Okay so it probably hasn’t escaped your attention that pumpkin picking is totally the ‘IN’ thing to do at the mo. Pumpkins are no longer just for carving on Halloween, they represent Autumn and the change in seasons, getting all your cosy stuff back out of storage and decorating your home with Autumn bits and bobs… and pumpkins!!
Add to that the fact that we are still in a pandemic, and you want to do safe, socially distanced outdoor activities – well, pumpkin picking ticks all those boxes. There are loads of pumpkin patches around the country, and our nearest one is at Garsons Farm in Surrey. The pumpkin picking combined with lunch at the cafe and shopping at their garden centre (not just plants but Christmas plus the most amazing toy shop and farm shop), we had a brilliant day out.
Location: Garsons PYO Farm, Winterdown Road, Esher, Surrey, KT10 8LS
Mon to Sat 8.30am – 5pm
Sun 11am – 5pm
Parking: Free Car park on site
Public Transport: Number 715 bus from Esher train station or a half-an-hour walk from Hersham train station
Cost: You must book a slot online in advance – £4 per adult, £1 per child, under 2s free – the veg that you pick will be taken off what you paid to enter on the day.
Book a slot in advance: Yes – book here
Food: Yes at the cafe inside the garden centre
Toilets: Yes inside the garden centre
Pushchair-friendly: Yes – bear in mind it might be muddy if it has been raining.
Booking a Farm Pass
Garsons release their dates one week at a time. So if you are looking now, the dates for the next week will be available – have a look here. You will be given a time and you have up to one hour from that time to enter. Once you are there, you can stay up to 2 hours on the fields. No group bookings over 6 people are allowed.
Monday – Saturday: 9:00am, 9:30am, 10:00am, 10:30am, 11:00am, 11:30am, 12:00pm, 12:30pm, 1:00pm, 1:30pm, 2:00pm, 2:30pm, 3:00pm, 3:30pm*, 4:00pm*
Sunday: 10:00am, 10:30am, 11:00am, 11:30am, 12:00pm, 12:30pm, 1:00pm, 1:30pm, 2:00pm, 2:30pm, 3:00pm, 3:30pm*, 4:00pm*
*The farm gates close at 5pm so ensure you arrive promptly. They suggest that for 4:00pm bookings you arrive no later than 4:15pm to allow enough time to pick and pay on exit.
To get to the farm you have to drive through the garden centre car park and at the back is a single track that winds through the PYO farm. We had to show a member off staff our Farm Pass on my phone before driving through. The pumpkin field is right at the end, so keep driving past the berry fields and apples. You’ll know when you’ve reached the right car park because it will be the one with lots of cars – next to sweetcorn and red cabbage.
We were there on the weekend just gone and there were loads of pumpkins. Seeing all the orange really is an amazing sight. The kids were so excited, hey, we were all excited. The advanced booking system is great as it meant there weren’t too many people on the field at the same time. We saw lots of piles of pumpkins set up and families taking photos of their children – got to get that snap for the ‘gram! Here are mine, believe it or not, it was Lily’s idea to wear their matching ghost sweatshirts from last year!
Pumpkin picking is not as easy as it looks. They are heavy, especially the really big ones, and muddy underneath as that’s where they have been growing. Also the stems are really prickly. There were a few yelps from us!
For me, I wanted to find pumpkins that looked a bit unusual and a variety of sizes. If you look carefully you can find green pumpkins and white pumpkins.
Next to the pumpkin field are the sweetcorn fields and rows of cabbage – very smelly!
After an hour of picking, we got back in our car and drove to the exit where there are little huts for paying. At the hut they weigh what you’ve picked and you show your entry ticket so they take the cost off that. We picked two medium sized pumpkins and three small pumpkins and that came to £7 – under our £10 entry fee. Damn, we should have picked more!
We drove back to the garden centre car park so we could go in and eat at the cafe – plus have a loo stop. The cafe is really nice, lovely decor and the food is sooooo good. It’s really worth a visit – lots of people say they do the best hot chocolate. Have a look at the menu here. There was a queue but it was fast moving. You get seated at a table and one person has to go up and order.
And then the garden centre itself is like a shopping centre! Christmas shop is out, and the toy department is like a proper huge toy shop and so clean.
Finally at the other side of the tills is the kitchen dept and Farm Shop – it is seriously like a feast for your eyes. We loved browsing the quirky items they stocked, and ended up buying coloured popcorn.
An afternoon at Garsons Farm and Garden Centre is like a proper outing. I can totally recommend it. Let me know if you go!