Where to pick your own pumpkin in Yorkshire

Pumpkin fun at Farmer Copley's

Pumpkin fun at Farmer Copley's - Credit: Archant

Delicious, nutritious and ideal for decorating this autumn – get your hands on a local pumpkin

Squash in all their varieties at Birchfield

Squash in all their varieties at Birchfield - Credit: Archant

Planning for autumn outdoorsy fun? As thoughts turn to Halloween, and after a particularly tough year, Yorkshire’s farmers need our support more than ever – so why not pick your own pumpkin?

If you’re in West Yorkshire, head to Farmer Copleys in Pontefract (farmercopleys.co.uk), which is running its annual pumpkin festival on dates throughout October. They have planted over 130,000 pumpkin plants in preparation, in a rainbow of colours, and there is a sheltered carving tent on site, so no need to make a mess of your own kitchen. Look out for appearances from the ‘Not So’ Wicked Witch and enjoy a toffee apple, cinnamon doughnut or crepe to reward yourself for your hard work. Kemps’ Horsforth-based PYO will also be open for pumpkin picking from mid-October (kemps.farm).

North of York, take your pick from Spilmans in Thirsk (spilmans.co.uk), which also has its own maize maze, and The Balloon Tree in Helmsley (theballoontree.co.uk), both of which also have plenty of seasonal offerings in their farm shops.

For those in the Dales, grab a mini wheelbarrow and head for the enchanted pumpkin patch at Thornton Hall Country Park, Skipton (thorntonhallcountrypark.co.uk), where you can meet a host of spooky characters, including Fred Web, the giant spider, as well as some cuddlier farm animals in the barn. Meanwhile at Birchfield Family Dairies in Harrogate (birchfieldicecream.co.uk), you can pick and carve a pumpkin before sampling one of its more than 30 flavours of homemade ice cream, including vanilla and cinder toffee and rhubarb and ginger. Who cares if it’s sub-zero outside?

Pumpkins at Helmsley Walled Garden

Pumpkins at Helmsley Walled Garden - Credit: Archant

Searching for something even more Spooktacular? Don your cape or witch’s hat and board the ghost train at Kirklees Light Railway on October 29-31 (kirkleeslightrailway.com). It promises to be a ghoulish evening experience and must be booked online in advance. Or follow the Spooky Woodland Trail at Burton Agnes Hall, Driffield (burtonagnes.com), on October 24 to November 1, where clues are hidden amidst spooky Halloween scenes of witches, spiders and ghostly figures.

In light of Covid restrictions, make sure you check the websites and always pre-book.

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