WembleyWonderful Tips #32: Let's Get Hallowen-Ready

Halloween is so much fun in London! And it’s also taking place very soon, how very exciting!

Of course there is “Treat-or-Trick” sugary feast for children, on 31st October, where they can go and knock at strangers’ doors and ask for sweets - but only if the house is clearly indicating they are participating with Halloween decorations. St John’s Wood is by far the best area for treat or tricking in North West London, due to its high concentration of American expats. The best streets are Carlton Hill, Clifton Hill, Loudon Road and Springfield Road. Do arrive early though, before it becomes overcrowded.

If you are not that keen on treat or treat, there are also loads of activities organised during half-term around the Halloween theme. Here is a listing of what’s happening close-by:

  • Willows Activity Farm is organising a Pumpkin Festival (22-30 Oct), where you can go and pick your pumpkin in the Willows Pumpkin Patch and also participate in many pumpkin-related activities.
  • The National Trust properties are offering a great number of Halloween events, so it is just a question of picking and choosing which one you want to visit – the full listing is here but I’ve summarised what is happening close to North West London.
  • Osterley Park and House is organising a Pumpkin Festival (22-30 October, 11.00-16.00) with lots of silly games – pumpkin carving of course but also giant conker duel, marshmallows toasting, autumn leaf pit, etc; as well as After-Dark Tours (21-31 Oct, for age 14+, pre-booking needed).
  • The Whipsnade Estate is having some Broomstick Making workshops (28-29 Oct, pre-booking needed);as well as a Time-Travelling expedition in the dark, which sounds really exciting (30-31st Oct, 5-7pm, for age 7+, pre-booking needed).
  • Waddesdon Manor is having a Hallowen Trail in its magnificent gardens as well as various Halloween activities (22-31 Oct, 10.00-15.00).
  • Ashridge Estate is organising some Hallowen Craft for children (24-28 October), so it may be the perfect bribe to convince them to take a long walk in this beautiful National Trust estate.
  • Cliveden ’s Wands, Wizards and the Wood is recommended for children age 4-11, and is the perfect opportunity for grown-ups to enjoy a walk in the beautiful woods (22-30 Oct).
  • Hugenden.

And last but not least, this is the perfect opportunity to eat pumpkin, under all forms . My two favourite recipes are pumpkin pie – yes the pumpkin comes from a tin, but this is the authentic American way! (and if you don’t like it you can still use fresh pumpkin); and pumpkin soup (yes I know this is a carrot soup, just replace the carrots with pumpkin). Yummy yummy!