13 Questions with Tulleys Farm

We caught up with Sam from Tulleys Farm to discuss how their business has evolved from PYO pumpkins to a drive-in cinema, escape rooms, sunflower fields, and Europes largest Halloween event - Shocktoberfest!

First off, how are you and how is your 2021 going?

We are so excited to welcome our visitors back to Tulleys. The year has been brilliant for us so far kicking off with sunflowers and now with Halloween in full swing with both Shocktober Fest and our pumpkin fields now open.

Can you tell us about Tulleys Farm and its history?

My Great Grandfather Bernard Beare started farming in 1911. My grandparents Denis & Marion Beare took the farm in the direction of traditional PYO business in the early 1970’s it soon became one of the biggest PYO farms in the UK, growing 40 different crops over 120 acres. My Dad Stuart joined the farm in 1991 and converted the farm into more of an entertainment venue, creating immersive seasonal family events with the intention of bringing people together. I have always had involvement in the farm since a young age, I was even once a scare actor. Once I graduated from ag college I joined the farm as hayride manager, I am now operations manager for Pumpkins and sunflowers

How long have you been running ‘Shocktoberfest’ and what’s it all about?

Shocktober fest has been running for 25 years and started with quite a humble beginning with 1 haunted house and a small amount of pumpkins, the event has now grown into Europes largest Halloween event featuring 9 live attractions, street theatre, 2 live music stages, 2 bars, circus show and fairground rides. Every year we attract 450,000 visitors.

What else does Tulleys have to offer year-round?

All year round we have our award-winning escape rooms, where you have 1 hour to escape from a themed room you can choose between ghosts, witches, pirates or even gangsters. We also have seasonal events including our family Christmas event with a real ice rink and PYO sunflowers and pumpkins.

Obviously the last 18 months have been really tough on the events industry, how did you manage over the lockdowns?

During lockdown we created the UK’s first drive-thru farm shop where visitors could order and collect delicious local food without leaving their cars. We also created the drive-in cinema, which proved to be a huge hit. So we kept ourselves and our visitors busy.

What’s next for Tulley’s Farm?

My lips are sealed however we have some very exciting things planned for 2022

A lot of people are about to start purchasing their pumpkins, what’s the benefit of going to a PYO?

If you haven’t visited a PYO pumpkin farm, I would strongly suggest you add this to your bucket list. You really to experience a visit to understand how magical it is.

Can you tell us about your PYO pumpkin nights?

We took inspiration for pumpkin nights from the states, the night consists of pumpkin picking but underneath the moonlight, we also have live actors who interact with visitors, live music and of course delicious food and a cocktail bar.

We were lucky enough to head to Tulley’s for the drive-in cinema last Christmas, what else do you have planned for the festive period?

We are excited to be bringing back our traditional family Christmas event and we know our guests are also excited!