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Spook-tacular good fun at Great Country Pubs

9th October 2013 Print
The Cherry Tree

England's Great Country Pubs are hanging out the cobwebs, dimming the lights and preparing for the creepiest night of the year: Halloween. The historic walls of these lovely old inns have a feast of entertainment, special menus and ales on tap for October 31 - plus more than one ghostly visitor in residence.

A host of spooktacular fancy-dress, party games and Halloween family fun ideas can be found online at and at traditional country inns across East Sussex, West Sussex, Kent, Surrey, Hampshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk.

Frightful Fun for Families

There are spooky clues to follow at The Cherry Tree, near Henley on Thames in Oxfordshire, as the gardens of this 200-year-old pub host a children's activities; a Ghost Hunt, fancy dress competition, doughnut bobbing and a fang-tastic kids' menu for hungry little horrors.

At The Compton Swan in Newbury, Berkshire, guests can expect more treats than tricks as the historic pub welcomes revellers from the village's "Trick or Treat" tour. Complementing the creepy celebrations, the pub will boast devilish decorations, disco dancing and a ghoulishly good Halloween menu to feast on.

In Kent, the arched wooden eves of The Chaser pub at Shipbourne and its grand old interior are the ideal setting for the village's annual pumpkin carving competition. Winners - and losers - are welcome to toast the evening's good fun in The Chaser's perfect pub location on the village common, next to its church.

Head across to East Sussex to hang out with the ghouls, ghosts and goblins invading the Bell Inn at Iden for apple bobbing, ghostly nibbles and the chance to be champion pumpkin carver. This traditional country inn dates back, in parts, to 1107. Legend has it that the original building was used as accommodation for the monks who built Iden church, and that there is a tunnel connecting the pub cellar and the church, although this has yet to be discovered. Who knows what could be lurking down there this Halloween?

Meanwhile, grown up ghouls can sample the scary themed cocktails at The Cricketers Inn in Meopham, Kent, or head to the Angel Inn in Wangford, Suffolk, for a party night on 1 November.

Real Ghosts on Tap

For those who are bewitched by things that go bump in the night, the 600-year-old Brushmakers Arms at Upham, Hampshire, tells a terrifying story of how one of its guests from centuries past was murdered whilst sleeping and that his shadowy ghost now haunts the hallways.

In the chocolate-box village of Chilham in Kent, the exposed oak beams and inglenook fireplaces of The Woolpack Inn offer a perfect setting this Halloween. Ghost hunters are drawn here for the tales of the Grey lady, a friendly ghost who wanders the main building of this centuries-old country inn.

Originally built in 1468, mysterious stories are plentiful at the Three Tuns in Sittingbourne, Kent, where whispers of unexplained ghostly activities and secret tunnels are a frequent talking point with the locals that hang out here. Other spooky goings on can be found across the county, with The Bull in Benenden housing a resident ghost, 'Charlie', who is thought to have been landlord here during the 1800s.

And lastly, if that's not enough to send shivers down your spine, The Wiremill in Felbridge, Surrey, is reported to be haunted by the ghost of a worker who fell into the mill's 'lower mechanism'. The story may have been fabricated over time but, late at night, the staff can definitely feel something in the air!

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The Cherry Tree