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5 spooky castles in the UK to visit this Halloween

7th October 2022

by Lucia Olaizola

Digital Campaigns Officer

Interested in a creepy Halloween adventure? There’s nothing scarier than a haunted castle! Discover five National Lottery-funded castles in the UK that are hosting events to celebrate the spookiest time of the year.

©Photo of the Tower of London at night by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

The Tower of London

The Tower of London, one of the most famous fortresses on the planet, has served as a royal palace, a prison, an arsenal and even as a zoo. Nowadays this World Heritage Site houses the dazzling Crown Jewels. Learn about the Tower’s story on guided tours led by Yeoman Warders (the official name of the Beefeaters) who will tell you terrible tales of the past and ghastly ghost stories.

The iconic monument in London is hosting an event this Halloween that explores the tower’s darkest side. Watched over by ravens, you’ll experience a mystical adventure exploring areas like the Bloody Tower and Traitor’s Gate. You may even run into the ghost of Anne Boleyn and other legendary Tower inmates. 

Thanks to National Lottery players, The Tower of London received a £4.1 million grant. The grant allowed them to recreate the Tudor mansion and gardens in a way that represented different eras of the hall's history, including medieval herbs, Victorian fruit trees, and WWI-era allotments.

©Photo of the Culzean Castle in spring by Katherine Carlyon on Unsplash

Culzean Castle & Country Park

Culzean Castle was built on the west coast of Scotland for the Kennedy family, one of the oldest clans in the nation, whose ancestors can be traced back to Robert the Bruce. The castle was designed by Robert Adam in the XVIII century. Highlights include the grand entrance hall, featuring one of the world's largest collections of British military flintlock pistols, oil paintings, and magnificent rooms. As an insider tip, we recommend you check out the panoramic view that the Round Drawing Room has over the Firth of Clyde. 

During Halloween, they are hosting The Haunted Castle event, where visitors must avoid the creeping creature known as the ‘Rebreather’, and meet the ghosts of his previous victims.

In last year's Open Week, National Trust Scotland provided free access to the castle in exchange for a National Lottery ticket.

©Photo of Gwyrch Castle by Tony Bowerman

Gwyrch Castle

Gwyrch Castle is a Grade I listed country house from the XIX century in the north of Wales and is considered one of the first attempts to replicate the medieval architecture in Europe. The castle has stunning views of a parkland with deer’s and the sea.  Throughout its history, the castle has had various owners and purposes; during WWII it was used as rescue operations and later it was purchased by an American who wanted to renovate it into a luxury hotel. In 2018, the Gwyrch Castle Preservation Trust purchased the land on behalf of the nation thanks to a range of donations from organisations, including the National Lottery Heritage Fund. 

This Halloween half-term they are running The Haunted Castle and Spooktacular Funfair for kids and young people. Children can enjoy the spooky atmosphere in the castle with activities such as Pumpkin Trails, Halloween Challenges, and costume competitions.

©Photo of Castle Espie by WWT

Castle Espie

Castle Espie Wildfowl Wetland Centre is a great place for families and nature lovers in Northern Ireland. It is home to the largest collection of native and exotic water birds in the region. Besides woodland walks and soft play areas in the wetlands, you can also enjoy workshops and events. 

In celebration of Halloween, Castle Espie is hosting a 'whodunnit' event called The Mystery of Ollie the Otter, where kids can join Lieutenant Spraint and Officer Holt in investigating why Ollie the Otter is no longer with us.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund awarded a Heritage Recovery Fund grant of £203,400 to Castle Espie to assist with recovery efforts following the COVID-19 pandemic

©Photo of children playing in front of Tamworth Castle by Enjoy Staffordshire

Tamworth Castle

Tamworth Castle is a Norman castle in Staffordshire, England, with over 900 years of history. During the tour of the castle, you will discover the maze of intact rooms, halls and chambers once inhabited by Saxon tribes, Norman dynasties, Tudor grandness, and great families. Visitors can enjoy all year-around activities and events that the castle hosts to entertain families.

Halloween is the perfect time to find out more about the myths and ghost encounters that surround this historical building. The castle is hosting a series of different events where children and adults can learn more about its mysteries. Highlights include ghost search, the ‘Truly Jack the Ripper’ event – where visitors will investigate the identity of the murderer.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund awarded the castle a grant of £1.6 million for improvements to the public areas, interactive displays, and costumes, as well as reopening after COVID-19.