Halloween is originally a celebration in remembrance of the dead that occurs annually on the evening of October 31. The name Halloween is a contraction of All Hallows’ Even(ing), meaning All Saints’ Evening, as it is celebrated on the evening before All Saints’ Day, also known as All Hallows’ Day. The most iconic symbol for Halloween is the trusted pumpkin. Pumpkins are a member of the squash family (Curcubita). First cultivated across the Atlantic, they were brought to us by intrepid explorers. Now, they’ve become synonymous with autumn and are grown all over the UK.
Here is my guide to Halloween in the UK….
READ MORE: Pumpkin Picking at The Pop Up Farm
Trick or Treat
A world famous tradition for Halloween is Trick-or-treating which has even become a ritual custom for children and adults in the UK too. Children in costumes travel from house-to-house, asking for treats with the phrase “Trick or treat”. The “treat” is usually some form of candy, although in some cultures money is used instead.
Theme Park Halloween Themed Days
All of the most popular theme parks are as usual offering a comprehensive array of frightful fun, including Scarefest at Alton Towers, Fright Nights at Thorpe Park, Howl’o’ween at Chessington World of Adventures, Brick or Treat at LEGOLAND Windsor and More Treat Than Trick at Drayton Manor.
The UK’s original pleasure park Dreamland Margate transforms into a world of nightmares with Screamland, Vampire Pleasure Beach returns to Blackpool Pleasure Beach as part of a week of Halloween activities, Fear Island takes over Fantasy Island, and Twinlakes Park will become a Family Scream Park by day and an Xtreme Scream Park by night.
There is also a great lineup of family Halloween events at many other theme parks in the UK including Paultons Park, Lightwater Valley, Flamingo Land, Pleasurewood Hills and Oakwood.
Looking beyond the UK’s theme parks, Tulley’s Shocktober Fest is the biggest and best of the dedicated scare attractions around the UK and Warwick Castle becomes The Haunted Castle for Halloween.
And my favourite Halloween tradition is pumpkin picking… Me and Theo head to The Pop Up Farm, close to our house in Buckinghamshire each year to grab our pumpkins for the autumn celebration.
Located just off the M1 at junction 9, is The Pop Up Farm’s Pick Your Own Pumpkin Patch. A new venture by local farmer Ian Pigott, is welcoming the American tradition of pumpkin picking to British fields. The family has been farming for generations, and jumped at the chance of getting kids outside, and learning about farming.
Although it’s their first year it has already by super successful, with thousands visiting in the run up to Halloween, opting to pick their pumpkins from the field, than the supermarket. Doing it this way is great fun, and encourages the kids to learn more about where food actually comes from and it also makes for some wonderful photos, which you can see below.
The pop up has an array of pumpkins, ranging in colour and size, from delicate squash and white and blue, to giant orange pumpkins that are priced by their weight. Pumpkins start from just £2.50. You could probably spend a good hour here – more if you want to go and take lots of photos.
Find your local pumpkin picking farm