National Park attractions gear up for ghoulish goings-on and hair-raising Halloween fun
Locals and visitors of all ages can look forward to some fiendishly good fun this half-term at three attractions run by the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority.
Carew Castle, Castell Henllys Iron Age Fort and Oriel y Parc Gallery and Visitor Centre will host a packed programme of activities and events to appeal to all ages throughout the last week of October.
At Carew Castle a Skeleton Trail will run throughout half-term, challenging younger visitors to search the Castle for animal bones in order to claim a prize.
Free drop-in Fireside Tales sessions, suitable for children over the age of four are scheduled to take place at the Castle on Saturday 23 October and Sunday 24 October between 11:30am and 12:30pm, where guests will be invited to settle around the fire in the Lesser Hall as a costumed storyteller recounts spooky tales of brave knights and beautiful princesses.
The ever-popular interactive Horrid Histories talks will also feature strongly throughout the week, offering the chance to discover all the gruesome and gory things that were never taught in history class. Talks will take place between 11am and 11.30am on Monday 25 and Tuesday 26 October, Friday 29 October, Saturday 30 October and Sunday 31 October, and are included free with normal admission.
For a more magical take on Halloween, why not join The Forest Fairy Friends at Carew on Wednesday 27 October and Thursday 28 October, as they go on a journey to prepare the forest for winter? Interactive workshops, packed with games, dancing, storytelling, singing and Halloween fun for all ages will run between 10:30am and 4pm. Booking isn’t necessary, but those attending are advised to arrive 10 minutes prior to each session. A £3 charge, cash only, will be collected by the performers.
At Castell Henllys Iron Age Village, there’s a distinct chill in the air as the ancient Festival of Samhain, or Calan Gaeaf, approaches. Throughout half-term, visitors will be able to follow a spooky pumpkin trail through an enchanting woodland, before arriving in the village itself, where they’ll meet the ghosts of Iron Age villagers who lived there over 2,000 years ago.
For the more artistically minded, a Spooky Clay Creations workshop will run on Friday 29 October, offering the chance to conjure up a creepy creation to ward off evil spirits, or simply keep you company over Halloween.
The main event, however, will be the Samhain Celebration on Saturday 30 October, which will include a ghost walk, fire performance and, of course, the burning of the wicker man. Early booking is essential to avoid disappointment.
A cauldron-full of creepy craft workshops is also simmering at Oriel y Parc Gallery and Visitor Centre in St Davids, where a spooky Halloween Trail with cryptic clues and a prize will run throughout the centre and grounds during half-term week.
Ranger-led workshops will take place on Monday 25, Tuesday 26 and Thursday 28 October, and will include bat and spider-themed sessions, as well as other activities such as building bug hotels, making bee bombs and pebble painting.
A Tissue Paper Lantern and Moon workshop with Deborah Withey is also scheduled to take place on Wednesday 27 October, where participants will be able to make their own botanical themed lanterns, foraging items from Oriel y Parc’s grounds.
And finally, if the prospect of Christmas shopping is more alarming than any Halloween-related horrors, the small pop-up craft market in the grounds of Oriel y Parc on Wednesday 27 October might be the perfect solution. Featuring locally-made gifts and goodies, the market will be open between 10am and 3pm and entry is free.
For more information on these events and to reserve your place, go to www.pembrokeshirecoast.wales/events.