Monday, 2 November 2015

A Hallowe'en Trail at Caerphilly Castle with Cadw

Three small boys scattered themselves around the driveway, each wielding a light sabre in various shades of menacing. They shook the buckets filled with sweets; any 'Trick or Treater' who dared wander past was set upon by the trio as they thrust sweets into buckets and hands trying to share and give and give and share - all while holding their light sabres.

Children revive occasions. Hallowe'en, a non-event to me for so many years now, has had it's spark re-ignited. Streets filled with lit pumpkins, well-behaved children - and no tricks.

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A photo posted by Siân Summers (@downatthemill) on

 We headed to Caerphilly Castle, E and his amigos, to follow the Hallowe'en Trail and do some crafting in the Great Hall. We bounced from tower to tower, the safety features being stress tested as we trailed after the puddle-jumping mob. Up stairs, down hills, over bridges. They catapulted themselves around the open spaces, while the adults of the group searched for the skeleton clues.

Hands were held, criss-crossing in a complicated web as we tried to navigate the tower steps. Up, up, up. Along, around, through. Down, down, down. We helped the strong man hold up the falling tower, before contemplating tickling him and seeing if it would topple. 

Lunch was eaten in the court yard. One Babybel for you, and you, and you - as he distributes them amongst his friends. Hot dogs, sandwiches, lots of raisins. The dried apricots are given the side eye, uncertainty, before being gobbled with the rest. 

The Great Hall beckons, paints are gathered and works of art begin to form - before being smudged by chubby paws desperate to get a little messy. Glitter, yes this definitely needs glitter. ALL the glitter.

We finish up back at the front. A game of giant snakes and ladders turns into a game of follow the leader - if he is going up that ladder, then so must I! - before sidling towards the exit almost five hours since we first arrived.

Three slightly more docile boys left the castle grounds, scuffing their welly-shod feet as we ambled back to the cheap (but far!) car park. The geese kept a watchful eye on our progress, before lowering their heads and resuming their business.

Goodnight Caerphilly. Thanks for having us.

(Entry into Caerphilly Castle is £5.50 for an adult. Under fives are free. Long stay car parking is well sign posted and costs £2 for a full day.)

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  1. What a fab place for exploration, fun and learning. The halloween trail sounds good.
    Thanks for linking #LetKidsBeKids

  2. What a spooky castle Caerphilly is! Looks the perfect location for a Halloween trail. Great for the kids imagination! #LetKidsBeKids

  3. The Halloween Trail at Caerphilly Castle sounds like it was a lot of fun - especially all the crafts going on in the Great Hall. I can imagine that an old castle could be a wonderfully spooky location too! :-)

  4. Brilliant! Looks like you had great fun exploring and on the Halloween trail. Love the image of him sharing out the lunch with everyone. Caerphilly Castle is brilliant. #letkidsbekids

  5. What a great day, makes me wish I had been there too! I just love the way you described it, I can see them with their light sabres all menacing lol

  6. I always feel really lucky that we have so many amazing castles in Wales to explore - always such a fantastic day out for kids

    Laura x