Frightening festivities for Halloween

by Gazette Reporter
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With Halloween just a few short weeks away, it will be full scream ahead for families across the country in the days to come, making costumes, carving pumpkins and getting ready for some trick or treating.

But if you fancy escaping the usual frightening festivities, perhaps a ghoulish getaway for the whole family could be just the Halloween treat you really need.

Whether it’s a spine-tingling rollercoaster ride at Alton Towers or a spooky day in a Skeleton Club in Mayo, we’ve found some fun destinations for this October bank holiday.

Ireland is known for its haunted castles so who knows what ghostly tales might lurk in the ruins of an 800-year-old castle?

Take the family on a bewitching break to the Castlemartyr Resort in Cork, where castle ruins are on site.

The five-star resort is offering two nights accommodation in a family room, including breakfast each morning and dinner for the whole family on the evening of your choice.

The hotel will have plenty of fun and games for children from October 28 until November 3, while the adults can escape to the wellness spa and fitness centre.

The family Halloween break is available from €220 per night. More info at www.castlemartyrresort.ie

A bewitching Halloween family break at Lisloughrey Lodge in Cong, County Mayo, has plenty of activities to keep little monsters entertained over Halloween.

While the kids will be spoilt for choice with spooky activities in the hotel’s Skeleton Club, scary movie evenings, Halloween games and ghost story telling, there will also be a special Halloween party with trick or treating.

The family package is available for families of two adults and two children from October 28 to November 1 and includes breakfast each morning, a three-course dining experience, a boat cruise on Lough Corrib and the kids’ activities.

The Bewitched package is available from €420 for a family. More info at www.lisloughreylodge.com

For a place with such a long and varied history, it’s not surprising that ghost stories abound throughout County Kilkenny, and with a special Hocus Pocus break on offer at Lyrath Estate, it could be the perfect spooky family getaway.

Spend two nights B&B at the country estate, including one evening meal for two adults in one of the hotel’s restaurants.

There are plenty of activities for kids, including a kids’ club and Halloween-themed evening treats, while mum and dad can escape to the award-winning Oasis Spa.

Guests can also avail of discounts for the Kilkenny Ghost Train nearby where you will learn of Kilkenny’s most famous ghosts and taste some witch’s brew.

Train tours run daily from 7pm throughout the month of October.

The family break is available from €150 pps for a family of two adults and two children from October 27 until November 1. Children under four  stay for free. More info at www.lyrath.com

Off land, ghost ships make up the biggest part of seafaring lore and Stena Line, along with Alton Towers, have created the perfect package to create your own ghost story. Enjoy a spook-tacular break to Alton Towers from just €95 per adult per night, while kids go free.

The fare includes mid-week return travel by car from Dublin Port to Holyhead or Rosslare to Fishguard with Stena Line, two nights’ accommodation with breakfast in Holiday Inn Express, Stafford, and a one-day entry into Alton Towers for two adults and two children (aged four to 11).

Infants up to three years also go free. The Alton Towers Scarefest takes place October 19 to November 3 and will see The Carnival of Screams return to the theme park along with the Terror of Towers.

There’s also a Ghoul School and the opportunity to go on your favourite rides after dark. www.stenaline.ie

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