The Halloween trail at Blenheim Palace returns for the second year and it is bigger and even more spectacular than before! I KID YOU NOT there is nothing like it in the entire region… DO NOT MISS IT!!
Whether it is being welcomed outside the palace by the headless horseman and skeleton or the fire show/ zombie dance with dramatic music or the witch with her bubbling cauldron, or the skeleton on a boat with red smoke effects, you are sure to be WOWED by this one of its kind spectacle. The illuminated trail is reminiscent of their Christmas trail (which is amazing) but this one has special Halloween touches (like the bats, neon cobwebs, skeleton spiders lair, fire lit pumpkins, spooky eyes, haunted graveyard, the underworld etc). I also particularly loved going through the woods with bolts of lightening strikes and thunderstorm sounds and then the “actual” rain started coming down. It just added to the whole immersive experience. You will also hear witches cackling, humans shrieking, crows and cats screaming.
I will answer some of the questions you guys asked me on insta:
There is no minimum age as the organisers have left it at your discretion. Ay is five years old and he did not find scary. If you were following my stories last night, you can see he was happily chatting, even teasing, one of the characters. We did this last year when he was four, and he was not scared even then. Having said that, of course, every child is different. You must know your child best and must consider their own unique needs. I saw two scared children on the entire trail.
There are a few characters around the trail and the darkness and dramatic sound effects adds to the spooky set up. The characters interact especially with the younger audience, and though their get up is spot on spooky (as they are meant to be), the interactions themselves were not scary e.g the scarecrow just warned us there is a witch ahead, or the witch asked where her cat was (then pointing to it). The witch also asked some of the more talkative children (like mine) how many children can fit in her cauldron. I think they must adapt their interaction to the response of the audience. There was no one jumping out at you. The scarecrow at night blended very nicely with the background, so could easily have been missed, but he walked slowly making you aware he’s not a statue.
If you are not sure how your children will react, then perhaps go for the earlier time slot. We went at 6.15 PM when it was not dark and we could clearly see everything. We went around again when it was dark and the trail definitely looked more spooky
Watch our reel on instagram below to give you a feel. I have also added pictures from dark and light for comparison
View this post on Instagram
Someone invented waterproofs, umbrellas and wellies for this purpose (hahaha) but I will get to the practicalities. Like last year, it is set up in and around the secret garden. The entrance is by the side gate on the left hand side of the palace (near Italian gardens), so you get on to it very quickly from the car park. It is also much shorter than the Christmas trail. It started pouring down half way through the trail for us, and I must admit there was no place to hide under except may be a few trees. That did not dampen the spirits though. The scarecrow was still happily (I mean spookily) chatting and the fireshow went on too. The weather forecast is not the greatest for the entire week, but if you dress up appropriately, there is no reason why you can not enjoy it. The trail has small gravel on the path, so despite the rain, it did not get muddy. They might put some mats on, like they do for Christmas (I dont know), but it was ok even without it. There were a few buggies and I saw one wheelchair too.
It took us about 40 minutes to go around. Most of that time was spent watching the shows or listening to characters along the way, rather than continuously walking. It really depends how fast or slow you are, but give it probably an hour. You can go as many times as you want. We went around twice, as Ay really wanted to say hello to the witch again and I wanted to watch the fire show in the dark one more time.
Toilets are at the entrance. You won’t find them around the Trail, so make use of them before you head off
You can also toast a marshmallow (1.6£ extra) on the trail but unfortunately they did not have a vegetarian/ vegan option (which was a slight let down).
There is one part with flashing lights (pretend thunderstorm over a. graveyard) and there are plenty of low level flickering fire/candles, so it is something to be aware of if you have photosensitive epilepsy
Woodstock, Oxfordshire OX20 1PP
Friday 21st – Monday 31st October 2022
PRICE: Blenheim Palace Annual Passes do not permit access to the after dusk evening trail. The tickets cost 17£ for adults (without parking) and 12£ for children 3+.
Trail starts 5.15pm. Last entry onto the trail is 9:15 PM 24- 26 Oct but 9:45 PM on all other nights.
The day event is free for annual pass holders.
Parking on site though costs 10£/ car and has to be booked in advance
Toilets and Baby changing portaloos at entrance
There are Kebabs, Pizza and fries to munch on along with a bar (separate payment- card only)
Only guide dogs and registered assistance dogs allowed
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