October half term is on the horizon and for many families that means packing the bags and slipping into holiday mode. While COVID travel restrictions mean destinations such as Malta and Mallorca are off the cards, the good news is Britain is bursting at the seams with family-friendly destinations that are guaranteed to delight both kids and adults alike.
Ready to explore your backyard? Read on for our guide to spending October half term in Great Britain. Whether you’re dreaming of rolling hills and sheep-dotted pastures, picturesque beaches and fossil-hunting expeditions or world-class attractions and urban appeal, our guide features destinations for every travel style.
1. Best locations for coastal relaxation
October may not bring beach weather but that doesn’t mean you can’t escape to the coast for your holidays in October half term 2020. North Devon promises dramatic seascapes and gorgeous sandy beaches that provide the perfect backdrop for a family getaway. Kids love exploring the towering sand dunes of Braunton Burrows and discovering hidden beaches along the South West Coast Path.
Got a budding palaeontologist on your hands? A getaway to Dorset will give your little ones something to gush about when they get back to school in November. Holiday rentals on the Jurassic Coast put you within striking distance of Lyme Regis, one of the top fossil-hunting destinations in England. The region will win you over with plenty of other family days out, from farm parks and coastal walking trails to historic railways and Saxon castles.
For classic seaside charm make a beeline for Llandudno, a charming coastal town in North Wales. Keep the kids entertained at Llandudno Pier or get adventurous and explore subterranean tunnels at Great Orme Mines. Planning to bring Fido along? There are some fantastic dog-friendly beaches strung along the British coast, including standouts like Sandymouth in Cornwall, Babbacombe in Devon and Berrow in Somerset.
With more than 400 glorious beaches to discover, nowhere does seaside getaways better than Cornwall. The perfect place to dally, Cornwall combines stunning coastal scenery with beautiful countryside. It’s the ultimate location to make precious family memories filled with surf, sailboats and sea views. While sunbathing weather may be over, family beach walks, sandcastle building competitions and tearoom visits featuring huge dollops of Cornish clotted cream are all on the cards. If you’ve got your heart set on making a splash renting a house with a heated pool will have the kids squealing with delight. After dark, hot tubs are an unforgettable way for adults to unwind with a glass of fizz.
2. An October nature fix
Spanning across six British counties, The Cotswolds is a patchwork of rolling hills, postcard-perfect villages and magnificent country estates. Just a few days in this enchanting pocket of England and you’ll soon realise why it’s a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There’s plenty to tire the kids out, from horseback riding at a local stable to scenic walks along the Cotswold Way. Budding arborists love the STIHL Treetop Walkway, a 13-metre-high catwalk that winds through the canopy and gets you face-to-face with rare species.
With such a huge range of activities and experiences on offer, destinations like The Cotswolds are ideal for multigenerational holidays. You’ll also find incredible accommodation to match, with country manor houses, barn conversions and Georgian halls promising plenty of room for the extended family. When you’re not exploring the countryside, you’ll love swimming in a heated pool, enjoying a BBQ on the terrace and setting up a game of croquet on manicured lawns. If your October half term to a golden beach or sun-drenched resort town has been cancelled this year, a dreamy rural escape could be your silver lining.
3. Going remote
For many families, October half term is an opportunity to escape the city in search of fresh air and bucolic scenery. If you’re dreaming of a remote getaway, you’ll love country destinations like Worcestershire. There are bucketloads of activities to entertain kids of all ages, from toddlers to teens. Step back in time at magnificent Hagley Hall, get up close with exotic animals at West Midland Safari Park and climb aboard the Severn Valley Railway, Britain’s premier steam locomotive. Of course, stocking up on a few bottles of the region’s famous condiment is a given.
For natural beauty that will take your breath away nothing compares to the Lake District. For centuries, this charm-soaked corner of England has inspired poets, writers and naturalists. The region is abounding with family-friendly activities, from rowboat adventures on Coniston Water to scenic rides on the Ravenglass & Eskdale Steam Railway. With more than 130 towns and villages to discover, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to shopping. Strolling around the cobbled streets, you’ll find everything homemade fudge to luxuriously soft cashmere sweaters. If the kids complain, a pitstop for scones with clotted jam and cream will quickly get them back onside.
4. City fun for half term
While some families crave fresh air and wide open spaces, others can’t wait to hit the town. Head north to Liverpool and you’ll find a whirlwind of family-friendly activities and attractions to keep the kids entertained this October half term. From The Beatles Story museum to the British Music Experience, Liverpool is a great place to introduce the kids to a little culture. For football fans, a trip to the Liverpool Football Club Museum and Tour is a must.
Another northern gem, Manchester promises all the buzz and excitement of an urban city. You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to family entertainment, with attractions like the Museum of Science and Industry, Chester Zoo and Sea Life Centre Manchester ticking all the boxes within a stone’s throw. For a taste of the countryside book tickets on the East Lancashire Railway. With world-class road, rail and bus connections, spending October half term in Manchester is just the ticket for a fuss-free getaway.
Of course, no destination does multigenerational fun better than London. The capital is a smorgasbord for October half term entertainment, offering everything from big-ticket attractions like the London Eye to under-the-radar gems like The Cartoon Museum. If staying in the city centre feels a little hectic why not consider basing yourself in a nearby town or village? London has some of the best rail connections in the world, with towns like Canterbury less than an hour away by train. If you want the best of both worlds, spending October half term in Canterbury could be the solution.
5. Best locations near a forest
Famous for the picturesque Lake District, Cumbria is home to some of the most beautiful forests in England. The county is an outdoor playground for wanderlust-hungry families, with jewels such as Grizedale Forest just waiting to be discovered. Lace up your boots and explore scenic trails, keeping an eye out for hidden forest sculptures along the way. Adventure seekers shouldn’t miss Go Ape, a treetop high ropes course and zip trekking experience that’s guaranteed to get your heart racing faster. Not just for kids, this is a great way for adults to test their nerve.
In Northumberland, Cragside combines history with nature. The woodland is set in the grounds of a beautiful Victorian estate operated by the National Trust. With more than 30 miles of woodland trails and lakeside walks to explore, as well as a dizzying rhododendron maze, tumbling waterfall and enchanting rock garden, it’s easy to spend days getting lost in Cragside. After tiring out the kids head to the tea rooms for a fresh baked Cragside Crackle, the signature oat, cinnamon and ginger biscuit invented at the estate.
October half term done right
Planning where to go on holiday in October half term? With a stunning range of luxury houses to choose from, kate & tom’s elevates your family getaway to the next level. There’s no need to fly, with all our destinations easily reachable by car. Whether you’re planning an intimate holiday with the kids or a multigenerational trip including grandparents, aunties and family friends, kate & tom’s has homes for every occasion.
Looking for a bespoke match? Get in touch with our team to discuss the unique needs of your family. From Somerset to Suffolk, we know our breathtaking destinations inside out and are passionate about matching our clients with the perfect houses. Keep things simple with a lowkey beach house or enjoy an extraordinary October half term with a country manor house that will have your little channelling their inner dukes and duchesses.
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