Dare you ride and experience a ‘Halloween Phantomime’? Exbury’s Ghost Train takes to the rails . . .
It’s all aboard the Exbury Ghost Train in the New Forest this autumn half-term (Sat 27 Oct – Sun 4 Nov) for a 35 min “Phantom-mime” for Halloween! Of course, as its 2012 the gallery of Exbury monsters have been in training for their very own ‘Horrorlympics’ - see who wins the ‘Monster Mash Dash’ and find out who the Champion Monster boxer is!
The popularity of Exbury’s half-term ‘spooktacular’ - which this year celebrates its 10th anniversary - has increased annually, with sell-out trains now commonplace. Seven trains a day will be leaving “dead on time” with hosts Napoleon Bone-aparte, the famous French skeleton, and his sidekick, Batty the Vampire. Passengers on the train will encounter scare-crows, ghostly pirates, werewolves, Cyclops and other ghoulish characters, and should listen out for the greetings of an eerie Rothschild ancestor when the Ghost Train pulls slowly to a halt in the dark, dark tunnel . . .
The tone of the Ghost Train is more ‘lark’ than ‘dark’ however, and is suitable with discretion for children of all ages. “It is said the most frightening things about the Ghost Train are the terrible jokes, puns and visual gags that we inflict on our guests” said Commercial and Marketing Manager Nigel Philpott. “There will be new jokes and props this year, but we will probably be digging up some old favourite material too!
Exbury are assisted with the running of the Ghost Train by Southampton Scouts, headed by Geoff Johnson. “Many of the weird and wonderful characters you’ll see around the track are played by scouts between 13 and 18 years old. The cast changes every day with as many as 60 young people taking part throughout the week. They are learning discipline and timing as well as working with adults as part of a team. They must enjoy it because some come back year after year,” he said. “Every year Exbury introduce new characters and roles for the Scouts to play – which keeps everyone – including the Ghost Train passengers – on their toes.”
Children who come in Hallowe’en fancy dress receive a free treat bag, whilst there is a Halloween chocolate or candy for all children who ride the Ghost Train.
And, after a brush with all the things that go bump in the night, there’ll be time for a walk round the Gardens, which will be near their autumn best with flaming colours through the spectrum from brilliant scarlets and crimsons, to smouldering plum and orange.
Children will enjoy Exbury’s spooky tree trail, leading them to the Chinese Coffin Tree, the Ghost Tree, the Devil’s Walking Stick and other mysterious trees in the Gardens.
Colour inside, in the Five Arrows Gallery, is supplied by the glittering array of ‘jewel lilies’, the Rothschild collection of tender Nerine sarniensis, or Guernsey lilies which are offset by an exhibition of paintings focussed on Autumn, by artist Peter Thwaites.
A Halloween menu will be offered in Mr Eddy’s Restaurant.
“Autumn is just as magical a time at Exbury as spring, with wonderful colour and the hugely enjoyable Ghost Train,” said Nicholas de Rothschild whose family manages the 200 acre woodland Gardens.
Please phone 023 8024 5750 Click Here to secure your seat.