Getting into the Halloween spirit at historic dockyard

There's plenty going on during the half-term holiday at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
There's plenty going on during the half-term holiday at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
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The summer holidays may feel like five minutes ago to us adults, but to youngsters they are already a distant memory as schoolchildren look forward to the October half-term.

The autumn holiday is taking on a sinister theme at many of the region’s attractions as they prepare for Halloween.

One such venue offering spectacularly spooky days out is Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

A special microsite ( has been set up to guide families through the fright-fest that is the dockyard’s half-term activity plan.

It also boasts an exclusive ticket offer, plus fun facts and downloads such as a trick-or-treat trail.

HMS Warrior 1860 will be getting in the spirit of things too with a family pumpkin trail, creepy crafts and spooky storytelling.

And those interested in the frightening creatures of the deep can make their very own socktopus, discover Victory’s unwelcome crew members and make other Halloween horrors to take home.

If adults are jealous of the kids having all the Halloween fun, then Dark Encounters have just the event.

For the first time together, the National Museum of the Royal Navy and Action Stations have opened their doors to paranormal investigators to conduct the largest-ever ghost hunt in the dockyard.

The dockyard is full of British maritime history – from Henry VIII’s famous warship the Mary Rose to Nelson’s flagship HMS Victory and the iron-clad HMS Warrior 1860.

Some of the pivotal moments in history are represented in the site’s buildings, ships and collections and stories of strange twilight activity in the dockyard are the stuff of local legend.

But the half-term focus is not just Halloween. Trafalgar Day is also being celebrated as the holiday kicks off next Saturday (October 22) with the chance to Get To Know Nelson on board Victory.

On the same day, visitors can travel farther back in time to make a model of the Mary Rose.

For full details of what’s on over the holiday period, see Activities run from Saturday, October 22, until Sunday, October 30.

Tickets for Portsmouth Historic Dockyard include entrance for one year and cost £21.50 for adults, £18.35 for seniors and students, £15.80 for children or £62.15 for a family of up to five.