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

Putney, Super 1 bedroom flat on the river with use of garden.

This large one bedroom self-catering flat is available for holiday lets of a week or more throughout the year. With a double bed in the bedroom and a single in the living room it will sleep up to 3 people. There is a washing machine and tumble dry...

Stylish waterside apartment, near The Angel, an historic part of central London

A spacious 2 bedroom 2 bathroom apartment on the 2nd floor of a modern build. It has its own balcony overlooking the Regents canal and communal garden. There is a bright open plan living area and kitchen with dining table comfortably seating 4.The...

Minster's Reach Holiday Apartments

Our luxury holiday apartments are the perfect place to stay during your visit to York. Set just 200 yards from York Minster. We have 2 bedroomed and 1 bedroomed apartments. They have spacious bedrooms and a sofa beds in the living rooms. All t...

Great holiday home for families or couples

The apartment is a lovely Georgian flat with 2 bedrooms, front room, kitchen, shower room and conservatory. There is also a communal garden where you can relax or have a bbq. There is a bus stop right in front of the property. Buses from there go ...

Lovely Private Location, Edge Of Village Near Bath&west Showground And Bruton

This lovely one double bedroom detached barn conversion sits on the far side of the old farm yard. It has dedicated parking with own entrance. There is a private terrace overlooking the fields with no other property within sight. There is a smal...

LUXURY ECO LODGE NEAR DARLINGTON

Luxury Eco Lodge set in a very accessible country location with easy access to A1m and A66 near to the villages of Middleton St George.and Sadberge Ideal for those visiting the Nrth East or returning to the North East to visit relatives. The lux...

Old Primary School. GREAT VIEWS! Sleeps 2/3 and 5/6 Free WiFi Free Parking

Former Victorian School offers stunning, sympathetically converted, heritage Self-Catering Accommodation. The Cottage sleeps 2/3 and The Apartment sleeps 4/5/6+ . The Cottage accommodation comprises a Kitchen, Lounge, Dining Area, Double Bedroom...

Whitfield Garden House

Large and airy apartment located in the heart of Fitzrovia close to the amazing Regent's Park, and Oxford Street's shops and to the British Museum. This apartments benefits from a very large reception equipped with two sofa beds and a dining tabl...

Stunning bay views and sunsets seen from all main rooms. Wetroom + Games room.

This homely property is on 3 floors and is ideal for extended family gatherings or a group of friends. You can step from the garden onto the beach for a beach stroll, longer walk or watersports. BBQ with a seaside view or wander 100m to the choice...

Luxury, High Quality, 'Green' Apartments (Lake District & Dales National Parks)

Stunningly beautiful and renovated to the highest standards,The Hyning Estate offers seven newly renovated holiday dwellings and a stunning communal bar with panoramic views over farmland and the nearby Lakeland fells. Design, Quality materials, r...
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