Want to create a creepy atmosphere this Halloween? With the kids on half term holidays, there are plenty of attractions and activities in Snowdonia to keep them occupied… and just a little bit terrified!
Although Snowdonia is known as a great holiday destination and an excellent outdoor activities centre, it’s also a wonderful place for children. With so many attractions and activities on offer, no wonder it’s a favourite family destination.
But what about off-season? While some attractions do close down for the winter, plenty are still operating up to the end of October and beyond, so take a look at our suggestions for spooky attractions the family can visit at Halloween.
Visit a castle
There’s nothing like a castle (particularly the dungeons) for creating a spooky atmosphere. Castles have long histories, and all sorts of gruesome events have taken place in them over the centuries – it doesn’t take much of an imagination to get an idea or two!
Wales has more castles per square mile than any other country, so there are plenty to choose from. Snowdonia’s got its fair share too – like Caernarfon Castle, Conwy Castle, Harlech Castle, Criccieth Castle, Dolbadarn Castle and Dolwyddelan Castle. Some – like Penrhyn Castle, Gwydir Castle and Castell y Bere – even have resident ghosts!
A good, dark trip underground will soon set the scene if you’re after a spooky atmosphere. You could tour an underground mine – at Llechwedd Slave Caverns or Sygun Copper Mine, for example – or even visit King Arthur’s Labyrinth, where the atmosphere is very mysterious, what with all the stories of King Arthur’s adventures. This attraction is fun all year round, but if there’s a ‘best’ time to visit, Halloween is probably it!
Ancient ruins and relics
Visiting ancient ruins and relics, like burial chambers, standing stones and hill forts, gives you a great sense of the passage of time – not to mention the passing of thousands of years’ worth of souls! Snowdonia has been populated for millennia; will you feel the ‘imprints’ left behind by our forebears?
In the spring and summer forests seem such friendly places… but come autumn and winter, they somehow become spooky! Trees that once seemed benevolent and welcoming beings transform into malevolent creatures waiting to trip you up and entwine you in their woody embrace… great stuff if you’re trying to set the scene for a spooky tale or two!
The woodland at Glynllifon Park is great fun all year round. Popular with dog walkers, families and just about anybody who wants a stroll under the leafy canopy, protected from both sun and rain, Glynllifon is a great place to start if you’re looking for a good woodland walk.
Or for a really big expanse of woodland, it’s hard to beat Coed y Brenin Forest Park, where you’ll share your atmospheric stroll with mountain bikers and a host of woodland creatures. You’ll have heaps of fun making up stories to spook your little ones!
Snowdonia’s steam railways usually put on a good show during special celebrations throughout the year, like Christmas and Easter. Halloween is no exception – you’ll find there’s usually a special train or two from each provider. Try the Welsh Highland and Ffestiniog Railways, the Talyllyn Railway, and the Llanberis Lake Railway for starters (they all have special trains over the Christmas period too, so make sure you bookmark them!
Halloween events in Snowdonia for 2013
Here’s a selection of events taking place in Snowdonia during Halloween and October half term 2013. You’ll find more at the Events North Wales and Gwynedd Council websites.
Halloween Spooktacular at GreenWood Forest Park
Halloween Hunt at Llanberis Lake Railway
Halloween pumpkin carving at Bodnant Garden Centre
Halloween trains on the Welsh Highland and Ffestiniog Railways
Spooky Halloween Day at Plas Mawr
Halloween ghost tours at King Arthur’s Labyrinth
All Hallow’s Eve gory tours by Fun Tours North Wales
Halloween train and feast on the Talyllyn Railway
Halloween Trail at the National Slate Museum
Calan Gaeaf Rala Rwdins 30, Palas Print, Caernarfon