UK Half Term Holidays

Local holiday options for the October half term


Russ Sanchez

Russ Sanchez
HomeAway travel expert


Enjoy the best of Britain this October

Family holidayWhen the October half term holiday is upon us again, I'll know what you're thinking – but, sssh. Sssh. Listen: Spain, all sunny and friendly, packed with tourists, chilling out next to Portugal, being all magnificent – it's still gonna be there in summer. It is. It's not going anywhere. Because it's land and it can't. I promise.

And trust me, I understand its allure – few things so readily lend themselves to romanticization as sunlight does during one of the UK's famously mild and refreshing autumns. As a California native, I am acutely aware of this. But if you open your mind, and temporarily – just temporarily, mind you! – shelve those Mediterranean dreams to consider less trodden paths, you may be shocked by the number of excellent (and uncrowded) half term holiday opportunities available here in the UK.

In fact, there's a very good logistical case to be made for holidaying – staycationing, if you will – within the UK for the October half term break: since you won't need to travel far, you'll be able to maximize your leisure time by minimizing your travel time (which, when travelling with kids, is a blessing in its own right). Even better, you'll likely minimize your expenses, too. And those are two very good things. Still need persuading? Read on for HomeAway's guide to local October half term holidays.

 

Top destinations for October half term holidays in the UK


   

October half term breaks in Scotland October half term breaks in Scotland

There's good reason that no one mentions Scotland without mentioning its stunning scenery – the scenery of the Highlands is genuinely, well, stunning; and perfect for tiring out springy little legs. Its beautiful lochs offer excellent boating opportunities (weather permitting) – and what kid, or adult for that matter, wouldn't like a chance to hunt for Nessie? Loch Ness is three to four hours' drive from Scotland's beloved capital, and European cultural heavyweight, Edinburgh – itself a perfect place to eat well, or take in some theatre. King's Theatre, for example, located just off the Meadows, Edinburgh's large and lively central park, regularly hosts fantastical children's plays.

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October half term breaks in Wales October half term breaks in Wales

Snuggled up to England's western flank, Wales is a criminally overlooked source of October half term family fun – especially for more active families. For example, Pembrokeshire, Snowdonia and Mid Wales offer excellent pony trekking opportunities through picturesque landscapes; pony rentals are also available all along the coast. If pony riding sounds a bit ambitious, hiking and walking is available throughout Wales. And there is always the celebrated Welsh coast, of course. There are also almost too many castles to name, many of them some of the best examples of their type in the UK: Raglan in Snowdonia, Laugharne in Carmarthenshire and Powis in Mid Wales are all highly recommended. And if you want something really unforgettable, try hot air ballooning through the Tywi valley!

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Urban October half term breaks in England Urban October half term breaks in England

Merry 'ol England presents two distinct faces to the potential holidaymaker: the first of these, its (to let a questionable metaphor ride) urban face, which offers some particularly tantalizing holiday prospects. London's got theatre, shopping, museums and some of the best people watching in the world. And less than an hour away? Alton Towers, which hardly needs an introduction. Brighton's got lovely beaches, a very kid-friendly sea life centre and a famous pier. Manchester's got an array of museums spanning art, football, and science – and nearby, Legoland. England's diverse and bustling cities are brimming with activities of every possible variety – perfect for a holiday spent, as I like to spend them, absolutely avoiding nature (so overrated) in favour of exquisitely climate-controlled pleasures.

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Rural October half term breaks in England Rural October half term breaks in England

As I have recently hinted, my favourite way to enjoy nature, generally speaking, is not to. That said, some people just love the singular combination of dirt and fresh air that typifies a hiking holiday – to each their own. The Lake District seems especially ideal for this. Even I can't argue with the views of the Lake District National Park. The area includes any number of walking trails, suitable for every mobility level – and photo ops till your heart will burst. Alternately, Cornwall's extensive coastline boasts windswept trails aplenty, through remote moorlands and over the tops of cliffs. And the Peak district has horseback riding and cycling; excellent for active families, and those with older children.

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October half term breaks in Northern Ireland October half term breaks in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland presents some can't-miss October half term holiday options. Any of your family members Game of Thrones fans? Many of the show's most iconic locations were filmed here (Winterfel castle, for example, is actually Castle Ward, in County Down)! Touring them all – there are over a dozen all together – can make for a trip in and of itself. Nerdry aside, Northern Ireland also provides ample chance to walk, hike, cycle, beach comb – or even more exotic activities like archery or kayaking. And then there's Belfast, which you may be surprised to hear has many family-friendly activities, ranging from bowling to the myriad interactive experiences of the W5 Discovery Centre.

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UK October Half Term Cottages

100 yds from the local pub in an idyllic, picturesque village only 30 mins from Suffolk Coast

Cressland is a charming 5 Star Gold 15th-century Grade II* cottage overlooking the famous `Splash' in the picturesque village of Kersey. The Suffolk brick floors, exposed floorboards and fireplaces are all original and parts of the house date back...

Bermondsey SE1

Two rooms, one of which is a bedroom with a double bed. The kitchen is fully stocked and with all facilities. The bathroom has a bath tube and WC. The second room is open kitchen with sitting area and TV. FREE WIFI is provided.

Soho House

A lovely, historic and exquisite house in the heart of Soho in Central London. Listed historical building with centuries of history, including exquisite 19th century fireplaces. The service includes a weekly maid service. You can walk anywhere ...

10 Minutes Walk To City Centre

Described by guests and their families as 'an amazing space', The Pavilion is a spacious penthouse apartment situated on the South side of Canterbury, close to the County Cricket ground. It has balconies overlooking peaceful maintained gardens. Bu...

Luxurious And Modern Serviced Flat In Notting Hill Plus Free Travel Advice

This is a beautiful 1 bedroom apartment which can comfortably sleep 4 adults (sofa bed available), delightfully positioned off Golborne Road a mere 5 minute walk away from the famous Portobello Road Market. Golborne Road is one of the most sought...

'Pretty', 'Wonderful', 'Relaxing', 'Comfortable' ......... Wren Cottage

Wren Cottage is a charming East Sussex white weather-boarded property recently refurbished to a high standard, creating an intriguing contemporary, yet traditional holiday cottage. The cottage occupies a truly idyllic location nestled on the edge...

Cliff Top House, Stunning sea views, Sleeps 8, 2 Dogs welcome.Car parking.

About Cliff House Welcome to luxury holidays in Devon - and a hugely more enjoyable, and modern way to enjoy self catering whilst on holiday in the West Country. Cliff House has been designed and equipped to provide you with the “feel” and modern...

Secluded Cotswold Stone Cottage, Yet in the Heart of Chipping Campden

THE CALCULATOR ON THIS PAGE INCORRECTLY USES NIGHTLY RATES AND ANY QUOTES PRODUCED ARE INACCURATE. CONTACT US FOR ACCURATE PRICING! Summary Old Brew House is a former brewery and barn, peacefully located in the grounds of Dragon House, which dat...

Double Fronted, Traditional Cotswold Stone Cottage, In Beautiful Blockley

THE CALCULATOR ON THIS PAGE INCORRECTLY USES NIGHTLY RATES AND ANY QUOTES PRODUCED ARE INACCURATE. CONTACT US FOR CORRECT PRICING! Summary Jackdaw Cottage is a honey coloured, traditional Cotswold stone cottage, the first of a row of three cotta...

Secluded Cotswold Stone Cottage, Yet Set in the Heart of Chipping Campden

THE CALCULATOR ON THIS PAGE INCORRECTLY USES NIGHTLY RATES AND ANY QUOTES PRODUCED ARE INACCURATE. CONTACT US FOR ACCURATE PRICING! Summary The Cottage is a former barn, peacefully located in the grounds of Dragon House, which dates back over 40...
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