Prepare to be tricked and treated this October.
We’ve got plenty of Halloween events happening across the country for all ages – from haunted castles, creepy crafts, illuminated abbeys and after-hours fright nights!
Plus, don’t miss our annual event to commemorate the anniversary of The Battle of Hastings, as over 800 soldiers clash in the infamous re-enactment.
Did you know?
- October derives its name from octo, the Latin word meaning eight, as October was the eighth month of the old Roman calendar.
- The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle was published in October 1892. He lived at 12 Tennison Road in South Norwood, now marked by a blue plaque.
- Folklore suggests that if the coat of a deer turns grey in October then it’s going to be a particularly hard winter.
Prepare to be frightened
This Halloween, dress your kids in their finest fancy dress to explore our spooky castles and hear gruesome tales from history. Then, when the sun goes down it’s the adults’ turn to brave the unknown.
At Bolsover Castle between Sunday 22- Tuesday 31 October, adults can join a guided tour they will never forget. Face your fears and keep your head as we meddle with your mind on a journey through the castle’s scariest corners. And, if you are lucky enough to make it out, you can practice your scream on our fearsome fairground, enjoy a different kind of spirit in our haunted bar, fill up on our beastly BBQ and be entertained by our Only Fools and Corpses play in the Riding School. Entry is for over 14s only and all under 18s must be accompanied by an adult throughout.
Re-live the atmosphere and tension of The Battle of Hastings
With a full festival atmosphere and activities and displays to keep you awestruck all weekend, we’re bringing the story of 1066 to life on the 14 and 15 October.
Set foot in the Norman and Saxon encampments and learn about life in an 11th century army. Meet falconers and their majestic birds of prey, try your hand at archery and watch superb displays of cavalry horsemanship. Muster your kids and have fun in a kid’s battle, meet noted authors or pick up a special souvenir from medieval traders, perhaps even try a horn of mead.
The Battle of Hastings is our most popular event of the year, and tickets can sell out fast.
Enjoy a feast at Stonehenge
Our special Feast exhibition launches at Stonehenge on 20 October.
Drawing on recent archaeological discoveries and ground breaking science, it will tell the food stories of the people who built Stonehenge and how they lived.
Stay tuned for our live broadcast on Youtube, Facebook and Periscope at the end of the month too.
Book now for our Enchanted events
Something special is happening at our historic palaces this winter.
As the nights draw in, our gardens will be filled with light, colour and sound as our season of unique Enchanted events begin.
Strings of lanterns laced through the boughs of trees, fairy lights twinkling behind leaves and special surprises will transport you into a dream-like version of the past.
Events not to be missed this October
Autumn Fair, Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 October, Beeston Castle and Woodland Park
Falconry displays, music, foraging, local craftsmen, wildlife groups, and even a dog show will be amongst the outdoor entertainments on offer over the weekend, as well as a chance to explore the castle’s 4,000 year history and 40 acres of woodland park.
Kenwood Dairy Open Day, Sunday 15 October, Kenwood
Experience life as an eighteenth century dairy maid and piggery boy with dressing up costumes for children – and adults! Step back in time with the Kenwood volunteers to learn more about what life was like for the staff who used to work on the estate and how the maids would have made butter and cheese.
Batty about Bats, Sat 21 – Sun 29 Oct 2017 , Witley Court and Gardens
Join us to discover the rare and wonderful world of bats at Witley Court. Find out what makes Witley the perfect place to call home, and get creative as you craft your own bat to take home. A great way for the whole family to celebrate Halloween this half term.
Gothic falconry, Sat 21 & Sun 22 Oct 2017 , Framlingham Castle
Witness graceful hawks, elegant owls and fearsome falcons in flight as our expert falconers demonstrate the art of training, exercising and hunting with birds.
Illuminated Abbey, Wed 25- Tue 31 Oct 2017 , Whitby Abbey
Cast light on a dark history this Halloween. See Bram Stoker’s inspiration in a new light as Whitby Abbey is bathed in dramatic illuminations once again. This year we’ll be lighting the abbey every evening for a whole week – it’s going to be ‘spooktacular’.
Somewhere to visit this month
The gatehouse at Battle Abbey will once again welcome visitors to the annual Battle of Hastings event next month. Held on the very spot where it is thought King Harold and William the Conqueror’s armies clashed for the crown, the event is a chance to stand in the place where history happened! #englishheritage #battleabbey #battleofhastings #sussex #battle #gatehouse #abbey #hastings #england #britain #visitbritain #autumn #reenactment #history #culture #conservation #charity
2nd October 1869 – Birth of political leader and social reformer Mahatma Gandhi – who lived at 20 Baron’s Court Road in London – now marked by a blue plaque.
20 October 1632 – Birth of the architect Christopher Wren – who designed St Paul’s Cathedral.
21 October 1805 – Nelson defeats the French and Spanish Fleet at the Battle of Trafalgar.