Halloween on Exmoor

Halloween on Exmoor

What have you got planned for Halloween this year?  We reckon there’s not much spookier a place to spend it than the wild and windy Exmoor.  Whether you’re along the dramatic coastline with the sea crashing against the cliffs, or out in the wild of the moors with no-one for miles around, the inspiration for ghost stories is rife!

Therefore, we figured you might like some ideas for what to get up to if you’re visiting Exmoor over the scary season…

Ghost Tours @ Dunster’s Haunted Castle

Everyone on Exmoor knows that Dunster Castle is haunted, and this year they’re giving Ghost Tours!  Go along on Monday 30th or Tuesday 31st October 2023 to be guided round the creepiest corridors & darkest dungeons and hear tales of the many ghosts & ghouls who haunt this imposing old castle on the hill…  People talk of a man dressed in green who has been known to appear suddenly in front of you, only to disappear moments later, and of a disembodied human foot that floats the hallways!  If ghosts don’t put you in the mood for Halloween, what will?!

Booking essential, slots available from 18:20 each day.  

We also have a whole separate guide on Dunster Castle for visitors any time of year.  Check that out here for all the information you could need.

Exmoor Dark Skies Festival

Exmoor National Park is an official Dark Sky Reserve.  This means that, come Winter, on the darkest nights on Exmoor, more stars can be seen shining here than almost anywhere else.  In tribute to this,  Exmoor National Park runs a two week Dark Skies Festival in October every year.

There is a brilliant line up with all sorts of magical experiences on offer: from night walks, to stargazing and pizza sessions, to wildlife at night talks with hot chocolate & marshmallows…  There’s even yoga under the stars!  Whether you’re going as a family, a couple, in a group of friends or solo, exploring the moors in the dead of night with a meteor shower happening overhead makes for a much more thrilling experience than your average Halloween party!  (For a full schedule of events, please click here.)

And this year, the October full moon will be just 3 days before Halloween, on Saturday 28th October, so there’ll be extra risk of werewolves, and you can bet your witch’s hat that the bats and black cats will be out in force!

The Lab @ Hestercombe

Hestercombe isn’t technically on Exmoor, but it’s a close enough drive if you’re staying in the East of the National Park, in Dunster or Dulverton perhaps, and we wanted to mention it because we’ve heard of some particularly peculiar goings on at the Hestercombe Lab… Some mad scientists who’d been working on supernatural experiments have gone missing!  Take your kids on a fun a day out to follow the spooky trail of creepy clues to find them… They’ve also got all sorts of other fun stuff on, like free interactive bubble shows and storytelling in “the Bat Roost”.

Free when paying standard garden admission – £14.50 for adults, £7.25 for children 4-15 years and family tickets available.  Book here.

Halloween Party @ Jubilee Cafe

Kids have all the fun don’t they?  From 4-6pm on Saturday 28th October 2023, Jubilee Cafe in Minehead are throwing another of their epic Halloween extravaganzas.  Exact details still TBC, but last year there was apple bobbing, loo roll mummifying, face painting, a “slime surprise” and other classic party games.  They’ve also been known to do Halloween cocktail nights for the grown ups in the past…  (Maybe we do get to have some fun!)  So, keep an eye on their facebook page for more information and be there, and be scare…(y)!

Forest Catkins Halloween & Pumpkin Parties

A recent discovery for us at The Best of Exmoor is Forest Catkins, a local Lorna Doone Forest School!  Games, adventure, forest education, crafts, cooking and more for kids & toddlers, on a regular basis.  And this year’s Hallowee-k, they are throwing Forest School Halloween & Pumpkin Parties!

The Pumpkin Parties will be at the National Trust Car Park in Lorna Doone on Monday 23rd & Saturday 28th October 2023, 10am-12pm.  £12 per child – pumpkin included!

The Halloween parties are at their site in Nutcombe Bottom, Dunster, on Tuesday 24th October, 10:30am-12pm and Sunday 29th October, 1pm-3pm.  Go along to build a campfire, make your own toffee apples & broomsticks, eat s’mores and play lots of games.  And don’t forget to don your witch’s hat or doll up in zombie make up… There’s going to be a costume competition too!  Suitable for all ages.

To book, you just need to email info@forestcatkins.com or message/call 07912176531 🙂

The Cliff Railway Halloween Spooktacular

We go on and on about the Lynton & Lynmouth Cliff Railway all the time.  But it’s not all the time that you can go up & down the world’s highest, steepest, totally water-powered funicular railway at night… run by zombies!  It hasn’t been officially announced yet, but we’ve got the scoop… The Cliff Railway Halloween Spooktacular will be on from 6-8.30pm on the Sunday before Halloween (Sunday 29th October 2023) and there’s no need to pre-book.  Tickets are normal prices (only £3pp), the cafe will be open and, of course, costumes are encouraged!

Spooktastic Cupcake Decorating & Live DJs @ Charlie Fridays

Also in Lynton is the fabulous Charlie Fridays café and bar.  It’s basically our favourite hangout on Exmoor because of its gorgeous, colourful decor and super warm vibes.  TBC what’s on there this year, but last year (2022) they held an afternoon of “Spooktastic” Cupcake Decorating!  (Think purple, orange & green icing with edible bats & hats…) AND, for some more grown up fun, there was a “Chucky Fridays” Halloween party – 7pm till late.  So, this awesome spot has usually got something for everyone during Hallowee-k!  Check out our Lynton and Lynmouth visitors guides for other things to do in the area too:

Halloween DIY

Of course, there are a million other Halloween-y things you can do yourself whilst staying on Exmoor.  Get your costumes on and go trick or treating around houses in a local village.  Get a few friends together, stop for candy-corn and vampire fangs (and possibly booze…) en route and have your own Halloween party.  Head out after twilight to try and spot The Beast of Exmoor (if you dare..!). Hold a séance and summon the dead!  Or, after a day exploring Exmoor, you could just stay in and watch a scary movie

Where to stay on Exmoor this Halloween

Now, all you need to do is pack your cauldron & your broomstick and make sure you’ve got somewhere to stay.  Of course, we’ve got you covered there… check out our recommendations below.  Happy Halloween!