With swirling mists, towering fells, and nights that turn pitch black, the Lake District is the place to be this October for some spine-tingling Halloween inspired fun.

This month, the Cumbrian half term holiday falls on the week beginning 21st October and, as a result, many attractions have awoken their resident spirits a little earlier than the traditional Halloween celebration to ensure that as many visitors as possible can be terrified, horrified, and stupefied. Here’s our guide to all the spooky goings on across the Lake District and Cumbria this half term. Are you feeling brave enough to come along?

Woodland Pumpkin Trail at Allan Bank, Grasmere

Date: Saturday, 19th – Sunday 3rd November, 2019

The picturesque gardens that surround Allan Bank have taken on a sinister appearance with a spooky set of pumpkins appearing all over the grounds. Dare to explore the gardens and woodlands and try and locate as many pumpkins as possible before the ghosts of Halloween catch up with you. What’s more, on the 22nd, 24th, & 26th October, there will be Halloween inspired craft sessions, whilst on the 26th & 27th October visitors can carve a ghoulish pumpkin to take away, with pumpkins and tools provided (additional charges apply).

For more information visit nationaltrust.org.uk.

Halloween Spooktacular at Brockhole, Windermere

Date: Saturday, 19th – Thursday, 31st October, 2019

This October half term, grab your pumpkin passport for £25 at Brockhole and get access to an unlucky 13 different activities, including a haunted forest, a wicca workshop, zombie archery, and a creepy caving experience. There are crafts, story-telling sessions, games, trails and even graveyard golf.

All of these activities are suitable for children aged 7 and up, but for children younger than 7, there is the option to purchase a mini pumpkin passport that gives access to activities that are suitable for those aged 4-7 years. The activities can also be purchased individually although it’s worth noting that the passports can save you up to £15. Watch out though! There’s only a limited amount of pumpkin passports available for each day so booking in advance is highly recommended.

For more information visit brockhole.co.uk.

Spooky Carlisle Castle

Date: Saturday, 19th – Sunday, 27th October, 2019

In the centre of Carlisle lies a castle with a truly gruesome history. Many battles have been fought in and around the walls of this ancient fortification. What secrets lay hidden here? Whose ghosts roam the hallways? Discover the fascinating story of Carlisle Castle this half term where visitors can join in with some creepy crafts and a witch-themed quest. Children are encouraged to dress up in Halloween costume for the chance to win a prize.

For more information visit english-heritage.org.uk.

Witches & Wizards Week at Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway, Newby Bridge

Date: Monday, 21st – Friday, 25th October, 2019

Deep in the Haverthwaite tunnel something wicked lies, lurking and waiting for innocent passengers to pass by on the heritage railway carriages. Are you brave enough to hop on board and try to find the lost haunted carriage? There will be spooky themed crafts on board during your journey, and children who are dressed in Halloween costume and travelling with a paying adult can ride for free!

For more information visit lakesiderailway.co.uk.

Ghost & Ghastly Story Tour, Carlisle City Centre

Date: Tuesday, 22nd – Thursday, 24th October, 2019

This half term join Carlisle’s ghost hunter on a quest to find the ghosts and ghouls that haunt the ancient city’s walls. You will learn about Carlisle’s fascinating but grim and grisly history as a border town, with a focus on the city’s former jail where prisoners were tortured and then hung. This event is not suitable for children under the age of 5 but children who do attend will receive a Halloween gift bag and everyone will be able to seek comfort in a hot drink at the end of the tour.

For more information visit greatguidedtours.co.uk.

Pumpkin Carving at Hayes Garden World, Ambleside

Date: Tuesday, 22nd – Sunday, 27th October, 2019

Hayes Garden World in Ambleside is providing a lovely opportunity for children to carve a pumpkin without you needing to buy all the tools and clean up the mess. For £8, children will receive a pumpkin to put their own design on and take home. The fee also includes Halloween themed activities and a treat bag. You can book a timed slot online.

For more information visit hayesgardenworld.co.uk.

Spells, Slime, & More at the Rheged Centre, Penrith

Date: Tuesday 22nd – Thursday 31st October 2019.

Witches, wizards, ghosts and ghouls have taken over the Rheged Centre this half term! Are you brave enough to step inside and find out what is going on? There is so much taking place at the indoor arts, shopping, and entertainment venue that you will find something to suit almost everyone’s tastes:

  • Spectacular Spells & Wizarding Wands – Create your own wand and spellbook. 22nd October. £10 per child. 5 years and up.
  • Build Your Own Dragon – Create a cuddly dragon complete with birth certificate. 22nd October. £20 per child. 5 years and up.
  • Spooky Slime Workshop – Create spooky slime complete with spiders and eyeballs. 23rd October. £7.50 per child. 4 years and up.
  • Halloween Pumpkin Carving – Carve your own pumpkin with everything you need provided. 25th October. £7 per child. 4 years and up.
  • Eerie Animation Lego Stop-Motion – A two-hour workshop that will use Lego and technology to create a stop motion animation that will then be uploaded to YouTube for your child to watch and share with friends and family. The animations will have a spooky theme. 25th October. £20 per child. 8 years and up (younger children can attend if capable and supervised by parents).
  • Halloween Special Effects – A workshop where children can learn to use technology to create spooky effects on photos. 25th October. £12 per child. 8 years and up (younger children can attend if capable and supervised by parents).
  • Spooky Game Design – Create a 2D platform game using pixel art. 25th October. £20 per child. 8 years and up (younger children can attend if capable and supervised by parents).
  • The Addams Family – Screenings of this animated film featuring everyone’s favourite kooky family begin on Friday 25th October.
  • Halloween Disco – Come in fancy dress and dance to spooky tunes! Buffet and party games included. 26th October. £10 per child (£8 sibling discount). 0-8 years.
  • Northern Ballet: Dracula Live – Something spooky for the grown-ups and teenagers, with a live screening of this gothic performance by Northern Ballet. 31st October. £15 Adults, £13 concessions. Rated 12a.

For more details, visit rheged.com.

Halloween at Lowther Castle, Penrith

Date: Monday, 21st - Sunday, 27th October, 2019

The ghosts of Lowther are making themselves heard this October with plenty of spooky antics in the castle grounds. During half term week, there are several Halloween themed workshops and activities taking place, including:

    • Make Your Own Wizard Hat – 21st October. £12 per child (includes admission).
    • Free Nature Inspired Spooky Crafts with the Woodland Trust – 22nd October. Admission fees apply.
    • The Incredible Science of Slime – An interactive science show & slime workshop. 24th October. £12 Adults, £11 Children, includes admission.
    • Pumpkin Carving Workshop – 25th October. £5 per person. Admission fees apply.

In addition, on Saturday 26th & Sunday 27th, the ghosts of Lowther will be let loose around the grounds for two fiendishly fabulous evenings of entertainment. There will be live music, an owl display, a lantern making workshop, a science show, and a theatrical ghost tour of the grounds, complete with street food stalls and street entertainment. The ghost tour walks are timed with earlier slots better suited for younger children. £10 adults and £8 children.

For full details and to book tickets for these events, visit lowthercastle.org.

Truly Terrifying Ghost Trains, Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway.

Date: Friday, 25th & Saturday, 26th October, 2019

In a remote corner of the Lake District, a lone railway line runs deep into the darkest depths of the national park, to Eskdale, where there are gruesome discoveries to be had. This October, if you are feeling brave, take a ride on the ghost train.

This evening service sets off at 6pm from Ravenglass, long after sunset, and travels through the Eskdale valley to Dalegarth, with lots of scary sights along the way. This activity is not suitable for children under the age of 10 and strobe lighting is used. £16 per adult, £9 per child.

For more information and to book tickets, visit ravenglass-railway.co.uk.

Halloween Fun at Walby Farm Park, Near Carlisle

Date: Saturday, 19th - Sunday, 27th October 2019

The rest of the farm crops may have withered during the autumn months, but there’s a whole new crop at Walby Farm Park this half term with the arrival of pumpkins! Every child who visits the park this half term will receive a free pumpkin to take home, plus there is plenty of other spooky fun to be had. There’s a daily interactive show featuring two spell-binding witches, pumpkin carving sessions, and a Halloween puzzle in the maze.

To find out more information, visit walbyfarmpark.co.uk.

Halloween Week at Muncaster Castle, Ravenglass

Date: Friday, 25th – Sunday, 27th & Thursday, 31st October – Sunday, 2nd November

It’s said to be one of Britain’s most haunted castles, so it’s the perfect place to visit this Halloween if you want to experience action of the supernatural kind. The castle is hosting two weekends of spooky entertainment, with the Monster Cabaret providing street entertainment throughout the event.

There will be a ghostly grotto with Halloween crafts, a scary maze, ghost story-telling sessions, potion making, and even canon firing. Grown-ups might want to check out the adult only entertainment in the evenings with a special spooky theatrical tour of the castle.

For more information and to book tickets, visit muncaster.co.uk/halloween-week.

Spook-O, Whinlatter Forest

Date: Thursday, 24th October – Sunday, 2nd November

The aim of orienteering is to get around the course as fast as possible, logging all the points along the way. On this spooky, evening orienteering course you’ll have the benefit of adrenaline from fear as you race through the dark forest, encountering scary sights along the way. Bring a good torch and dress up in your spooky clothes. Booking is not needed! Adults £2, Children £1. Parking charges apply.

For more information, visit forestryengland.uk.

Halloween Family Fun Day, Watchtree Nature Reserve, Near Carlisle

Date: Sunday, 27th October 2019

A full day of spooky fun for the whole family is available this October at Watchtree Nature Reserve. There will be a self-guided walk through Witches Wood, with monsters, witches, and ghosts to spot along the way. Thankfully, it won’t be too scary so young children can join in the fun! Visitors are invited to bring their carved pumpkins for a competition with prizes available for the most creative designs. There will also be a raffle on the day, plus a tombola and other fundraising stalls.

For more information, check out their Facebook event.

Spooky Craft Sessions at Tullie House Museum, Carlisle

Tullie House are offering families a range of spooky crafts this half term, and most cost just £1! Children also receive free entry to the museum when accompanied by a paying adult.

  • Scary Bookmarks – 19th October, Drop in 1pm to 4pm, £1
  • Black Witches’ Hats – 20th October, Drop in 1pm to 4pm, £1
  • Paper Plate Spiders – 21st October, Drop in 1pm to 4pm, £1
  • Halloween Rock Painting – 2nd October, Drop in 1pm to 4pm, £1
  • Pumpkin Carving – 23rd, 25th, 27th October, Booking essential, £3
  • Peg Monsters – 24th October, Drop in 1pm to 4pm, £1

Visit tulliehouse.co.uk for more information.