Thirteen Spooky Things to do in Stratford-upon-Avon for Halloween
Halloween is just around the corner and in Stratford-upon-Avon we’re getting ready to well and truly spook you! Forget the pretty river, the lovely eateries, the beautiful High Street and all the fun & friendly attractions… it’s time to come to town for some horror and a jump-scare… these are Thirteen Spooky Things you can do in Stratford-upon-Avon for Halloween. Muahahaha.
1. Tudor World
If you’re ready for a real fright, visit Stratford upon Avon’s most haunted building, Tudor World. This spooky museum sits in the dead centre of Stratford upon Avon and continues its long history of celebrating Halloween with lots of activities for young and old alike.
Sightings of ghosts and weird happenings have been recorded throughout the centuries, right up to the present day: including a little girl from the 16th century and a serial killer from the 18th century amongst others. This year’s Halloween celebrations are therefore sure to be as ‘active’ and fun as ever! During the day the Halloween trial for children includes a ghoulish prize; and a fortune teller will be on hand on selected days. At night a family friendly ghost tour for children with Mr G Buster will be available and spooky tours for the adults through the building’s labyrinth of shadowy hallways, all by the lantern light of the ghostly guide’s lantern.
2. Stratford Butterfly Farm
The Butterfly Farm in Stratford-upon-Avon is welcoming a new resident for Halloween and half term. Aptly named, The Pumpkin Patch, this stunning, beautifully coloured Spider is new to the Butterfly farm and will be on display and ready to creep you out in Minibeast Metropolis.
The Butterfly Farm will also be holding their popular ‘Meet the Mini-Beast’ handling sessions during half term in the Discovery Zone. Twice a day, children and adults can take part in spooky handling sessions and get spookily close to creatures such as a giant African Millipede, African land snail, Madagascan Hissing Cockroach and a variety of Stick Insects!
Stratford-upon-Avon’s sweetest and coolest eatery is ready to welcome you over half term with their Halloween Horrors at Hooray’s. The gelato chefs have gathered around their special cauldron mixing and have been tweaking some terrifyingly spooky flavours like Trick or Treat, Pumpkin Pie, Spiders Web and Eyeball Ripple to name but a few of the totally tantalizing tastes on offer at Hooray’s this Halloween and half term. Visit Hooray’s to experience their (unlucky for some) 13 Halloween themed flavours.
4. The Royal Shakespeare Company
The RSC is showing Tamburlaine, a horror of Shakespearean proportions and a portrait of absolute power at its most charismatic and violent, so just the right play to take in over Halloween. Tamburlaine is a poor shepherd who rises to power to live out his blood-soaked fantasy of conquering the world. His extravagant savagery shows what horror can result when unlimited political libido is let loose upon the world.
5. Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall
There’s nothing EXTRA scary at Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall for Halloween. What’s scary in there is scary all year round, and it is, of course, Master Thomas Jenkins who’s travelled back from the 16th century to give visitors a lesson as the young bard himself would have experienced. Visit this exciting attraction in the centre of town and you will be transformed to the time when William Shakespeare was a young boy and the Headmaster ruled the school with a cane and the sternest of looks, enough to scare a future bard, so definitely enough to scare you.
During half term there’s a whole host of other fiendishly good things to explore on a visit to Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall, including interactive exhibits, quill writing, dress-up and a family trail, all set within one of the most magical buildings in Stratford-upon-Avon.
6. Hathaways Tea Rooms
You wouldn’t think it was possible to mix the spooky and the incredibly delicious, but that’s exactly what you can do at Hathaway Tea Rooms on the High Street. Built around 1610 Hathaway Tea Rooms is a Grade II listed building and occupies one of the town’s most historic locations. The building has been used for multiple purposes over the years including an inn, book shop, apothecary, surgery and now a Tea Room. And while there is nothing spooky about the delicious scones at Hathaway Tea Rooms, several entities are claimed to reside here, with most activity reported to be a residual type haunting with apparitions claimed to have been seen in two areas, the main upstairs dining area and the top landing to the stairs with cold spots reported also. Yikes… would you like a scone with your ghostly experience, Ma’am?
7. The Howard Arms
The Howard Arms in Ilmington near Stratford-upon-Avon is welcoming young witches, ghosts, goblins, skeletons and wizards to a devilish Halloween gathering on Wednesday the 31st of October. There will be a spooky mix of snacks and drinks from 3.30pm till 5.30pm, so put the homework on the fire and get yourselves to The Howard Arms. There’s a face-painting and a prize for the best costume and the scariest carved pumpkin. It promises to be frighteningly good fun.
8. Shakespeare’s Birthplace
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust cares for the five historic Shakespeare properties in his hometown of Stratford-upon-Avon. It is also a world-class educational facility with the finest Shakespeare collections in the country that offers visitors the chance to immerse themselves in all things Shakespeare, across the five historical sites.
Over October half term all the Shakespeare Family Homes are spooking things up with pumpkin carving, family ghost stories, ‘create your own potions’ activities and creepy Halloween crafts to take home.
At the Birthplace itself they are doing three daily activities over half term: Tudor superstitions at 12 and 2pm where visitors can enjoy a spooky talk on superstitions, witches, ghosts, and nightmares. Shakespeare’s Ghosts between 12 and 4pm where their own acting troupe Shakespeare Aloud! recreates scenes featuring the ghosts that appear in Shakespeare’s plays in many ways, from guilt-inducing murder victims to those wanting revenge (are you brave enough to join in?!). And Find the Familiars Trail between 12 and 4pm where Witches’ Familiars help make magic and mischief, and they have hidden themselves around the Birthplace — find them all and learn their mysterious, mystical names.
9. Mary Arden’s Farm
During half term Mary Arden’s Farm has daily Pumpkin Carving between 12 and 4pm where you can get creative and come up with your own pumpkin designs. On Monday the 29th of October the brilliant ZooLab will be in session between 12 and 4pm with their highly-entertaining Tudor workshops that give visitors the chance to meet a motley collection of creatures and learn about what life was like when Shakespeare was growing up. And on Wednesday the 31st of October at 12.30pm and 2.30pm The Castle Small Puppet Theatre return to the farm with their magical castle to perform a special Halloween show that is guaranteed to enchant the little ones.
10. Shakespeare’s New Place
In the beautiful Great Garden at Shakespeare’s New Place Macbeth will be visiting during half term. ‘Something wicked this way comes’ is on daily between 12 and 4pm with potion-making around the cauldron in the witches’ cave. Daily at 2pm it will be story time with ‘Murder and Mayhem’ ad New Place was the site of two murders that could have been plucked from one of Shakespeare’s plays. Hear the stories of murder most foul as they happened on the Bard’s doorstep. And on Thursday the 1st of November you can enjoy ‘Gunpowder, Treason and Plot’, two 30-minute costumed presentations on the story of The Gunpowder Plot and its failure, plus the dramatic aftermath, and how the plotters escaped into Warwickshire.
11. Anne Hathaway’s Cottage
At Anne Hathaway’s beautiful cottage and garden you can enjoy Halloween-themed craft sessions during half term and on the 1st of November ZooLab Creature Workshops return between 12 and 4pm with their highly-entertaining Tudor workshops that give visitors the chance to meet a motley collection of creatures and learn about what life was like when Shakespeare was growing up.
12. Hall’s Croft
On Friday the 26th of October ZooLab Creature Workshops are in session at Hall’s Croft between 12 and 4pm with their creepy crawly workshop offering visitors the chance to meet all manner of creatures, and find out how they some were used in medicine as an alternative to herbal remedies.
13. A whole town full of ghosts
Leaving the spookiest to last: A whole town full of ghosts! Stratford Town Ghost Walk are putting on a special Halloween Ghost Walk on the 31st of October. This spooky evening walk is an entertaining hour and a half of walking the haunted streets of Stratford-upon-Avon. Discover the buildings seeping with tales of ghosts, witches, murder and misery. Hear about a haunted tearoom, a witch in Sheep Street, a jilted bride who appears in a local hotel, a young girl buried alive and more. This is good old-fashioned story-telling of the spookiest kind.
BONUS. A spooky, frightful horror of a market
For 3 days during half term a giant market descends on our town, The Waterside Fright Festival. This market will be 3 fun-filled days of FREE children’s entertainment in Bancroft gardens, listen to the story teller with tales of the Wicked Witch of Warwickshire who was banished many years ago, then take a walk through the forbidden forest to find her, if you dare! A FREE Halloween themed craft table will keep the children entertained while parents relax with a glass of prosecco! There will be reptile handling, a fortune teller, fire breathers, stilt walkers and, of course, the fabulous market itself.