October Half Term in Dorset

4Traditionally Dorset has finished its “season” by now, however, the events and things to do for the whole family during October Half Term in Dorset are expanding all the time – It seems like every day an additional event or spooky tour is brought to my notice for this last week of October. Here we are listing some of those that have been brought to our attention for this year….

Purbeck Film Festival – 16th – 31st October

The 19th Purbeck Film Festival, which this year has chosen the universal emotion of love as its theme. Love, as we know, can reveal itself in many forms: I love my dog, I love ice cream, I’m so in love with her, I love what you say, I love my country, I love my mum and so on and so forth.  This diversity of uses and meanings combined with the complexity of the feelings involved, makes love unusually difficult to define consistently.  Love is a major factor in bringing people together and keeping them together against the many trials and tribulations that they may meet.  One might even say it helps the continuation of our species.

Dorchester Literary Festival  – 23rd – 25th October

Literary passions and country pleasures The Dorchester Literary Festival is an exciting new cultural event for a town rich in literary associations. Picturesque Dorchester and the unspoiled countryside and dramatic coastal scenery surrounding it has inspired many of Britain’s best loved writers, including Thomas Hardy, T E Lawrence, William Barnes, Ian McEwan and Tracy Chevalier. With a programme of events highlighting the latest books by today’s most original authors our new festival warmly welcomes book-lovers to this beautiful setting. Whether you want to hear about the latest historical, crime or romantic novels, interviews with eminent screen writers, or talks by intrepid explorers, royal biographers and eminent historians, there will be something to delight and amaze you.

Spooky happenings around the county

Freaky Streets Weymouth

FREE Halloween Fun Freaky Streets Trail for Children. Follow clues to find the Freaky Streets Gang hiding around Weymouth Town. Entry forms available from the Weymouth BID office 15 St Alban Street, Weymouth.

Haunted Haynes

Boo! From Saturday 24th October to Sunday 1st November join in for a host of extra spooky half term fun of thrills, chills and delights at Haynes International Motor Museum. With lots of extra scary fun! Come in full fancy dress and get in for group rate. Throughout the day a multitude of creepy thrills, spooky chills and chocolaty delights will be happening at Haynes. Have your face painted all scary* and listen to tales of terror and intrigue, on our creepy stories by the Haynes Ghost Busters. Visitors can follow the giant Spider Trail around the Museum and children can get creative having a go at carving their very own lantern in a pumpkin*. Spaces for pumpkin carving are limited and booking is essential. To book a place please contact us on 01963 440804; booking line opens on 1st September. * Additional charges apply for pumpkin carving and face painting.


Solve the spooky island mystery

Hallowe’en Spooktacular : Kingston Lacy

Visit Kingston Lacy during half term and enjoy some spooky fun. See website for more details. Normal Admission applies.

Spooky Half Term Adventure on Brownsea Island

Take part in our spooky half term trail with eerie happenings, scary characters and creepy crafts. Normal admission fees and boat fares apply. National Trust members, free entry.

Halloween Half Term at Farmer Palmer’s

Low key fang-tastic fun for little ones over half term. Daily spook-tacular activities, fancy dress, pumpkin carving, face painting and mini monster hunt!

Get on board the ghost train in Swanage


Halloween & Firework Specials – Swanage Railway

Swanage Railway is running “special” trains for Halloween and Firework night. All details can be found on their website

Halloween Fun at Monkey World

Prizes and fun activities all day will be available throughout half-term; See www.monkeyworld.org/events for full details. (Open from 10am to 5pm. Last entry one hour before closing.)



Jurassic-Swamp-1-300x172.jpgAbbotsbury Gardens

A half term visit, you will be able to stroll round an extended route as the floodlights illuminate the paths around the ‘Long Walk’, the Pavilion and the lily ponds. And the old wall by the Pavilion is set to become a breathtaking focal point, with candles blazing in its nooks and crannies.

From Thursday 29 October to Saturday 31 October, children are encouraged to don fancy dress for the Halloween Fun Evenings, when there will be a spectacular laser rave, a scary scars workshop, a creepy-crawly tent, scary characters and free fearsome face-painting.

The walk around the gardens takes about 45 minutes with a shorter route which is also suitable for wheelchairs. It is advisable to wear sensible footwear and bring a torch. The gardens are sheltered and have their own microclimate, meaning it’s often dry even when rain falls elsewhere in Dorset.

The illuminations run from 5pm to 8.30pm every day from 14 October to Sunday 1 November.

To enjoy a week away in Dorset over half term simply follow this LINK for a family get away.