Perfectly perched between the last days of summer and the run-up to Christmas, Hallowe’en makes its eerie entrance just as the clocks go back. Chilly evenings turn dark and shadowy, and bonfire smoke fills the air.
What better time to indulge in some seriously creepy, spine-chilling fun?
But if you don’t feel like harassing the neighbours for sweets this year, simply gather your loved ones for a Halloween-themed break instead. With so many horrifying hotspots to choose from all over the UK, you’ve got plenty of opportunity to scare yourselves silly!
So here are five of our favourite unusual places to stay this Halloween, each one paired with a scary activity to help the frightening festivities along. Think pumpkin-carving in the depths of the woods, zombie-fied theme parks, and ghost story-telling around crackling campfires…
…(insert sinister cackle here!)
Main image: Forest Holidays
Spooky Stay: Penny Rope Bed Chamber
Scary Activity: Screamland at Dreamland, Margate Caves
Penny Rope is a prison-themed bed chamber in the cellar annexe of a Georgian townhouse in Margate, for a stay with serious scare-potential.
Ideal for two, you’ll discover bunk beds, bars on the window, tin mugs, and a door that locks with an old-fashioned key…which, thankfully, you’ll be in charge of throughout your stay!
Infused with character and rich in authentic detail, you’ll feel stupidly cosy in your chamber, with help from extra-thick blankets and hot water bottles. Oh, and don’t worry – you get to decide when it’s lights out.
Of course, Margate wouldn’t be Margate without the iconic theme park that is Dreamland. For a Halloween treat, the park will once again transform into a festival of fright this year, with scare mazes, sinister characters…and a ghoulish take on Hammer Horror for good measure! (Selected dates from 18th October – 1st November).
If you feel like something a little more low-key, Margate Caves will also be hosting torchlight tours…with the torches ditched along the way for a ‘true dark’ experience like no other.
Bed down in luxurious Persian-inspired Alachigh tents this Halloween, privately set on a friendly, family-run farm in the Monmouthshire Hills.
Ideal for families, each tent sleeps two adults and two children, and features ‘proper’ beds as well as a secure wooden door! The wood-burning stove is ideal for snuggling around as you get lost in ghost stories, while the skylight window is ideal for spying those spooky mists.
As a Hallowe’en guest, you’ll receive an invite to Penhein’s ghoulish party celebrations, too! Starting at 2pm with a lantern-making workshop, you’ll be trick-or-treating glamping-style later on. There’ll be hot dogs and hot chocolate aplenty, and the most inventive costume will even win a special prize.
Various Locations (above, Blackwood Forest)
Can you imagine a spookier setting for your Halloween celebrations than the darkest depths of the forest?
Perfect for couples, families and groups, there’s no excuse not to treat yourselves to a little scary luxury, including spooky storytelling under the forest canopy, or indulging in a horror film from the comfort of a warm blanket.
2019 Halloween visitors (18th – 31st October) will all receive a free pumpkin and carving kit, plus a sharing bag of Haribo Scaremix to sink your fangs into. There’ll be competitions, ghost stories and trick-or-treat activities at every location, and if you’re brave enough, you could even go bat watching with the Forest Ranger by night!
Spooky Stay: Station House St Bees
Scary Activity: Muncaster (one of Britain’s most haunted castles!)
It’s easy to imagine ghostly times past with a stay at Station House, a former 19th century waiting room at St Bees Railway Station.
A popular stop on the Cumbria Coastal Line, there’s plenty of chocolate-box charm to be found here, from the log-effect heater to the sun-dappled lounge (there’s still some occasional sun to be had in October!) There’s enough room for four guests, and you can even bring your four-legged friend along.
Offset the calmness of your resting place with a Hallowe’en visit to nearby Muncaster, one of Britain’s most haunted castles. Imbued with the powerful spirit of Thomas Skelton (aka Tom Fool), the castle’s Tapestry Room is said to be the primary setting for ghostly footsteps, eerie singing, and childish crying.
(Beyond Halloween, if you’re feeling up to it, you can sit in on one of Muncaster’s scientific ghost vigils throughout the year, or even take part in an overnight ghost sit, where you can spend the entire night in the Tapestry Room. Brrrrrrr!)
OK, so UFOs aren’t usually associated with Halloween, but nobody could argue that the idea of one landing in the garden in the dead of night isn’t scary!
Apple Camping is a fresh, friendly glamping site in the midst of Pembrokeshire countryside, home to an eclectic collection of accommodation – which includes the aforementioned UFO.
Bespoke-crafted by Tenby craftspeople for four lucky guests, this is a Hallowe’en break that will take you way out of this world. Equipped with a gaming monitor, you can play Space Invaders to your hearts’ content…and there’s even an escape hatch if it all gets too much!
While you’re there, indulge your spooky side with a ride on Saundersfoot Bay Ghost Train, listening to the story of Funny Bones as you chug through the village…through the old plantation woods and dark, dark miners’ tunnels. (Train departs every half hour from 1pm-5pm, from the harbour).
So there you have it…our petrifying rundown of the UK’s spookiest and most unusual stays! Come and see what else we have in store by browsing our hand-picked quirky places to stay from around the world.