Darker, cosier, colourful, it is my favourite season by far - Autumn is here. If you live in South East England and are looking for some places to explore here are a few ideas.
Beluncle Farm. Open from October 12th, 2019 for PYO pumpkins. Beluncle Farm in Hoo near Rochester in Kent is celebrating its 10th year of pumpkin picking. We took a trip last year and the variety on offer was amazing, plus they also had rainbow corn!
PYO Pumpkins Beluncle Farm Stoke Road Hoo, Rochester Kent ME3 9LU
Winkworth Arboretum. Winkworth Arboretum is owned by the National Trust and it is near Godalming in Surrey, just a short drive from Guildford town centre. The trees there are stunning all year but particularly during the Autumn. You will see maples, acers, larch, hickory, liquidambar (American sweetgum) showing off their amazing colours as well as mighty oak trees, firs and chestnut trees.
Tulleys Farm. Tulleys Farm in Crawley, West Sussex has some amazing seasonal attractions notably Europe's largest Scream Park - Tulleys Shocktober Fest! Followed by the family friendly and fun packed Spook Fest. They also have pick your own pumpkins and a maize maze. We had a day out there two years ago and absolutely loved it!
Sheffield Park Gardens. Another beauty. We have only visited these wonderful gardens in the summer but I have seen the most amazing photographs taken in the Autumn. Sheffield Park Garden is owned by the National Trust, it's an informal landscape garden five miles east of Haywards Heath, in East Sussex. It was originally laid out in the 18th century by Capability Brown. There are huge redwoods, beautiful lakes - a great place for a walk around.
Picture by David Sellman
Picture by Marianne Majerus
Kew Gardens. The amount of times we have driven past Kew but never been inside. I hope to change that soon. Artist Dale Chihuly is exhibiting his luminous glass artworks in the gardens until October 2019 and they look absolutely magical. This Autumn, Kew will host an exciting line up of activities focused around plant names, words, and their importance in the world of botany. Families will be invited to head into festival tents to explore Kew’s wild stories and the discoveries that have shaped the Gardens.
Pictures used with permission from Kew Gardens.
Knole Park. Knole Park in Sevenoaks is Kent's last medieval deer park and is home to a 350-strong wild deer herd. They're descendants of those hunted by Henry VIII and roam the 1,000 acres of parkland year-round. Last time we visited there the kids loved how close they managed to get to the deer. This month they have an outdoor cinema featuring Cinderella and Christopher Robin, plus Halloween workshops, Museums at Night attic tours, conservation week and the last chance to wander around Knole’s showrooms before they close for their restorative winter hibernation in November.
Priory Farm. Priory Farm near Redhill in Surrey has always been a favourite of ours. In the Autumn they do tractor rides to the pumpkin field, a spooky discovery trail and they have a witches cave in the farm shop.
Oktoberryfest. I couldn't not share this as it is so local to us. The full Bavarian Oktoberfest experience returns to Godstone, Surrey this year. This is an exclusive ‘strictly limited numbers’, ticket only event with allocated seating, table service, traditional Oktoberfest fayre and the finest Reinheitsgebot German beer imported specially from Bavaria and served in a massive stein. Tickets are on sale now for October 4th, 5th and 6th, 2019.