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Visit the Cotswolds this half term holiday for a spook-tac-u-lar time!

Posted: Tue, 3rd Oct 2023
Child holding pumpkin, Bolthole Retreats

This October half term enjoy some spook-tac-u-lar events and places to visit for a Halloween to remember in the Cotswolds. Most are great for little ones, while some come with a fright warning! And if you’d like to do some carving and decorating, you can pick your own pumpkin at Cotswold Farm Park, Over Farm and The Farm Shop at Bidford-on-Avon.

Berkeley Castle

Enjoy all manner of ghastly goings-on during All Hallows’ Week at Berkeley Castle in Gloucestershire. Its Ghoul School is an interactive, audio extravaganza teaching young thrill seekers all they need to know to become perfect little monsters with the help of a spooky array of teachers.

Events will be running on the following dates: 22 October – 5 November 2023. Face painting will be available on 22 and 29 October.

Sudeley Castle & Gardens

For Halloweek at Sudeley Castle, discover how science, history and nature all have their part to play in the mysterious and secretive world of magic. Silly Science Workshops will be running a Halloween-inspired slime and potion making workshops throughout the day on 31 October. The wonderful Dig and Delve will also be offering magical themed nature-based crafts. Let the minds of little ones run wild as they make sensory potions in the mud kitchen and learn about traditional, medicinal plants.

Events will be running on the following dates: 28 October – 5 November 2023. Silly Science Workshops on 31 October and 3 November. Dig and Delve 1-2 November.

Oxford Castle and Prison

A terrifying trip through the past will be the main player at Oxford Castle and Prison’s infamous Spooky Tours. Visit the vaulted well chamber, punishment cells and dark, damp Crypt. Not one for young children! Suitable for ages 12+.

Meanwhile younger children aged 5-10 can enjoy Potion Making underground in the Crypt where a cauldron is brewing. A resident warlock will lead three exciting activities in this hour-long workshop.

Events will be running on the following dates: Spooky Tours: 16 – 31 October 2023. Potion Making: 21 – 28 October 2023.

Cotswold Farm Park

Leave the scary stuff behind and instead head into the beautiful autumnal countryside for the Pumpkin Patch event at Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park in Guiting Power. Choose a pumpkin to suit big or little hands, carve a masterpiece and explore the pumpkin trail while sipping on a pumpkin spiced latte. The Pumpkin Patch is also brilliant for capturing memorable Halloween-themed family photos.

Events will be running on the following dates: The pumpkin field will be open on October weekends and from 26 – 31 October 2023.

Spookyard at Over Farm

Take the whole family to the Spookyard Halloween Festival at Over Farm, near Gloucester. Enjoy a whole range of Halloween-themed attractions, from the Maize Maze and Corn Cannon to the Spookyard Shows, which include Trick or Treat Training, Monster Mash Up and a Fancy-Dress Competition for the best costumes. Over Farm also has a Pick Your Own Pumpkin Plot.

Events will be running on the following dates: 28 October – 5 November 2023.

Blenheim Palace

Wander from dusk to darkness through the mist and ghostly spaces at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, from the fire garden with daring artists and glowing pumpkins to the creepy woods with ghastly ghouls, wicked witches, fiendish spiders and beastly bats. Don’t forget to dress up and at the end of your fearsomely frightening evening, warm up with a hot chocolate and toasted marshmallows. Come a little earlier before the sun goes down and enjoy a Spooky Afternoon Tea with monster morsels, zombie fingers and ghost meringue puffs.

Events will be running on the following dates: 20 – 29 October 2023.

WWT Slimbridge

Children can put their spookometers to the test with a range of fun, interactive activities at WWT Slimbridge’s eek! week. Explore the trail and discover a mysterious world of wetland nature – give the grass snake smell box a sniff, see if you can identify the sound of a toad, find what lurks beneath at pond dipping and grab a picture at the bat cut out.

Events will be running on the following dates: 21 October – 5 November 2023.


Keepers at Birdland will be delighting their inhabitants with treat-filled pumpkins as part of their ‘Trick or Tweet Weeks’ Halloween half term event. A variety of creepy crawlies will be inside the pumpkins to see how different species of bird use their intellect and dexterity to forage for food. Among the avian residents facing the daily pumpkin challenge will be cassowaries, one of the largest birds on the planet, super-smart Kiwi parrot the kea, high-brow hornbills, and clever bird of prey the striated carcara. As well as the special Keeper Talks, there’s a family-friendly Pumpkin Trail around the gardens.

Events will be running on the following dates: 21 October – 5 November 2023

Read more: The best places to see autumn Cotswold colours

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