The first item on our Autumn Bucket List was to visit Slindon Pumpkins. This has become a little tradition for us, as we have visited very year since Monkey was born. In fact the picture of him at 4 months old sitting in a pumpkin, is actually a Slindon Pumpkins, pumpkin! I still remember the odd look I got when I asked for a pumpkin big enough to put my baby in! Each year the display seems to get more elaborate, this year it is a tribute to the 150th anniversary of the Shoreham Lifeboat.
The day we visited the village was also holding its annual Apple Picking Day. Unfortunately we had already been out for most for the day in Brighton so missed the majority of this and didn’t really have much time to stop. Maybe in future years we will plan to do both at the same time. It did mean that the village was busier that usual. Slindon Pumpkins is based at the top of the village along Top Road. It gets busy, but there is on road parking or you can park in the village near the cafe and walk up giving you a chance to take in the quaintness of the village. There is a slight hill and in some places you will need to walk on the road, so for these reasons probably not an ideal walk for the very young or the elderly.
There is a vast range of pumpkins, squash and marrows to choose from, I love that there is always someone on hand to give you advice about the difference varieties and suggestions on cooking. They also have their own recipe booklet which you can purchase for 50p.
Monkey set about looking for one that he could carve, our medium pumpkin (in the back ground of the picture above) cost £3.50. Its much prettier than the ones you find in the supermarkets. Plus I don’t mind paying a little more to support a local business.
One of the other things which really attracts me is that you can buy small versions of most varieties. We brought some last year and Monkey played with them all the way through to Christmas. They are great for sensory play, Autumn bins, craft activities and decorations. Plus as many of them are eating varieties you can just roast them when he gets bored. Some are sold by weight, some are individually priced from 50p, the more ornate ones are £2 each.
They also have some ornamental gourds on sale. I remember how these use to fascinate me at school, one of my teachers put together a display with them one year around an art project. We all needed to draw one, and I still remember being really interested in its texture and colours. Monkey choose one which is called a Goblin Egg, a smooth white variety about twice the size of a golf ball. I think he maybe disappointed when a goblin doesn’t actually appear judging by the conversation we had on the way home!
All in all you probably only need 15 minutes in the actual courtyard. Taking photos, marvelling at the huge varieties and picking out the ones you want to take home to cook, play with or carve. However it is definitely worth a visit next time you are heading over to Arundel, many families go back year after year.
Things you need to know:
- Open daily 10am-5pm, please check their website or call for dates
- Address – 4 Top Road, Slindon, Arundel, BN180RP
- www.slindonpumpkins.co.uk has photos of the previous years displays and contact details
What activities are you up to this Autumn time to celebrate the changing of the seasons?