Pumpkin picking in Essex: 10 of the best patches for Halloween 2022

Pumpkin picking in Essex is not to be missed with Halloween around the corner

Pumpkin picking in Essex illustrated by field of white and orange pumpkins
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Pumpkin picking in Essex is a great day out. And, we've rounded up 10 of the best farms that promise warm family memories.

Tis the season to get spooky. And, just like Christmas - this time of year there are so many fun Halloween party food ideas (opens in new tab), craft activities, and did-you-know reasons why we celebrate Halloween (opens in new tab).

To celebrate, besides the classic Halloween movie (opens in new tab) marathon and the opportunity to dress up, is of course the obligatory pumpkin-picking trip. And it seems the American tradition has really caught on in Essex, with ten PYO (Pick Your Own) pumpkin opportunities available right on your doorstep...

Pumpkin picking in Essex: 10 of the best farms to visit

1. Marsh Farm Pumpkin Picking Village, Chelmsford

Take a trip to Marsh Farm Pumpkin Picking Village in Chelmsford for Halloween 2022. Enjoy a pumpkin spiced latte in the cafe after an hour of classic pumpkin picking. And be sure to pick up a few spooky decorations at their 'Haunting Halloween Shop'. Their special Pumpkin Night sessions also include a frightful fun fair that is sure to have the kids screaming after dark. With something for all the family, it's definitely a contender for the best pumpkin picking spot in Essex. Plus they even have slots to take your furry friends with dog-friendly sessions.

Mum-of-one Debs tells us how they go every year as a family. "I'm obsessed with creating memories for Louis. We had the best time last year and it's now made it onto our 'traditions' list. The whole thing was beautifully set out and there was so much choice. I even bought a white pumpkin for my table centrepiece." 

Information
Opening times: 6th - 31st October, Mon-Sun, 10am-5pm| Price: Tickets from Child £3.99, Adult £3.99 Infants under 6 months free, Carer £2.99 | Age suitability: Best for ages from 3+ | Parking: yes, free at farm car park | Disabled access: Yes | Children’s play area: No and the ticket doesn't include entry to Marsh Farm | Toilet on site: Yes | Dog friendly: On some days - check site | Note: Cashless - only accept major credit cards | Address: Marsh Farm, Marsh Farm Rd, South Woodham Ferrers, Chelmsford CM3 5WP

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2. Hatter’s Farm, Bishop’s Stortford

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Hatter's Farm is award winning after receiving the London & South East England Prestige Award for Farm of the Year. So it really is the perfect place to enjoy Halloween 2022 and to pick your own pumpkin - with the farm boasting over 25 varieties of orange loveliness. There are also plenty of other Halloween-themed activities to take part in for you to make a real family day out of it. Get lost in their Maize Maze (£3 pp) and try your hand at hitting the target with the Pumpkin Cannon (£2.50 pp). Their Spooky Pumpkin Nights is also returning for 2021 should you fancy a few scares while picking at night... Price of pumpkins varies from £1 to £12.

Parents Mack and Suz loved the twilight pumpkin picking; "The kids loved having their own torches to look after and use on the pumpkin field. It was such a different experience, they loved it."

Information
Day time opening times:
 October 2nd, 8th, 9th, 15th, 16, 19th, 20th, 22nd, 23rd, 24th - 30th. 0930am - 430pm| Night time opening times: October 22nd - 24th and 27th - 30th, 5pm - 9pm | Price: Tickets £1 per person | Age suitability: Best for ages from 3+ | Parking: Free | Disabled access: May be difficult | Children’s play area: No and the ticket doesn't include entry to Marsh Farm | Toilet on site: Yes | Dog friendly: on leads and not in the pumpkin field | Address: Hatter's Farm, Takeley, Bishop's Stortford. CM22 6NP 

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3. Foxes Farm Produce, Basildon

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Rally up the troops to celebrate Halloween 2022 and set off to Watchhouse Farm in Basildon for some good old-fashioned pumpkin picking. The site is one of two popular pumpkin patches run by Foxes Farms, which has been running since 2015. Celebrities including Stacey Solomon, Denise Van Outen and the cast of TOWIE have all been known to stop by during the season. So you might spot a star during your squash session too. Expect the usual picking fun, with over 20 varieties to choose from, plus face painting (extra charge), a field of games such as Hoola hoops tug of war, and mini tractors, a pumpkin scavenger hunt, and silly Halloween-themed photo opportunities to entertain the family.

Dad-of-two, Lee tells us; "My three loved it last year. They were shattered by the time we got home after a day in the fresh air running around fields - a kid's dream."

Information
Opening times: October 1st, 2nd, 8th, 9th, 15th, 16th, 17th - 23rd, 9am - 4pm| Price: Tickets £3.75 - £5 per person aged over 1 year | Age suitability: Best for ages from 3+ | Parking: Free | Disabled access: May be difficult | Children’s play area: No | Toilet on site: Yes | Dog friendly: No | Address: Basildon SS15 4ER 

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4. Foxes Farm Produce, Colchester

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Book your fantastic Halloween 2022 day out today at Foxes Farm's second patch based in Colchester. One of the best pumpkin picking spots in Essex, spend some time selecting your squash and pumpkins before finding out some tasty and arty ways to use them. Little ones will also love exploring the Bale mountain and other farm-based obstacles like welly wangling! It really is a great way to tire them out before bedtime.

Information
Opening times: October 1st, 2nd, 8th, 9th, 15th, 16th, 17th - 23rd, 9am - 4pm| Price: Tickets £3.75 - £5 per person aged over 1 year | Age suitability: Best for ages from 3+ | Parking: Free | Disabled access: May be difficult | Children’s play area: No | Toilet on site: Yes | Dog friendly: No | Address: Colchester CO6 3PR

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5. Hurley’s Pumpkin Forest, Wickford

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Head down to Hurley's farm for some serious Halloween fun this October. Explore the Witches's Maze, try your hand at Pumpkin Bowling and challenge dad to have a go at the Wizard Welly Wanging. Your Halloween 2022 will be made whether you choose a day or twilight session - and note that any pumpkins you want to take away will incur an additional cost (50p/£1 per squash).

Mum-of-three, Dionne tells us; "The kids look forward to this every year and - even though my oldest is 15 now - he still can't help smirk at 'welly wangling', it's such a fun day out for all of us. We're thinking of trying the twilight slot now the kids are a little older, it looks like fun!"

Information
Opening times: October 8th- 31st, 9am - 345pm| Price: Tickets £10 per car on pea £5 per car off peak | Age suitability: Best for ages from 3+ | Parking: Free | Disabled access: May be difficult | Children’s play area: No | Toilet on site: Yes | Dog friendly: No | Address: Hurley's Pumpkin Forest, Woodham Road, Battlesbridge, Wickford SS11 7QL

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6. Pumpkin Jims, Saffron Waldren

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As activities for Halloween 2022 go, this two-hour pumpkin picking for £1 is a winner. No wonder Pumpkin Jim's patch is one of the most popular pumpkin picking spots in Essex. From big carvers to delicious squashes - Jim's patch has a huge variety of pumpkins to choose from. Plus food trucks serving hot snacks and drinks to warm you up as the weather gets a bit cooler. Some of the slots have already sold out, so be sure to book this one online quick!

Information
Opening times: October 8th- 31st, 10-3pm| Price: Tickets £1 per person (plus 56p booking fee) | Age suitability: Best for ages from 3+ | Parking: Free | Disabled access: May be difficult | Children’s play area: No | Toilet on site: Yes | Dog friendly: Yes, kept on lead| Address: Ickleton, Saffron Walden CB10 1TA

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7. Lathcoats Farm, Chelmsford

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PYO Pumpkins at Lathcoats Farm from as little as £1 a person and make your Halloween 2022 one to remember. The entry includes tutorials on pumpkin carving and a fun Halloween hunt activity that kids can sink their teeth into. Plus they've got you covered (quite literally!) if the weather takes a turn for the worst. Be sure to book your tickets online in advance. 

Information
Opening times: October 15th - 30th, 9-3pm| Price: Tickets £1 per person | Age suitability: Best for ages from 3+ | Parking: Free | Disabled access: May be difficult | Children’s play area: No | Toilet on site: Yes | Dog friendly: Yes, kept on lead around the farm but not allowed on fields | Address: Beehive Lane, Galleywood, CM2 8LX

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8. Cammas Hall, Bishop's Stortford

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Cammas Hall promises some spooktacular pumpkin picking this Halloween 2022. In addition to the classic PYO fun is a bumper craft tent with special Halloween arts and crafts (opens in new tab) plus the themed maize maze (all available for an additional fee). We recommend treating the kids to a toffee apple (opens in new tab) in the Farm Shop, where you'll find a few other ghoulish goodies too. They also offer SEN sessions - where it's quieter with interactive characters switched off. Tickets available for Thursday 13th and Thursday 27th October.

Nan-of-two, Suz; "I take my grandkids here every year, they love it! This year I might treat myself to a pumpkin decorating workshop too."

Information
Opening times:
 October 1st - 30th (not Mondays) 9am-4pm| Price: Tickets £1-£6 per person (aged 2 years +) | Age suitability: Best for ages from 3+ | Parking: Free | Disabled access: Yes across the farm and toilets | Children’s play area: Yes | Toilet on site: Yes | Dog friendly: Yes, on a lead at all times| Address: Hatfield Broad Oak, Bishop's Stortford CM22 7JT, UK

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9. Hasty's Adventure Farm, Clacton on Sea

Hasty's Adventure Farm is an all day event! It makes the perfect half term fun this Halloween 2022. The kids will love following the child-friendly Happy Ghost Trail, taking photos in the Pumpkin Selfie Area and following the fun pumpkin trail to the patch - avoiding some giant (but friendly) spiders along the way - then enjoy a game of Pumpkin Skittles, all before selecting a mini wheelbarrow to help pick your pumpkin and take home and carve. They also have sheep, goats, pigs, turkeys, chickens, calves and Alpaca's to feed and enjoy as well.

Entrance to the farm plus pumpkin picking costs £8.95 per person and pre-booking is essential. Head down for some Halloween fun between 22nd - 31st October 2021.

Information
Opening times:
 October 22nd - 30th (not Mondays) 10-5pm| Price: Tickets from £4.95 - £18.45 per person (under 1 year are free) | Age suitability: Best for ages from 3+ | Parking: Free | Disabled access: Yes across the farm and toilets | Children’s play area: Yes | Toilet on site: Yes | Dog friendly: no| Address: West Rd, Clacton-on-Sea CO15 1AG

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10. Cobbs Farm, Maldon

There's free entry and no booking necessary for an afternoon of PYO pumpkins at Cobbs. Rock up to their large farm and take your pick from hundreds of pumpkins available on site. Simple and satisfying!

Information
Opening times:
 October 21st - 31st daily, 10-4pm | Price: Free and no booking | Age suitability: Best for ages from 3+ | Parking: Free | Disabled access: YCould be difficult| Children’s play area: no | Toilet on site: no | Dog friendly: no| Address: Cobbs Farm, Goldhanger, Maldon, Essex

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What month do pumpkin patches open?

Pumpkin picking is a great Autumnal day out, as the season runs from Sept 25th until end of October.

Top Pumpkin picking tips

When you're trying to hustle the family out the door sometimes appropriate footwear or coats can be forgotten. Here are a few top tips to ensure you and your family have a top day;

  • Wear wellies - the pumpkins are normally laid out in fields so if it's been at all wet it's likely to be muddy. And bring a spare pair of shoes for the car.
  • PYO pumpkins are all different, and some are better to eat than others, be sure to ask before you choose. 
  • Many farms sell pumpkins by weight, so be sure to check before you let the kids choose any they like - it could cost a small fortune otherwise. 
  • Heavier pumpkins are best for caving as they have thicker walls. 
  • Many farms will have wheelbarrows to  borrow but take some sturdy tote bags just in case they don't.

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Emily Stedman
Features Editor

Emily Stedman is the Features Editor for GoodTo covering all things TV, entertainment, royal, lifestyle, health and wellbeing. Boasting an encyclopaedic knowledge on all things TV, celebrity and royals, career highlights include working at HELLO! Magazine and as a royal researcher to Diana biographer Andrew Morton on his book Meghan: A Hollywood Princess. In her spare time, Emily can be found eating her way around London, swimming at her local Lido or curled up on the sofa binging the next best Netflix show.