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

Modern Well Equipped Apartment Close To The Centre Of Ambleside

Buttermere is available to let all year round for both full weeks and short breaks. The property sleeps 2 in a bedroom with a king-size bed. There is a sitting/dining room, modern fitted kitchen and slate tiled bathroom. An allocated parking spac...

Mill Grange Cottage - Converted Watermill

Mill Grange is a beautifully presented detached converted watermill, fully refurbished and tastefully furnished to provide a high standard of accommodation throughout. A former working watermill, the property is set at the head of Old Mill Creek a...

Glamourous Exclusive City Centre Apartment With The Wow Factor.

Situated in a listed building with a lift, this luxurious apartment offers the glamour of a hotel with the comfort of home. Both bedrooms have one superking size bed. Both bathrooms have shower and bath. The kitchen is fitted out to a high speci...

Contemporary Country House Close To Sea

About our home Newly renovated country house close to some of Britain's most sough after beach towns. A short drive to Southwold and Aldeburgh, our house sits on a big plot that backs onto fields. A two-minute walk through the pretty churchyard t...

1 Bedroom Croyde Holiday Cottage | Close To Beach | Romantic Getaway - OC145

Brand New Contemporary 1 Bedroom Annexe, Double Bedroom With Sea Views Plus Sofa Bed In Sitting Room Providing Accommodation for 2 People. Shower Room & Outside Paved Patio With Table & Chairs For Entertaining. Only A Short Walk To The Surfing Bea...

5 Star Luxury - Heart of the Cotswolds

The Guggle is a 16th Century Grade II listed Cotswold Stone House located in the Cotswold market town of Northleach. It has four bedrooms, one downstairs two on the first floor and a fourth on the third floor, three bathrooms, an open plan kitche...

Cosy inexpensive Cotswold retreat

'The Bolt Hole' Cottage is situated in the lovely Cotswold town of Northleach. It is within a few minutes walk of the town square, shops, restaurants, pubs and church. The location makes it an ideal touring base with Stow-on-the-wold, Burford, The...

Heart Of Theatreland 1 Bed Apartment

The flat will sleep 4-5 in comfort.The flat is ideal for those travelling with children,teenagers and also suits couples or those travelling alone. There are excellent transport links nearby ,but as one is so close to the major sightseeing attrac...

Teglios- stunning riverside apartment with disabled facilities

Arranged on the first and second floors of an ancient harbour-side building this stunning apartment is centrally located and has fine views over Looe harbour and river. The accommodation is a delightful blend of the ancient and the modern with man...

Butt & Beinne for (second !) honeymooners or, getting away

This charmingly modernised 1880's-built 'Butt & Beinne' is a romantic place for (second !) honeymooners or self catering holidaymakers to get away from it all. Sit and watch the tides from the picture window, visit the Otter Hide or, on walks alon...

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