Spine-tingling treats

by Sara Barton, 15th September 2023
Halloween adventures in the South of Scotland
Spine-tingling treats

Get ready for a spooky, spine-tingling October in the South of Scotland! The region has a bewitching array of Halloween themed events thoughout the month that are sure to enchant visitors of all ages. From pumpkin picking to treasure hunts filled with spooky surprises, ghostly historical tours to seeking ingredients for special potions there are chills, thrills, and unforgettable memories for all who dare to partake. Here we explore a few of the enchanting, eerie, and exciting Halloween happenings across the South of Scotland.

Halloween trails

Where: Various locations

There’s a delightful Halloween treat awaiting you and the children in your life in the enchanted grounds of Floors Castle. Follow the trail map through the grounds and you can access the Walled Garden and the Children’s Play Park as well with your entry ticket.

Opening from the 1st October, Paxton House has its Halloween trail ready to go – dressing up encouraged and during the schoom holidays a programme of acitivities too!

A Halloween trail of a different kind awaits at Jedburgh Abbey, Melrose Abbey, New Abbey and Caerlaverock Castle. Young adventurers are seeking very special ingredients to make a Halloween potion – so the question is do you know your mugwort from your mallow, and your teasel from your thyme?

At Abbotsford House, October is the ideal time to discover their Witch Corner sculpture trail themed around the Scottish legends and folklore that inspired Sir Walter Scott. For Halloween, the spirits of the forest have woken up for a limited time and during October trail adventurers will encounter them and their riddles – solve them for an edible prize!

In Kirkcudbright there is a trail through the town on All Hallows Eve itself, so go along to see the (ghoulish) sights – if you dare!

Will you find the ingredients you need to concoct the perfect potion?

Pumpkin patches

Where: Drumlanrig Castle | Ernespie Farm | St Abbs | Dalkeith Country Park

Drumlanrig Castle has created a pumpkin patch for the first time this year and invites brave pumpkin hunters to embark on a Halloween trail through its ghoulish gardens. As you seek out your orange treasure expect to face spooky pursuits! But it will all be worth it when you find the perfect pumpkin to load into your wheelbarrow. Safely returned to the Larchwood Cabin, there will be creative Halloween crafts and activities, and children can enjoy the tasty treats that will come in the lunch box included in the ticket as well as having fun in the Adventure Playground. A great Halloween day out for the whole family.

Choose your own pumpkin at Ernespie Farm and they will have carving and decorating stations set up so you can all get creative. There will be games, a full day’s entry to their outdoor play areas and a sweet treat for each child – what better way to spend an autumnal day than out in their pumpkin patch?

Over in the Scottish Borders visitors should head for the St. Abbs Pumpkin Patch where you can choose from over 21 varieties from miniature to large and there are ornamental gourds on offer too.

And don’t forget the Curiously Creepy Pumpkin Patch at Dalkeith Country Park – will you dare to see what lies beneath?

Choose your very own pumpkin – or two – at pumpkin patches across the South of Scotland.

Halloween activities

Where: Dalkeith Country Park

Dalkeith Country Park is offering a huge variety of Halloween/half-term activities for the whole family. In addition to its pumpkin patch, the youngest family members can listen to spooky stories while those up to 12 years old will enjoy decorating (then eating) Halloween cookies or creating a fun Halloween themed craft. Older children can try their hand at crocheting a pumpkin.

Dalkeith Country Park has a range of activities on offer through October for all ages.

Ghostly walks

Where: Dumfries | Kirkcudbright | Lochmaben

It is not just children who can enjoy a Halloween trail! Award-winning Mostly Ghostly Tours have plenty of spooky tales and ghostly walks on offer in the run up to All Hallows Eve. Join them for one or both of their Dumfries tours – both at a 15% discount to celebrate the group’s 15th anniversary. Will you choose The Dumfries Ghost Walk or the Ghosts and Graverobbers Tour? Or join their brand new Waking the Witches tour with a special evening visit to Dumfries Museum and the Old Bridge House Museum. In full view from the Old Bridge guests are invited to listen to the haunting account of five women transferred to Kirkcudbright to await trial, where they would be imprisoned in the ‘dark dungeon’ of Kirkcudbright Tolbooth. Join the Legends and Lore tour at Lochmaben to hear of vampires and curses. And on the 31st of October Mostly Ghostly will be in situ in Kirkcudbright at the beautiful Broughton House & Garden for an evening of spine-tingling tales… You’ll be treated to a candlelit tour of Broughton House by their own guides, before hearing a collection of stories from ghostly Galloway…

John Curtis
Mostly Ghostly will be at Broughton House & Garden, Kirkcudbright on 31st October.

Halloween events

Where: Traquair House | Paxton House

Come dressed in your best Halloween Costume to a day of fun at Traquair House. This year there will be spooky passages to traverse, dunking for apples and prizes for best costume. Tickets are on sale towards the end of September with more information about the day. Expect Halloween themed lunches and tea in the Garden Cafe.

At Paxton House it is a Spooktacular day that awaits your costumed young ones – head off through the woods on the Halloween trail, take part in the arts and crafts and engage in the themed games. Young or old there is a day of ‘spirited’ adventure to be had!

Head to Traquair House for a day of Spooky Fun.