Newbury’s free ghost town shop trail

Karen Neville

Newbury Business Improvement District (BID), the organisation behind Visit Newbury, has a thrilling free experience for families this October half term: the Ghost Town Shop Trail

Newbury, a town steeped in history, is home to many eerie tales. In the Market Place, the ghost of Thomas Barrie forever moans, punished for treason by having his ears removed. Nearby, The Catherine Wheel pub harbours a mischievous poltergeist who likes to pull hair and throw glasses.

From 25th to 28th October, some of Newbury’s most beloved shops around Bartholomew Street will embrace this spooky past, being transformed into hauntingly delightful destinations for children to trick or treat as they hunt for Halloween posters in shop window.

The trail features 10 fantastic local independent businesses, including The Goan Caff, The Freakshow, The Dolphin, Willow & Blooms, Salon 46, Hethertons Bakery, La La Vintage, TaxAssist Accountants, The Ugly Duckling, and The Rufus Coffee House.

Kick off at the Kennet Centre with each shop offering chocolates and sweets to celebrate the spooky season. Costumes are encouraged! Throughout the day free Halloween spooky makeovers will be offered at a face painting station in the Kennet Centre between 10am and 2pm. The event will also boast a number of offers and prizes including Lego Star Wars sets – did you know Star Wars has filmed just up the road at Greenham Common? Other spine-chillingly good prizes up for grabs include Vue Cinema family vouchers and a Nando’s family meal voucher, so be sure not to miss out!

This event aims to provide a safe and enjoyable trick-or-treating experience for families seeking accessible and engaging activities for their children over the half-term break.

The Ghost Town Shop Trail offers a comfortable alternative for families looking to experience the joy of trick-or-treating without worrying about knocking on unfamiliar doors.

Alison Drummond, Operations Manager at Newbury BID, said: “We can’t wait for the Ghost Town Shop Trail in October. With some fantastic local businesses involved, fun prizes and, of course, chocolate up for grabs, the four-day event promises to be great and provide a great showcase for our much-loved Independents down in Bartholomew Street – otherwise unofficially known as the Southern Quarter!”

Visit Newbury’s Halloween events include the Ghost Town Shop Trail, a Halloween themed fright-night Psycho Path Pub Trail, and a Spooktakular Window Competition where town-centre businesses are encouraged to dress up their windows as part of the Halloween festivities.

Families wanting to get involved should stroll down Bartholomew Street and the surrounding areas between October 25th and 28th. The participating shops will be visibly marked, making it easy for families to plot their Halloween adventure.

To find out more about the free Ghost Town Shop Trail, sign up for your trail card and read the Terms & Conditions, head to the Visit Newbury website: Visit Newbury