As autumn gets into full swing, the temperatures start to cool off, the British weather sets in and it starts to rain, and we all start to look for things to do in the autumn. One of the best things to do in England in autumn is to celebrate Halloween! There are lots of things to do for Halloween in 2021 in England, and in this post I’m going to share some of my favourite ideas with you.
Halloween is a great time to spend time with friends and family, see a bit more of the UK, or take the opportunity of a long weekend to go abroad (if you can take holiday or work in a school and you are on half-term, as Halloween isn’t a national holiday. Failing that, get some Friday night-Sunday night flights as this year Halloween is on a Sunday!). It’s hard to make exact plans at the moment as it’s hard to tell how the pandemic will evolve over the coming weeks and what the England travel restrictions will be, but we can make plans for our next adventures and get excited about the prospect of travel anyway – dreaming about my next trip is something that I love to do when I’m bored at home!
Halloween can be full of fun, friends and family, and the weather… well it can be hit and miss! In all honestly, October in the UK is likely to be chilly and rainy… but you never know (Halloween 2014 was 20°C and sunny)! There are plenty of fun things to do in the UK and places to visit in the UK that can be enjoyed whatever the weather. From visiting haunted houses and castles to enjoying some of the things to do for Halloween in London, or a haunted forest walk or a halloween party, there’s lots of adventure to be had at this time of year.
In this blog post I hope to answer questions such as When is Halloween celebrated?, Why is Halloween celebrated? How did Halloween start? and What are the best things to do for Halloween?, offering you loads of ideas of fun things to do for Halloween in 2021.
Other blog posts you might be interested in…
What is Halloween?
If you’re wondering ‘when’s Halloween?’, it falls on the same date every year: 31st October. Halloween in 2021 is on a Sunday, so lots of people will be at home to celebrate!
Halloween 2021 date: Sunday 31st October.
If you’re wondering What is Halloween? Why is Halloween celebrated? then here’s your answer… Halloween tradtions originate from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to keep ghosts away. In the 8th century, the 1st November was designatd All Saints Day and it wasn’t long before some of the traditions of Samhain were incorporated into this festival. The evening before All Saints Day became known as All Hallows Eve, and eventually Halloween.
Since then, Halloween, like many other festivals in the UK, has become more commercial, and there are lots of fun things to do on Halloween such as pumpkin carving, trick-or-treating, throwing a fancy dress Halloween party and more.
The best things to do for Halloween in 2021...
1. Carve a Halloween pumpkin and cook with the pumpkin flesh.
One of the most popular things to do for Halloween is to carve a pumpkin and make beautiful displays in and around your house!
Make sure you don’t waste the pumpkin itself though… pumpkin is a wonderful vegetable that can be enjoyed in both savoury and sweet recipes! The traditional recipes include pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup, and pumpkin spiced lattes, but you can get creative too and enjoy pumpkin brownies or pumpkin gnocchi!
Some of my recipes that you could adapt to use up your leftover pumpkin include…
- Falafel (swap the beetroot for pumpkin)
- Sweet potato, lentil and turmeric stew (swap the sweet potato for pumpkin)
- Thai sweet potato and carrot soup (swap some of the sweet potato and carrot for pumpkin, and top with toasted pumpkin seeds)
- Lentil and sweet potato pie (swap the sweet potato for pumpkin)
- Chickpea curry (swap the sweet potato for pumpkin)
- Butternut squash, feta and pomegranate salad (swap the sweet potato for pumpkin and add some toasted pumpkin seeds to your salad)
If you’ve left your shopping to the loast minute and you can’t get a pumpkin… carve a watermelon and make watermelon slushies instead! See how I did it here.
2. Enjoy a ghost walking tour in the UK.
Wherever you’re based in the UK, one of the most fun things to do on Halloween is to join a ghost walking tour. Get to know your local city and its spooky history as you wander the streets (with a guide) after dark and learn about its creepy historical past. London and Edinburgh have lots of famous ghost walking tours, but smaller cities often do them too!
3. Do some Halloween baking.
There’s nothing quite like a bit of Halloween baking to get you in the mood for a spooky night. Whether you’re throwing a Halloween party or a horror movie night and you want to offer some treats to your guests, or you’re looking for something a bit different to offer the trick-or-treaters in your area, baking is one of the best things to do for Halloween – it’s fun and cheap too! I get lots of my baking inspiration off Pinterest, which is also true of these Halloween baking ideas!
4. Have a horror movie night.
One of the cheapest things to do for Halloween is to have a horror movie night. Get your friends together, some good snacks and a blanket to snuggle up in / cover your eyes with for the scary parts and enjoy a Halloween horror movie marathon!
There are also lots of drive-in cinemas in the UK that will show Halloween horror movies, or if you feel like splashing out you could go to the theatre and watch a spooky show such as Phantom of the Opera or Woman in Black.
5. Throw a Halloween party and wear a Halloween costume.
Treat yourself, your friends and the people you live with to a special evening for Halloween in 2021. One of the most popular and fun things to do for Halloween is to throw a fancy dress party!
Go to town with the Halloween decorations and the Halloween themed snacks, dress up in Halloween costumes and enjoy an evening of Halloween games. I’d even recommend making some Halloween themed cocktails for you all to enjoy!
6. Be prepared to scream on a spooky dungeons tour.
One of the most fun things to do for Halloween is to be a tourist for the day and take a creep Halloween-special tour of one of the Dungeons. The seasonal shows are particularly spooky and guaranteed to give you quite a fright! In the UK, the Dungeons are in London, Edinburgh, Blackpool, York, Warwick and Alton Towers, but they are also outside the UK too: Berlin, Amsterdam, Hamburg and Shanghai!
7. Spend Halloween in London.
London is hands down one of the best cities in the world to experience. It’s one of the best capital cities to visit in Europe and without a doubt a must if you’re heading to England. Even if you wouldn’t say you’re a ‘city person’, you have got to visit London at least once in your life. It’s just as vibrant and as full of life as you’ve seen it in the movies.
London is filled with some of the most creative and talented people in the world and it’s a host to world-class performers, chefs, venues, events and more. Whether it’s for a night in the West End, for a Sunday morning stroll through some of the best markets in Europe, to watch a world-famous talent perform, to soak up the iconic landmarks or to dine under the menu of a Michelin Star Chef – London will quickly capture your heart and I can guarantee it will leave you with lifelong memories.
If you’re planning a trip to Europe and are thinking to add London to your itinerary but have no idea what to do in London, London in autumn is one of the best places to visit at Halloween. Yes, it will be busy, but it’s worth it for the buzz and the energy you’ll get here.
There are so many things to do at Halloween in London – it really is one of the best places in England to go for Halloween. Some of my favourite things to do in London at Halloween include…
- visiting the London Dungeons
- seeing the Bloody Tower at the Tower of London
- exploring ZSL London Zoo at Halloween
- Halloween afternoon tea in London on a BBakery afternoon tea bus tour or at The Chilworth
- learn about 19th century surgery at the Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret
- London Bridge Experience and London Tombs
- ghost walks such as the Jack the Ripper Ghost Walks, Haunted Happenings, Fright Nights London, Eltham Palace and Gardens, Charlton House, Walking Ghost Tours at Goodluck Hope or The Ghost Bus Tours
- Pop Up Peckham’s The Forbidden Forest Cinema
- autumnal selfies among Covent Garden’s pumpkin display
8. Visit some of the most haunted places in the UK, including haunted houses, castles and pubs.
The UK is home to some beautiful places to visit… but some pretty spooky ones too! From haunted places to visit in the UK to haunted castles in the UK, haunted houses in the UK and even haunted pubs in the UK… there are lots of places to visit at Halloween in the UK!
Some of the most haunted places to visit in the UK include the Glasgow Necropolis, Blickling Hall, Norfolk, and Buckland Abbey, Devon. Pluckley in Kent is said to be the most haunted village in the UK. There are also haunted castles in the UK, such as Corfe Castle in Dorset, Edinburgh Castle and Warkworth Caslte in Northumberland. If you’re looking for unique things to do in England, why not visit one of the haunted pubs, such as The Red Lion Public House (Avebury), Jamaica Inn (Bolventor, Cornwall), or Ye Olde Salutation Inn (Nottingham).
9. Enjoy an autumn walk.
Autumn is one of the best times of the year to go for a walk in England. There’s something that I love about the slight chill in the air and the sound of of the falling leaves crunching beneath your feet, combined with the beautiful red and orange colours in the trees.
One of the best cheap things to do for Halloween is to get outside and enjoy a nice walk. There are lots of places to go for a walk in the UK, but if you’re looking for spooky or haunted places to go for a walk in the UK, considering walking around…
- Wistman’s Wood, Dartmoor National Park
- The Stone Circle of Avebury
- Chanctonbury Ring, South Downs National Park
- Whiteford Lighthouse, Gower peninsula
- Boggart Hole Clough, Manchester
10. Go for a weekend away for Halloween.
There are so many places to visit in the UK that it can be hard to choose, but an autumn weekend away in the UK is one of the best things to do for Halloween, especially this year when it’s on a Sunday! Whether you want to explore one of the many haunted places to visit in the UK or you simple want to snuggle up in one of the best Airbnbs in the UK, staying somewhere overnight with your nearest and dearest is a great way to add some adventure to your UK winter.
How do you celebrate Halloween in the UK?
What are your favourite things to do and places to visit for Halloween? Anything you’d add?
Love as always and happy adventuring,
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