There's a host of options for great holidays in our region, whether you want a family holiday by the seaside, a cosy cottage for two in the countryside, an activity holiday walking or narrowboating, or a city break. Here are a few ideas...
If you're looking for a holiday with the privacy of your own home from home, but plenty of neighbours around – maybe with other children for the kids to play with, or somewhere with a bar and function room where you can enjoy socialising – a holiday park is the place for you. Parks come in all shapes and sizes from spacious, family-friendly resorts to small and intimate adults-only parks. You can choose from beach-side resorts, parks nestled in the foothills of the mountains or even parks on the edge of a city – whichever you choose you'll be in easy reach of plenty of attractions in the region. Many parks offer lodges and caravans to hire, and if you decide you love it, you can always buy a holiday home of your own!
For more inspiration check out Conwy Holiday Park, www.conwyholidaypark.co.uk; Firtrees Caravan Park near Chester, www.firtreescaravanpark.com; Thornley Leisure, who have seven lovely parks dotted around north Wales and Cheshire (www.thornleyleisure.co.uk); Morfa Lodge Holiday Park near Caernarfon (www.morfalodge.co.uk); and the luxurious Plas Coch on Anglesey (www.plascochholidayhomes.co.uk). And take a look at our holidays pages every issue – there's lots more inspiration and advice there.
If your idea of a holiday means someone else doing the cooking and making the beds, then obviously a hotel or guest house is for you. Want to explore the castles and mountains of north Wales? Maenan Abbey in the Conwy valley (www.maenanabbey.co.uk) is a historic country house hotel and restaurant offering luxury, intimacy and a warm, friendly welcome. . In nearby Deganwy is the cool and sophisticated Quay Hotel & Spa (www.quayhotel.co.uk) from where you can explore, or just relax in luxury at the spa and restaurant.
Mellington Hall in Shropshire (www.mellingtonhall.com) is in a perfect spot for exploring both the Shropshire countryside and the Welsh scenery over the border in Powys, while Chateau Rhianfa on Anglesey (www.chateaurhianfa.com) looks like some sort of fairytale castle out of a Disney cartoon, overlooking the Menai Strait with its own private beach.
For those who want luxury within easy reach of culture, shopping and nightlife, the Chester Grosvenor Hotel (www.chestergrosvenor.co.uk) is right in the middle of the city centre. You can explore the historic attractions, and then relax and revive at the luxury spa.
Active types who want to explore Snowdonia's attractions can choose the Oakeley Arms (www.oakeleyarms.co.uk), which is bang in the middle of the Snowdonia National Park. The hotel has en suite rooms plus self-catering cottages on offer.
Those looking for a true retreat can stay at the historic Gladstone's Library in Flintshire (www.gladstoneslibrary.org), which offers lovely rooms on a bed and breakfast basis. You can even learn while you're on holiday with one of the many courses that are on offer.
Our region is blessed with a number of canals, all with their own character and history and plenty of scenery and sights to discover. We've the Llangollen Canal in north Wales, the Shropshire Union Canal in Cheshire and Shropshire, the Montgomery Canal in mid Wales and the Cheshire Ring in Cheshire. And of course Ellesmere Port on the Wirral is the home of the Canal and River Trust and the National Waterways Museum, where you can find out everything you could possibly want to know about canal boating.
What could be more relaxing than put-putting along a tranquil waterway at a leisurely 4mph, enjoying the scenery and wildlife, with the kettle on in the cosy kitchen, the whole canal network open to you, and knowing that wherever you moor, all the comforts of home are there with you? Hiring a narrowboat is easy; you don't need any qualifications or licences: when you arrive at your chosen marina, you get a tutorial on how to power and steer the boat, and then you're off!
For more inspiration check out Cheshire Cat Narrowboats at Overwater Marina, where you'll find lots of information about narrowboating (www.cheshirecatnarrowboats.co.uk); or Drifters, who have a number of places you can hire boats from on both the Shropshire Union and Llangollen Canals (www.drifters.co.uk).
If you like the idea of travelling around, rather than being tied to one spot, but would prefer to be on solid ground rather than water, a caravanning holiday could be the thing for you. If you'd like advice about buying a caravan, check out Clwyd Caravans near Wrexham (www.clwydcaravans.com); here you'll find a range of caravans new and used on offer, plus a service and repair centre, a shop sellling all the accessories you could possibly need and, not least, plenty of impartial advice and help. There are lots of lovely parks and resorts in the region that are open to touring caravans, including Newnes at Ellesmere (www.thenewnes.co.uk) an adults-only park; and Tan-y-Fron near Dolgellau (www.campsitesnowdonia.co.uk) which also has luxury camping pods for hire and a bed and breakfast.
The seaside resorts, villages and countryside of Wales, Shropshire and Cheshire are lovely spots for a holiday, and there's a wealth of properties for hire by the day, weekend or week in these areas. Whether you're looking for a 14-bed property for a big family get-together, a cosy country cottage for an intimate holiday for two, or a chic, city apartment near the theatre, there's a variety to choose from.
Menai Holidays (www.menaiholidays.co.uk) have a range of cottages on Anglesey, the Llyn Peninsula and in Snowdonia, from properties for large groups, to luxury holiday homes with hot tubs or swimming pools. Sykes Cottages (www.sykescottages.co.uk) offer a variety of properties, based in areas where you can explore everything from castles to rugged countryside. North Wales Holiday Cottages (www.northwalesholidaycottages.co.uk) have farmhouses, apartments, cottages and townhouses on offer as well as truly remote getaways. Fancy a half-timbered Tudor House, or the gate lodge of a castle? Wynhdam Lettings (www.english-country-cottages.co.uk) have all sorts of quirky properties on their books.
At the age of 65 I found myself a real pudding! I weighed 16st 10lb and with failing knees and hip was told to lose weight, so I researched the subject in depth. We all know no-one can live permanently on any kind of diet, plus most put the weight back on when they come off any diet they try.
The answer is that you have to change the way you eat permanently. That's what I did and four years later I have reached my goal having lost four stone. This is the story of how I accomplished this, kept the weight off and have never felt hungry.
Always drink a pint of water (still or sparkling) immediately before you eat
Change to smaller plates – it's psychological but it works
Cook all meals from scratch using ingredients you can recognise
Stock your cupboard with healthy quick-to-use ingredients – tinned mixed beans, tomatoes, fish, eggs etc – so you can knock up a quick meal in 10 minutes
Get rid of all temptation by clearing your kitchen of unhealthy items
Never buy salad dressings; make your own from olive oil, vinegar, garlic and spices
Avoid takeaways and ready meals – they're not called junk food for nothing
Ditch ordinary potatoes; change to sweet potatoes even for chips and roasties
Eat slowly and chew everything thoroughly. This produces digestive enzymes and allows time for signals to reach the brain telling you when you've eaten enough
Never eat anything three hours before bedtime except a milky drink and one dark chocolate square
Always get eight hours sleep
Only drink alcohol at the weekends; one 250ml glass of red wine is about right
Limit your intake of carbohydrates to no more than 15 per cent of your total consumption. Your plate should be 50 per cent vegetables or salad, 35 per cent protein, 15 per cent carbohydrates
If you drink tea make it green tea which is very healthy (zero calories)
If you drink coffee take it black with no sugar (zero calories)
Get a dog (rescue ideally) and walk it twice daily
Buy a FitBit watch and measure your steps, calories etc
Have a weekly treat (chocolate doughnuts from Sainsbury's are my choice)
Swap dairy milk for almond milk
Include protein in every meal to keep you feeling fuller for longer (fish, seafood, eggs, cheese, yoghurt, beans, nuts)
Snack on nuts, seeds, melon, root vegetable crisps, plain popcorn, celery, crudités etc NO DIPS
Try to make most of your five a day vegetables and not fruit which is high in sugar
Only roast, fry etc with coconut oil; it's cheap and superior to anything else
Only use olive oil cold. Never cook with it as it oxidises at low temperatures
Add spices to meals: tumeric, linseeds, back & red pepper, chilli, garlic, onions etc
Aim to lose weight gradually – between 1lb and 2lb per week so your body has time to adjust
Weigh yourself once a week first thing in the morning
Everytime I lost half a stone I would buy myself a non-edible treat such as a teddy bear (I collect them) so I had a tangible reminder of my achievement
I am now back to my comfort weight of 12.5st which was the level I felt really good at in my 30s when I did some glamour modelling, and now, at 70, I feel great! You can do it too!
We are lucky to have lots of woodland in this country, which ranges in age massively, from long-standing forests where our ancestors hunted for their food, to modern-day non-native plantations which have been managed and worked to provide materials for building and paper. We also have a variety of types of woodland – different trees like different types of soil, terrain and climate, so depending on where you go and what type of woodland you find, you’ll get different displays of colour.
Head for the mountains of north Wales and you’ll find upland woods of oak, ash and birch, while in the valleys of Shropshire you’ll find native lowland woodland, and of course in Cheshire’s country parks and grazed areas there are wood pasture and parkland woods. Among these are probably the most precious type of woodland: our ancient woods, which support more than 200 rare and threatened species of wildlife.
Individual trees are also important features, often defining local landscapes, and bringing together communities. One example is the Lonely Tree at Llanfyllin – the majestic, 200-year-old Caledonian pine was a prominent local landmark, and when it was blown down in the gales of 2014, the local people got together and tipped 30 tonnes of soil over the roots so that any intact roots can still function, and the tree will continue to live – if forevermore lying down. It was even a finalist in this year’s Tree of the Year competition.
To find woodland sites near you, visit your local wildlife trust website (visit www.wildlifetrusts.org to find it) and the Woodland Trust at www.woodlandtrust.org.uk
Perhaps the best-known woodland in Cheshire is Delamere Forest, which is actually the largest area of woodland in the country, covering 972 hectares (2,400 acres). You might think of Delamere as a pine forestry plantation, and indeed it is managed by the Forestry Commission (England) but in fact it contains a good mixture of deciduous and evergreen trees, has a rich history, and is a great place to go and see autumn trees in colour.
Delamere means ‘forest of the lakes’ and it was once part of Mara and Mondrem – massive hunting forests created by the Norman earls of the 11th century. They once covered 60 square miles! Nowadays, the forest is a popular place to go walking, cycling and horse riding. Visit www.forestry.gov.uk/delamere
Those up for a hike should head for Alderley Edge – the wooded escarpment is brilliant for walking and at its highest point offers amazing views across the Cheshire plain and the Peak District, not to mention Macclesfield Forest, all of which looking stunning in autumn.
More formal places to see autumn colour, and to discover the delights of some not-necessarily-quite-so-native trees is at arboretums, specially planted ‘tree gardens’. Lovell Quinta Arboretum, at Swettenham, covers 16 hectares and has a stunning collection of trees, including an avenue of red twigged limes and more than 75 species of oak. It is jointly owned and managed by the Tatton Garden Society and the Cheshire Wildlife Trust. Visit www.tattongardensociety.org.uk.
Jodrell Bank is obviously famous for its Lovell telescope, but did you know there is also an arboretum there? The Granade Arboretum was planted in 1971, and the Planet Path through the trees is designed to take you on a walk that reflects and explains the size of the solar system and earth’s tiny place in it. This is fascinating in itself, but of real interest in the autumn is the amazing display of colours, especially from the collection of crab apple trees and maples. Visit www.jodrellbank.net
The Shropshire Hills are home to important woodlands – many are ancient or contain remnants of ancient woods. This is a lovely area for a drive, a bike ride or a walk and you’d be hard pushed to find somewhere that doesn’t offer views of lovely autumn colour.
The National Trust-owned Carding Mill Valley is a lovely spot for a drive, where you can see the trees changing colour – and it’s not just the trees, either: the hillsides are covered with heather and bracken which provide an amazing display through late summer and autumn. It’s a great place to stop for a picnic or go for a short stroll. Until the end of September you can get a shuttle bus that takes you around the scenic areas; an even better way to enjoy the scenery – visit www.shropshirehillsaonb.co.uk. Or thread your way up the Ironbrige gorge – the birthplace of the industrial revolution might not sound like the sort of place to go and see trees and nature in all its glory, but the wooded gorge and Benthall Edge are spectacular in autumn.
More energetic explorers can head for the wooded limestone escarpment of Wenlock Edge, where, as well as beautiful trees, you’ll find far-reaching views, an abundance of wildlife, and the remains of old quarries and limekilns. The wooded slopes of the Wrekin are threaded with paths where you can explore the woodland, see the beauty of the trees and discover an Iron Age hillfort at the top.
Rectory Wood and Field, tucked between Church Stretton and the Long Mynd, has woodland walks as part of a landscape influenced in its design by Humphry Repton. Several paths explore this ancient woodland where you can discover a wide range of species. Clun Valley, meanwhile has rich woodlands on either side – best known are Bury Ditches and Clunton Coppice, which is a Shropshire Wildlife Trust reserve.
For those with children who aren’t likely to be impressed with colour-changing leaves, Arley Arboretum and Gardens at Bewdley offer a great compromise. While you’re admiring the display of specialist trees and colour on the way, the kids can do the Dinosaur Trail and find their way through the maze of hornbeam trees. Visit www.arleyarboretum.co.uk
Walcot Woods near Bishops Castle is part of Lord Clive of India’s orignal Walcot Estate and is now managed by the National Trust. The oak trees here are veterans – more than 400 years old, and Walcot Hall hotel has an arboretum containing a variety of trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants that is open to the public daily. Visit www.walcothall.com.
Wales, of course, is full of spectacular woodland of a variety of types, from the upland woods of north Wales to the densely wooded valley bottoms of mid Wales. The difficulty here is deciding which ones to visit!
Native oakwoods are found in the upland areas of the north and west, such as Coed Hafod y Llyn in Snowdonia. Here you’ll find lush ferns, mosses, liverworts and lichens. These woods are usually mainly sessile oak, but also home to birch, hazel, rowan, holly and hawthorn, all offering wonderful colour in autumn. These woods have plenty of history too – although they may feel ancient and untouched by man’s hand, many are actually coppice woods, shaped by people over the centuries as they used the wood to make charcoal.
You don’t even have to get out of your car to witness beautiful displays of autumn colour in Wales. Take a drive up the Conwy Valley to Llyn Crafnant (described as ‘one of the most breathtaking views in all Snowdonia’) and see double the colour as the hillsides and trees are reflected in the lake, or simply wind your way up the Sychnant Pass for stunning views.
The Dyfi Valley in mid Wales is famous for its green mountains – which turn a variety of shades in autumn. Take a drive along the valley road and admire the colours of the Dyfi Forest. A gentle walk stopping for a picnic among the beech trees of Tan y Coed near Machynlleth is a delight, or stop by the river at Foel Friog and admire the colours of the oak trees. Or take a drive into the Berwyn mountains to see Pistyll Rhaeadr and not only do you get views of an amazing waterfall - the densely wooded gorge is a riot of colour in autumn too.
Marl Hall Woods, near Llandudno Junction, is a Woodland Trust reserve made up of ancient semi-natural woodland with dazzling autumn colour. You also get great views across the Conwy Valley and there’s lots of historical interest here too. On the Menai Strait, Nantporth, a North Wales Wildlife Trust reserve, offers the best of both worlds, being both coastal and woodland.
Dolforwyn Woods, at Abermule in Powys, is a mixed woodland bursting with wildlife that is looked after by the Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust. There has been woodland on this hillside for centuries and although many native trees were cut down to make way for plantation, today there’s an interesting mixed woodland supporting a range of plants, lots of fascinating fungi and spectacular colours. There are also dormice here!
Also well worth visiting are some of the National Trust estates, which have extensive parkland with ancient trees and areas of woodland. The estate at Chirk Castle near Wrexham is just one example, full of ancient trees, 70 per cent of them oak, and with some unique veterans among them. Look out also for the the butter yellow colour of the lime tree avenue, the orange, yellow and white berries of the mountain ashes and the rich russet colours of the flowering cherries. On 21st October you can even do a guided walk with the head gardener, focusing on autumn colour. Further north, Bodnant Garden has more than 100 champion trees and the autumn colour in the recently opened Far End Garden is well worth seeing. Visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk.
Thousands of years of land management have dramatically reduced the UK’s woodlands, but the Wildlife Trusts and the Woodland Trust, who look after lots of woodland nature reserves, are working to maintain these vital eco-systems sympathetically. A mix of coppicing, scrub-cutting, ride maintenance and non-intervention all help woodland wildlife to thrive, and you can help: volunteer for your local Wildlife Trust or the Woodland Trust and you could be involved in anything from taking part in traditional forest crafts to raising awareness about woodland animals.
Visit www.wildlifetrusts.org or www.woodlandtrust.org.uk
What makes trees leaves change colour? Why are some red and some orange?
Leaves contain three pigrments: chlorophyll (green), carotenoid (yellow, orange and brown) and anthocyanin (red) . As we all learnt at school, chlorophyll and sunlight are what cause photosynthesis to happen, which is how trees turn carbon dioxide and water into glucose – their food, basically – and oxygen, which is, of course, what makes our air breathable.
Chlorophyll and carotenoid are in leaf cells all the time during the growing season, but the chlorophyll covers the carotenoid – that's why summer leaves are green, not yellow or orange. Most anthocyanins, meanwhile, are produced only in autumn, and only by some trees, like maples, which is why their leaves go particularly red.
As autumn comes, trees need less food, and they respond to the decreasing amount of sunlight by producing less and less chlorophyll until they stop altogether. When that happens, the carotenoid already in the leaves starts to show and we get our annual display of yellows, oranges and browns.
Inspired to buy your own woodland, or maybe you’ve space to start one from scratch? It’s not as difficult as you might think. Those of us who live in rural, wooded areas are used to seeing ‘Woodlands for sale’ (or ‘Coedwig ar werth’ in Wales) signs dotted about, and both woodlands.co.uk and the Woodland Trust can offer all sorts of help and advice for those looking to buy their own shady spot. In fact, the Woodland Trust deliberately plants young woodland and then puts it up for sale – visit www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/plant-trees/woodland-for-sale
If you already have land, and like the idea of planting trees on it, again, the Woodland Trust can help – their MOREwoods scheme provides financial and practical support for those who want to create new woodland. The trust invite anyone interested in planting trees to discuss their ideas with them, and if your project fits and you plant the trees, they’ll contribute 60 per cent towards your project costs. They will visit you to discuss your ideas and check your land is suitable, and once you've agreed a planting/maintenance plan and finances they’ll even sort and deliver your trees.
Why do it?
There are plenty of reasons for planting woodland - you can help wildlife flourish, create a secure supply of firewood for yourself and generations to come, help to keep our air breathable, and, of course, create somewhere beautiful and relaxing for people to visit.
We all enjoy a tale of terror over Halloween, so here’s a few freaky fables to send chills down your spines under the dim glow of your jackal lanterns…
In north Wales, there are some truly terrifying tales that have crept out of myth and legend over the years. The bridge over the River Dee at Holt, near Wrexham, was apparently the site of a cruel murder that took place centuries ago. According to the story, the lords John, Earl Warren and Roger Mortimer of Wigmore were appointed as guardians to the two young sons of Madog ap Gruffudd. However, the lords craved the boys’ wealth, so they crossed the bridge with the sleeping children, threw them into the cold river waters below, and waited until they drowned. Today, it’s said that the wailing cries of the two young boys can still be heard at night underneath the bridge…
Some ghosts still wander the earth looking for their lost loves. Over at Plas Teg in Flintshire, it’s said that the ghost of Sir John Trevor’s daughter haunts the A541 that runs past the old Jacobean mansion. She fell madly in love with a farmer’s son and planned to elope with him. She hid her jewels down a well, and when she went to retrieve them, she lost her footing and plummeted to her death. Her lover hung himself when her body was discovered two months later. Her white spirit can often be seen wandering the A541, and his ghost still searches the grounds for his love.
Ready for another witchy tale? The mid-17th century saw the rise of the European witch hunts. In 1656, three women in Broughton were accused of consorting with demons and using black magic against the other village folk. The women were found guilty, and were executed on Gallows Hill on the same day. Two centuries later, a local historian began researching the story, and reported that he was visited by three demented women, who threatened to bring forth the devil if he didn’t abandon his research. He died in 1902 while visiting Gallows Hill…
Shrewsbury Castle hosts a particularly evil spirit. Once upon a time in the 12th century, a man named Jack was the keeper of the castle. He was a reported serial killer, who murdered eight young women during his killing spree. He was caught after being sighted by another woman as he dragged the bloodied body of her sister across the drawbridge. For his crimes he was hung, drawn and quartered, and his ghost has been seen on many occasions prowling the grounds, no doubt still searching for young female victims…
However, not all ghosts wish the living harm – in fact, some are even crime fighters! In Blaenporth, mid Wales, a man living near the church was woken up by the village ghost, Mair Wen, who told him that someone had stolen the communion cup from the church, and that he must retrieve it. The ghost knew exactly where to find the culprit, in a pub in Cardigan. The man took back the cup from the sleeping thief and returned it to the church.
Crocky Horror Show, The Crocky Trail, 18th October-2nd November
The Crocky Trail has been transformed into a nightmare full of live actors, terrifying sets and props, with death-defying stunt riders and the Crocky Dungeon to explore. Ghoulish shrieks and surprises will have the whole family jumping with fright and giggling with delight. www.crockytrail.co.uk
GreenWood Spooktacular 24th-31st October
Hold on to your broomsticks – GreenWood Forest Park has some spooktacular treats in store and will be brimming with Hallowe’en fun for the whole family. Get creative with creepy crafts – make lanterns, dragons, monstrous masks and create your own Harry Potter style broomstick. Keep your eyes peeled for witches and other spooky creatures in the trees, or become one yourself with freaky face painting. You can even join in with one of our musical drumming workshops. For a spooktacular treat on the 26th you can meet REX the life like dinosaur whilst he wonders through the park, and when you’ve had your fill of ghoulish goodies, warm up with a tasty hot chocolate for free if you come along in fancy dress!www.greenwoodforestpark.co.uk.
Halloween Spooktacular, Park Hall Farm, 24th October-1st November
Join in the quest to scare and be scared this Halloween. Explore chilling horrors in the Haunted House, and try to find your way out the dark and dusky corridors of the Halloween Maze. For those who don’t want a scary experience, there will also be Halloween activities, pumpkin carving and wacky games. www.parkhallfarm.co.uk
Halloween at Tatton Park, 24th October-1st November
Various ghostly-goings on are happening over Halloween this year. Hauntings at the Old Hall is 24th-31st October, with frightening happenings in the very haunted hall, with spooky activities, a quiz to solve and storytelling. From 24th October-1st November, prepare to be (slightly) scared as you hunt for ghosts in the garden. On the same days, help solve the case of the missing mansion treasure. www.tattonpark.org.uk
Perfect Pumpkins, Chirk Castle, 26th-31st October
Chirk Castle will provide stencils, carving sets and tea lights, so you can get stuck straight into designing your own pumpkin. On Halloween itself,(31st October), there are plenty of spooky happenings – if you’re brave enough to visit the Castle of Mysteries, children in a Halloween costume get in for free! www.nationaltrust.org.uk
Ghostly Gaslight, Blists Hill Victorian Town, 31st October
Dress up in your scariest costume this Halloween for streets, houses and shops transformed into eerie places of ghouls, ghosts and monsters. The buildings will be illuminated, and fireworks and pyrotechnic effects will light up the sky. Sundial Theatre will perform scenes from the grisly Sweeney Todd, and guests will meet wizards, ghosts and zombies along the way. This safe family event takes place between 6pm and 9pm. www.ironbridge.co.uk
Hallow Brenig, Llyn Brenig, 30th October
Take an eerie walk through the woodland around Llyn Brenig on the 30th, with some spooky surprises to make you jump along the way. Led by a storyteller, who will share some terrifying tales with you as you walk. Are you brave enough? www.llyn-brenig.co.uk
Halloween Spookfest, Prestatyn, 31st October
Prestatyn High Street will get ready for Halloween with lots of activities for children including free facepainting and free pumpkin carving. Join in the free witch hunt, get a medal if you’re in fancy dress, and go trick or treating in all the shops. And in the evening join a ghost hunt through the town. www.atprestatyn.co.uk
Get in the Halloween spirit by visiting one of the local heritage railways. They’ve got some fang-tastically wonderful Halloween events for adults and children alike to enjoy, with specially decorated trains, and creepy rides through forests, woodland and local countryside. Expect spooky trips with ghostly storytelling, prizes for dressing up, ghoulish goodie bags, hot food and drinks and other spooky goings-on to send chills down your spine. So, wrap up warm, fish out your scariest (or not so scary) costume and join in for fright-night fun!
Llanberis Lake Railway, 25th-31st October
Do you dare to ride the ghostly train through the Witches Woods to seeks out the spirits and spooks? Suitable for all ages. www.lake-railway.co.uk
Rheidol Railway, 29th-31st October
Journey to Devil’s Bridge, and enjoy a Halloween feast of pork baps, hotdogs, and blackberry and apple. Don’t forget to dress up – there will be a prize for the best children’s costume. May not be suitable for very young children. www.rheidolrailway.co.uk
Severn Valley Railway, 29th-31st October
There’ll be prizes for the best-dressed children, as well as ghoulish goodie bags, and all the stations will be transformed into ghostly scenes – are you brave enough to join the fun?
Visit www.svr.co.uk or call 01562 757900
Talyllyn Railway, 30th-31st October
A spooky ride through the haunted woods at Dolgoch, with goody bags for children, a two-course Halloween feast and prizes for the best pumpkin carved lanterns. Fancy dress is welcome for parents too! Suitable for children of all ages, though the later train might be slightly scarier than the first. www.talyllyn.co.uk
Bala Lake Railway, 30th-31st October
Three trains will run each day, with spooky storytelling on board to tingle your spine. Everyone is encouraged to dress up, and the event is suitable for children. www.bala-lake-railway.co.uk
Welsh Highland Heritage Railway, 31st October
Running for one night only, there will be hot food, a bar, storytelling and a decorated train for the evening’s merriment. The event is suitable for children, and all are encouraged to dress up! www.whr.co.uk
Llangollen Railway, 31st October
There will be prizes, spooky storytelling and a trip through the creepy Dee Valley. Not suitable for children under five. www.llangollen-railway.co.uk
See your region’s What’s On pages for more details on these and other railway events
Not-so-scary Halloween jokes
Q: What do ghosts eat for supper?
Q: What’s a witch’s favourite school subject?
Q: Why are ghosts so bad at lying?
A: Because you can see right through them!
Q: What do birds say on Halloween?
A: Twick or tweet
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