HomeAway travel expert
Enjoy the best of British this October
When 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
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
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
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
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
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
At Irish Cottage you will enjoy your dream luxury Irish Cottage break in the beautiful Fermanagh lake-lands. Irish Cottage is the ideal place to relax and recharge, simply by chilling out in our splendid peace and quiet on the shore of Lough Erne....
Attractive, rural, recently refurbished. Cottage apartment , detatched, great views, accommodates 2 - 4 in Kent near Tenterden, surrounded by the countryside in mostly lawned gardens, and our own fields, trees and wildlife. Wander our 20 acres or...
Special Winter 2014 break book NOW for these prices:
6 persons: from £840 per week.
2 night weekends from £840
14 persons from £899 for a 3 night weekend: Thats under £22.00 per person per night!
Add on our separate detached one bed loft cottage ...
A spacious and quiet one bedroomed apartment in a central location (zone 1) with views over the London skyline.
The apartment sleeps 4 people with a large double bedroom with a king size bed and 2 single sleeper sofas in the living area. Flat sc...
White Lilac cottage is a traditional stone cottage which has recently been renovated. From the front there are lovely views of the Snowdonia Mountain range. To the rear there is a cottage garden which is full of flowers throughout the summer. It i...
Ploughman's Cottage has been totally renovated and refurbished over the early part of 2013 and now provides spacious, comfortable accommodation for up to 6 people.
The cottage is situated in the small hamlet of Trewarmett, about one mile from the...
This luxury 3 Bed Georgian-Style Town House is in a prime location with uninterrupted views of Fistral Beach.The property is located in an Executive Sea Front Crescent, set in its own grounds, secured by electric gates with allocated front & rear ...
A beautiful one bedroom apartment in the heart of Camden Town. Great transport links to the West End & the Financial City Centre. Convenient for one of the great shopping centres of the world in Oxford Street and the famous private medical centres...
Detached sympathetically restored stone built traditional Somerset building set in a wonderful English cottage garden with a unique natural stone wall boundary The aerial photograph shows the location of the property and we live nearby facing the ...
This beautiful raised ground floor apartment in an original Regency building has been stylishly refurbished in 2009/10 to a high standard. It is in a very prestigious street which is quiet but at the same time, seconds from the sea, restaurants an...