Freaky, frightful fun…

It’s the time of year for plenty of Halloween hoots. So, for some scary surprises, spooky settings or good old-fashioned family fun, here are a few top picks from our destinations. As ever, please check individual websites for booking details.


Weird, wacky and wonderful

Back in Hull for its second year, enter the weird, wacky and wonderful world of Steampunk inspired by Victorian fashions and engineering. The Hulloween Steampunk Festival (20-22 October) offers a mix of science-fiction, fantasy and history, with a Halloween twist. Among treats are The Steampunk Market, the Hulloween Parade, a ghost walk and an evening of music and monsters at the Immortal Ball.


Summoning up spirits for Victorian scares 

One of East Yorkshire’s ‘jewels in the crown’ will turn the clocks back to the Victorian heyday of spiritualism and the supernatural for a brand-new event. Set amidst 50 acres of parkland overlooking Bridlington, Sewerby Hall and Gardens will be staging its walk-through scare attraction, Scareoween. Live performers and special effects will bring a Victorian-themed ghostly adventure to life (26 – 31 October). Tickets are £15 per person and must be pre booked.


Have a wizarding week

Hampshire’s Watercress Line heritage railway is home to the famous footbridge that featured in the Harry Potter films. Moved from King’s Cross, to the Railway’s Ropley station, it offers a chance to walk in Harry Potter’s footsteps. During Wizard Week (21 – 29 October) visitors can also ride the Wizard Express steam train, explore Harry Potter style coaches, take flying lessons and be spooked by creepy creatures. Tickets are £27 adults and £14 children.


Mannikin mystery

If you like weird and wacky, then this is for you. Mannikin is a Lincolnshire-based business supplying dummies to the film and TV industries, but it also offers an unusual visitor attraction and turns even scarier for Halloween. Inspired by the supernatural adventure novel, The Doom Town Dummies, visitors will investigate all the clues to a mystery disappearance from Mannakin Hall – with various characters wandering amongst guests (20 and 21 October). Tickets cost £12 – £35.


Where chills are guaranteed

Two new events aim to make Halloween really cool at Staffordshire’s SnowDome. Spooks & Slide (Ice Skating) offers the chance to venture down into the ice crypt, explore pirate strait, head through the spider cove and experience the haunted hallway. Treats & Chills (Snow Fun Park) features the Witch’s Hut, a black cat hunt and all-new spooky interactions along with a devilishly sweet treat. Running from 27 October until 1 November, tickets cost £5.45 – £12.95.


Trick or treat moonlit paddle…

Take to the water with New Forest Activities in Hampshire for a different take on Halloween family fun. Venture out onto the Beaulieu River at dusk in illuminated canoes for the Spooky Halloween River Tour (21 – 31 October) to hear ghoulish ghost stories from a night-time guide. There are buoyancy aids to help stay safe on the water, and a cup of hot chocolate to keep you toasty. Tickets cost £36 adults and £24 children.

… or have some smashing good fun

There’s a spooky twist on archery sessions for October at New Forest Activities with ghosts, ghouls, zombies and werewolves acting as the new targets. Then it’s onto the pumpkin shooting round where little monsters can get to decorate their pumpkins before watching them go ‘splat’ as they practice their newfound shooting skills. Halloween Archery Pumpkin Shooting runs 21-29 October, with tickets costing £29 adult and £17 children.


Stately scares are a Halloween hoot

Fiendish family fun comes to Burghley House and the Gardens as torchlit tours return with more scary stories and haunting hidden history. England’s greatest Elizabethan houses is once again challenging visitors to brave its centuries-old creepiest corners and darkest depths on flickering trails. Tickets for the highly popular Spooky Tours (18 – 28 October) cost £24 per person and must be pre-booked. Also back is The Halloween Trail, from 14 to 29 October, with a ghoulish garden trail. Tickets from £9 adults and £7.50 children.


A friendly, frightful fun fest… with Peppa Pig

Hampshire’s Happy Halloween at Paultons Park sees Peppa Pig World transformed with decorations… and the chance to meet Peppa and George in their spooky outfits. ‘Spook-tacular’ show The Legend of Paultons Manor returns, plus there are rides in the dark with late night opening on 24, 25 and 26 October. Tornado Springs will also have a ghostly makeover, while visitors can wander through the secret garden decorated with webs and pumpkins. Halloween shows run between 21 and 30 October. Tickets from £41.75.


Fun and frights at a Haunted Manor, Chaos Cove…and Thomas Land

Staffordshire’s Drayton Manor Resort is serving up scares and treats with the return of The Haunted Manor (28 – 31 October), plus spooks and thrills for youngsters at Europe’s only Thomas Land. New scare experiences include the Castle of Shadows and Chaos Cove, and fan favourite The Haunted Express also makes a return, along with night-time rides and a fireworks finalé. For younger visitors the Halloween season features a Hay Bale Trail, Thomas Land entertainment – including Trick or Treat with Sir Topham Hat – and fun and games at Rory’s Boo Bash (5 October – 5 November). Tickets cost from £29.50 in advance.


Circus thrills

A very special (trick or) treat for Halloween, Gandeys Circus returns to the Trentham Estate, Stoke-on-Trent, with a brand-new action-packed legendary Halloween Spooktacular Big Top show (13 – 29 October). Featuring everything from thrill acts to the big production numbers Gandeys are famous for, a specially selected international cast of skeletons, vampires, Jack o’lanterns and circus artistes have been brought together for this year’s sensational extravaganza. Tickets from £9.99 per person.