After a memorable summer we head into the Autumn months and build up the anticipation in the lead up to Christmas. This is a magical time, especially for children, which is punctuated with the time old traditions of Halloween and Bonfire Night. The character of Halloween has changed in recent decades and has been influenced in large part by the celebration in the United States and the infiltration (welcome or otherwise) of ‘trick or treat’ into the nation’s psyche. However, these days there are an increasing number of organised Halloween events that are developing in popularity across the country. Similarly the emphasis on Bonfire Night is changing too; many are turning to large organised events to enjoy fantastic firework displays in controlled environments as opposed to back garden DIY events and the inevitably disappointing Catherine wheel and stick rockets! We are going to take a look at a selection of great events coming up throughout Britain.
The Crocky Trail, Waverton, Cheshire – ‘Crocky Horror Show’
Running from mid-October through until the 2nd of November, the ‘Crocky Horror Show’ is a family orientated Halloween event near Waverton in Cheshire. This is a permanent adventure trail that for Halloween puts on a special Haunted Trail with monsters and surprises around every corner, dungeon and even a motorcycle display. The tone of each attraction is targeted so that they do not scare younger children but for the rest of us, watch out! This is a ticketed event but running over the course of a couple of weeks including during half term, this is a fantastic Halloween event accessible to much of the North West.
Blackheath Fireworks Display – Saturday 2nd November
Blackheath in South East London is the venue for probably one of the biggest Bonfire Night celebrations in the capital. Each year around 100,000 people are attracted to expansive parkland to watch a spectacular firework display and enjoy a great night out. This is a free event with proceedings beginning at around 4pm and the display itself circa 8pm. This is a much anticipated annual fixture which has grown in popularity in recent years. With a funfair, bar and stalls with food there is plenty to keep the whole family entertained throughout a dazzling and memorable evening.
The Haunted Castle, Warwick Castle
The medieval surroundings at Warwick Castle take on the flavour of Halloween hosting a series of half term spooky events from the 24th of October through to the 2nd of November. Castles are of course magnet’s for children but with the added spice of Halloween , The Haunted Castle experience promises great excitement for young and old. Events run throughout the day with the castle opening time extended until 9pm. Highlights include haunted castle tours which take in dungeons and gaol, and for those intent on a scary evening, there is an evening séance! For budding witches there is the Witches Tower where inquisitive ‘students’ can learn about how to dress and cast spells like a witch. If this doesn’t sound scary enough then keep your wits about you at the Skeleton Ball, a family friendly trail through spider’s lair and a scary swamp!
Glasgow Green Fireworks – 5th November
The former European city of culture and the venue for next year’s Commonwealth Games, Glasgow puts on one of the largest and most spectacular Firework displays in the country. Glasgow Green, the oldest park in the city, plays hosts to this year’s event on the traditional 5th which this year falls on a Tuesday. Again this is a free display and opens from 4.30pm through until and 9.30pm, with a dazzling twenty minute firework display set to music and accompanied by lasers. With the backdrop of the Winter Gardens, thousands will be entertained by live music and funfair as the Glasgow skies are lit up by over 3000 fireworks. Make sure you get there early!
Lewis Bonfire Night, Sussex – 5th of November
Bonfire Night in Lewis in Sussex is taken very seriously indeed with no less than six Bonfire societies combining to put on a firework display with a friendly competitive edge to put on a great show for upwards of 30,000 spectators. There really is a carnival atmosphere with thousands of torches lit up adding to spectacle in and amongst a series of processions that lead up to the firework display. This year marks the 408th anniversary of the uncovering of the Gunpowder Plot but interestingly the Lewis event also commemorates Protestant Martyrs, seventeen of which were burnt at the stake for the sake of their religion. The prominence of this celebration has garnered a reputation for Lewis as the ‘Bonfire capital of the world’. Known locally as simply ‘The Fifth’, this electric and colourful evening is rich in tradition and one of the premier events in Sussex.