After the lovely time we had at Audley End in the summer, we decided to go back for their Halloween event. No fairies or elves this time, they’ve gone for their winter break, or perhaps they’ve been chased away by the witches who have taken up residence in the woodland!
The star of the show is the train ride deep into the woods of the Audley End Estate to visit the witches at their haunted house. We were greeted by ghoulish train guards as we climbed aboard, then travelled past trees filled with ghosts and spider webs and scenes with skeletons and pumpkins.
The train comes to a halt outside the witch’s house. The witches are in the middle of stirring potions in their smoky cauldrons and are most unimpressed to see a train load of ‘smelly’ children.
Their spell goes wrong though and they end up with little bags of sweets which are far too sweet and tasty for them so they hand them out to the children. We were then treated to a dance as the witches are practising for their ‘Strictly Come Witching’ performance.
The witches were comically scary and my girls (5 and 2.5) weren’t scared, in fact, Seren was fascinated and wanted to put on her witch’s hat to be like them.
As well as the train, there is a craft tent, where we made glittery spiders and bat hats, and a dance tent where you can bop to a Halloween playlist alongside some friendly witches.
With the attraction being almost wholly outside, these tents would be very welcome in bad weather. We were lucky with the sunshine though and also got to use the play area and the bouncy castles (you pay extra for the castles / swing boats). You can do the activities before or after your train ride.
We took a packed lunch though bought hot chocolate and a late afternoon snack from the Signal Box cafe.
We booked our train tickets in advance, though most of those are sold out now but there’s always tickets on the day and the queue for the train never looked too scary.
Most of the kids (and some adults) were dressed up though not all. Mine were though I spent most of the day carrying round hats and a broomstick for them (would ditch the broomstick next time).
As with our visit in the summer, the staff were very friendly and helped make the day hassle free and enjoyable – it’s somewhere we definitely recommend if you’re in the area.
Audley End Miniature Railway,
Audley End Road,
The Halloween event is on until the 31st October 2016. Child & adult tickets £10.50 (under 2s are free).