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, it’s always best to check individual websites for booking details.


Have a wizarding week

Hampshire’s Watercress Line heritage railway is home to the famous railway footbridge that featured in the Harry Potter films. Moved from King’s Cross in 2009, it was installed at the Railway’s Ropley station, offering a chance to walk in Harry Potter’s footsteps. During Wizard Week (24 – 30 October 2022) visitors can also ride the Wizard Express steam train, take part in flying lessons and be spooked by creepy creatures. Tickets, which must be booked in advance, cost £24 adults, £12 children, £60 family (2+2).

Ice cream chills

Derby’s Bluebell Dairy hosts its annual Halloween Festival (22-30 October 2022) with pumpkin picking, Halloween trails, fancy dress competitions, animal activities and Pansy Pickle’s Pumpkin Pursuit. Plus, as Bluebell Dairy has made a name for itself thanks to its award-winning artisan ice cream, there are some Halloween ice cream creations too, including Deathly Mallows Ice ‘scream’ and some ghoulish Sundaes. Tickets: £11.95 adults, £13.50 children (includes free pumpkin).

Be a cheeky monkey

Head for Trentham Monkey Forest, near Stoke-on-Trent, and your cheeky monkeys could win a cuddly treat on a Pumpkin Trail Quiz around the woodland setting (3 – 30 October 2022). This attraction allows people to see 140 free roaming Barbary macaques living as they would in the wild. Along with plenty of family fun, the quiz is also designed to highlight a frightening fact – there are fewer than 8,000 wild Barbary macaques in the wild. Entry included with regular admission ticket (£11 adult, £8.50 child (3-14).

A friendly, frightful fun fest… with Peppa Pig

Hampshire’s Happy Halloween at Paultons Park (13 – 31 October 2022) 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 this year, while there are rides in the dark with late night opening on 25, 26 & 27 October. Tickets from £39.75.

A scary anniversary

Prepare for spines to be tingled at Staffordshire’s Alton Towers Resort as it celebrates 15 years of its award-winning Scarefest featuring everything from the frantically funny to seriously spooky themed attractions for all ages (14-31 October 2022). New this year is The Invitation, a grave experience in The Lakeside Cemetery, a brand-new scare attraction for the bravest of souls. Open until 9pm, daring guests can face head-spinning, hair-raising rides and attractions in the darkness including Wicker Man and the Alton Towers Dungeon. Tickets from £42, pre- booking required.

Mannikin mania

If you like weird and wacky then this is for you. Mannikin is a Lincolnshire-based business supplying mannikins to the film and TV industries, but it also offers an unusual visitor attraction. And for Halloween, be prepared for an unforgettable experience – a murder mystery in a Mannequin Graveyard with We’ve Found A Body (28-29 October 2022). Turn detective to discover who killed heiress Kat Walker at Mannikin Hall in this three-hour experience. Tickets cost £15. 

Stately scares and crafty creations

Fiendish family fun comes to Burghley House and Gardens, as torch-lit tours return with more scary stories and haunting hidden history. Burghley’s Spooky Tours (19-29 October) are led by ghost expert Martin Tempest and take visitors on a guided tour through creepy cellars and centuries-old cloisters. Tickets, which must be pre-booked, cost £24 per person. For fewer scares, tackle the garden Halloween Trail (15-30) to find the hidden spooks and receive a treat, or magic-up creations at the Children’s Halloween Craft Workshops (24–28). Both events are included with a House or Gardens ticket.

Gruesome Grounds and Haunted Hall

East Yorkshire’s Burton Constable Hall has a double bill with its Gruesome Grounds and Haunted Hall (24 – 30 October 2022). Visitors can access the Petrifying Pumpkin Trail, Creepy Crafts and Spooky Story Telling, plus, with a Haunted Hall ticket, there is also entry to the Hall with the chance to complete the Wicked Witch Hat Hunt and hear ghoulish ghost stories. Tickets from £2.50. For Halloween itself, there are special Evening Halloween Ghost Tours. Tickets, which must be pre-booked, cost £5.50.

Forget Halloween… it’s time for Hulloween

Visit Hull and enter the weird, wacky and wonderful world of Steampunk, inspired by Victorian fashions and engineering, for the Hulloween Steampunk Festival (28-30 October 2022). Making its debut in the city centre, Hull will be transformed with a series of free and ticketed events. Among attractions will be Steampunk artwork and items on display, ghost walks, a Steampunk Market and a parade.

Trick or treat moonlit paddle anyone?

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 (22 – 31 October) to hear ghoulish ghost stories from a night-time guide. Plus, there’s hot chocolate and Halloween candy for everyone taking part. Or try the Canoe Halloween Treasure Hunt (22 – 30 October 2022), a treat for little swashbucklers in Canadian canoes as they hunt for devilishly delicious Halloween treasure. Tickets for each event cost £34 adults, £22 children (18 months – 16 years), and must be booked in advance.

  • slide

    Watercress Line Wizzarding Week, Hampshire

  • slide

    Happy Halloween at Paultons Park, Hampshire

  • slide

    Deathly Mallows Ice Cream at Bluebells Dairy, Derby

  • slide

    Scarefest, Alton Towers Resort, Stafordshire

  • slide

    Trentham Monkey Forest Pumpkin Trail Quiz, Stoke-on-Trent

  • slide

    Trick or treat moonlit paddle, Hampshire