Discover places putting on scary activities for kids and adults this Halloween half term, including English Heritage sites and a tour of haunted London
Looking for something creepy to take the kids to, or just want to scare yourself silly this Halloween? Look no further…
1. Haunted London, featuring Jack the Ripper and Sherlock Holmes
Take a tour through the dark side of London with an expert guide who will chill you to the bone. On an open-top bus ride you will hear stories of the dead buried at Westminster Abbey and pass by the Royal London Hospital, where the Elephant Man lived.
Then take to the cobbles for a short walking tour of haunted Smithfield Market, where William Wallace (Braveheart) was tortured and 19th century body snatchers plied their trade, before heading to the East End murder sites of Jack the Ripper. Your tour will end, appropriately enough, at the Sherlock Holmes pub.
2. Get gruesome at Goodrich
Goodrich Castle, Herefordshire
Sat 21–Sun 29 Oct, 11am-4pm
Head to Herefordshire for a bone-chilling day out this Halloween half term in the ruins of medieval Goodrich Castle. With a feast of frightening fun and spooky stories from Goodrich’s gruesome past, your little horrors are in for a frightfully good time.
Free for English Heritage members (£7.60/£4.60 for non-members) Booking not necessary
3. Meet the bats of Witley
Witley Court and Gardens, Worcestershire
Sat 21 - Sun 29 Oct, 11am-4pm
The whole family can discover the wonderful world of bats at Witley Court. Find out why this extravagant country house – now ruined by fire – is a perfect home for six different bat species (including the rare lesser horseshoe), while little ones can get creative as they craft their own bat to take home.
Free for English Heritage members (£8.30/£5 for non-members) Booking not necessary
4. Creepy Carisbrooke Castle
Carisbrooke Castle, Isle of Wight
Sat 21 - Sun 29 Oct, 10am-4pm
Feeling brave? Take on the island's haunted castle and prepare to be scared on this spooky Halloween adventure for families. Create your own terrifying Halloween crafts and enter the daily Halloween costume competition.
Wander the grounds with the Victorian ghost hunters as they tell you macabre tales of times gone by. Pass by the graveyard and discover how its occupants met a gruesome end…Free for English Heritage members (£9.40/£5.60 for non-members) Booking not necessary
5. FrightFest 2017
Bolsover Castle, Derbyshire
Sat 22–Tue 31 Oct, 6pm–10pm
With live actors, special effects and scary surprises, experience spine-tingling spooks at this terrifying after-dark event. Discover deadly deeds around every corner as you’re invited into a terrifying world of tricks and treats. Not recommended for children or the faint of heart!
£8 (£13 for non-English Heritage members) Booking recommended
6. Ghastly goings on at Audley End
Audley End House and Gardens, Essex
Mon 23–Sun 29 Oct, 11am–4pm
Ghastly gallows, horrific hangmen and terrifying torture – travel back in time and discover the painful punishments you don’t learn at school, from the A-Z of torture to who's top of the chops. Carve your own pumpkin to take away (additional charge of £4 applies).
Free for English Heritage members (£17.50/£10.50 for non-members) Booking not necessary
7. The dark side of fairytales
Framlingham Castle, Suffolk
Mon 23–Sun 29 Oct, 11am–4pm
A thrilling family adventure that puts you face-to-face with the dark side of children's tales. Chilling storytellers in the castle reveal the terrifying truth behind the bedtime fairytales we know and love. Show off your spooktacular costumes in the fancy dress competition.
Free for English Heritage members (£8.90/£5.30 for non-members). Booking not necessary
8. Victorian storytelling at Tintagel
Tintagel Castle, Cornwall
Mon 23–Fri 27 Oct, 11am–4pm
Join Florence Nightingale Richards, the eccentric Victorian Keeper of the Castle Keys, on a storytelling journey through the history of wave-lashed Tintagel Castle. Hear her tales come to life with colourful characters and audience participation.
Free for English Heritage members (£8.40/£5 for non-members). Booking not necessary
9. After hours at Carlisle Castle
Carlisle Castle, Cumbria
Mon 23–Fri 27 Oct, 6.30pm–8.30pm
Take a tour of Carlisle Castle after hours. Guided by torchlight, a team of storytellers will bring to life some of the creepy, gruesome and surprising tales of one of the most besieged castles in the country. Explore the dungeons, discover the intriguing story of the ‘licking stones’ and hear about the walled-up skeletons discovered by workmen in the Captain's Tower. Bring a torch, wrap up warm and stay close by… Suitable for those over 14 years old.
£6/£3.50 for English Heritage members (£11/£6 for non-members) Booking essential
10. Illuminations at Whitby Abbey
Whitby Abbey, North Yorkshire
Wed 25–Tue 31 Oct, 6pm–9.30pm
The Gothic ruins of Whitby Abbey provided inspiration for the original vampire tale, Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Now you can see the abbey at its most atmospheric, bathed in dramatic illuminations. Costumed characters introduce the darker side of the past, with tales of grave robbing and witch trials. A live performance of Dracula will be a fitting end to your visit.
£3/£2 for English Heritage members (£9.50/£5.90 for non-members) Booking not necessary