The event kicked off on Saturday with families flocking to the Benington site to enjoy the various autumnal activities on offer and pick their own pumpkins. The popularity of the attraction - now in its sixth year - has seen the pick-your-own patch and the events field double in size for 2021.
Two records were also broken this year, according to Bell’s. The first being the number of visitors - with ‘several thousand’ attending at the weekend - and the second being the largest pumpkin ever weighed in at ‘Lincolnshire’s Great Pumpkin Weigh Off’.
Bell’s Retail director Holly Bell said: “After selling out on every session last year, and having to turn a large number of visitors away, we spent a long time in the months that followed planning the expansion and changes needed to allow the event to continue to grow.
“This year we have created even more elaborate displays and photo stations, and the effort has paid off, with the patch already being named one of the UK’s top patches by Country Living Magazine, The Daily Mail and Wanderlust.”
Along with the autumnal photo opportunities, attractions included the maize maze, a pumpkin-firing cannon, potato catapults, children’s bounce and climb, pedal tractors, pumpkin carving, a giant pumpkin display, an indoor pumpkin market, and ‘singing pumpkins’.
Holly added: “Looking at ticket sales, it’s clear we’re no longer just attracting local visitors, with people travelling from Peterborough, Gainsborough, Cambridge and the North. There are groups of young people who come just for the photos and food, and we even have lots of couples coming on dates.”
Len Saint’s monster pumpkin was the record-beating whopper, weighing in at 286kg. Holly said: “It took eight men to grapple the over sized fruit onto the scales.”
She added: “We strive to be the absolute best patch to visit each autumn, and we have a brilliant team who work hard to create it all each year. Reading the reviews and seeing the photos posted on Instagram makes it all worth while”