Out and about this au­tumn

Ideas on where to go and what to do

Hinckley Times - - FRONT PAGE -

THE nights are draw­ing in and the leaves are start­ing to turn 50 shades of gold and red.

Yes, au­tumn is here and there are plenty of days out to en­joy, walks to com­plete and events to visit be­fore thoughts turn to the big fes­tive sea­son that must not be men­tioned - yet.

Here are a few au­tum­nal ideas for where to go and what to do in the re­gion.

ChocFest, Mel­ton Mow­bray Choc­a­holics will be thrilled with the idea of the Mel­ton Mow­bray ChocFest which takes place on Novem­ber 18 and 19.

Cho­co­late lovers will be in their el­e­ment at the event, which is set to fea­ture tast­ings, demon­stra­tions, talks and work­shops. Oh, did we men­tion tast­ings?

There will also be plenty of cho­co­late and as­so­ci­ated food and drink to buy from some of the UK’s best lo­cal pro­duc­ers.

As well as choco­lates and cho­co­late cakes, you’ll be able to buy good­ies in­clud­ing crepes, brown­ies, liqueurs, dough­nuts, mac­a­roons and even cho­co­late piz­zas, ke­babs, wine and beer!

Scarefest, Al­ton Tow­ers Al­ton Tow­ers Re­sort has an­nounced the re­turn of the an­nual Scarefest Hal­loween event.

This year’s Scarefest takes place on the week­ends of Oc­to­ber 7-8, 14-15, and from Oc­to­ber 20-31.

The ex­cit­ing news for fright fans is there is a packed list of ac­tiv­i­ties on of­fer.

That’s right, the park is break­ing with tra­di­tion of there be­ing three adult scare mazes with the in­tro­duc­tion of a fourth.

There are no fur­ther de­tails on of­fer at this stage. It all seems very top se­cret though!

The new­est ad­di­tion to the Scarefest line-up last year, and one that ter­ri­fied even the bravest of vis­i­tors was the Al­tonville Mine Tours: Un­cover the leg­end of the skin snatch­ers (15+).

Set in the bow­els of a dark and claus­tro­pho­bic mine, this is ter­ror at its most ex­treme.

Be­fore you even en­counter any of the in­hab­i­tants you have to face your own fears as your mind plays tricks with you in the en­velop­ing black­ness.

Walk at Bea­con Hill Coun­try Park

Bea­con Hill is Bradgate Park’s taller and less-pop­u­lar neigh­bour. The hill is the sec­ond high­est spot in the county and mea­sures 248 me­tres, which is 814ft in old money.

The coun­cil has des­ig­nated it a coun­try park and it cov­ers a large area of more than 135 hectares.

Many dif­fer­ent sites are vis­i­ble from the top on a clear day in­clud­ing Lincoln Cathe­dral and the hills of the Peak District.

At the top is the Old Man’s Head rock for­ma­tion with has be­come syn­ony­mous with the lo­ca­tion in many pic­tures. There used to be a bronze-age fort on the site.

Walk­ing is the or­der of the day at Bea­con Hill and sev­eral cir­cu­lar walks start from the bot­tom car park.

The up­per car park is just a very short walk from the sum­mit for those who want an eas­ier trip to the top

More than 27,000 trees have been planted next to the sum­mit to cre­ate a new wood­land and wild­flower glades.

Var­i­ous wooden chain­saw sculp­tures are sit­u­ated within the park. There is also a rhodo­den­dron labyrinth near the bot­tom car park. At the top is also a chil­dren’s play area and pic­nic area.

Walk around Bradgate Park This is one of Le­ices­ter­shire’s best-loved parks with stun­ning views across the 830-acre site.

The River Lin runs through the park, flow­ing into Crop­ston Reser­voir which was con­structed on part of the park. The park’s two well-known land­marks, Old John and the War Me­mo­rial, both lie within the bound­aries.

Lo­cated al­most next door is the of­ten-over­looked Swith­land Wood which is also worth a muddy walk in the au­tumn.

A ghost walk and sup­per is to be held at Bradgate Park on Thurs­day Oc­to­ber 12 which is the an­niver­sary of Lady Jane Grey’s birth. It starts at 7pm.

And on Tues­day Oc­to­ber 31 is the Hal­loween Ghost Walk and Sup­per which starts at 6.30pm. But only go if you dare!

There are plenty of nice pubs and cafes nearby while the park has its own cafe as well.

Bos­worth Bat­tle­field, a clas­sic walk, venue and his­tor­i­cal trail

The Bos­worth Bat­tle­field Her­itage Cen­tre and Coun­try Park is a pop­u­lar place for walks and events.

The venue is promis­ing holiday fun from Satur­day Oc­to­ber 14 to Sun­day Oc­to­ber 29.

An au­tumn coun­try­side hunt is be­ing held at the venue with the chil­dren in mind.

And on Oc­to­ber 29 it is host­ing a walk called In the Foot­steps of Richard III.

Visit the sites King Richard III stayed and prayed in that fate­ful Au­gust in 1485.

This en­joy­able walk is three hours in du­ra­tion (about 6 kilo­me­tres) with an ex­pe­ri­enced guide.

On Wed­nes­day Oc­to­ber 18 there is a Won­der­ful Welly Ad­ven­ture.

And on Oc­to­ber 26 there is a Paint a Knight’s Shield or Dec­o­rate a Crown event.

Other walks are also or­gan­ised.

Na­tional Space Cen­tre The Na­tional Space Cen­tre in Le­ices­ter is promis­ing a Spooky Space ex­pe­ri­ence this half term.

They say: “This Hal­loween Half Term Hol­i­days the Spooky Sci­ence team have taken over and we have all gone slightly batty!

“Join us ev­ery day to dis­cover The

School of Sci­ence Magic, make your very own slime to take home and drop in for a ses­sion that will have you spin­ning.”

There are a lot of other events planned at the venue as well.

This is on top of the usual at­trac­tions, rock­ets and plan­e­tar­ium.

A spooky time at the Guild­hall in Le­ices­ter

There’s some­thing cap­ti­vat­ing about Hal­loween – for kids and big kids alike.

So where bet­ter to spend the spook­i­est day of the year than at Le­ices­ter’s medieval Guild­hall? Built in 1390, there has been plenty of time for para­nor­mal vis­i­tors to call the Guild­hall their home.

The build­ing is known for its spooky go­ings on, from vis­i­tors hear­ing foot­steps in empty rooms to CCTV clips of spec­tres crawl­ing across the floor­boards. Freaky.

Fright lovers can revel in the at­mos­phere while en­joy­ing a cin­e­matic treats this Hal­loween.

Start your week­end with a scare by set­tling down for the orig­i­nal vam­pire-hor­ror movies, Drac­ula and Drac­ula’s Daugh­ter, on Satur­day Oc­to­ber 28. And if that’s not enough, on Hal­loween night the Guild­hall will be screen­ing the cult clas­sic Rocky Hor­ror Pic­ture Show.

So don your cos­tumes and pack your tricks, treats and sweets and get down to the Haunted Hall for the fright of your life!

Abbey Pump­ing Sta­tion, Le­ices­ter

The fab­u­lous, of­ten over­looked, mu­seum in Le­ices­ter al­ways holds a host of events.

For half term and be­yond, they have some spooky stuff go­ing on.

On Tues­day Oc­to­ber 17, they have Hal­loween Chil­dren’s Day where there will be Hal­loween crafts, tra­di­tions and trails around the mu­seum.

The site nar­row gauge rail­way will be run­ning sub­ject to weather.

And on Satur­day Oc­to­ber 28 there is the Mu­se­ums at Night: the Ghostly En­gi­neer and other sto­ries. Come along to an evening of chill­ing story telling in our en­gine house.

Dis­cover the Ghostly En­gi­neer and other tales whilst one of the mighty beam en­gines turn above your head or be­low your feet. Wrap up warm and wear sen­si­ble shoes as the base­ment can be damp and has steep steps. Re­fresh­ments avail­able in the LMTA café.

To avoid dis­ap­point­ment all tick­ets should be pre-booked for this pop­u­lar event at any Le­ices­ter City Mu­seum site, Visit Le­ices­ter in Gal­lowtree Gate or by tele­phon­ing 0116 299 5111, or email to op­er­a­tions@abbey­pump­ingsta­tion.org

A stag at Bradgate Park by Ge­off Allen.

Abbey Pump­ing Sta­tion, Le­ices­ter

Bea­con Hill Coun­try Park, by Kather­ine John­son

Scarefest is on in Oc­to­ber at Al­ton Tow­ers

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