The annual Halloween festivities are upon us once again, with young trick or treaters preparing to hit the neighbourhood streets and people up and down the country frantically seeking inspiration for yet another costume party. Does it all sound a bit too similar to last year? Then why not mix it up a little with a Halloween weekend in London?
The capital is awash with spooky events this Halloween, including horror-filled theme parks, zombie-filled streets and a midnight bike ride past some of the city’s most haunted locations. And then of course there’s the added bonus of the endless attractions, shops and sights that make London such a brilliant place to visit. So pick up a car hire and head to the Big Smoke for a fright or two this Halloween with our guide to the capital’s scariest goings-on.
Combine a day of spooky thrills with a spot of fitness on the 5km Zombie Evacuation Race, and prepare to quite literally run for your life with the city’s zombie inhabitants hot on your trail.
North London’s Allianz Park Stadium, the home of the Saracens rugby club, will play host to this fun-filled event. The route circles around the arena, through forest paths and darkened streets, all of which are rumoured to have been taken over by hundreds of zombie-like creatures hell-bent on stopping runners in their tracks. So if you fancy a workout with a difference, round up some friends or family members and see if you can escape the apocalypse on Saturday 1st November. Special rates are offered to groups containing over 25 people, so the more the merrier.
Thorpe Park may be everyone’s favourite theme park by day, but as we approach Halloween, events on the island park take a more sinister turn after nightfall. Now in its 13th year, Fright Nights once again promises to spook visitors to the Thorpe Park Movie Studios thanks to a combination of thrilling rides and an array of terrifying characters.
Several horror-movie inspired mazes have been specially created for this year’s event, with those brave enough encouraged to make their way through abandoned mine shafts whilst trying to avoid encounters with its My Bloody Valentine-themed residents. Alternatively, you can opt to follow the ghostly forest pathways in the Blair Witch Project maze.
Thrill-seekers, meanwhile, can get their adrenaline fix on some of Europe’s fastest rollercoasters, whilst the bravest among you can embark on a 2am tour of the movie studios in the company of the evil Director and his terrifying cast.
Tempted? Then simply pick up your London car hire and journey down to the Thorpe Theme Park Island, located within a 20 minute drive of Heathrow Airport.
London has accumulated its fair share of gruesome tales and haunted buildings throughout its 2000-year history, giving it that air of authentic spookiness which makes it such a fascinating city in which to spend Halloween. But instead of confining yourself to one part of the capital, why not tour the ancient streets by bike in this year’s Halloween Moonride?
Kicking off at 10pm on Halloween night, the 80km route will follow a figure eight trail around the city with zombie-like creatures handing out refreshments along the way. There’s even one or two possessed mechanics on hand to assist you with any punctures. The fully signed route is timed, so you can compare results with your friends whilst taking in some of London’s spookiest sights.
So what are you waiting for? Pick up a van hire in your home town, pop your bikes, helmets and gear in the back and make your way to the capital for what promises to be the scariest bike race of the year.
Get your spook on at the zoo
London Zoo may not be the first location that springs to mind when you set about planning your Halloween weekend in the Big Smoke, but this year’s ‘Boo at the Zoo’ holds plenty of promise.
Events run from 25th October to 2nd November and are sure to be a big hit for those of you with one or two young ones in the backseat. They’ll be issued with an activity passport which will see them collect stamps by visiting different animals in the zoo, including the bat cave and the owls in the darkened Owl Emporium sanctuary.
You’ll also be pleased to know that all the Halloween thrills are included in the standard entry price, so you can make a day of it and visit the monkeys, tigers, lions, giraffes and host of other animals who reside in the world’s oldest scientific zoo.
Halloween in the Dungeon
No visit to the capital at this time of year is complete without a trip to The London Dungeon, the self-proclaimed home of Halloween. Delve into London’s murky history and come face to face with its most fearsome characters, from Sweeney Todd to Jack the Ripper. Halloween will also mark the arrival of The Master of Tricks, who will challenge visitors to take a spin on his ‘Wheel of Misfortune’ or partake in a gruelling game of deception.
The dungeon’s Halloween horrors take place from 25th October – 2nd November, with extended opening hours in place on Halloween itself.