Planning what to do with the family during school holidays can be tricky, but for Marta, it was a treat as her son knew exactly where he wanted to go - Borde Hill's Halloween Trail.

Borde Hill Trail guide

This half-term Borde Hill is inviting visitors to join the Academy of Witches & Wizards, to help Sapphire the Witch’s Cat regain her magical powers on a bewitching story trail full of spells, potions, and mystery.

Boy in Halloween costume in front of Borde Hill map board

Overhearing the kids chat excitedly about the outing was lovely, "It’s an amazing trail for Halloween," my son told his friends. Their responses were, "You’ll see pumpkins along the way." another added, "At the end, you might see a prize." "And it’s full of spooky skeletons too..." the last chipped in.

When my own friends asked what’s Borde Hill like? I responded that “It oozes charm, it's pretty, but wild at the same time. With an independent feel to it”. Whilst I love all the National Trust properties in the area too, Borde Hill does feel quite different, it’s full of hiding spots - you could even lose your kids if you wish. (I'm joking, of course!)

Pumpkins at Borde Hill Gardens

We only had one problem with this trail. The children were so excited, that we couldn’t even work out the first clue, due to the excitable squeals they were making! I think the costumes they wore added to the fun, as did the sight of pumpkins on the way in. The children excitedly pointed out that the pumpkins had been grown here, local & fresh.

Photo of countryside near Borde Hill Gardens

Beginning our trail we discovered that Borde Hill is a beautiful world - a maze of garden paths for us to explore with stunning views over the countryside. There were little Halloween sights everywhere and interactive clues galore for the kids - from “apple throwing” to “splat the rat” to “hula the hoop around the cone” to get you to your answer.

Skeleton sitting on a bench playing a guitar

Towards the end of the trail, the children were asked to write a postcard to post to Borde Hill with one thing they’d like to change in the world. Although I'm not sure our kids gave the answers Borde Hill were hoping for, my son wanted to change humans into frogs for example, and his friend wanted to give us all 7 lives like the spooky cat on top of the post box, this was a lovely activity that sparked an interesting conversation. We chatted about the fact in Italy, cats only have seven lives, not like in the UK where we believe our cats have nine. You learn something new every day!

Witch's legs sticking out of a bush

Most importantly in case you were all wondering… Don’t worry the wicked witch is dead. No detail was forgotten on this trail. The artwork was impressive for children and adults alike.

The cafe is perfectly situated at the end of the trail, so we all enjoyed a delicious hot chocolate there and then ate our sandwiches in the picnic area - unlike some places, Borde Hill are happy for visitors to bring their own picnics, but the café is excellent and well worth a visit. 

Time to go? Well while the adults had been tired out the children had spotted the zip wire at the adventure playground. They spent a happy hour whizzing along on that whilst we parents had a rest, but after that, it sadly was really time to say goodbye. Everyone left feeling tired but happy. 

Borde Hill house & gardens

Borde Hill is not too far from Brighton or from London, in fact, this hidden gem is in the middle of everywhere, making it a great meeting spot. My friends really loved it and I think you will too. The Halloween trail runs all through half-term and there are many more events running throughout the year including, of course, the jolly man himself in his grotto.





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