Who said the festival season ends in September? The Fairyland Trust‘s second jaunt of the year, The Real Halloween was held once again in the beautiful surroundings of Holt Hall, North Norfolk.
The Real Halloween celebrates the magic of Halloween and late Autumn, without the plastic, the horror and the trick or treating and is designed to enchant and not to scare.
We arrived on the second day of the fair at 11:30, we drove in easily and parked up There were signs around the town and on the entrance informing people that the event had sold out and not to turn up without a ticket (it has sold out for the last two years). At the entrance there were two musicians playing which really set the tone of the day, although it was cold outside it was a warm atmosphere.
Although the Real Halloween is on a smaller scale than its sister festival there was still plenty to do. As well as the usual bookable workshops such as Magic Wands, Witches pets, Wizards’ Shields and Magic Potions there were “drop in” workshops such as Pumpkin Carving, Lantern and Shaker making and the Pixie Post Office. (small additional costs) Additionally children could make a special witches brew in the Witches kitchen, or make a tiny Fairy Banquet.
You could also try your luck at Apple Bobbing, Sugar Beet Shot Putt, Broomstick Javelin and VegetaBoules in the Wizard Games.
Eila and I went to make a Magic Wand. Upon entering each child had to spin a season wheel to select a season to work with. We then listened to a story about why fairies have wands. Afterwards each child had to smell two pots which had leaves and twigs from different trees and chose the smell they liked the best and then that wood would “choose” them (a bit like Harry Potter!) Eila had Hawthorn and the fairy helper explained that this was a tree of heart and happiness and a favourite of the Fairy Queen.
The helpers described certain things that the wand needed, like a feather on the end to help wishes fly to the right place and an oak leaf for wisdom. The children could then use different colour wools to wind around the wand to make it their own. At the end one of the fairy helpers sprinkled each wand with glittery fairy dust.
After the workshop we went to the Good Elf Tent which served two local real ales, cider and warm and cool apple juice, mulled wine and cider a pint cost £3 which is very reasonable for a very good real ale. They were also selling delicious Bray’s Cottage pork pies on the bar.
Next door was the fairy cafe where you you could buy teas and coffees and decorate a fairy cake, again there was a lack of cake, I could have done with a slice of homemade carrot cake myself! (I would be happy to donate cakes!)
There was a few food stalls, hot dogs, vegetarian food, crepes and paninis which I don’t think was enough really because the queues were massive and I really missed the woodfired pizzas!
We enjoyed following the Rainbow Trail through the woods and learning the names of trees and about witch and wizard folklore. Its a bit of a rough terrain so avoid it unless you have a sling or an all terrain buggy.
After this Eila enjoyed choosing and colouring in a postcard in the Pixie Post Office which she sent to her grandparents.
Due to the fact it was very cold and my husband and I were full of cold we decided to make a move so unfortunately we didn’t see all of the fair.
However what we did see was wonderful and magical and how a festival should be (folk music and braziers burning within beautiful grounds) and as mentioned before the vibe was truly lovely. I only wish we hadn’t felt so ill.
Would we go again? Yes for sure, although I think we would take a flask of hot soup and some sandwiches next time to keep us all going. Like all Fairyland Trust events it is excellent value for money, the Fairy Crew are friendly and helpful and really know their stuff. I love all that the Fairyland Trust do to show children the magic of nature and support local economy and would thoroughly recommend it to anyone with children.
For the first time, the Fairyland Trust will be hosting their new Fairy Christmas event which will be taking place at the historic Dragon Hall in Norwich on 16th December. This is guaranteed to be a sell out event too.