October half term & Halloween adventures in Shakespeare’s England

We are really looking forward to visiting Shakespeare’s England during the October half term (21– 29) October, where there are so many fun things for families to see and do  including plenty of spooky entertainment! Meet the Pumpkin King, take part in the Warwick King James Festival, go on a spooky after-hours tour at Kenilworth Castle, watch firework displays, hear ghost stories, follow ghost trails and enjoy apple tasting!

The wizards of Stratford’s most magical attraction are working their magic ready for Halloween as a spooky atmosphere stretches its ghostly arms throughout Magic Alley.

During October guests will be amazed, spooked and surprised as the wizards create a bewitchingly bespoke adventure based on the Lost Years of William Shakespeare. Follow the clues and solve the puzzles to be rewarded with a treat – an audience with the Pumpkin King in his throne room. If you don’t enter into the ‘spirit’ he might just play a trick on you!

Over at Kenilworth Castle children can be scared by terrifying Tudor tales and enjoy creepy crafts and spooky activities. From 26 – 28 October visitors can visit after-hours, meet the storytellers and discover tales of ghostly apparitions and dastardly deeds. Experience the night-time surroundings of this ancient castle, travel back to a time when gruesome goings-on were commonplace, available from 6pm – 7pm and recommended for 5 -10’s.

For one night only the Castle will host ‘Spooky Halloween Tours’ on 31 October when a story-teller will lead visitors on a gruesome journey. Early evening family tours will be followed by adult only tours, strictly for those with a strong disposition the children’s tour is at 6pm (over 5 years old only) and adult tours at 7pm & 8pm (over 16 years old only).

The Royal Shakespeare Company is offering families a whole host of fun including celebrating the RSC’s forthcoming production of A Christmas Carol with two special workshops and learning specially commissioned choral arrangements of traditional wassailing songs in the run-up to Christmas and Twelfth Night.

Party like it’s 1617 in Warwick as the town commemorates the 400th anniversary of King James I’s visit from 3 – 5 November. Hosted by Sir Fulke Greville, the Monarch, remembered as the target of the Gunpowder Plot in 1605, enjoyed a 3 day feast at the Lord Leycester Hospital, as Warwick Castle raided by the plotters in 1605, lay in ruins. Visitors can enjoy historic tours, banquets, fireworks and Guy Fawkes crafts, Sunday services in honour of the founder of the King James Bible and his relationship with the town, and a special Bonfire Night at Warwick Racecourse on 4 November.

From 21 – 22 October celebrate the English apple on National Apple Day at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage. Make apply crafts, enjoy apple juice using the press and take home some recipes. Apples will be for sale from the orchards with all proceeds going towards the conservation of the Cottage. Prepare for a scare this Halloween and explore the grounds of Shakespeare’s New Place. Hear the spooky tale of Shakespeare’s ghost, who roams the rooms in search for his quill. Celebrate All Hallows week at Mary Arden’s Farm with spooky pumpkin carving (small charge applies).

Visit Ragley Hall for its Fireworks and Halloween Festival on 28 October. Enjoy a night of action, frights and laser lights with Halloween themed firework displays from MLE Pyrotechnics. Activities include a fun fair, face painter, music and fancy dress competition. Food and drink will be available to buy on the night. Tickets on the Gate cost £8 for adults and £6 for children. Discounted tickets can be pre-booked. Doors open at 5pm.

Visit Chedhams Yard for pumpkin carving on 28 October and make your own magic lantern to take home. There is no charge for the pumpkins or candles. Open 10am – 4pm with free entry.

Visitors to the British Motor Museum are invited to get creative with art-based workshops. Plus there’s a brand new interactive trail available every day. Costumed guides will brief visitors on the case and they will need to follow the trail of clues to solve the mystery. It wouldn’t be October half term without the Halloween ‘Black Cat’ trail! Younger visitors will need to search for the Museum cats and find the colours of their eyes.

For more suggestions and family friendly accommodation in Shakespeare’s England visit http://shakespeares-england.co.uk

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