Carve out some frightfully fun things to see and do and experience a whole world of adventure at National Trust places near you this Halloween.
Spooktacular tales and scary trails await brave families this Hallowe’en at National Trust places across Northern Ireland. Keep an eye out for sinister scarecrows at Florence Court’s Harvest Festival of Colour or settle in for spooky storytelling at Mount Stewart. Help keep the Halloween half-term horrors at bay by enjoying a Dark Shore Carriage Ride at Castle Ward, and potion and broomstick making at Springhill. With a variety of activities on offer including spooky fun and thrilling adventures for all the family, be prepared for a terror-ific time. Every spooktacular day out with the National Trust helps care for special places now and for Halloweens to come.
Here are some great days out this Halloween across Northern Ireland:
Castle Ward, County Down
- A Hallows Eve Halloween event, 28–29 October, family trail 28 October – 5 November, carriage rides, crafts and dress up and hawk handling, an unforgettable day of ancient Irish mythology and festive family fun
- Bike hire and 21 miles of multi-use trails
- Woodland and Adventure playpark
This Halloween discover enchanting tales of old as you follow the special family trail. Contribute your own magical touch to the Wise Witch's cauldron, test your nerve in a Banshee chase, and immerse yourself in the mysterious sounds of nature by the eerie shore. After your enchanting trail adventure, families can delight in a spook-tacular array of treats offering both scrumptious delights and warming elixirs to keep the Halloween spirit alive. Little ones and grown-ups alike can hop onto horse and carriage rides, winding along the mystical shore, adding an extra touch of magic to your All Hallows Eve experience. Head into the theatre for a creative session of Halloween crafts and dress up, where you can fashion your own witch's wand. For an extra dose of Halloween wonder, make your way to Hawks NI, where an enthralling live hawk handling demonstration awaits, adding a feathered flair to this unforgettable day of ancient Irish mythology and festive family fun this Halloween at Castle Ward.
A variety of additional support available to help you enjoy your visit, including wheelchairs, mobility scooters, sensory backpacks and advice. For any specific access requirements, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 02844881204
Dogs on short leads welcome in wider estate and tea-room.
Normal admission charges apply, no extra cost for Halloween event.
Florence Court, County Fermanagh
- Festival of Colour event 28 – 29 October
- Bike hire to explore trails
- Autumn colour and Kitchen Garden full of produce
Feast on food, folklore and fun at Florence Court this autumn as the annual Harvest Festival returns for Halloween. Delve into treats and traditions with the new Food and Craft Fair. Listen to tales by the fireside in the Forge, spot scarecrows staggered along the woodland trails and pose beside pumpkins in the Kitchen Garden. With all this and much more to discover, the Harvest Festival of Colour serves up the perfect family day out.
Autumn is no time to hibernate, as you explore the golden gardens as the trees change colour, wrap up warm and take in everything nature has to offer. The whole family can explore on two wheels by hiring bikes or borrowing free balance bikes to take on forest trails.
Dogs are welcome in gardens and wider estate but must remain on a short lead. Normal admission charges apply
Mount Stewart, County Down
- Spooky Halloween trails 28 October – 5 November and storytelling on 29, 30 & 31 October
- The natural play area is themed around the journeys, adventures and creatures found in the book, The Magic Inkpot
This Halloween half term there will be spooky fun and thrilling adventures for all the family at Mount Stewart.Discover the mystical folklore past of Ireland with our myths and legends trail. Settle down for some seasonal and spooky storytelling and head into the House for some Halloween Hijinks.
While you’re there, visit the famous gardens at Mount Stewart which are particularly spectacular during autumn when the compartmentalised outdoor rooms come alive with scent and colour. And for autumn colour the many trails, including a one-mile wheelchair friendly route, around the lake reveal the gold, red and bronze Acer trees. Mount Stewart’s microclimate also means the Rose Garden will be in bloom until the first frost.
Further afield the wider demesne is one of the last few strongholds of the native Red Squirrel. In early autumn you might spot them on the ground at foraging for fallen seeds to store for winter. Look out for autumn signs of activity such as nibbled pine or spruce cones and hazelnuts and listen out for their distinctive calls which sounds like a chucking.
Dogs are welcome in gardens and wider estate but must remain on a short lead
Mobility scooters are available to hire but must be prebooked, please email email@example.com
Normal admission charges apply, no extra cost for Halloween event..
Springhill, County Londonderry
- Family Volunteering Experience at Springhill, 30 September, 7, 14 and 21 October activities will include tree seed collection and propagation, bulb planting, habitat creation and invasive species control.
- Halloween half term, 28 October - 5 November, family friendly frights to enjoy half-term without a scare in the world. Kids can enjoy a host of different events such as storytelling, broomstick races, and creative activities.
- Garden Tours led by Springhill's gardener Adam
Visit Springhill this half term, regarded as one of the prettiest houses to visit in Northern Ireland, the house is open every weekend in October. Springhill’s autumn colours are a beautiful sight, not to be missed. Take a walk up to the sawmill and gaze in every direction at the autumnal landscape. Springhill is also home to a wonderful array of fungal fruiting bodies in all shapes, sizes and colours with fantastically names such as the Scarlet Elf Cup, the Jelly Ear, and the Shaggy Inkcap. Perhaps the most unique and beguiling fungi is the fluted birds nest fungus, nestled in amongst the bark chip of the path, which would easily go unnoticed by the passer by. Main route around house accessible, two steps at bottom of Juniper Walk. Most woodland paths accessible with mobility scooter, outer paths not accessible. Dogs are welcome in gardens and wider estate but must remain on a short lead. Normal admission charges apply, no extra cost for Halloween event. Booking advisable for family volunteering 02887789000, firstname.lastname@example.org
Giants Causeway, County Antrim
- Finn’s Frightful Fun Fest Tuesday 31 October - Treasure Hunt, Spectacular Spooky Tales and Creepy Crafts
- Finn’s Autumn Adventure Trail: Monday 30 October - Friday 3 November
This Halloween half term take a giant day out at Northern Ireland’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site. This half term families can join ‘Finn's Frightful Fun Fest’ and visitors are encouraged to come dressed up for a special Halloween Treasure Hunt; special guided tours, ‘Spectacular Spooky Tales’ Creepy Crafts. These events are suitable for all ages and we will also have ‘Finn’s Autumn Adventure Trail’ running the full week of half term, from Monday 30 October to Friday 3 November.
Visitors in the autumn can look out for flocks of whooper swans, brent geese and lots of wading birds making their way from their northern breeding grounds to spend winter here. The cliffs and slopes are bathed in fading golden shades in the autumn light, and on the farmland above the hawthorn berries create a fiery red glow. Flitting around the meadows, goldfinches, linnets and twite gather into hungry flocks to search for seeds.
Giant's Causeway Visitor Experience tickets include reserved on-site parking, guided tours with our award-winning storytelling team, use of hand-held audio guide as well as access to the visitor centre exhibition and interpretation, shop, café and all facilities.
And remember the Giant’s Causeway is fully dog friendly, with dogs on leads welcome on every step of the Visitor Experience, including in the café and on all guided tours.
All activities included for Visitor Experience ticket holders, normal admission applies. Visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/giants-causeway to plan your visit.
Carrick-a-Rede, County Antrim
- Terrifying Twilight Tales: Evening event, suitable for 9 years and over. Friday 27 October 7:30 – 9pm (guided walk at 8pm)
At Carrick-a-Rede, visitors with a fear of heights are often scared of the rope bridge, but this Halloween we are taking the frights to a whole new level! Terrifying Twilight Tales is a night-time event, recommended for visitors aged 9 and over. Terrifying tales will include the Black Nun of Bonamargy Friary, The Banshee of Benbane Head and Fhir Leith (The Greyman's Path).
This event will take place in the dark, with visitors encouraged to bring torches and clothing suitable for the weather on the night. Cost: £5 adults, £3 child and includes storytelling walk and Halloween treats for everyone.
Booking essential. Visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/carrick-a-rede for more information.