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ESP’S HALLOWEEN WHAT’S ON GUIDE

ESP’s Mikey Clarke just loves Halloween so he’s pulled together a great selection of spooky events to keep your ‘spirits’ up and bring on the scares…

For the past few years, I’ve written the ‘Halloween What’s-On Guides’ for ESP Magazine. Doing so for 2020 has not been quite as different or as surreal as I had feared. Events this year have been thin on the ground due to Covid-19 restrictions – but thankfully (as of the time of writing this article) normality seems to be slowly returning with quite a bit happening this Halloween season.

I’ve picked out some of my favourite local events…

SCAREWELL @ Sacrewell Farm

October 24 –  November 1

Pre-Booked Tickets Only

Grab a wheelbarrow and visit their GIANT pumpkin patch! Don’t forget your camera to capture some amazing memories. Dare you brave the Spooky Mill Walk – where you should keep your eyes peeled for some colourful characters along the way (suitable for children of all ages)? You can also enjoy their chocolate making experience with Stamford Heavenly Chocolates who’ll be making Halloween themed chocolate treats.

All three activities are included in their Scarewell Pass. Enjoy lots more fun and games across the farm including Hunt the Spooks in the Maze of Mystery and visit the Witches Dell down by the Mill Pond.

Don’t forget your admission to Sacrewell includes their large exciting new outdoor play area and all the other exciting play and animal attractions across the site!

Important: Due to restricted numbers, Sacrewell have set up a colour scheme – much like what you would see at places like Safari Soft Play and Bounce, etc.  Visit www.sacrewell.org.uk to find out more and to book your tickets.

Week of Wickedness @ Skylark Maize Maze  

October 24 – November 1

I remember years ago when the Skylark Maize Maze was not much more than the maze itself – which was fab, don’t get me wrong, but now there is so much more to enjoy, particularly during this spooky season.

You and the family can enjoy spooky tractor rides, magic shows and much more. I also love how after you’ve picked out a pumpkin from their live patch (just £2 per pumpkin) you can then carve it in their weather-proof marquee – meaning no more mess all over the kitchen sides and beyond.

Adults £11, children £13, under 3’s free and family ticket (2a+2c or 1a+3c) £46 – Book your tickets at www.skylark-events.co.uk

Xtreme Scream Park @ Twinlakes Park

October –  November 1

For obvious reasons that I don’t want to keep bringing up, Horror at Hinchingbrooke House was understandablycancelled for 2020. I was disappointed to be missing out on my personal favourite place to visit every Halloween until I was told that if I drive just a little bit further, there’s a very similar event taking place.

Twinlakes Park in Melton Mowbray is home to Xtreme Scream Park. This popular event – that many consider to be the UK’s best scream park – offers five haunted houses, rides (two of which are included in the price), street theatre, fire shows, food vans and a licensed bar.

You may want to check out footage and reviews of their previous events before purchasing tickets. This is an INTENSE experience and not for the faint-hearted. I personally cannot wait!

Visit www.xtremescreampark.co.ukfor more info and to book your tickets.

Spooky Themed Escape Rooms @ Angle Escape Rooms

Open now!

I love participating in Escape Rooms so much that until recently, I was under the impression that I had done every single one Peterborough had to offer. It turns out that is not the case.

Angle Escape Rooms opened in March this year. Because of the lockdown, I am only hearing about it now, and I’ve heard great things.

There are currently three rooms – The Getaway, The Candy Shop and The Victim. Each have their own captivating backstories to them, which you can read on the website.

Of course, UK Escape Rooms have been given the go-ahead from the Government to open, but with restrictions in place. For more details of these restrictions or to book yourselves into one of the three rooms, visit www.angleescape.com

Halloween Spooktacular and Fireworks @ Dobbies Garden Centre

October 29 – November 1

Kids can get stuck into terrifying treats before getting creative with a creepy craft activity and ghoulish games. Each event will hold a fancy-dress competition, so make sure your little ones wear their most Spooktacular fancy dress costume to be in with a chance of winning a prize.

A meal will be served as part of the £8.50 ticket, with vegan and vegetarian options available. Adult tickets, from £5.99, include cake or afternoon tea.

Visit www.events.dobbies.com for full details and to book your tickets.

Halloween Classics @ the Showcase Cinema de Luxe Peterborough

Hocus Pocus (PG)

October 24, 26 & 28

You’re in for a devil of a time when three outlandishly wild witches – Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy – return from 17th century Salem after they are accidentally conjured up by some unsuspecting pranksters! It’s a night full of zany fun and comic chaos once the tricky 300-year-old trio sets out to cast a spell on the town and reclaim their youth – but first they must get their act together and outwit three kids and a talking cat. Loaded with bewitching laughs, Hocus Pocus is an outrageously wild comedy that’s sure to entertain everyone.

If you’re looking for something scarier, why not check out The Exorcist (Director’s Cut) on October 30 or John Carpenter’s Halloween on October 31?

I’ve been to Showcase several times since they re-opened and they’ve done an incredible job during these difficult times. Seating is obviously more limited than it was before so book your tickets as soon as possible on www.showcasecinemas.co.uk

Thomas Halloween Trick or Treat Ghost Train @ Nene Valley Railway

October 30 & 31

My 2-year-old son is obsessed with Thomas right now. If your little ones are the same, I may see you at this Spooktacular event. Thomas will be hauling his own train down to Yarwell and back to Wansford, where we’ll get to meet Mr G. Host as we pass through the tunnel – don’t worry, he’s a friendly ghost.

On your return to Wansford Station each child will be able to visit the different Trick or Treat Stations they’ve set up around the platform to collect candy treats. There’s also a hook a pumpkin, spooky walk through, pin the ‘boo’ on the ghost, ghostly colouring competition, haunting short story competition and more.

Compartments cost £60 (max 6 people), standard seating £15 per person (over 1s).

Visit www.nvr.org.uk for your tickets.

The Burghley Halloween Trail @ Burghley House, Stamford

October 19 – 31

This is probably the only time of the year where I actually enjoy a good walk. Wrapping up warm with a hot coffee – can’t beat it.

Dress up in your scariest Halloween costume and take a stroll around Burghley Halloween Trail around the Sculpture Garden. Tread through the crispy autumn leaves and find the hidden spooks to receive a treat. The Garden Shed will also be open daily, warm up with a delicious hot chocolate or cup of coffee!

The Gardens are open daily with 2 timed sessions: 10.30am – 1pm and 2pm – 4pm (last admission is 3.30pm). Book your time slot reservation and Annual Passes at www.burghley.co.uk

Admittance to the Burghley Halloween Trail is free of charge with a House & Gardens or Gardens Only Annual Pass, Friends of Burghley or HH Card.

The Halloween Special @ Audley End Miniature Railway

October 24 – November 1

Your fang-tastic experience will begin at the station where their station masters will board you upon their brand-new luxury carriages. Chugging deep into the Estate Woodland you’ll arrive at the witches’ house and be greeted by the coven of witches together with their cheeky pumpkin friends. The wicked witches and playful pumpkins will entertain you, cackling and chanting spells around their cauldrons. But make sure you behave yourselves as they perform their witchy dance, or they might cast a spell on you.

Once you return from your train journey the entertainment continues as you venture back into the woods to meet Herbert the funny, haunted, talking house, he’ll tell you mystical tales and secrets of the ancient woodland.

After Herbert has finished his tales you can then explore the adventure play area while also enjoying the delights of their café and seating area, in the brand-new witches hat Tipi Tents!

Finally, you will visit the Wizard’s dwelling. Here you’ll meet their woodland Wizard, William, the king of the woods. He’ll need your help performing his spook-tacular spell to keep the woodland creatures warm in the winter.

The Audley End witches do love seeing you kitted out in your spooky finery – so make sure you dress to scare!

The Halloween spook-tacular is spooky fun and never scary and is therefore suitable for even the smallest of monsters.

Booking is required, so visit www.audley-end-railway.co.uk to do so.

Adult £15, child £15, child under 92cm – your child will be measured on arrival £7.50, child under 1 year Free, carer of disabled Free.

ESP Magazine celebrates and supports all things local. Follow us on Facebook & Twitter, where we will share all other local events that catch our eye.

Mikey Clarke

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