Pumpkin Recipes

Posted on October 31st, 2016

It may be Halloween, but pumpkins are for more than just carving spooky faces into; this often overlooked winter squash is a lovely nutritious ingredient which can be used in so many culinary delights. Pumpkins are in season October to December in the UK so now is the time to be making the most of them in lovely comforting dishes such as soups, stews and curries for those cold winter nights. There are numerous recipes and ideas for cooking or baking with pumpkin, here are just a couple to inspire you!

Roasted Pumpkin Soup

(Recipe via: http://www.jamieoliver.com/news-and-features/features/glorious-roasted-pumpkin-soup/)

Bowls Of Pumpkin Soup

Image source: http://bit.ly/2dik3t5














1.5kg Pumpkin
Olive oil
1 Teaspoon dried chilli
1 Tablespoon coriander seeds
1 Large onion
3 Cloves garlic
1 Carrot
1 Stick of celery
1 Litre hot vegetable stock


1. Cut the pumpkin in half, remove the seeds and cut into wedges.
2. Place the wedges on two large baking trays and drizzle over a little olive oil.
3. Finely grind the chilli and coriander seeds with a pinch of salt and sprinkle over the pumpkin with some black pepper.
4. Roast in an oven preheated to 170C for 1 hour or until soft and slightly caramelised at the edges.
5. Roughly chop the onion, garlic, carrot and celery. Heat a lug of olive oil over a medium heat in a large saucepan, add the vegetables and cook for 15 minutes, or until soft and sweet but not coloured.6. When the pumpkin is ready, add to the pan with the hot stock. Blend and add more water if you like a thinner consistency.


Pumpkin Curry With Chickpeas

(Recipe via: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/7732/pumpkin-curry-with-chickpeas/)

Pumpkin Curry With Chickpeas

Image Source: http://bit.ly/1sghlnn















1 tbsp Sunflower oil
3 tbsp Thai yellow curry paste, or vegetarian alternative
2 Onion finely chopped
3 Large stalks lemongrass, bashed with the back of a knife
6 Cardamom pod
1 tbsp Mustard seed
1 Piece pumpkin or a small squash (about 1kg)
250ml Vegetable stock
400ml Can reduced-fat coconut milk
400g Can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 Limes
Large handful mint leaves
Naan bread, to serve


1. Gently fry the curry paste, onions, lemongrass, cardamom and mustard seed in the oil for 2-3 mins.
2. Add the pumpkin into the pan, stir to coat in the paste.
3. Pour the stock and coconut milk into the pan and bring everything to a simmer.
4. Add the chickpeas and continue to cook for about 10 mins until the pumpkin is tender.
5. Squeeze the juice of one of the limes into the pan, cut the other lime into wedges for serving.
6. Just before serving, tear over mint leaves, serve with the lime wedges and warm naan breads.


Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

The seeds of the pumpkin are often discarded during preparation but these could be roasted for a nutritious snack. Rinse the seeds to remove any of the pumpkin flesh, coat in olive oil, spread over a baking tray and then bake until golden. Eat as they are or add to soups or salads.

Pick your own pumpkins October 2016

Posted on October 28th, 2016

Halloween is upon us once again and children and adults alike love nothing more than getting creative and carving pumpkins. While you could easily buy your pumpkins from the supermarket, why not try something a bit different this year and pick your own while having a fun family day out? Numerous farms have ‘pick your own’ pumpkin patches; you may live close to one or be looking for a family activity to do whilst on a cottage holiday. Here are just a few for some inspiration:

Pumpkins in a field at Beluncle Farm, Kent

Image source: www.pyopumpkins.com/gallery

Beluncle Farm, Rochester, Kent

This family owned farm holds an annual Pick Your Own Pumpkin event, taking place until 30th October. Here, you will be able to find a large variety of different types of pumpkins and squashes. The event allows the farm to support their chosen charities of Crohn’s and Colitis UK (CCUK) and Crohn’s in Childhood Research Association (CICRA).

Piglets Adventure Farm, York, North Yorkshire

This farm park in York is holding a Pumpkin Festival until the 30th October. There is a free pumpkin for every child and various activities taking place such as Trick or Treat Tales, a trailer ride to the pumpkin patch and pumpkin carving.

Crockford Bridge Farm, Surrey

The pumpkin patch at this farm has a varied selection of pumpkins to pick from and there is a variety of activities for children such as apple bobbing, face painting and pumpkin carving over half term.

Kenyon Hall Farm, Warrington

This working family farm hosts an annual Pumpkin Festival until 31st October. Pick pumpkins of different shapes, sizes and colours and enjoy activities such as pumpkin carving and spooky story time. There will also be Halloween themed food and drinks to enjoy.

Cannon Hall Farm, Barnsley, South Yorkshire

The annual Pumpkin Festival at Cannon Hall Farm takes place until 31st October. Children can pick and carve a pumpkin and enjoy many other activities available on the farm such as outdoor adventure play, indoor soft play and tractor rides.

Marsh Farm Animal Adventure Park, Essex

The pumpkin patch is open until 31st October; each paying child gets a free pumpkin to pick and carve and tickets also include entry to Witches and Wizards Week.

Over Farm Market, Over, Gloucester

The Spookyard Daytime Family Fun Event at Over Farm is running until 31st October and includes pumpkin picking, carving and quad train rides.

There are so many more “pick your own” farms available, and remember, pumpkins are not just for carving, they are also great to cook with; use them in soups, stews, curries and much more – yummy for the cooler Autumn nights!

Don’t Waste Those Pumpkins

Posted on October 31st, 2015

With Halloween upon us, many of us around the country will be busying ourselves with carving pumpkins. While it can be satisfying producing what can often be described as a work of art from this vegetable, what isn’t so satisfying is throwing away all that lovely pumpkin flesh. Well rather than disposing of it while you get to work creating your masterpiece, why not use it to create a nutritious meal?
To get you started with ideas, how about a simple pumpkin soup? Warming and healthy, perfect for those chilly nights or after some trick or treating with the kids! If you’re on a self-catering holiday cottage break, this would be a lovely dish to return to after a brisk walk in the country air. Get the kids involved – this not only teaches them to be resourceful rather than wasteful but children love to eat something they have had a hand in preparing. Enjoy…and happy carving!

Follow the recipe below for a lovely Pumpkin soup….


  • 1kg/4oz pumpkin
  • 40g/1.5oz butter or margarine
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 900ml/1.5 pints vegetable stock
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 300m/1.5 pints milk
  • Salt and pepper



Remove the seeds of the pumpkin flesh and cut into small cubes. Melt the butter/margarine in a large saucepan. Add the onion, garlic and fry over a low heat until soft but not coloured. Add the pumpkin and toss with the onion for 2-3 minutes. Add the stock and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper and add the ginger, lemon juice and bay leaves. Cover and simmer over a low heat for 20 minutes, until the pumpkin is tender. Discard the bay leaves and blend in a food processor until smooth or press though a strainer. Pour into a saucepan, add the milk and warm gently.

Ghost Walks In The UK

Posted on October 29th, 2015

It’s almost that time of year again so why not do something a bit different for Halloween and take part in one of the many ghost walks that are available throughout the UK. If you have a cottage holiday coming up or are planning to book a last minute break, this could also be a great way to explore your destination by night and hear some spooky stories or discover fascinating local secrets and myths.


The city of York is a popular destination for ghost walks with several on offer, some of which run almost every day; learn all about the ghoulish tales of a city steeped in history. Most tours are on foot but there is also a Ghost Bus Tour on offer – a sightseeing tour with a difference! The coastal towns of Whitby and Robin Hood’s Bay are great opportunities to explore the winding alleyways and hear of tales of shipwrecks, smugglers and local folklore. Or visit the market town of Skipton and pay a visit to the ghosts of Sheep Street; tours are available around the year and there are also Halloween tours available – these tours are for over 16s only but there are also separate children’s Halloween tours available.


Ghost walks take place in the Cornish destinations of St Ives and Penzance and take you through alleyways and graveyards where paranormal activity is still said to be witnessed. One of the tours on offer is led by ghost expert and author Ian Addicoat.


Not for the faint hearted, here’s something a bit different – an overnight ghost walk in Bodmin Jail! Take part in group workshops in different areas of the prison after receiving training in energy management and Reiki, then in the morning, enjoy a full English breakfast included in the price. Definitely not your average evening! Other options for ghost walks in Devon include a tour around the ancient cobbled streets of Plymouth and Brixham, which is reputed to be one of the most haunted places in Britain.


Many of the pubs and stately homes in the county of Dorset are all home to a ghoulish resident; the towns of Dorchester, Weymouth and Bridport all offer ghost walks covering their ancient streets.


Explore the ancient streets of the Roman city of Bath while hearing many haunting stories; one of the most sighted ghosts is the Man in The Black Hat at the Assembly Rooms. Take a ghost walk in Wells, England’s smallest city or for something different, take a tour of the Wookey Hole Caves and unearth the hidden secrets of Halloween.

Cumbria and the Lake District

Enjoy a guided tour and hear many a ghostly tale in the historic city of Carlisle and finish with a Cumberland sausage and mash supper. Or experience the darker side of Cockermouth or the legend and mystery of Keswick – follow ‘The Lady’ if you’re brave!

Southern Scotland and Borders

Edinburgh has several ghost experiences on offer and with some being for adults only, they’re definitely not for the faint hearted! Discover the legendary underground city or take part in a graveyard tour and experience an encounter with The MacKenzie Poltergeist. Learn all about Edinburgh’s grisly past and the infamous characters that once roamed the cobbled streets of the “Old Town.” The hidden history of Dumfries is also waiting to be discovered on a ghost walk that reveals stories such as headless horsemen and tragic spirits. The city of Stirling also has a successful and long standing ghost walk; it’s Old Town being once described as ‘the most densely populated supernatural square mile in all of Scotland.’

So why not partake in a little ghost hunting this Halloween? Go on, we dare you! Search for a Halloween holiday cottage today.

Halloween Breaks 2015

Posted on October 22nd, 2015

Get into the spirit and search for a Halloween holiday home. You’d be a ghoul not to start browsing for a ghost hunting getaway today!

Halloween Breaks 2015






Although there is no guarantee that you will see an apparition, a spectre or a phantom, it is always good to take a break and explore somewhere new or old.


Halloween breaks in the UK are a chance to enjoy ghost walks in historic towns and cities, and sample some sweet treats during your visit. Ghost walks take place all over the UK and here are a few for you to consider.


Cornwall: Falmouth, Penzance, St Ives.

Devon: Bodmin, Brixham, Plymouth.

Dorset: Bridport, Dorchester, Weymouth.

Somerset: Bath, Wells, Wookey Hole.

Cumbria and The Lake District: Carlisle, Cockermouth, Keswick.

Gloucestershire: Gloucester, St Briavels Castle, Woodchester Mansion.

Herefordshire and Worcestershire: Hereford, Ledbury, Worcester.

Isle of Wight: Cowes, Ventnor.

Norfolk: Norwich.

Northumberland: Alnwick.

Yorkshire: Skipton, Whitby, York.


There is no trick to it, simply search our website and treat yourself to a Halloween cottage break today.


Spooky York!

Posted on October 20th, 2013

York Minster by nightHalloween is almost upon us, so what better time of year for a ghost walk in the ever fascinating city of York?  There are several to choose from, each offering a collection of spooky tales in their own unique way. York is a city famous for being steeped in history and a ghost walk will offer you a wonderful opportunity to uncover the legends which you never knew existed.  Follow the links below to find out more about each tour:-







York DungeonIf you want an even more memorable Halloween, completing your trip with a visit to The York Dungeon is a must. With a variety of shows, there are plenty of scary stories to keep you entertained and for Halloween 2013, there will be even more surprises in store. For more details or to book your tickets, visit http://www.thedungeons.com/york/en/.

Have a spooky time!