For the last mid-term UK school holiday of 2016, we’ve unearthed 10 gems which not only have availability for families, but are also running fantastic offers or activities during the week 22-30 October. So come on: stay somewhere fun for half-term!
The perfect jolly holiday spot: a 19th-century chateau converted into 4 comfy 2-bedroom suites (plus a couple of self-catering gites in the stables), with large communal areas (and a piano!). Interiors aren’t super-smart so you can all relax; outside is plenty of space to romp around, including a playground, a woodland den and croquet. There are bikes to borrow, too.
Offers and activities: stay for 3 or 7 nights for a 25% discount, or get one night free if you book 5+ nights. Activities include pizza- and pasta-making classes, and adults-only dinner parties on 3 nights. You also get free tickets to a local zoo, and a ferry discount with Brittany Ferries from Portsmouth or Poole to Cherbourg or Caen.
The Cornish village of Mousehole is such a unique setting, with its walled harbour, cottage-clad hillsides and views across to Penzance and St Michael’s Mount. And this cheery hotel in the former coastguard lookout station perfectly suits its setting. You get great local grub in the friendly restaurant, rooms have books and biscuits to make you feel at home, and there are lawns tumbling down to the sea.
Activity: every Wednesday there’s a Cornish storytelling session, so on 26 October kids will be treated to a spooky story for Halloween. This will be followed by a visit from the Screech Owl Sanctuary, enabling children to learn about owls, hold them and watch them in flight.
Just outside the cute fishing village of Kardamyli, and a stone’s throw from the beach, is this pair of family villas. They sleep 4-5 each, with a pool in a tranquil walled garden. There’s also an annex for grandparents, a little playground, and a shared barbecue – perfect for a family with primary-school-age children.
Offer: a 25% discount for 7-night bookings made by 30 September.
Inland from Barcelona and Valencia is this rocky retreat, set in a revamped 17th-century farmhouse against a backdrop of stunning mountains, medieval villages and terraced vineyards. There are 9 rooms, which can be booked as a whole for a group holiday or individually as a boutique hotel. Quirky interiors, a heated infinity-edged pool, a hot tub, a pool table and a home cinema room all contribute to an unforgettable family stay.
Exclusive offer: a 40% discount for stays of 2+ nights.
With cabins and bungalows hidden in idyllic gardens, a large pool area (with a kids’ pool, bar and loungers) and a super beach only 5 minutes away, Azur Hotel offers a near-perfect family holiday on Turkey’s Mediterranean Coast – especially once you add its great-value rates, delicious food and wonderfully friendly staff into the mix.
Off-grid yurts and woodland shacks are wholly appealing for children, who will also relish the play area and nature trails at this fun glamping outfit on the Swinton Park estate. There’s a café with a kids’ menu, as well as regular back-to-nature activities. And the beautiful Yorkshire Dales have endless castles, waterfalls, horse riding and hiking for the whole family to enjoy.
Activities: a Halloween trail (26 October – 1 November), and a ‘Fright Night’ on 28 October for kids aged 12+ (a scary trail in the woods followed by hot chocolate in the café).
Wonderful designer interiors and a wealth of original features – from turrets to parquet floors – mean this chateau rental for up to 26 people stands out from the pack. The communal areas are vast, and you get lots of options for entertainment: 3 salons, a dining hall, a baby grand piano, table tennis, a cinema, a billiards room, a football pitch and a heated outdoor pool. Self-cater or be catered for: either way, you’ll be treated to a memorable family get-together.
Exclusive offers: 4 nights for the price of 3, or a EUR1900 discount on a 7-night stay.
Stay just outside one of Portugal’s most beautiful coastal towns in these light and airy self-catering apartments, set in the grounds of a 300-year-old manor house. Children have large lawns to run around, a secret wooden house in the woods to discover, and a saltwater swimming pool to splash in. There are bikes to borrow, and beaches within a few minutes’ drive.
Offer: a free wine-tasting session for stays of 3+ nights.
Get away from Santorini’s crowded caldera and stay in these 2 restored self-catering houses (sleeping 2-4 and 4-6), set in a pretty village and ideal for a relaxing family holiday. Each has a plunge pool and a secluded courtyard, and there are no neighbours to disturb. Head to the island’s black-sand beaches, or take a boat trip out to sea. Come evening, there are family-friendly tavernas nearby if you’d like time off cooking.
This is the ultimate house-party venue: a safari-lodge-style villa with a wraparound veranda and an inside-outside set-up. You get 7 stylish rooms (which can be doubles and twins as required) with private terraces, plus a yoga studio, 28 acres of grounds with chickens and woods, and a super swimming pool. Choose between self-catering in the snazzy kitchen, or a serviced rental with meals provided.