The i-escape blog / October half term holidays: 6 brilliant family breaks in the UK/ Nadine Mellor

By Nadine Mellor

Looking for something closer to home for your October getaway? We’ve found five amazing destinations the whole family can enjoy, spanning the length and breadth of the country. Here’s our pick of the best places to visit in the UK during October half term.


 

1  Enjoy Cornwall without the crowds

i-escape blog / brilliant UK family breaks for October half term / Mawgan Porth beach

Cornwall is perennially popular but can suffer from overcrowding in peak season. Far better to visit this jewel in England’s crown when you have the run of the beaches, clifftops, attractions and eateries without the hordes.

Base yourself at laid-back Merlin Farm Eco-Cottages on the North Cornwall coast, with surfing beaches and the seafood restaurants of Newquay and Padstow just a short drive away. The well-equipped two-bed cottages are just a 15-minute stroll from the nearest beach.

i-escape blog / brilliant UK family breaks for October half term / Merlin Farm Eco Cottages

Another fantastic option is pretty St Mawes, in south Cornwall, which has three beaches and some stylish shops, and is a ferry ride from Falmouth across the Truro River estuary. St Mawes Hideaways is a quartet of lavish self-catering houses with dressing-up boxes and super kitchens, plus large gardens and generous interiors.

i-escape blog / brilliant UK family breaks for October half term / St Mawes Hideaways

 

2  Escape to the country

i-escape blog / brilliant UK family breaks for October half term / Cotswolds and Wye Valley

Family holidays work best when they work for everybody. Of course, the capricious Great British weather will have its say too! But if you find somewhere with great food (and a kids menu), plenty of space, a heated swimming pool, organised kids activities such as imaginative arts and crafts, and an award-winning spa, then all bases will be covered.

Step forward the funky Cowley Manor in the glorious Cotswolds. There’s no end of attractions and sights nearby – if you can tear yourselves away from its 55 magnificent acres of parkland, woods and meadows. They even provide wellies!

i-escape blog / brilliant UK family breaks for October half term / Cowley Manor

In complete contrast, head for Herefordshire to this trio of luxe two-bed lodges, each with a private terrace with hot tub and fire pit plus under-stair dens with games and puzzles. Idyllic Cynefin Retreats is set in 7 acres of meadows and trees under star-spangled skies and is only 5 minutes from Hay-on-Wye – perfect for outdoorsy families.

i-escape blog / brilliant UK family breaks for October half term / Cynefin Retreats

 

3  Ditch the car and head for London!

i-escape blog / brilliant UK family breaks for October half term / Harry Potter Studios

Holidays don’t have to be centred around the family car. Take the train to London, the UK’s best city for terrific public transport. There are plenty of attractions for October. Head to Kew Gardens for autumn colours; make the most of the London Restaurant Festival (which runs all month); enjoy the Halloween makeover at the Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studios; take in some family-friendly theatre in the West End; or visit the capital’s brilliant museums – many are free of charge.

Stay near the heart of the action in trendy Spitalfields, so you can walk to sights including the Tower of London, the City and Leadenhall Market (as seen in Harry Potter). Elegant and unique boutique hotel Batty Langley’s has interconnecting rooms and is in a quiet residential street close to Liverpool Street station, which connects to Heathrow and Paddington on the brand-new Elizabeth Line.

i-escape blog / brilliant UK family breaks for October half term / Batty Langley's

For a less busy part of London, we recommend the elegant 2-bedroom apartments at Europa House in residential Maida Vale, just north of Paddington, which has a large communal garden and small playground to the rear.

i-escape blog / brilliant UK family breaks for October half term / Europa House

 

4  Tour the Lake District & the Dales

i-escape blog / brilliant UK family breaks for October half term / the Lake District

Autumn is a great season for walking in the peaks and dales: the landscape benefits from that wonderful clarity of October light, with the autumn colours and scents creating a memorable sensory backdrop. The summer crowds have vanished, giving you the freedom to explore the great outdoors as you please: think walking and cycling, sailing, rock-climbing and kayaking.

On the edge of the Dales, set in gentle rolling countryside in Co.Durham, with long views over fields, handsomely styled Teesdale House is perfect for multi-generational get-togethers, with 7 bedrooms (and 4 bathrooms), an excellent kitchen and lots of space to chill. Fun stuff includes a pool table, table tennis, croquet and a playroom with TV and games.

i-escape blog / 6 brilliant UK family breaks for October half term / Teesdale House

Or, in a pretty market town in the south of the Lake District is an endearing old townhouse with a swish kitchen, three bedrooms (including a twin) and sleek bathroom, roaring fire and comfy sofas. The Ulverston Hideaway is only a 15-minute drive from Lake Windermere and Coniston Water, and close to watersports, horse riding and steam train rides.

i-escape blog / 6 brilliant UK family breaks for October half term / The Ulverston Hideaway

 Be beside the seaside (tiddley-om-pom-pom!)

i-escape blog / brilliant UK family breaks for October half term / Barricane Beach

Even in October, who doesn’t like to fall under the magical spell of the seaside? Luckily the UK is blessed with long coastlines with picturesque harbours, dramatic cliffs and stunning beaches to suit all.

Try the miles of golden flat sands of Saunton, in North Devon, for surfing and strolling. You can stay right on the beach at The Chalet Saunton in large luxuriously minimalist apartments with wraparound balconies and picture windows showcasing incredible sea views.

i-escape blog / brilliant UK family breaks for October half term / The Chalet Saunton

Alternatively, explore the lesser-visited Lincolnshire coast with its blissfully empty beaches. We love architect-designed, high-spec 3-bedroom beach house The Sandy Feet Retreat, which has a boat house complete with various watercraft, a fire pit for roasting marshmallows, bunks and a snug with Netflix and games.

i-escape blog / brilliant UK family breaks for October half term / The Sandy Feet Retreat


For more suggestions in Europe and beyond for October half-term see here

Or explore all available options for the half-term week 2022