Spooky Family Fun in Carmarthenshire this October Half Term
Families in search of a fun-filled half term escape on UK shores should head to Carmarthenshire in south west Wales this October half term, where a host of spooky spectacles and adventurous activities await. From haunted house tours with pumpkin carving and potion making on a 'spooky nature night', to ghoulish gold mine underground tours and farmyard fun for little ones; there’s something to suit families of all shapes in sizes.
Haunted House Tours and Spooky Sleepovers
Dinefwr Park and Castle, Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire
Fans of things that go bump in the night should head on over to Dinefwr Park this half term, where pumpkin carving, haunted house tours and spooky sleepovers are all on offer for brave souls of all ages. Taking place in the "4th most haunted" house on the National Trust’s roster, visitors between 23-25 October have the chance to explore Newton House by torchlight on a spooky evening tour. Early evening tours are perfect for little ones (7+) with magic tricks and mild spooky tales, whilst the later tours (for those 14+) promise to pack a fright, with ghoulish ghost stories told along the way. Fright fans also have the chance to spend the night in Newton House on Halloween itself- you’ll just need to pack your sleeping bag and nerves of steel - with a delicious breakfast served up the next morning to all those who make it through the night...
Details: Haunted House tours take place on 23, 24 and 25 October. There are 3 tours each evening - 7pm-8pm -0ages 7+) and 8.15pm-9.15pm / 9.30pm-10.30pm (ages 14+). Prices from £5 per child (each ticket admits one free adult) and £15 per person for the later tours. Spooky sleepover takes place on 31st October at 7:50pm - tickets priced at £55pp including dinner and breakfast. Over 18s only. For more information visit nationaltrust.org.uk/dinefwr or call 01558 824512.
Bat Spotting and Potion Making - Spooky Nature Nights
WT Llanelli Wetland Centre, Llanelli, Carmarthenshire
For intrepid young adventurers wanting to explore the spooky side of wetland wildlife, the WWT Llanelli Wetland Centre is hosting special 'Spooky Nature Nights' on Friday 30 and Saturday 31 October. There will be bat detecting, torch-lit pond explorations, potion making, owl-pellet dissecting and even skull handling on offer; with hot chocolate and treats served up after a busy evening of ghoulish animal activities. Young ones can also take part in a spooky magic school, where they can make magic wands, conduct experiments, learn tricks and even receive a magic school graduation scroll. Be sure to come in costume too - a prize will be awarded for the best effort! Plus, WWT Llanelli will be hosting a family fun week throughout half term, with minibeast hunting, pond dipping, bird-watching and craft workshops all on offer.
Details: Spooky Nature Nights take place on Friday 30 and Saturday 31 October, starting at 5pm and lasting for 2 hours. Tickets are available from £10 per child with accompanying adult allowed entry free of charge - additional adult costs £4 each. Price includes all activities, hot chocolate and treats. Booking essential. Visit wwt.org.uk/wetland-centres/llanelli or call 01554 741 087.
Ghastly Gold Mines and Dolaucothi’s Dreadful Past
Dolaucothi Gold Mines, Pumsaint, Carmarthenshire
Step back in time at the oldest known Roman gold mine in the UK this Halloween, where young visitors have the opportunity to venture into the deep, dark depths of the mine with a ghoulish underground tour. Taking place in the evening of 31st October, brave underground explorers will don their hard hats, switch on their miners’ lamps and embark on a journey to the centre of the Earth - finding out all about the mine’s horrible history, including Judge John’s infamous murder. Warm refreshments will be offered afterwards at the nearby Dolaucothi Arms, a cosy pub with its own historical connections to the infamous murder...
Details: The Ghastly Gold Mine Tour takes place on 31st October, with tours from 7pm-8pm and 8pm-9pm. Tickets are available from £16 per person, including a bowl of soup and a cup of punch at the nearby Dolaucothi Arms. All children (aged 14+) must be accompanied by an adult. Visit nationaltrust.org.uk/dolaucothi-gold-mines or call 01558 650177.
Cream Tea Delights Aboard a Vintage Steam Train
Gwili Railway, North of Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire
Families are invited to sample a taste of the golden age of railway this October half term at Gwili Railway, where they’re able to hop on board an authentic 1950s steam hauled service and explore the spectacular surrounding countryside from the comfort of an elegant carriage. A delicious strawberry cream tea will be served up to satisfy your sweet tooth whilst on board - including fresh warm scones, welsh butter, clotted cream and local preserves - making this the perfect afternoon treat for little ones and big kids alike. Plus, visitors to the railway throughout the half term week will have a host of activities on offer to keep them entertained - from meeting Ben the steam locomotive who pulls the Miniature Railway and visiting the Travelling Post Office, to pulling the signals and ringing the bells in the museum.
Details: Afternoon Cream Tea service available on Thursday 29th October at 12:20, 13:50 and 15:15. Prices from £14.50 per adult and £9 per child, including train fare. For more information visit gwili-railway.co.uk
Family Farm Fun - Junior Farmer’s Morning
Cwmcrwth Farm - Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire
Don your wellies and get stuck in with all the fun of the farm at this Junior Farmer’s morning at Cwmcrwth rare breed farm; ideal for mini farmers in the making. Little ones will join Farmer Rob to help him do the rounds of his friendly farm animals - helping feed the pigs, collect eggs from the hens, brush Eddie the miniature Shetland and meet Dominic and Millie; the resident donkeys. Snacks and drinks are included - with parents invited to lend a hand too!
Details: Junior Farmers morning runs from 9am-12:30pm on 27th and 29th October. Prices from £20 for one child and one adult, or £50 for a family ticket (up to 3 children and 2 adults). To book, visit cwmcrwthfarm.co.uk or call 01558 669160.
In addition, the National Botanic Garden of Wales is inviting families to go Bonkers for Conkers this October half-term; inviting conker-lovers from across the country to come and show off their skills in the Great Carmarthenshire Conker Contest. The contest will take place daily from Saturday 24th October - Sunday 1st November, with free entry for under 16s all week. For more information, go to gardenofwales.org.uk or call 01558 667149.
Carmarthenshire boasts a host of family-friendly accommodation with remaining availability throughout the October half term holiday. Highlights include:
Newly renovated Mansion House boasts elegant rooms and a wonderful setting, perched just a stone’s throw from Llansteffan’s beautiful beaches. A 3 night stay from Monday 26 - Thursday 29 October is available from £405 - based on two adults and one child (in an extra crib/bed) sharing a Double Room on a B&B basis. To book visit mansionhousellansteffan.co.uk
Blaenfforest Cottage Holidays
Two cosy countryside cottage escapes sat amongst acres of idyllic countryside, on the edge of the market town of Newcastle Emlyn. A 6 night stay from Saturday 24 - Friday 30 October is available from £549 based on a family of four sharing The Granary on a self-catering basis. To book visit cottageholidayswales.com
The Level Crossing
This award winning bunkhouse in Llandovery offers a fantastic value for money escape for families, including private family rooms. A 3 night stay from Monday 26 - Thursday 29 October is available from £168 based on three sharing a private triple room (with private bathroom) on a room-only basis. To book visit thelevelcrossing.co.uk.