, and the Pumpkin Picking Patch at Fordingbridge might just spring to mind - we know this is technically across the border in Hampshire, but trust us, it's worth venturing slightly further afield.

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Here you'll find straw bale sculptures, a trail to find a missing toad and of course the all-important pumpkin picking. Grab a wheelbarrow and voyage around the site collecting as many different varieties as you can, competing as either an individual or as part of a team, and you can then choose your favourite to take home and decorate.

Ansty Pick Your Own, Salisbury

Again, it may be just outside of Dorset but we couldn't miss this one off our list…not only does this thriving family-run farm shop offer endless pumpkins to pick throughout October, but it's also home to the world-famous (okay, maybe not, but certainly famous in the local area) 'Pumpkin Olympics'. Take part in over 20 games, including pumpkin skittles, pumpkin and spade races and even the pumpkin hula hoop for what is sure to be a family day out with a difference.

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