Thursday, 18 September 2014

Spooky Half Term at the Treasure Houses of England

For a happy Halloween and Half Term holiday, schedule in a spooky trip to the ever-spectacular Treasure Houses of England.

There are ghosts and ghouls aplenty at Beaulieu’s half term hauntings (25 Oct – 2 Nov). It’s rumoured to be one of Britain’s most haunted places, with ghostly sightings in the 13th Century Abbey and at Palace House. They’ll be lots of strange going-ons for all the family to enjoy from Halloween quiz trails to spooky story-telling and lucky dip to face painting.
Halloween at Beaulieu
Experience Halloween tricks and treats at Blenheim Palace this half term. Ride the Ghost Train down to the Pleasure Gardens for a whole host of haunts. Lurk around the Labyrinth or take the 'Which Witch is Which?' trail to win some prizes. Get creepily crafty in the 'Pottering About' studio and try your hand at pumpkin carving in the Pleasure Gardens Deli.

Burghley’s sell-out Spooky Tours return (20 Oct – 1 Nov). Journey down into the creepy cellars, explore the forbidding outbuildings and centuries old cloisters of Burghley by flickering torchlight while unearthing Burghley's secret history. Plus from 18 Oct - 2nd Nov families can enjoy Burghley Pumpkin Trail around the Sculpture Garden. Tread through the crispy Autumn leaves and find the hidden pumpkins to receive a treat.

Follow CastleHoward’s ghosts and ghouls trail through the house during October half term, spotting the spooks hiding in each of the rooms. On 1 Nov will be an evening of family Halloween entertainment with storytelling, pumpkin carving, ghost rides and more. For the first time Castle Howard is taking part in Illuminating York. From 29 Oct –31 Oct the house will be lit with atmospheric light projections creating a unique visual spectacular, whilst the interiors will twinkle with candlelight and roaring log fires.

Chatsworth has ghoulish fun lurking around every corner. Discover the Halloween trail through the house with man traps, a 16th Century book of spells and more. In the garden find hidden pumpkins, travel the scary maze, dare to enter the abandoned tunnel, learn how to make a witch’s broomstick and listen to spooky storytelling. And with spooky crafts, shoot the spook and bat spotting in the farmyard and adventure playground there is plenty of Halloween fun to get involved with.

Perfect for families and lovers of the outdoors, October half term week at Harewood celebrates autumn in all its glory. Smell tasty aromas in the Old Kitchen and join seasonal cooking demonstrations Below Stairs. Try biscuit making in the Pastry Room or have a go at badge making. There are also scarecrow trails around the grounds and bags of room to run around.

A visit to the exciting Bloody Hollow adventure play area at Hatfield House is a must this half term. With its 2.5 metre high model of Hatfield House dominating the central area, Bloody Hollow has a great range of play items for all ages of children. On 1 Nov watch a fantastic fireworks display, the space themed evening will also have a funfair and plenty of family fun entertainment.

Ghoulish adventures, fun and frights will set your heart racing this half term at Holkham Hall. Discover the ‘Curiovan’ and see the natural world in a magical way with specimen jars, dancing skeletons, clockwork ladybirds and tiny skeletal fairies.  Let the yarnsmith enthral you with his spell-binding tales of devils, ghosts and witches. There’s pumpkins to carve, silhouette bingo to try or our ‘skull-duggery’ challenge. In the hall, collect spooky body parts and make your own ‘pencil ghost’ or in the Old Kitchen, join in the fun with ‘Kiddy Cook’ and decorate a delicious Halloween cookie - how gruesome will your creation be?

Children will be thrilled and surprised by the Haunted Halloween Hunt and Spooky Quest at Leeds Castle (25 Oct – 31 Oct). The Spooky Quest takes place around the woodland walk while the Halloween Hunt will involve clues from spooky characters all around the grounds, both with a chocolate prize at the end. Enter the fancy dress competition for the best blood curdling outfit and listen to Spooky Stories with Raggedy Jack.

Pay a visit to the Grotto at Woburn this October half term. The Grotto (built probably between the later 1620s and 1641) was designed as an undersea cavern which included piped water cascading into a basin.  The stone is carved to resemble seaweed and stalactites, with dolphins formed from mother-of-pearl and the ceiling inlaid with ormer shells. A perfect place to imagine spooky stories and gory goings-on.

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