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National Trust autumnal events and Halloween happenings

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National Trust autumnal events and Halloween happenings
National Trust autumnal events and Halloween happenings. Catching autumn leaves © National Trust Images, Megan Taylor

National Trust autumnal events and Halloween happenings for families in Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire

October is when we’re over nostalgia for summer and can fully embrace all that autumn has to offer. 

The colours of nature, the scarves and jumpers, the hot chocolates and comfort food. It’s the perfect time to get outside with the family for parkland and estate walks and spend rainy days exploring historic houses. 

To help you make the most of your visit, the National Trust in Bucks, Berks and Oxfordshire has all kinds of family-friendly events, nature adventures and spooktacular Halloween trails on offer. The kids won’t get bored.

Every visit to a National Trust property this autumn contributes to looking after these special places for everyone, forever.

What to expect


National Trust autumnal events and Halloween happenings
Tree climbing © National Trust Images, John Millar

1. Rangoli

When: Saturday 22 October
Where: Basildon Park, Near Reading RG8 9NR

Watch talented rangoli artist Rohit Rajaguru create an intricate artwork live in the ballroom at Basildon Park. A rangoli is a large-scale, temporary design on a floor from brightly coloured ground rice. It represents the happiness, positivity and liveliness of a household. The artwork is being created on Saturday, 22 October and will stay in place for a week. Children can have a go at making their own rangoli in the 1950s kitchen at Basildon Park throughout half term. 

Normal admission. The event is free.

Basildon Park rangoli ©National Trust
Basildon Park rangoli © National Trust images

Here’s a video of a previous rangoli at Basildon Park being created by the same artist https://fb.watch/fGSWkP5L2F/ 


2. Half-term Festival of Light and Colour

When: Saturday 22 to Sunday 30 October
Where: Basildon Park, Near Reading RG8 9NR

As the days are dimming, Basildon Park is turning up the colour and light. Walk up the woodland walk surrounded by sparkling fairy lights. In the garden, an autumn colour trail will get kids active and appreciating nature. You’ll be greeted at the house with colourful torans (bright garlands) and the interior glowing with lanterns, diyas, tea lights and coloured projections. The rangoli and children’s rangoli-making will remain in place throughout the week. 

Normal admission. Free event.


3. Halloween riddle trail (age 8+)

When: Saturday 22 to Sunday 30 October from 10.00am to 4.00pm
Where: The Vyne, Near Basingstoke RG24 9HL

Intrigue and conundrums await ages eight and up. Ponder brain-teasing riddles before using the map to find the mysterious answers. 

Normal admission. £2.00 per trail sheet, with a chocolate treat


4. Halloween characters trail (age 7 and under)

When: Saturday 22 to Sunday 30 October from 10.00am to 4.00pm
Where: The Vyne, Near Basingstoke RG24 9HL

From witches and wizards to cats and dogs, children will love exploring the gardens in search of familiar Halloween characters. 

Normal admission. £2.00 per trail sheet, with a chocolate treat


National Trust autumnal events and Halloween happenings
Den building © National Trust Images, Clive Whitbourn

5. Scarecrow trail

When: Saturday 22 to Sunday 30 October
Where: Cliveden, Taplow SL1 8NS

Follow the scarecrow trail with each model created by local community groups. Admire their handiwork and draw one of your own before heading to the information centre to make a miniature scarecrow from a bamboo spoon.

Normal admission. The event is free.


6. Minibeast Hunt

When: Tuesday 25 and Thursday 27 October
Where: Hughenden, High Wycombe HP14 4LA

Join the ranger team in the autumn-fresh air to get hands-on with wildlife and find some bugs to love. 

Normal admission. The event is free.


7. Salt dough leaf making

When: Wednesday 26 and Saturday 29 October
Where: Hughenden, High Wycombe HP14 4LA

Go on a woodland hunt to find a leaf perfect for a print, or come and make your own with our leaf cutters and modelling tools. Colour it autumnal, scent it with spice and take it home with you. 

Normal admission. Free event. 


8. Fantastical fungi trail

When: Saturday 22 to Sunday 30 October from 10.00am to 4.00pm
Where: Hughenden, High Wycombe HP14 4LA

Explore the hidden world of the fungi kingdom this autumn at Hughenden with our activity trail and eight giant fungi dotted around the grounds of Hughenden to find. 

Normal admission. The event is free.


9. Harvest weekend

When: Saturday 01 & Sunday 02 October
Where: Stowe, Near Buckingham MK18 5EQ

Harvest stalls, fairground-style games and specialist talks from the Garden and Parks team. 

Normal admission. The event is free.


10. Halloween Wicked Witch trail

When: Saturday 22 to Monday 31 October from 10.00am to 4.00pm
Where: Stowe, Near Buckingham MK18 5EQ

Follow the paths around Lamport Garden on this spooky exploration. Find the ingredients for a secret Stowe potion, learn some chants and spells and enjoy the magical colours of Stowe in autumn. 

Normal admission. Pick up a free trail from the porch, info kiosk or garden entrance.


11. Half-term autumn adventures

When: Saturday 22 to Sunday 30 October (closed Monday & Tuesday) from 10.00am to 5.00pm
Where: Waddesdon, Near Aylesbury HP18 0JH

Nature-inspired activities and wildlife workshops for children, spooky afternoon teas in the restaurant and beer and pie at the Stables. Small prizes at the Woodland Café for anyone visiting in fancy dress over half term week. 

Normal admission.


12. Wildlife workshops

When: Thursday 27 and Friday 28 October from 2.00pm to 3.30pm
Where: Waddesdon, Near Aylesbury HP18 0JH

Wildlife experts will take you on a guided walk through the woods and then make their own bug hotel to take away.

Normal admission is £15.00 per child. Book online. 


National Trust autumnal events and Halloween happenings
Playing in the leaves © National Trust Images, Arnhel de Serra

12. Coleshill village open day

When: Sunday 09 October
Where: Buscot and Coleshill Estates, Near Faringdon SN6 7PT

Come and see the inside of the old Flour Mill on the river Cole and take an adventure down into a Second World War replica operational bunker. Then have a leisurely stroll through the parkland, finished off with a visit to the Carpenters Canteen for a cuppa.


13. Gratitude to Nature children’s trail

When: Wednesday 28 September to Monday 07 November
Where: Greys Court, Near Henley-on-Thames RG9 4PG

It’s not hard to appreciate nature at this time of year when she’s putting on such a show. On this trail, we encourage little ones to think about what nature does for us through a host of fun activities. 

Trails cost £2.00, and there’s a prize at the end.


14. Story-creating in nature

When: Sunday 02 and Thursday 27 October from 10.30am to 11.15am
Where: Greys Court, Near Henley-on-Thames RG9 4PG

Story workshop inspiring children with the natural world. Suitable for ages 6 to 9 years.

Normal admission applies, but the workshop is free. Book online.


Good to know

To celebrate the season, the National Trust is offering free, single-use passes, allowing up to two adults and four children to enter a National Trust place for free for their autumnal events and Halloween happenings.


Discover more: Brilliant half term & Halloween activities in Oxfordshire



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