October days out with the family
PUBLISHED: 08:49 10 October 2014 | UPDATED: 08:49 10 October 2014
With Hallowe’en in half term this year, enjoy spooky goings on as a family and take time to enjoy the autumn colours
Grab the last days of summer outdoors
Hallowe’en falls in half term this year, so take advantage of the free time and take the family on a ghost train ride.
East Kent Railway is running spooky train rides on 26 and 31 October and 1 November from its base in Shepherdswell near Dover, while Kent and East Sussex railway in Tenterden is offering several days of scary family fun from 28 to 31 October and after-dark train trips on 31 October and 1 November.
www.eastkentrailway.co.uk and www.kesr.org.uk
3 other great things to do this month…
• Bring your older children to join in a ghost walk around Canterbury to discover its spooky past and the history of Hallowe’en. Walks take place on the evening of 31 October and cost £8 per person plus booking fee. Part of the 2014 Canterbury Festival, tickets can be booked via the box office on 01227 787787.
• Enjoy a guided tour of Chislehurst Caves, Wednesdays to Sundays. These historic caves will provide plenty of eerie atmosphere at this darker time of year. To join a 45-minute tour, simply turn up at the caves, a short walk away from Chislehurst Railway Station, on the hour. Not suitable for children under the age of three, or those of a nervous disposition.
• Combine some spooky half-term family fun with a visit to some fascinating animals at the South of England Rare Breeds Centre in Woodchurch, near Ashford. Half-term week sees the addition of ghost hunts around the grounds, scary storytelling, face painting, crafts and themed food. See the website for directions, entry prices and other information.
Little Kent Loves… AUTUMN COLOUR
October sees the trees turn to glorious reds, gold and oranges, as they shed their summer leaves in readiness for winter. Where are some of the best places to see these colourful delights?
Blean Woods, Herne Bay: This RSPB-owned nature reserve covers 122 hectares of ancient semi-natural woodland. There are several walking routes that take in the beautiful autumn trees, plus the area is ideal for cycling, wildlife watching and hors riding for more active older children.
Bedgebury Forest, Cranbrook: Home to the National Pinetum as well as hundreds and hundreds of native trees that display glorious autumnal shades this time of year. Children can also enjoy the nearby Go Ape treetops adventure trail and play in the wildlife-rich woods.
Scotney Castle, Lamberhurst: The tree-filled grounds of this lovely Victorian country house are full of autumnal glory and adventure, as well as romance in the guise of the moated ruined castle.
For children, a pumpkin trail from 27 October to 2 November takes them on a hunt for hidden pumpkins around the grounds and there is also the chance to climb trees, build dens and hunt for mini-beasts in the fallen leaves.
Leeds Castle, Maidstone: As well as the castle itself, plus its full half-term events schedule, families who spend the day at this fantastic place can enjoy romps in the woods in amongst some beautiful trees.
Why not pack a picnic and brave the English autumn weather for one last al-fresco meal?
Kent coastline: Wherever you choose to explore along the Kentish coastline, the vivid colours of the English Channel and the seasonal shrubs, grasses and trees dotted along the coast are striking when seen together, up close.
Children can watch the boats sailing past and enjoy bracing walks along the cliff tops. Just be careful not to stray too close to the edge, as October rain can make it slippery underfoot.