A Guide to Pumpkin Picking in Cornwall

October 08th, 2021

It wouldn’t be Halloween without the chance to carve your very own pumpkin. And what better feeling is there than picking that pumpkin yourself?

So, dust off those wellies and get into the spooky spirit when you stay in one of our child-friendly cottages in Cornwall by checking out any one of these great pumpkin patches this autumn.

The History of Pumpkins

The pumpkin is a member of the Cucurbitaceae family, which includes a variety of other fruits that come from flowering plants. That’s right; a pumpkin is technically a fruit!

Pumpkins are believed to have originated in Central America over 7,500 years ago, although the first pumpkins were nothing like the autumnal treat we love today. They were small and hard with a bitter flavour, but thanks to their solid, thick flesh, they were perfect for storing during cold weather.

It became a challenge for women in the 17th century to find new and delicious ways to serve pumpkin, which ultimately led to the variety of ways it can be eaten and enjoyed today.

A lit and carved pumpkin

A History of Pumpkin Carving

Pumpkins are good for more than just eating. Pumpkin carving has roots in many ancient cultures, particularly Celtic.

The term ‘Jack-o’-Lantern’ was taken from an Irish Folk Tale called ‘Stingy Jack’. In this story, Jack invited the Devil to sit down and drink with him. However, living up to his name, Jack wanted to drink for free, and so he tricked the Devil into paying for their bar tab!

Not a fan of being swindled, the Devil cursed Jack so that when he passed, his soul wouldn’t be able to move on to the afterlife. Jack wandered the Earth alone with nothing but a single lump of coal for light. He would place this coal inside a hollowed-out turnip which earned him the new name, ‘Jack of the Lantern’.

From then on, the Irish began carving out vegetables in his likeness as a way to drive the wandering spirit of Jack away while also offering a guiding light to good spirits.

So, where do pumpkins come into it? In the 1800s, many Irish families immigrated to America, where they found that pumpkins made for much better carving canvases.

Someone holding a pumping by the stalk

Where Can You Go Pumpkin Picking in Cornwall?

If you’re looking to get into the Halloween spirit, then make sure you check out our top picks for pumpkin patches in Cornwall.

Trevaskis Farm, Hayle (Seasonal)

Trevaskis Farm is the perfect place to pick your own fruit and veg!

With 28 acres of stunning Cornish countryside, Trevaskis Farm offers the chance for you to pick your own pumpkins (when they’re in season) no matter the weather! They’ve also got a brilliant on-site farm shop and restaurant with some of the most delicious desserts around.

There’s no need to book; just pop in to pick your pumpkins at any time between 10 am and 5 pm. Keep your eye on their website to see when those pesky pumpkins are ready!

Scaryland at Dairyland Farm World, Newquay (23rd- 31st October)

A trip to Scaryland is the perfect way to treat the kids this Halloween.

Open every day from 10 am until 5 pm, there’s a whole host of activities to keep everyone entertained. Not only do you get to pick your own pumpkin from Dairyland Farm World’s own pumpkin patch, but you can also carve it right then and there to take home with you.

There’s also a Creepy Craft Workshop and access to the rest of the park, including the Farmhouse Kitchen.

Cornish Maize Maze and Fun Farm, Saltash (16th – 17th October and 23rd – 31st October)

If you’re looking for a fun, family day out, then look no further than the Cornish Maize Maze this October. With pumpkin picking, a Halloween maze and farm animals, you’re sure to have a blast!

The pumpkin patch is open from 10:30 am until 5 pm each day, with pumpkins available for a little as £1!

Lobbs Autumn Fest, Heligan (23rd – 30th October)

Celebrate autumn in style this October at the Lobbs Farm Shop’s annual pre-Halloween event, Autumn Fest.

Every ticket holder receives a tractor and trailer ride to and from the pumpkin patch, as well as their pick of hundreds of pumpkins to take home. What’s more, they have a variety of different pumpkin varieties available. If you’re tired of the standard orange, why not pick up one of their stunning white ‘Ghost Pumpkins’?

There’s something for everyone at Autumn Fest, from hay bale photo shoots to baby lambs and even a free Halloween cupcake!

There’s no shortage of amazing spots to pick your own pumpkins in Cornwall this autumn. So, whether you’re looking to guide the way for good spirits, or you want to try your hand at making the perfect pumpkin pie, make sure you head down to one of these great pumpkin patches and find your perfect pick.

For more autumnal activities, check out our guide.

Things to do in Cornwall in Autumn