Events

UK Halloween Events – 2021 Edition

Written by Kirstie Pelling

Spooky UK Halloween Events
2021 Edition

Welcome to our Halloween Events UK Roundup Post for 2021. It’s looking like Halloween is back for 2021. For the last six years we have been updating this post to list our top UK Halloween events for families. In 2020 COViD made things a little scarier than usual. But things are looking back to a scarier normal for autumn 2021. Bookmark this post and we’ll do our best to keep it updated with the latest news of attractions and scare fests happening in autumn 2021. But do check with attractions before booking or turning up as things can change scarily quickly….

Halloween Octopus on building

Halloween Octopus invades Manchester. Image by Halloween MCR

 

UK Halloween Events 2021 

Haunted Castle Tours 

Castles are naturally filled with stairs to the scares. These tend to lead to dungeons, towers and windswept turrets. Be careful who you follow up there and check your guide isn’t a ghoul in disguise before heading off on a tour with him or demanding a group selfie and tagging your mum. If you are in a city for Halloween you might want to make a whole day of it and do some other spooky activities.

UK Halloween events at Edinburgh Dungeon

Upstairs for spooky UK Halloween events at Edinburgh Dungeon

1 Ghosts at Muncaster 

Each year Muncaster Castle in West Cumbria gives all Halloween England events a run for their money. Halloween fun is back for 2021 (subject to any Covid restrictions at the time). This year Muncaster’s Halloween Festival Week runs from Saturday 23rd – Sunday 31st October with activities like a Scary Maze, fire juggling shows, axe throwing, kids crafts, lantern parades, rag tag arts, spooky science sessions and a Zombie Shootout on offer, some included with the general castle entry ticket. The gardens are usually Halloween themed. The Castle opens from 10.30am and aside from Halloween activities you can also get stuck in to Creeping Kate’s Café and the Owl Garden Tea Room.  You will need an additional ticket for the special “Emporium of Stolen Souls” show also running each day. 

There’s also a post Halloween Ghost Vigil planned for Saturday 6th November.  More details and access to book tickets on the Muncaster Castle events page.

 

2 Warwick Castle’s Most Haunted

Warwick Castle’s Halloween Week is a favourite with spook seekers. We gave it a go last year and really enjoyed the outdoor Haunted Hollows as well as going up on the ramparts for a knight’s eye view of the castle which was lit in a stunning purple when we arrived. The Warwick Castle After Dark Experience includes spooky mazes (go early to avoid queues,) and for an extra fee, you can team it with The Dungeon. You can meet the Witches of Warwick, find out the legends of the castle and get lost in a maze. There are live shows and food stalls. And of course you can wander the castle at one of its spookiest times. New for 2021 there’s Upscares Downscares, and witches and troll hunter schools. You can catch this festival 23rd-31st Oct 2021.

You can also turn a spooky day out into a frightning overnight stay if you book to spend the night in Fright’s Village which is specially decorated for Halloween and includes evening ghost stories and a visit from witches or wizards at breakfast!

Warwick Castle in Halloween Colours

Warwick Castle in Halloween Colours

3 Oxford Castle’s prison potions 

Meanwhile at Oxford Castle for 2021 there’s a ghost fest in both the prison and the castle. If you are brave enough to enter the crypt you can take part in warlock Merlin’s one hour family friendly potion making sessions. Are you brave enough? 

Ghost Walks and Tours 

Ghost tours are popular all over the world and you’ll find them all around the UK. They range from the simple, family friendly walks with a guide telling spooky stories to full on live action role play events that aim to scare the living daylights out of you. Do check what you’re in for before you take the little ones! If walking is too much for you, you could always try a Ghost Bus Tour in either London, York or Edinburgh. Ghost buses go out every day except Mondays in York and every day of the week in London and Edinburgh. Just check the driver is alive before setting off as the undead don’t tend to stop at traffic lights.

The Ghost Tour Bus in Edinburgh

The Ghost Tour Bus in Edinburgh…are you ready for a ghostly trip?

4 Tours Under Edinburgh

Halloween in Scotland is still a scary thing. If you are in the city for a short time a ghost tour is a priority. City of The Dead Tours were named Britain’s Best Ghost Walk by Scare.com and offer several different tours including a tour of The Underground City of the Dead and a Haunted Graveyard tour. There are usually lots of extra tours scheduled for Halloween week although numbers may be limited for COViD security. 

Edinburgh’s Mercat Tours also have a wide selection of Ghost tours available with something to suit all ages and interests. Here’s a taste of what we experienced when we visited the Blair Street Vaults: you should probably know that this was done in the height of summer:

5 Meet the Ghosts of York

In York the Ghost Hunt of York runs all year round, departing every night from The Shambles at 7.30pm with some extras running on Halloween. To manage numbers for COViD safety, you do need to book in advance. Reductions are available for boils and ghouls and under 4’s are free. Expect to be scared witless for about 60-75 minutes.

6 Medical Gore in London

If you are closer to London the Old Operating Theatre offers a disturbing look into old medical and surgical practices. The Theatre is open Fridays and Saturdays from  10.30am-5pm and tickets must be booked in advance. They used to have a series of graphic gory talks on during October and November including murdering mothers of the 19th century but not this year. And be aware the museum is only accessible by a 52 stair spiral staircase. 

St Pauls Cathedral at Night

Ghosts gather near St Pauls London. For a Halloween walk?

7 Ghostly London Walks

Staying in London, if medical gore isn’t your thing and you want something more cultured, what about a Haunted Walking Tour? Tours are bookable online and characters from London’s dark side themes range from Sweeney Todd to Jack the Ripper. The Haunted tours are led by London ghost expert guide Richard Jones. In this video he introduces himself….

8 Ghost Tours in the Dark in Newcastle

In Newcastle and Durham Alone In The Dark Entertainment run ghost tours and events all year round. There are lots of different walks, guides and haunted locations to choose from on Newcastle Ghost Walks. And there is a special programme for Halloween.  Only over 16’s are welcome on the tour – even if they are children of the walking dead. In Newcastle their number one ghost walk “Till Death Do Us Part” is very popular and booking is recommended.

I waited by Elisa Artesero for Lightpool, Blackpool

Is it a ghost? No its a boy on a scooter!

Get Running Outdoors

11 Zombie Apocalypse near you 

A zombie walk or run has traditionally been a bone stretching way to celebrate Halloween. Here’s a taster of what you are missing. If you don’t fancy an organised run you could always organise your own Halloween family zombie run instead?

9 Psychos on the path in County Durham

In the north east, Lintz Hall Farm provides an ‘intense adult event’  – The Psycho Path. It has been described as a horror that is lurking, a nightmare you’ll never forget, and an event that shakes you up so much that stays in your mind forever. This Fear Ground is in action again in 2021 with The Psycho Path. Book now by following the link. Who needs a theme park when you can visit a Scream Park over 700 acres?

10 Riding the FearGoRound in Ormskirk

For Farmageddon 2021 there’s Contagion, Beasts of Terror and the new Fear-Go-Round fairground ride area. (Beware – zombs love a good waltzer.)  This Lancashire attraction is not for the faint hearted, says Halloween enthusiast Fiona Steggles. 

“As well as the maze there were three houses to creep through. All of them were filled with zombies lurking in dark corners, skulking in hidden boxes, and crouching behind furniture, waiting to leap out and shriek in our face. Sometimes they didn’t bother hiding; they just came straight at us with a chainsaw and appeared to try to cut our legs off. And they had no qualms about getting up close so we could see their lovely faces in all their glory.

Even when we got out of the house and back into a lit area, out of breath, adrenalin pumping, we often found something grotesque waiting to chase us back to the central area. Before we visited I was worried about whether the younger family members would be able to cope. They were worried about me. We all agreed at the end though it’s not the sort of scary that keeps you awake at night.”

Spooky Boat Tours

12 Royal Maritime Greenwich Ghost Tour

Head to Greenwich to discover the darker side of this maritime obsessed part of London. Learn about the drunken sailors sent to “Shanghai”, hear about the Cutty Sark Curse, explore hidden lanes, the creepiest tunnel in the UK and visit Charles Dickens’ favourite haunted pub.  Royal Maritime Greenwich Ghost Tours run on selected Saturdays, need to be pre-booked and last 90 minutes.

Dungeons, Fright Nights & Scarefests

If you want to take the family somewhere more action packed, then a few of the UK’s big attractions are still doing Halloween this year.

13 Scarefest at Alton Towers

Alton Towers Scarefest always spooks in October and November. There’s a range of Halloween themed activities during the day and you can board your favourite rides after dark in the Scare Zones. We recommend the fiery Wicker Man ride. For an additional ticket over 15’s can get lost in terrifying Scare Mazes that have included post-apocalyptic sewer systems where groups were split up and required to appease ‘the creature.’ New for this year is Freakshow Toxic Junkyard Maze and a garden lights ‘whispering souls’ attraction. Book ahead if you want to take the family.

 
SAW-The-Ride-Fright-Nights Thorpe Park

SAW at Fright Night; one of the great Halloween UK events, Image: Thorpe Park

14 Fright Nights at Thorpe Park

Not to be ‘overshadowed’, Thorpe Park offers awesome Halloween UK events again with its Fright Nights. Last year saw two new live experiences within eight attractions designed to scare, like the reliably terrifying scare mazes. The fright night attractions are described as intense and not recommended for anyone under 13. This years Fearstival has the usual thrilling rides in the dark including the Swarm, the UK’s first winged roller coaster, SAW – The Ride’s 100ft ‘beyond vertical’ drop and Stealth, one of Europe’s fastest and tallest roller coasters. Read our review of when family travel blogger Laura Hitchcock visited a fright night with her kids. Here’s a preview of what has been announced for Thorpe Park 2021.

15 Happy Halloween for Tiny People

Paultons Park & Peppa Pig World  hosts ‘Happy Halloween, described as the friendliest, most frightfully fun short break in the UK! There will be Halloween shows running from Saturday 23rd October to Sunday 31st October with magical spooky fun with Peppa and George and a chance to journey to the American midwest in the 1950’s for Tornado Spring’s first Halloween! You can also experience the park rides in the dark by visiting on one of the late night openings when the park will be open until 7:30pm on Tuesday 26th and Thursday 28th October. 

16 Spend your Halloween in a Dungeon

The London Dungeon is scary all year round and sometimes the scares are ramped up for Halloween. Under 16’s must be accompanied. Scottish families might prefer The Edinburgh Dungeon. It’s not more comfortable but perhaps a little more convenient.

Queuing for the Edinburgh Dungeon

Queue up now for the UK’ best Halloween events for families

Seaside Scares

17 Vampires at the Beach

Vampires have regularly taken over Blackpool Pleasure Beach at Halloween, running around attractions like Icon the Ride. Blackpool can be a fun visit any time of year but there’s often extra Family Fright events on at Halloween. 

When the Red Rose in Blackpool by Steve Messam for Lightpool, Blackpool

Blackpool is great at dressing up even when it’s not Halloween!

18 Witches in the Dungeon

Staying in Lancashire, you could always try the Blackpool Tower Dungeon. We sent mum of five Laura Keeler and two of her kids to experience plague, invisible cabbages and witching mischief and in this post looking at the three best attractions in the UK at Halloween she gave us her verdict on just how scared they were. 

Boy outside Blackpool dungeon

Assessing the fear factor before a visit. Image by Laura Keeler

Outdoor City Fun  

19 Manchester’s Mad Science

Wizarding Adventures

21 Potter in the City

There are many ways of immersing yourself in the world of Hogwarts on Halloween. The Warner Bros Studio Tour is a good place to start. This year’s theme is the Dark Arts with Voldemort’s Dark Mark projected throughout the building. You can also have a spooky dining experience and learn wand combat from those in the know. Elsewhere in London, you can take a Harry Potter walking tour with Get Your Guide.

In Edinburgh you can go on a free Harry Potter walking tour or read letters left to JK Rowling by fans in the place where she wrote her books.

Harry Potter glasses and wand by candlelight

Get your spooky glasses on and get out to some UK Halloween events

Ideas for Outdoor Halloween Activities

For more Halloween Ideas check out this post on 13 cheap and free things you can do outdoors for spooky Halloween fun.

Spook Yourself Silly Ideas for Outdoor Activities for Family Halloween Fun

Spook Yourself Silly Ideas for Outdoor Activities for Family Halloween Fun

About the author

Kirstie Pelling

Kirstie is the Editor of The Family Adventure Project. A professional writer and poet, she's the creative and journalistic force behind many of the stories and features published here. She's a co-founder and co-director of The Family Adventure Project and also works as the #poetinmotion producing and performing poetry for print, video and live performance.

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