Discover Gloucestershire’s ghoulish side this Halloween, with spooky celebrations promising fang-tastic fun for the whole family in October half term.
While things might be a little different in 2020, SoGlos never misses a trick (or treat) with its spooktacular guide revealing the very best Gloucestershire has to offer for frightful family fun this Halloween.
Stagecoach West offers low-cost bus travel across Gloucestershire and beyond, with family and group tickets available, ideal when heading out for some Halloween half term fun.
Avoid the horrors of finding and paying for parking this October half term and hop on the bus instead!
Take a terrifying trip to Oxford Prison on the new direct bus service from Cheltenham to Oxford, shop till you drop or catch a scary movie at Gloucester Quays with a bus stop right outside, search for beasts in the Forest of Dean, where wild boar wander the woods, or go ghost hunting in Prestbury – known as the most haunted village in England!
The Stagecoach Bus app allows you to buy discounted tickets, find stops, track buses in real time and even see how busy the bus is, so there’s one less thing to worry about when out and about.
A Family & Friends Explorer ticket costs £15 for up to four people, allowing travel across the whole of Gloucestershire – and as far as Bristol, Oxford and Hereford. Buy tickets in advance on the Stagecoach Bus app or on the bus using contactless payment.
For more information, or to book tickets, visit stagecoachbus.com.
Kids can get crafty this October half term, with Nature in Art hosting a range of arty activities from Monday 26 October to Sunday 1 November 2020.
Inspired by nature in autumn, children’s activities include leaf painting on Monday 26 October; wax resist and tissue paper painting on Tuesday 27 October; and decoupage using colourful autumn leaves, on Wednesday 28 October.
What’s more, there will be a spooky crafts session on Friday 30 October – just in time for Halloween.
Making sure crafters can enjoy themselves safely, Nature in Art has implemented new social distancing measures such as reduced capacity; plenty of hand sanitising stations; tables to seat single households; and a one-way system around the classroom.
There will be two sessions per day, with younger children aged three to eight welcome between 10am and 11.30am, and three to 18-year olds at 1pm until 2pm. Please note there are no sessions running on Saturday 31 October 2020 and activities are subject to change according to government guidelines.
For more information, call Nature in Art on (01452) 731422) or visit natureinart.org.uk.
The ‘Museum of Ghoulster’ has teamed up with ‘Black-frighteners Priory’ and ‘Ghoulster Guildhall’ for a half term full of family fun. Waaa ah ah ah…
Put on your scariest costumes and take a spooky stroll along the family-friendly Halloween trail around the city centre. Start at the Museum of Gloucester where you’ll find skulls, skeletons and all things scary; head over to Blackfriars Priory for Halloween hot chocolates with all the trimmings; then make your way to Gloucester Guildhall and grab tickets for the daily 4pm family film – you’re sure to have a ‘gourd’ time!
It’s not just kids that get to have all the fun. Adults are encouraged to join in and dress up for the spooky stroll. Plus, there’ll also be a Blackfriars murder mystery night and a Halloween screening of Shaun of the Dead at Gloucester Guildhall for some grown-up Halloween fun.
Visitors can book to start the Halloween trail from 10am to 2pm from Saturday 24 to Saturday 31 October 2020. Tickets for the trail only cost from £3 per child and include a goody bag, while little ones under three-years-old can join in for free. Trail, hot chocolate and film bundles are also available for £10 when booking tickets in advance.
The Halloween trail will be available on Saturday 24 October 2020 but there’s no film screening, and the Museum of Gloucester is closed on Sunday 25 October 2020.
For more information call the Museum of Gloucester on (01452) 396131 or (01452) 396572, or visit gloucester.gov.uk/museum-of-gloucester.
Every day during the October half term, families can head to Cotswold Farm Park to pick their own pumpkins, just in time for Halloween.
As well as adorable animals, adventure play areas and wildlife walks to go on, Cotswold Farm Park has a patch packed with pumpkins.
Put on your wellies and get hunting for the biggest and juiciest pumpkin in the patch, before taking it home to carve into a spooky jack-o-lantern.
Once you’ve picked your pumpkin, head to Cotswold Farm Park’s shop to pick up some tasty local produce, including fresh eggs from the farm, perfect to use in a pumpkin pie.
The pumpkin patch is open every weekend in October 2020 and all week from Monday 26 to Sunday 31 October 2020, with sessions from 9.30 to 11.30am for pumpkin-only ticketholders and from 12.30 to 3.30pm for anyone with Cotswold Farm Park tickets. Admission to the pumpkin patch is free to Cotswold Farm Park ticketholders, or costs £5 per adult and £3 per child for pumpkin-only tickets. Tickets must be booked in advance.
For more information, or to book tickets, visit cotswoldfarmpark.co.uk.
Open daily from 10am to 6pm, take a walk on the wild side at Cotswold Wildlife Park in Burford this October half term.
With wolves, bats, vultures and owls, Cotswold Wildlife Park is home to some of the spookiest animals in Gloucestershire.
Brave souls can come face-to-face with fearsome creatures like lions, wolverines and anacondas, while scaredy cats can make friends with cheeky penguins, adorable otters, mischevious monkeys and the park’s famous giraffes.
Four-legged friends can join in the Halloween fun at Cotswold Wildlife Park too – as well-behaved canine companions are welcome to roam the park and gardens on a lead.
E-tickets to Cotswold Wildlife Park must be booked online in advance the day before visiting. Tickets cost £14.40 per adult and £9.90 per child and are valid for one-day-only. The park is open from 10am to 6pm daily, with visitors encouraged to arrive after 11am to avoid queuing for entry.
For more information, or to book tickets, visit cotswoldwildlifepark.co.uk.
Welcoming visitors every day from 9am to 5pm, head to Westonbirt Arboretum, near Tetbury, for family fun in the great outdoors this October half term.
While there’s nothing specifically spooky going on at Westonbirt Arboretum, it’s the best time of the year to see the trees awash in spectacular autumn colour.
While grown-ups enjoy a spot of leaf peeping, little ones will love hunting for Gruffalo sculptures in the depths of the forest and running wild on the adventure playground.
Kids can get creative at Westonbirt with a range of autumn play pop-up activities scattered around the arboretum – including making their own nature mandala out of fallen leaves. Pick up a free activity pack on arrival for more fun and crafty ideas.
Visitors to Westonbirt Arboretum must book tickets online in advance.
With ghostly goings-on from Sunday 25 to Wednesday 28 October 2020, head to Berkeley Castle for family fun and frights this Halloween half term.
Haunted by the Tudors for four fearsome days, visitors can meet Henry VIII and his two beheaded wives, discover revolting remedies for plagues and other illnesses, and hear harrowing tales from the executioner as he creeps through the castle corridors.
Just watch out for witches and beware of the gaoler, who will be looking for new recruits to fill his diabolical dungeon.
The experience promises to be fun, educational and interactive – all while maintaining social distancing. Not only will little monsters get to see the Tudor-action in person, there will also be a gruesome gameshow to take part in.
Open from 11am to 4pm, tickets must be booked online in advance and visitors must select a time slot for arrival when purchasing their tickets to Berkeley Castle.
Tickets cost £14 for adults, £7 for children aged three to 16, and are free for children under three – with no extra cost for the Halloween activities.
For more information, or to book tickets, visit berkeley-castle.com.
Open every day throughout October 2020 half term, Cattle Country Adventure Park in Berkeley is running special Halloween activities in addition to its usual family fun – promising a ghoulishly delightful day out for all.
From freaky face painting to pumpkin picking, carving and decorating, little horrors will love getting into the Halloween spirit at Cattle Country. Plus, brave the scarecrow trail or tuck into toasted marshmallows, perfect for warming up on a crisp autumn day.
There will also be some spooky seasonal dishes to satisfy the hungriest of monsters at the onsite café and restaurant, GRAZE.
Cattle Country’s new pumpkin patch is open from Saturday 10 October 2020, giving Halloween enthusiasts plenty of opportunities to pick their perfect pumpkin.
Tickets are available to book one week in advance, with all Halloween activities included in the general admission price. Please note, it is essential that tickets are booked in advance online.
Normal admission costs £12 for adults, while it’s £13 for children aged four to 17, and £8.50 for two to three-year olds. Little ones under two go free.
For more information, visit cattlecountry.co.uk.
Dean Heritage Centre promises to make Halloween as fun as ever this half term, with spooky shenanigans taking place from Monday 26 to Saturday 31 October 2020.
Set to gently scare all ages, there will be a spine-chilling woodland trail, as well as an indoor gallery trail, for families and groups of six to enjoy – if they dare!
Little zombies, vampires and witches are all welcome, with kids encouraged to dress up in their creepiest costumes as they follow the trails, solving clues and searching for ghosts and ghouls in the Dean Heritage Centre grounds.
After an exhilarating morning of ghost hunting, families can head to the Dean Heritage Centre coffee shop and tuck into a delicious, Halloween-inspired afternoon tea or lunch – perfect for keeping hungry little monsters happy!
There’s no need to book in advance, with general admission costing £5 for adults and £4 for children – while under threes go free. However, afternoon teas and lunches must be pre-booked.
For more information, and to book tickets, visit deanheritagecentre.com.
With ancient woodlands and spellbinding installations to explore, wander into the woods this Halloween with Forestry England in the Forest of Dean.
There are creatures lurking in the woods this Halloween half term, as the Gruffalo and its friends have taken up residence at Beechenhurst.
Brave adventurers can follow the Gruffalo trail in search of the famous monster. And with the new Gruffalo Spotter 2 app, children can interact with their favourite characters from the story as they discover their hiding spots deep in the dark wood.
Also home to the famous Forest of Dean sculpture trail, Beechenhurst is the perfect place to be amazed by the changing colours of the ancient woodlands and get some autumnal family shots for the ‘gram.
Entry to Beechenhurst and the Gruffalo trail are both free, with parking costing £3 for a day – but visitors are advised to come back at another time if official car parks are full.
For more information, or to book tickets, visit forestryengland.uk.
With spooky trees and a Halloween treasure hunt, there’s lots to discover in the grounds of Eastnor Castle, open all half term week from Sunday 25 October to Sunday 1 November 2020.
There’s a mystery to solve in Eastnor Castle’s grounds this Halloween, as Gaynor the Ghost has had her trick-or-treat candies stolen!
Little detectives can search high and low for clues to help her discover the thief’s identity – and earn a sweet treat for their efforts after completing the spooktacular trail.
As well as the Halloween treasure hunt, Eastnor Castle’s grounds promise seasonal fun for the whole family. There are trees to climb, autumn colours to admire and plenty of adventure for the little ones – with dogs welcome too.
Tickets must be booked online in advance, with three-hour sessions running in the morning and afternoon. For three to 15-year olds, admission costs £5; meanwhile tickets for adults aged 16+ are priced at £3.50, with children under two free of charge. Kids must bring their own pens or pencils to complete the Halloween trail.
For more information and to book tickets, visit eastnorcastle.com/eastnor-halloween-trail.
Thursday 29 October 2020
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