Make family memories closer to home this October with a half term holiday in the UK. October is a great time for outdoor adventures with the kids – you can jump in piles of crunchy golden leaves, search for autumn wildlife, go for windswept walks and toast marshmallows over a crackling camp fire.
We're here to bring you the best places to stay in the UK – all have plenty of availability for October half term holidays in 2020 and 2021. Here’s our pick of where to go on holiday in October half term in the UK.
The New Forest
Leaves are at their most colourful in autumn, so the forest in October is a magical place to be. Amid the vibrant red, gold and yellow trees of the New Forest, you’ll find woodland creatures and free-roaming ponies (we once saw a pony wander into a local shop). There are miles of trails for family walks and bike rides, plus attractions including the National Motor Museum and – whether you love her or endure her – a theme park dedicated to TV’s most famous pig at Peppa Pig World.
The Gower Peninsula is one of our favourite spots for an outdoorsy October half term in the UK. It was the first place in the country to be designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty thanks to its sweeping sandy beaches and rolling countryside. Beautiful Three Cliffs Bay was even voted the best spot in the UK to have a picnic. Walk out to Worms Head (make sure you check the tide times), don a wetsuit and go coasteering, or make the most of the year-round surfing at Caswell Bay. If that’s all a bit too extreme, then go fly a kite on one of the wide breezy beaches.
With lochs aplenty, this is a great place to get out on the water. Row, row, row your boat on the calm waters of Loch Lomond, go white-water rafting in the Cairngorms and try out windsurfing on Loch Morlich. Bring your binoculars to spot deer, golden eagles and seals, and visit the free-roaming reindeer at the Cairngorm Reindeer Centre. If you’re Harry Potter fans, you’ll love Glenfinnan Viaduct: the Hogwarts Express travels along it in four of the Harry Potter movies. For mountain walks, you can’t beat Glencoe – it’s a breath-taking place with soaring mountains that will give you New Zealand vibes.
A firm family holiday favourite, Cornwall has over 300 beaches for seaside adventures; spend your October half term playing games on the beach, rock pooling and feasting on fresh fish and chips. Thanks to its location on the edge of the Gulf Stream, Cornwall has wonderfully mild autumn weather. Visit the Eden Project to spark an early interest in flora and fauna, play hide and seek in the magical Lost Gardens of Heligan, try out fun new watersports at Watergate Bay and go thrill-seeking at Flambards Theme Park.
With moors, dales, peaks, national parks and beaches, Yorkshire is a great autumn outdoor playground, perfect for an October half term UK break. The popular seaside town of Whitby has cute cobbled streets, excellent seafood and Blue Flag beaches. On rainy days, head to Scarborough’s Alphamare – a multi-million-pound water park with thrilling slides, a water playground and heated outdoor pool.
Isle of Wight
Reached by a ferry ride across the Solent, the Isle of Wight could almost count as a trip 'abroad'. The ferry journey definitely brings that holiday feel. We love the old-time charm of the island – there’s a slower pace and a very safe feel. There are miles of sandy beaches, rocky beaches for rock pooling and lots of family-friendly attractions. Blackgang Chine is an enchanting amusement park of dinosaurs, cowboys, princesses and pirates that dates back to the 1840s. There’s also Robin Hill Country Park for woodland adventures and the Needles Chairlift down to the multi-coloured sand cliffs of Alum Bay.