With more ghosts and ghouls per square foot than any other city in the world (possibly), where better to celebrate the spookiest season of the year than York? There’s are more Halloween events coming up around York this October half term than you could shake a broomstick at, from pumpkin trails to pumpkin carving, ghost trails to ghost hunts (take a look at guide to October half term in York here).
As York’s goriest destination, it’s no surprise that The York Dungeon is going all-out, with a seriously scary and silly offering inside the attraction itself for brave older kids and adults. Younger children don’t miss out though, as there’s also a Little Peasants walking tour taking place during weekends in the run-up to October half term, and then every day of half term itself. We went along with two of our children for a walk around the dark side of York.
About the Little Peasants City Walking Tour – The tour is York Dungeon’s family offering for Halloween, created with younger children in mind. While older children (at least 8 years old) in search of a frightening adrenaline rush will love the Dungeon’s live-action Halloween shows (read our review of a visit to The York Dungeon with older kids here), the walking tour is more suitable for younger children. There’s no age rating, just a brave rating. Every child’s different, so it’s hard to give an exact age recommendation. Fans of Horrible Histories won’t blink an eye at details of old torture techniques, but younger children might be freaked out if they’re listening carefully (but that’s a big ‘if’!).
This hour-long tour sets off from outside the Dungeon and is presided over by two of the Dungeon’s costumed inmates who’ve been let out for the occasion: the dark-hearted Jester and dim-witted Smedley. Funny rather than frightening, they’re an entertaining pair who also happen to know a lot about York’s hideous history. From vicious Vikings to ghostly Romans, Guy Fawkes to Dick Turpin, it’s a canter through the city’s nasty past.
The route – We followed the dubious duo from the Dungeon to Clifford’s Tower, up to the Shambles and across to York Minster. It ended outside a place you may have heard of – York Minster – so it’s a good way to take in the sights. It was long enough to feel as though we’d done some exploring but not so long as to be too challenging for most younger children. It’s entirely outdoors, so dress for the changeable Yorkshire weather or regret it!
The verdict – Amusing actors, a sharp script, horrifying true (ish) stories and a canter through the streets; the York Dungeon Little Peasants Tours is a fangtastic Halloween activity for families with children who enjoy terrible tales spooky stories.