Thursday, 4 October 2012 1:16 PM
If you're planning to head away on holiday at the end of October, you'll find some great destinations to visit to experience some spooky goings-on. A boating break on the Thames is a good option if you want your Halloween celebrations to be particularly memorable, as there are plenty of activities organised along the waterway.
The watercourse passes a variety of locations on its way to the North Sea, including Oxfordshire and London, and if you do some research in advance of travelling you can pick out the places you'd most like to visit for a gruesome, grizzly or gory experience. Of course, there are plenty of events organised that aren't too frightening, and these might be more appropriate if you have little ones in your party. Read on to discover our top picks.
There are few places better to indulge a morbid curiosity for all things ghoulish than London. Home to the London Dungeon, the city has a long, fascinating history, and the dungeon is a favourite among tourists interested to discover the fate of the prisoners who once lived here.
Pay a visit and you'll be able to learn more about the dungeon's gruesome history, but if you call in between now and November 4th you should be on your guard for a curious character – the Trickster will be making an appearance with the aim of providing visitors with a trick or a treat on their way round!
Adults should expect to pay between £16 and £24 to visit the dungeon, while children's tickets are priced between £10 and £18.60.
Another popular landmark in the capital is London Bridge, and you can spend All Hallows' Eve here at the London Bridge Experience. Here, actors bring the past to life, and characters in costume will tell you tales of local history before leading you on to the London Tombs. Make your way through the catacombs and you're guaranteed a few frights along the way.
Between October 1st and November 4th, the London Bridge Experience will be holding a variety of tours as part of its Phobophobia event. Some are relatively tame and suitable for all the family, with face painting and pumpkin carving adding to the fun, while others are geared towards adult audiences who enjoy a good scare. Tickets are priced between £16 and £20.
Waterperry Gardens in Oxfordshire will be hosting its annual Great Pumpkin Hunt between October 27th and November 4th this year. As part of the event, youngsters are invited to find a series of pumpkins that have been hidden throughout the centre's ornamental gardens. After finding the squashes, children should then head to the teashop, where they will receive a seasonal prize.
The hunt will take place between 10:00 and 17:30 GMT and children's tickets are priced at £2. Accompanying adults will be required to pay the regular fee to enter and tour the gardens.
Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway on the border between Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire will also be celebrating Halloween and is inviting children to visit on October 28th for its Halloween Spooks Special event. Youngsters who arrive in costume will be given a gift and can take a ride on one of the steam-hauled trains that run several times during the day.
Cliveden House in Maidenhead is a beautiful stately building perfect for getting into the eerie spirit. The mansion will be hosting its Pumpkin Party on October 27th, and people are invited to bring in a pumpkin – if yours is the biggest you could win a prize!
Youngsters who come in costume and join in the activities will be given sweets, and there will be all sorts of pumpkin-themed crafts to try out. Children's tickets are £2 each and there's no need to book in advance.
A must-visit for families on a Thames boating holiday is Legoland Windsor – a theme park comprising a wealth of interactive rides, building workshops and live performances. To mark Halloween, the venue is holding a Brick or Treat Fun and Firework Spooktacular between October 27th and November 4th, and the whole family is invited to come along and get into the creepy mood.
Don some fancy dress and wander among the spooky decorations in search of surprises. On selected nights during the Halloween period, the venue will also be putting on a spectacular display of fireworks.
Tickets cost around £39 for adults and £31 for children and include entry to the attraction and use of the rides, as well as any Halloween events.