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Autumn… when things get wild and spooky on Dartmoor!

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Dartmoor is magical in the Autumn. With the bracken turning vivid orange and mist hanging in the valleys it’s a visual delight. It can also be a little spooky as Hallowe'en approaches with the moor’s traditional tales of ghosts and pixies and wizened woods – you could scare yourself silly!

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There are lots of events organised in the area that are perfect for entertaining the family and being only slightly scary for the younger ones. Pennywell Farm can always be relied upon for great entertainment and they are holding the wonderful sounding ‘Jollyween’! They promise ‘all treats and no tricks’ this October half term.

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Dartmoor’s Daughter’s theme is ‘Explore. Learn. Enjoy’ and it has a host of great activities for half term. Choose from ‘Read the language of nature by tracks and signs in Dartmoor wood’ or ‘Half term map reading fun for children’ or the exciting sounding ‘Potted history – half term walk and crafting fun for children’.

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Over the past few years, the National Trust has really upped its game when it comes to family-friendly events. This half term sees no shortage of activities for youngster at the various National Trust venues across Dartmoor. Castle Drogo is offering ‘Creepy castle crafty capers’ where you can make your own Hallowe'en creation to scare all your family and friends. At Finch Foundry the fiery furnaces of Finch present a spooky backdrop for some scary stories with spooky costumes welcome!

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Meanwhile, at Buckland Abbey, they suggest you take a break from the pumpkins and cobwebs and discover the medieval origins of Hallowe’en. Learn all about a time when faith and superstition were connected as Autumn turned to winter, and restless spirits needed to be kept at bay to ensure good luck and a good harvest. All Hallows Eve was the one night in the year when the wall between the living and the dead was thought to be at its thinnest, and so people took to disguising themselves from the spirits and using all kinds of different offerings to protect their homes.

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At Lydford Gorge, there’s all sorts of scary events scheduled for half term week. There’s a Hallowe'en Trail – Creep through witch's wood following the spooky trail to see what scary myths and ghastly legends can be found. A Torchlit walk lets you light your way to Whitelady waterfall with a flaming torch, enjoy music from the choir as the night descends then head back to warm up with a hot chocolate and toast marshmallows over the fire. On Sundat 29th October, there’s an entire day of spookiness where you can make your very own broomstick, fashion yourself a spider familiar and take home a magic wand. Join in the potions class to brew up some strange concoctions.

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For more practical and less terrifying outdoor fun, you can enjoy a great family day out at Burrator Reservoir on Wednesday 25 October. Drop into the Discovery Centre between 10.00am and 3.00pm and take part in a variety of activities including outdoor cooking, woodwork, environmental art and nature trails.

And if all these exciting happenings have made you think about a last minute break here on Dartmoor… check out the late availability section on our website!

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