Top ten places to celebrate Halloween and Bonfire Night in Dorset
One in five eight to 11-year-olds want to spend more time with their parents and for almost two thirds of parents in the South West, going for a walk is the favourite way of achieving this.
The new research for the National Trust found that watching television and DVDS topped the poll.
Nationally nearly half of all parents said they would like to spend more time with their children just going for a walk but in the South West the figure jumped to 61 per cent.
And with half term here and Halloween seeing a host of spooky tours and walks, now may be the time to get off the sofa and outside.
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Over the half-term period there will be about 220 family walking adventures at National Trust properties in the South West as part of the Great British Walk organised with PruHealth.
An autumn walk also presents lots of great opportunities for kids to tick off a few more of their ‘50 things to do before they’re 11¾'.
John Lamming, ranger at Brownsea Island in Dorset, said: “Despite the fact that TV seems to be dominating family life it’s really encouraging that children and parents want to spend more time together and that walking is seen a great way of doing just that.
“Walking is a brilliant way for families to spend time together, get fit and discover the joy of the British countryside.
“And with so many great activities taking place at National Trust properties around the country this half-term there’s no better time to get out and go on a walking adventure.”
We’ve picked out 10 highlights for marking Halloween or celebrating Bonfire Night this Autumn.
1) Ghostly tales – The Priest's House Museum and Garden has two spooky Halloween offerings.
During the day on October 31 there’s a host of craft activities while the Victorian kitchen will be cooking up ‘spine-tingling’ tasty treats. Visitors are welcome to dress in scary costumes for the day of activities from 10am to 4pm with admission £1.50. Meanwhile there’s ghostly tales with Taprisha from 7pm to 9pm. Suitable for those aged nine and over, performances are at 7.15pm and 8.15pm. Cost £4 adults and £2 children including soup and a roll.
The Priest’s House Museum & Garden, 23-27 High Street, Wimborne Minster, BH21 1HR T: 01202 882533.
2) Haunted Christchurch – According to the Christchurch History Society pipes and drums can be heard marching down the old Saxon Road and there’s places where not all the spirits are in the bar.
On Halloween night there’s a chance to discover the history for yourself with a guided walk: Halloween – Ghosts, Ghouls and Things with Susan Stott, a paranormal researcher. Meet under the arches of the Town Hall at 5.30pm on October 31. Cost is £4 per person with under 16s free. Tickeets also available from Christchurch Information Centre .
Christchurch Information Centre, 49 High Street, Christchurch, Dorset, BH23 1AS T: 01202 471780.
3) Apple bobbing – Try traditional Halloween fun at Kingston Lacy on October 31 when the National Trust hosts Halloween Spooktacular with spooky trails, story telling, apple bobbing, stories, songs and a tour. Kingston Lacy was built to resemble an Italian Palace. Normal admission charges apply.
Kingston Lacy, Wimborne Minster, BH21 4EA T: 01202 883402.
4) Halloween Fireworks – combining both Autumn celebrations is Swanage & Wareham RFC with a Halloween Fireworks Spectacular on November 2. Starting with a torch procession at the town hall at 6.30pm, the fireworks start at 7pm.
The event also features live music with Voodoo Chilli, licensed bar, food stalls, fairground rides and prizes for best fancy dress. Entry fee is £5 for adults and children under 14 £1.
Swanage and Wareham Rugby Ground, Bestwall Road, Wareham, BH20 4HY T: 01929 552224.
5) Guy Fawkes – It has long been a tradition in England for children to make an effigy of Guy Fawkes and for it then to be burnt on a bonfire on November 5. For many years the plaintive cry ‘penny for the guy’ rang around street corners.
In Weymouth the tradition continues with a Children’s Guy Fawkes Competition at 5.45pm on November 5. The contest is part of the free traditional community Guy Fawkes celebrations which also includes fireworks, fun fair and beach bonfire.
The beach bonfire will be lit at 7pm with the fireworks at 7.30pm over the bay and the funfair in the Pavilion Forecourt will run from 2pm to 10pm.
6) Best of British – The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and London 2012 will be saluted in a Best of British fireworks display. The Wimborne and Colehill Fireworks Display is presented by St Michael’s Middle School Association and Fiesta Fireworks.
Tickets are limited to the first 10,000 who apply. It takes place on November 3 with gates opening at 4.30pm, best Guy competition 5.30pm with the bonfire lit at 6pm and fireworks starting at 7pm.
Traditional food will be on sale including burgers, hot dogs, jacket potatoes, hog roast and fish and chips. Advance tickets cost £5 for adults and £3 for children five to 16. Tickets available from Wimborne Tourist Information Centre in the Square.
Display: St Michael’s Middle School, Colehill Lane, Wimborne, BH21 7AB T: 01202 883433.
7) Firework extravaganza – An ‘explosive evening’ is promised with tank action and fireworks as the Tank Museum hosts the Bovington Garrison Display in association with Armoured Trials and Development Unit on November 3.
Organisers say: “There will be entertainments, traders, refreshments, a fun fair and plenty of free parking. Simply wrap up warm and buy your tickets on the gate for an evening to remember.” Gates open at 5pm, bonfire is lit at 6.30pm, vehicle display at 7pm with fireworks at 8pm. Tickets cost £4 for adults/seniors, £3 children five to 16, under fives free.
The Tank Museum, Bovington, Dorset, BH20 6JG T: 01929 405096.
8) Leisure Centre display – The Bridport Round Table is holding its annual fireworks display on November 3 at Bridport Leisure Centre – it is also held on the Saturday closest to Guy Fawkes Night November 5. Gates open at 7pm for an 8pm start.
Bridport Leisure Centre, Brewery Fields, Skilling Hill Road, Bridport, DT6 5LN.
9) Party in Poole – Supported by Poole Quay Businesses, the free fireworks spectacular on Poole Quay takes place on November 5 from 4.30pm. Among the entertainment planned are street entertainers, jugglers and fire performances as well as live music.
The fireworks take place over the harbour at 8pm. Bruce Grant-Braham, chairman of Poole Tourism Partnership, said: “Poole’s November 5th party gets bigger and better every year. Fantastic entertainment, great bars and restaurants and the most spectacular location in the south make it the best place to enjoy this celebration. So enjoy the atmosphere and join us for what will be a fabulous party.”
10) Bournemouth fireworks – There’s a host of entertainment planned for Littledown Park on November 3 including a family funfair, Go-Kart rides, indoor family zone, Crazy Creatures animal handling team and displays from the Dorset Taekwondo Tigers, Dance4all and Stagewise School for the Performing Arts. Gates open at 5.30pm.
The Halloween Special includes three firework displays at 7pm, 8pm and 9pm. There’s parking at the Littledown Centre and an overflow car park at Bournemouth Hospital.
Family tickets can be bought in advance only for £15 for two adults and two children. Tickets can be bought at The Shop, Littledown Centre; Bournemouth International Centre Box Office, Pig and Whistle Pub, 14 Queens Road or Christchurch Information Centre, 48 High Street, Christchurch.