Ahhhh autumn. Full of oranges, ochres, coppers and golds. Falling leaves, shiny puddles and patches of bright blue sky. It’s a time of year to embrace woodland wanders and blustery beach walks, moorland trudges and pub lunches; simple pleasures that delight and warm as the cooler weather sets in.
Of course, there’s no better way to embrace the season than to get the whole family outdoors into the fresh air, whether to pick blackberries, gather conkers or spot squirrels. As October rolls round and with it the school half term and Halloween, some of the south west’s best attractions are busying themselves to be ready for another wonderful autumn, filled with kid-friendly activities and spooky events that we think the whole family will enjoy!
If you’re local to Devon, Cornwall or Somerset, or if you’re planning a trip to our neck of the woods during the half term, why not check out our top picks for a fabulous way to make the most of this year’s autumn.
With 15 galleries crammed with relics and exhibits, a viewing pontoon, model boat pool and play zone, the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth is a must if you’re visiting the area. And this half term the museum will be edging on the eerie with its Silhouettes & Shadows as well as a Sea spirit trail.
Saturday 23 – Sunday 31 October (12.30pm – 3.30pm)
One of Cornwall’s best-known and loved attractions, Eden Project will be opening late into the night for their all-new Halloweden adventure where among other things, you can follow a trail of magical lanterns through the Rainforest.
Saturday 22 October – Friday 28 October (9.30am – 8pm)
Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 October (9.30am – 6pm)
Fancy hand picking your own pumpkin? Whether you’re planning on carving it out into a scary Jack O’Lantern or turning it into a delicious soup, the 28 acres of beautiful countryside that is Trevaskis Farm, is the best place for you to do just that. And if you’d like to make a day of it why not stop in for lunch at the on-site restaurant which also has a fantastic kid’s menu.
The month of October but specific dates dependent on crop (8:00am to 7:00pm)
Perching on a rocky outcrop above the sea, the Minack Theatre is quite possibly one of Cornwall’s most iconic man-made landmarks, where an open-air theatre and 1.5 acres of tropical paradise await. This half term the Terrible Tudors are coming to stage featuring the horrible Henries and Bloody Mary to name but a few. Hear the legends (and lies) and survive the Spanish Armada as they launch their attack.
22 – 26 October (1:00pm and 4:00pm shows)
Situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the Devon / Cornwall border, Tamar Trails is home to one of the region’s best outdoor adventure centres. Follow spooky clues through the woods, spot haunting figures and scary sights as you go. Then explore the Haunted Hollow if you dare.… Afterwards enjoy frighteningly tasty treats in the Beech Cafe, sweet and savoury. Pick up your clues sheet from the Tamar Trails Centre, £2 per person includes a sweet treat at the end.
Saturday 29 October (10:00 am – 4:30 pm)
Discover Torbay’s unique natural heritage with a visit to Occombe Farm where a mix of farm attractions, animal paddocks, encounter barns and play areas as well as a farm shop and café create a nature-infused experience that’s second to none. This Halloween it’s a Scarecrow Take-over on the farm! Come on a trail of discovery, find the puzzles and solve the clues, with some surprises along the way! There’s a pumpkin patch too and lots of delicious seasonal treats to indulge in when you’re finished exploring.
Saturday 22 October – Monday 31st October (10am – 6pm or 10am to 4pm on Sundays)
One of our favourite attractions in South Devon, Cockington Country Park is at its best during the autumn. Experience wide, tree-lined walkways, woodland paths and an abundance of nature, or relax in the tearoom of the original manor house overlooking rolling lawns. Along with twenty craft studios, an art gallery and rose garden, this autumn (and winter) children aged 5 to years old and their families can join the Cockington Ranger Club with a different activity each session and a hot chocolate to warm you up after.
Tuesday 25 October (10:00am to 11:30am)
Just outside of the city of Exeter, Haldon Forest Park’s 3,500 acres of woodland is a natural playground for those wild at heart! Throughout autumn you’ll be able to take part in their navigational challenge using a Gruffalo-themed orienteering map to find twelve markers hidden in the deep, dark wood.
Open 7 days a week (7am – 9pm)
A UNESCO Global Geopark, Kent’s Cavern is a series of prehistoric caves that showcase a spectacular array of stalactites and stalagmites. This half term you can head into the mysterious underground world of the caves to take part in some bat-tastic activities like decorate your very own egg-box bat, as well as find the hidden pumpkins. One of the pumpkins is too heavy for mascot Cavog to pick up! Can you guess its weight?
22 – 30 October (opens at 10am)
Deep in the heart of Somerset lies the magical Wookey Hole, full of wonder and intrigue. This year Halloween lovers of all ages will be able to delight in caves, witches and adventure as they discover that the Witch of Halloween has invited her sisters home for the holiday’s and the place has been overrun with witches. Fortunately our witches like to treat children rather than eat them and will even give them a lesson on how to ride a broomstick!
22 – 30 October (9:30am to 4pm)
The beautiful Bishop’s Palace & Garden resides in the historic city of Wells and is one of the area’s top historic attractions. This October half term you and your family can embark on their Family Treasure Hunt Trail which will take you through the delights of its grounds and gardens and reward you with a small prize at the end. Make a day of it by packing a hamper and enjoying lunch alfresco in the Dragon’s Lair children’s play park and picnic area, or enjoy a coffee and slice of cake in The Bishop’s Table Cafe if it’s raining.
21 – 30 October 9:30am to 5:30pm
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