During October half-term, we'll have plenty of family-friendly (but slightly spooky!) events - perfect for burning off some energy. The Hestercombe Barmy Bats trail will have you in a flap, whilst our special events such as visits from creepy crawlies, a spooky science masterclass, scary storytelling and a spellbinding Potion Room, are all the ingredients needed for a spooktacular day out.
The Potion Room
Wurzelly the Wizard has come to Hestercombe this Halloween, transforming the Octagon Summerhouse into his own peculiar potion room! Come and brew your own potion to take home, as you get hands-on with mystical magics, oozing ointments, and pungent perfumes.
For the first time ever, Sciencedipity will be visiting Hestercombe. Jump off of your flying broomsticks at the Bampfylde Hall for an exciting wacky wand-making workshop, in which your little ones can create their own magical wands, and perform special levitating magic (with just a bit of science to help!)
Creepy Crawlies are back at Hestercombe with a Halloween twist! From hairy tarantulas to icky stick insects, come and see these wonderful creatures live in person - and learn a bit more about them along the way. You can even meet some marvellous Somerset moths borrowed from our very own gardens!
Stories of the Untold
Hestercombe holds many ghostly secrets... Tiptoe down to the Mill Tunnel this October to meet esteemed paranormal investigator Henry Herbert, as he weaves his tales of strange sightings, collected over centuries in his creepy casebook! (Suitable for children aged 4+, limited availability. Book on arrival - £3 per child)
Barmy Bat Trail
Venture into our spooky woods..
Have you ever wondered what a bat eats for breakfast? Find out this October Half Term with bat-expert Coplestone in this exciting new trail, where you can help to find creepy crawly treats for a family of local bats to fill their bellies before Winter begins! Learn a bit about habitats and insect life in the gardens, with a spooky twist…
Autumn Bulb Plantathon
Join our Gardens team in October half-term week to help them plant thousands of new bulbs in Rook Wood. The Gardens team now aim to plant thousands of additional bulbs of crocus, to help bring the area to life in spring with swathes of white and purple.
Pop up to see them between 10am and 3pm daily from Monday 25th to Friday 29th October. You'll be able to find out a bit more about their gardening techniques and even plant a couple of bulbs yourself!
There's even some autumnal activities for the adults too. Join Michael Jordan, author and chairman of the Fungus Conservation Trust, for a fun and informative walk to discover and identify mushrooms and toadstools in the gardens. (Adults £10, children £5) Please book Fungal Foray tickets via the Hestercombe website.
Two play areas to enjoy!
On your visit, stop off at either of our play areas for some magical fun. Our under-7s play area is situated by the Visitor Reception, and children both young and old will enjoy building dens up in our new wild play area by the Charcoal Burner's Camp.
Food & drink
Treat your little ones (and yourself of course!) with some delicious home-cooked food from the Stables restaurant, which offers a child-friendly menu with full table service. Tasty light bites, cakes, drinks and Halloween-themed treats are all available from our new cafe, Caffè + Gelato.
Follow the brown daisy signs for Hestercombe House and Gardens from J25 of the M5, and head north to Hestercombe via Cheddon Fitzpaine or Kingston St Mary
Public Transport Directions
Nearest train station is Taunton; taxis are available.