WE CAN’T quite believe that October is upon us and that the season will soon draw to an end until next year.

It’s been a busy year so far, with over 31,000 visitors, and as the property starts to wind down, the gardening team become as busy as ever.

During the autumn and winter months they brave all weathers to prepare the gardens for the following spring.

Autumn is one of the favourite seasons for the staff here as there’s nothing quite like wrapping up warm and heading outdoors on a colourful, crisp day.

At this time of year, the gardens are just beginning to change colour. The first leaf turned a lovely shade of yellow on September 1 and a light dusting of crunchy golden leaves now litter the paths.

The change of colours in the garden isn’t unique to East Riddlesden Hall but is particularly beautiful here. The Red Oak Tree to the side of the drive becomes impressive as we move into October with its red, flame-like, leaves beginning to appear.

The flowers in the formal garden will soon start to take on more golden and bronze colours and richer shades of purple. The Spindle Tree in the formal garden turns bright red and will have an abundance of scarlet fruits which open up to expose orange seed heads.

The house, which has a normally moody exterior, takes on an even more atmospheric feel at this time of year, and the lack of lighting in the house combined with darker days gives off a feeling of not being alone.

As Hallowe’en draws closer, East Riddlesden Hall is the perfect place to put your nerves to the test. Come along during half term to follow the ghost trail and learn about some of the spooky encounters witnessed by property staff and volunteers.

With long black claws and grey furry fingers, we thought that the stuffed kangaroo paws at Wallington were the goriest things the National Trust looked after.

That was until we remembered about the apothecary jar in the Dining Room that was used to keep the remains of boiled foxes in. This mixture was used as cough medicine years ago – yuck! Come along and learn about more revolting remedies that people believed cured ailments 400 years ago.

This year the Discovery Garden will be transformed into a Halloween Grotto during the school holidays. There’ll be space and materials for children to create spooky potions in the mud-pie kitchen and the garden will be dressed to give it a spooky feel.

There will be an eerie outdoor family trail finishing in the bat cave (bird hide).

East Riddlesden Hall is open from Saturdays to Wednesdays between 10.30am and 4.30pm (last admission at 4pm). General admission prices apply; free for National Trust members and under-fives.

The property will close on November 1, with just the tearoom and shop staying open between 11am and 4pm every Saturday and Sunday until Christmas.

For more information, please visit nationaltrust.org.uk/riddlesdenhall or call 01535 607075 during office hours.