Family Days Out in West Sussex: Slindon Pumpkins in Autumn

Last weekend we headed inland a little to the village of Slindon.  This sleepy village is well known for its annual pumpkin display, a tradition begun by the late Ralph Upton back in 1968.  From early October, a wide range of more than 50 varieties of pumpkin and 30 types of squash are on sale in the barns surrounding his former home, and a stunning display created.  This year the theme is The Birds and the Bees, with donations being collected for the Sussex Wildlife Trust.

It was slightly surreal being in 'Britain's pumpkin capital', this tiny village in the shadow of the Downs with visitors discussing how far they had come to see the spectacle, and what they would be cooking with the pumpkins and squash they were buying.  But the range of colours and shapes was incredible, the girls loved it.  Lara especially enjoyed such a multi-sensual experience and spent ages weighing them in her hands, smelling them and feeling the different textures of their skins.

After longer than we might have expected looking at pumpkins, surprisingly fascinating, we went for a wander round the village and a walk through the National Trust-run woods.  Our little architect-in-waiting, Sophia, was desperate to have a look at the church, which we were delighted to find open.

Tatiana was fascinated by the variety of memorial ornaments in the graveyard and wanted us to read all the names and tributes out.  I really wished I'd had my good camera with us for the church interiors, but my old pocket standby didn't do too badly with the flower colours etc.

Next we headed into the woods, where we hunted for trolls under trip trap bridges, discovered fairies, fought monsters, spotted Gruffalo tracks and hewn-off claws, hid in dens, found treasure, and hugged ancient trees.  I love how imaginative these girls are.  Who needs electronics?!

We had a brilliant time, only topped by finding this gorgeous kitty tapping on a window to get our attention on the way back to the car!

A fun autumn day.  Just as well we went when we did though, as the next day we had a car crash (other party's fault) and it looks like the car's going to be written off.  Grrr, only had it six months too!  Hopefully we'll have some more autumnal adventures soon, even if they are only within walking distance!

P.S. I need to transport this lovely Slindon house to my ideal location, add a few acres, and get it on the market for £50 - #perfecthouse!

Sophia's coat c/o Miioon, girls' boots c/o Bogs.

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