To visit the Gardens, House & Gallery, please book a ticket online before you arrive. The Stables, Plant Centre & Caffè + Gelato are free to enter. Summer Late openings take place every Wednesday evening (except 30th June, 22nd September)
Halloween pumpkins are hallmarks of the season. While they've only been carved as the Jack O'Lanterns we know and love since the 19th century, the tradition of hollowing the fruit out to form a lantern crosses continents and dates back centuries.
If you'll be carving pumpkins at home, use our guide to pumpkin varieties to choose the right one for you and get creative with our pumpkin carving tips. If you're feeling green-fingered, swot up on our Head Gardener's squash-growing tips and grow the perfect pumpkins for next year. Of course, you can always visit us for the Great Golden Pumpkin Hunt for some extra special pumpkin activities!
For the biggest pumpkins, try Wallace’s Whoppers and Atlantic Giant.
For the tastiest pumpkins, avoid the supermarket if you can and source your pumpkin from a local grower. They are more likely to have a range of varieties available so you can choose the right taste. Don’t discount squashes either, which often very closely resemble a pumpkin in all but name and can be very delicious.
For decorative pumpkins, Jack Be Little and Munchkin varieties are perfectly formed and petite.
Hestercombe's very own golden pumpkin will be hidden away in the gardens soon. Join the Great Golden Pumpkin Hunt family trail from the 27th October to the 4th November. - complete the quest and claim a chocolate prize!
We asked Head Gardener Claire Greenslade to share her expert tips for growing Halloween pumpkins. Over to Claire!
As the days draw in and the air takes on an autumnal crispness, cosy comfort food is top of the menu. Carve even one pumpkin and you’ll end up with a glut of flesh and seeds and this year, we challenge you to cook it rather than chuck it.
Pumpkin pie is the American classic, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy its warm, autumnal taste on this side of the pond too.
If savoury is more your style, how about a hearty bowl of homemade pumpkin soup, which makes a great starter or lunch dish.
If you're trying pumpkin for the first time and aren't sure if you'll be a fan, why not incorporate it into another dish? Rustic roast vegetables, drizzled in olive oil and garnished with herbs, are an excellent choice.
The gardens are ablaze with oranges and reds as autumn takes hold and the hedgerows burst with berries. Crunch through leaves, collect sweet chestnuts and seek out the Golden Pumpkin on our Halloween half-term family trail.