October Half Term and Halloween in Dorset

The nights are drawing in, the leaves are falling and October Half Term is just around the corner.  

If you want to find out what’s going on this spooky school holiday in Dorset, you’ve come to the right place! We've got some gruesomely ghoulish Halloween events too for monsters big and small.

Be bewitched by Autumn

Just because the summer has drawn to a close, it doesn't mean the fun has to end! Pack your chunky knitwear and head on down to Dorset for a few days away this half term holiday.

The quieter beaches means the children (and dogs) will be free to run and play. Our countryside also looks gorgeous as the leaves change colour and shorter days mean you can curl up for some quality time together in the evenings. Plus, there are some great family-friendly events taking place too. Your perfect autumn escape is here waiting to be discovered.

A trip to Brownsea Island is almost like a rite of passage at this time of year. Enjoy a woodland walk, test your balance skills on the adventure play area or take part in some Forest Bathing. And not forgetting the chance to see the Island's rare red squirrels busy hoarding their food ready for the winter.

Sherborne Castle and Gardens host their annual Autumn Colours event on 22nd and 23rd October. Saunter around the gardens and enjoy something tasty from their café by the lake afterwards.

At Exbury Gardens you can see beautiful autumnal shades of golden yellow and ruby red throughout their magnificent landscapes.

For a few more ideas about where to visit this season, check out our Awesome Autumn Colours blog.

Fun for the little ones

Look out for pop-up activities at Kingston Lacy to help little explorers get closer to nature, create autumn crafts.

Go on a quest and send your brave Teddy Bears down the zip line at Corfe Castle to escape from King John.

Over at the Tank Museum, children can find out more about spies during wartime, including a new Cluedo trail and writing secret messages.

Fang-tastic family events

For a spooktacular half term, head to Farmer Palmers for pumpkin picking, face painting, trick or treat tractor rides and witches races. 

In the run up to Halloween, Nothe Fort is becoming the spookiest place to be this season! Visit their famous ghost tunnels and lots lots more ghostly activities for all the family in this Halloween extravaganza.

All aboard the Halloween Ghost Train to Exbury Gardens. Gruesome characters will be guiding guests through the gardens on their ghoulish ghost train, entertaining visitors with their panto-esc comedy. You might also hear some ghastly singing and see some dreadful dancing along the way.

Combine a murder mystery trail with getting some exercise and fresh air in Weymouth. Trails are done in your own time, at your own pace. It's about 2 miles long and takes 2 hours and 30 minutes to complete. It's suitable for ages from 6 years old and there is a chance to win some treasure at the end.

Spine-tingling tales

There's nothing like a good ghost story to scare everyone at Halloween and Dorset has its fair share of spooky goings on.

Join Granny Cousins for a Ghost Walk around Poole Old Town on 29th and 31st October. Hear about some of the places, people and events that make Poole one of the most haunted places in Dorset. You can book tickets online via Eventbrite.

We dare you to visit some of Dorset's most haunted locations this Halloween! Can you hear the ghost of the ape at Athelhampton House? Are you brave enough to walk along the Roman Road at Thorncombe Woods or wander the Whistling Gunner's tunnel at the Nothe Fort? For more terrifying tales and places to visit, read our Haunted Dorset blog - just don't turn off the lights! Mwah ha ha...

Bats not all, folks!

Halloween and October half-term events are still busy brewing and more details will be added soon - watch this space for up to date info!

Don't forget to check out our things to do guide for a huge range of attractions, activities, shopping and more. Make sure you're following our lively Social Media channels for up to date info, holiday inspiration, competitions, picturesque Dorset imagery, events and everything else in-between.

Boo-k your break to Dorset

Now you've read about all the spook-tacular events taking place this half term, next on your list is to choose where to stay. 


• Hotels
• B&Bs
• Self Catering
• Farmhouses
• Pubs & Inns
• Caravan and Holiday Parks

We handrawn heart Haunted Dorset

Haunted Dorset

Dare you read the creepy stories behind some of Dorset's most haunted locations?

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Awesome Autumn Colours

Stroll through beautiful vistas and gaze into bright blue skies as the seasons change around you.

Family Friendly

If you’re seeking fun-packed days out in Dorset, we've got loads of ideas for all ages.

Areas to Visit

Bustling towns, quaint villages and seaside resorts...all waiting to be explored!

Eating Out

Enjoy some of the freshest, local produce at one of Dorset cafes, pubs or restaurants

What does your Dorset look like? Adventures on our epic coastline? Visiting attractions with family? A walk through the beautiful countryside? Or perhaps a chilled out evening eating and drinking with friends? Discover a sample of your #VisitDorset images below and share your love for Dorset using the hashtag on Instagram.