Introduction to the Pumpkin Walk
I have a confession: I’ve never been to a ‘proper’ pumpkin patch. If Instagram is to be believed, I feel like I’m in the minority. All I see in the weeks running up to Halloween are muddy boots, armfuls of pumpkins and the subsequent intricately carved decorations. The thing is: I don’t really like pumpkin. I don’t like carving. It creates a lot of mess and I don’t know what to do with the innards to make the most of it. This year, however, I did have a four year old who was all about the pumpkins. So I had a bit of dilemma. Thankfully, I stumbled across the Pumpkin Walk at Bodenham Arboretum and after months of fancying a trip there for some photography fun, it was obvious there was reason enough for both Pickle and I to enjoy the experience.
Where is Bodenham Arboretum?
Just three miles north of Kidderminster, Bodenham Arboretum is an easy distance from Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Worcester. It’s a 134 acre arboretum, beautiful in any season, with a wonderful array of tree and shrub species around several lovely ponds. For us, it was about a forty minute drive, ending in the most wonderful views before descending into the Arboretum’s valley.
What does it cost?
The Pumpkin Walk was available during October 2020 Half Term, and seeing as that’s during Bodenham Arboretum’s High Season, ticket prices were as follows:
|Adult (Aged 17+)||£6.50|
|Child (Aged 5 – 16)||£3.50|
|Child (Aged 4 and under)||FREE|
|Family Ticket (2 adults, 4 children)||£18.00|
|Wheelchair Users / Disabled||£3.50|
The Pumpkin Walk
The Pumpkin Walk itself is wonderful! Never have I seen so many differently carved pumpkins – I can’t even calculate how many hours of work must have gone into creating all the clever and funny pumpkin scenes. From the very start of the trail, which is about a mile long loop around the largest of the ponds, taking in some of the farm buildings on route, we barely walked a few metres without having something to spot and marvel at.
With it being our first visit to the Arboretum, it was easy to navigate our way around, and there are a few little bits to explore extra to the route if you take a little detour over one of the little bridges onto an island on the pond. Be warned: it was very muddy during our visit, and I’m very glad we were wearing wellies! We played a little bit of Hide and Seek in and out of the trees, which Pickle found hilarious and we took the opportunity to collect some wonderfully multicoloured leaves for a school project too.
Our visit in October 2020 was during the Covid-19 pandemic. The main restaurant on site was closed, but there was an outdoor kiosk just inside the entrance serving food and drinks (sandwiches, snacks and cakes along with hot and cold drinks) as well as a second cafe stop about three quarters of the way around the Pumpkin Walk. We were able to access the inside toilets next to the restaurant (available at the start and end of the trail). The car park is free and plentiful.
Pickle was rather enamoured with a Gingerbread Man ‘Mummy’ which we ate at the tables outside the restaurant by the side of the pond, at the start and the end of the walk. It was a great incentive for good behaviour on the way around as he’d spotted them at the start and knew he could have one at the end if he didn’t run off!
Is it Covid safe?
I was impressed with the measures put in place to ensure safety during the Coronavirus pandemic. Tickets were allocated to two-hour time slots to control the number of visitors at any one time, meaning it was very easy to keep a 2m distance from other families along the walk. It required a little bit of manoeuvring and communication at the entrance which was the most congested point, but a one-way system worked well. There was even a 2m reminder in pumpkin form!
Would we visit again?
Absolutely! I’d love to visit the Pumpkin Walk at Bodenham Arboretum again next year, and will be setting myself a reminder to look at how it will operate this October half term. We have already returned to do the Nativity trail before Christmas, and would love to enjoy the Arboretum in Spring and Summer too and see how the wonderful array of plants, trees and shrubs look as they bud and bloom. Check out the What’s On page for Bodenham Arboretum to see what events they have coming up.