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

Royal Mile 5 mins walk, FREE parking/Wifi. Central, quiet with spectacular views

'Royal Mile 5 mins walk, FREE parking/Wifi' is a fully owner managed/maintained, spacious, 2 bedroom apartment overlooking Holyrood Park, with stunning views of Arthur's Seat. The flat benefits from free WiFi and free on street parking, is just mo...

Fantastic 2-bed family flat in vibrant Kensington overlooking Holland Park

General: An elegant two bedroom, two bathroom apartment on the seventh floor of a purpose built block with a lift, porter and fantastic views over Holland Park. Decor: Recently refurbished with bright fresh interiors. Receptions: This elegant...

Elegant 2-bed apartment full of English charm in trendy South Kensington

An elegant two-bedroom apartment in an exclusive residential area between South Kensington and Chelsea, shopping heaven with easy access to Knightsbridge and the West End. General A small but charming apartment with two bedrooms and one bathro...

Rowan Road

A superb nineteenth century London family cottage in a charming area between Hammersmith and Kensington. General This is a small, quaint and attractive two storey family house with three bedrooms, one bathroom, a guest loo, parking space and a b...

Tranquil 2-bed apartment with balcony near to trendy Kensington and Notting Hill

A tranquil two bedroom apartment with a small balcony in a great location convenient for Kensington, Notting Hill and Hyde Park. General A two bedroom apartment with small balcony on the fifth floor of a modern building with a lift. Non-smoking,...

Impressive 3-bed traditional home, near Queen's Tennis Club with pretty patio

A four storey family home next to the Queen's Tennis Club in West Kensington, an excellent base for getting around London and out to Wimbledon and other areas. General This is an impressive four storey family home with three bedrooms, two bathro...

Contemporary studio in Shepherds Bush with amazing connections to all of London

A modern studio rental in Shepherds Bush on the edge of West Kensington with good connections to all parts of the city. Area Description This part of west London, west of Holland Park and north of Hammersmith is popular with young media profess...

Modern 1-bed apartment with amazing city views from balcony near Covent Garden

A one bedroom apartment with great views close to Covent Garden, perfect for access to the West End theatres and the treasures of the nearby British Museum. General A one bedroom apartment with a small balcony on the tenth floor of a contempora...

Spacious & contemporary 1-bed flat with beautiful garden in the heart of Chelsea

Fulham Road SW6 General A good sized garden flat with a small patio and one bedroom and one shower room. Non-smoking, Wifi Internet but no landline phone. Decor Decor Informal contemporary furnishing with good lighting. Receptions The bright a...

Traditionally stylish 1-bed apartment with charismatic balcony near Holland Park

Holland Park 6 W11. A one bedroom apartment in traditional style with a charming balcony, close to romantic Holland Park in an elegant residential area near Notting Hill and Portobello Road. General A large one bedroom apartment on the second ...

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