Newbury’s free ghost town shop trail

Karen Neville

Visit Newbury

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

Visit Newbury bidding for your vote

Round & About

Visit Newbury

Vote for Visit Newbury’s Family Fun Days in ‘Best Local Family Friendly Event’

Newbury BID is vying for the crown of Best Local Family Friendly Event against four Berkshire-based events in Little Ankle Biter Magazine’s 2022 Awards

Newbury Business Improvement District (BID), the not-for-profit organisation behind the Visit Newbury brand, has made it to the finals of the Little Ankle Biter 2022 Awards in the category for their Family Fun Days, held in Newbury last summer.

The three day-long events took place for free across Newbury town centre on 28th July, 11th August, and 24th August last year. Newbury BID enlisted award-winning children’s entertainment company, Jollypop Entertainment, to deliver showstopping musical performances, meet-and-greets, and storytelling for the town, posing as some of the most popular fairytale princesses, superheroes, and children’s storybook characters.

Each Family Fun Day rotated around three key locations across town to give children the opportunity to see their favourite character in action. Performances were at Kennet Shopping Centre, Parkway Shopping, and the Market Place, where children’s rides were also situated alongside a range of free arts and crafts workshops and activities, delivered by local creative organisations, The Ugly Duckling, the Corn Exchange, and City Arts. Newbury BID also arranged for balloon-modellers to distribute free themed balloons to children attending the event.

Newbury’s Family Fun Days were hugely popular among visitors, locals and town centre businesses alike, as each day successfully delivered some much-needed cheer to the town after a year of limited activity. Visitors from across the region met their favourite characters, with the fairytale princesses proving to be the most popular of the three days.

Visit Newbury is up against four Berkshire-based businesses for the award and voting is open until 23:59 on Friday, 11th March. To cast your vote, please visit:

Alison Drummond, Newbury BID’s Operations Manager, said: “We’re delighted to have made it to the finals of this family-focused award. Delivering events that not only enhance visitor experience but benefit our town centre and the local business community is at the heart of what we do. To be recognised for this is an achievement in itself and something we are immensely proud of.

“If you attended any of our free Family Fun Days and enjoyed yourselves as much as we did, please vote for us so we can continue to put on inclusive events such as these in the future.”

To find out more about what Visit Newbury has to offer go to