• Hannah Armitage

Pumpkin Hunting at Castle Ashby Gardens 🎃

So here we are, it feels like the summer holidays ended 5 minutes ago and we are hit with another half term. After working full time for 7 years and never getting to really enjoy the holidays with Jack, I now try to take full advantage that during the school holidays I get him 24 hours a day.

Sometimes I just love chilling with Jack, watching movies and enjoy being with him, he’s my best mate. But I really wanted to take him out and do something different during this half term.

I don’t normally blog about places i take Jack because if I’m honest I follow other mum blogs and Facebook pages that concentrate on places to take kids and they do it brilliantly, I don’t think its something I need to cover.

However we had such a brilliant day Pumpkin Hunting I just had to write about it.

I was seeing lots of mum’s on Facebook going to pumpkin fields and picking their own pumpkins (so American) but I loved that idea and suggested it to my friend who was looking after her niece and nephew. We searched for the best one to go to and in our search we found Castle Ashby Gardens.

Now it wasn’t going and physically picking our own pumpkins but it was a ‘pumpkin hunt’ the kids loved this idea because it was like an Easter egg hunt.

I had a quick look through the website, booked my slot and paid online.

It was very reasonable £2.50 per child, adults free and £5 for parking. So I spent £9.50 (including a coffee at the end) and we took our own snacks. The grounds of Castle Ashby were absolutely beautiful and so much bigger than I imagined. I thought this hunt would be a few kids looking in bushes for pumpkins. Oh no it was walking around huge lavish gardens that were absolutely beautiful, looking out for 12 pumpkins and a witch along the way.

If I’m honest the pumpkin hunt was not about finding pumpkins it was about the surroundings. Every step of the walk you was surrounded by beautiful flowers, plants, Ponds, ancient buildings, trees that Jack loved to try and climb. There was even a small farm with pigs, bunny’s, goats, meerkats, birds and little monkeys. That farm took up most of our time coo’ing over the cute animals. There was art work of walking life size elephants which was breathtaking and a large beautiful lake with huge fish swimming around.

The pumpkin hunt was very well organised. When we arrived at Castle Ashby we was directed on where to park the car, then we made our way to the reception desk.

We showed our virtual tickets and the kids were given their pumpkin hunt bits of paper to fill in with a pencil and we followed the arrows around the Gardens trying to find the hidden pumpkins.

We actually missed a few pumpkins on the hunt because we was to busy taking in everything else! The slot for your hunt is one hour however it did take us a little longer with 3 children who wouldn’t pick their feet up by the end.

I wore heeled Chelsea boots which I really regretted, I didn’t realise how much I would be walking. It was a dry day but some of the paths were still a little muddy so I can imagine if it rained it could be quite muddy. trainers/wellies would be better foot attire for adults and children.

At the end of the hunt the kids went to collect their prize. A Halloween goody bag with sweets, chocolate, a pumpkin balloon and some slime that Jack LOVED!

Once the collected their prizes we let them run wild on the park. My friend and i took advantage of being able to rest our feet and sit down with a coffee that we got from the van situated next to the park

There was also food available and a tea room however we took out own snacks.

When we left if had felt like we had been there all day. So much squeezed into just over 2 hours. Because it was about a 30 minute drive from Milton Keynes it was exciting for the kids, like a road trip. We got back to MK went for a McDonald’s and all agreed it was a great day overall. The pumpkin hunt is obviously only a seasonal thing and the last day is this Sunday so you have 4 days to go. But if you can’t make this event this place is beautiful and would defiantly recommend to visit the gardens and farms. To book your pumpkin hunt head to their website ⬇️


We had the best day! Lots of Love Hannah xxx