7 terrific ideas for October half term holidays in the UK

Here's where to go for a family break in the UK this October half term. From cheap ideas to holidays in the best places for October, check out our pick.

© Tom Merton – Getty Images
Here’s where to go for a family break in the UK this October half term. From cheap ideas to holidays in the best places for October, check out our pick.

October half term holidays in the UK mean exploring the great outdoors as you enjoy the changing colours of autumn on an unforgettable family staycation.

While we can’t guarantee the heat of the Caribbean, there are some pretty stunning spots that are just as scenic and plenty of enjoyable days out to experience with the kids.

To show you why you should consider an October half term break in the UK, we’ve picked seven of the best destinations around Britain accompanied by ideas for fabulous places to stay with children from our favourite travel experts including HomeAway, Holidaycottages.co.uk, Sykes Cottages and Secret Escapes.

Here are the best places to spend the October half term break in the UK.

Isle of Wight

With so many things to see and do, the Isle of Wight is a fine place to take the family for an autumn break. Give them the freedom to stretch their legs and explore the palace by the sea, Osbourne House, step aboard the Isle of Wight Steam Railway and be wowed by Ventnor Botanic Garden.

a close up of a rock next to a body of water: October half term holidays UK

© Mike_Boyland – Getty Images
October half term holidays UK

Dinosaur fans will be in their element too and can visit Dinosaur Isle, with its 1,000 fossils and fun interactive displays.

Where to stay

For something affordable, whether it’s a camping pod or a cottage by the sea, try a holiday rental from HomeAway. We like this six-person beach house set right by the sea in Cowes and this lovely apartment with amazing views over Totland Bay.

New Forest

Hampshire’s New Forest National Park is a great place to get outside and witness the gorgeous colours of autumn during an October half term break in the UK. With its unspoilt woodland and river valleys, fun attractions for all ages (don’t miss Exbury Gardens and a visit to Peppa Pig World) and adorable New Forest ponies, it’s a wonderful place to escape.

a brown horse standing next to a forest: October half term 2019 uk

© merlinpf – Getty Images
October half term 2019 uk

Plus, if the weather is warm you can head down to the beaches. Believe it or not, the New Forest has 40 miles of them, including Barton on Sea, Lepe, Calshot and Keyhaven.

Where to stay

A family holiday rental will give you more freedom to spend October half term exactly how you like it and means you have more choice of places to stay if you wish to bring the dog along, too. HomeAway has some wonderful cottages for families from £65 per night, including this cute lodge that sleeps six and is great for deer spotting (£122 per night). Meanwhile, Sykes Holiday Cottages has lovely dog-friendly cottages you can rent for the week.

Peak District

The first of the national parks established in England, the Peak District is a beautiful place to bring the kids to enjoy picturesque views and space to run around, with lots of adventures available: head to Mount Cook for caving and climbing or go underground at Treak Cliff Cavern.

a large green field with a mountain in the background: October half term holidays UK

© mdulieu – Getty Images
October half term holidays UK

When it comes to relaxing, you can visit the spa town of Buxton and eat delicious pudding in Bakewell.

Where to stay

Holiday Cottages has charming places to stay in the Peak District – some with cosy fireplaces and roll-top bath tubs. We like this lovely four-person lodge with a hot tub that the kids will love (£821 for seven nights). Check out the family-friendly hotels available from Booking.com in the likes of Bakewell, Buxton and Leek, too.


From coasteering to walking and dog walks along the beach to visiting pretty seaside towns, Pembrokeshire is a delight for families and if you’re visiting during an autumn heatwave it’s even more of a treat. During an October half term holiday, you can take the kids on a whale and dolphin watching adventure off the coast, leap into crystal-clear water by coasteering for the first time as a family and take a trip to Britain’s smallest city, St Davids.

There’s plenty to keep you entertained in Pembrokeshire and even just an autumn day at the beach is a treat when you head to one of the UK’s most beautiful sands, Barafundle Bay or Tenby’s North Beach. It’s the perfect place to take the dog, too, as this Welsh beauty spot is filled with natural spaces where everyone can run around and enjoy the great outdoors.

Where to stay

Sykes Holiday Cottages is your one-stop shop for child-friendly, dog-friendly, large, small and coastal cottages in Pembrokeshire. Try The Courtyard House, which is great for those looking to get out and about and is close to the superb beaches of Pembrokeshire.


Named the best place for a staycation by Sykes Holiday Cottages last year, there’s no shortage of things to do in this beautiful Yorkshire seaside town. Famed for its Gothic abbey which inspired Bram Stoker’s Dracula, its wonderful Blue Flag beach and its highly praised fish and chips, Whitby is a fantastic place to take the family.

a harbor filled with lots of small boats in a large body of water: Whitby

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Whitby Abbey, The Magpie Cafe (for fish and chips) and Whitby Sands should be on your radar, while the North York Moors Railway is the ultimate way to experience the surrounding countryside and experience a bucket list activity from Whitby.

Where to stay

Sykes has over 200 cosy cottages in and around Whitby that are ideal for October half term, whether you’re looking for an apartment or a sea view hideaway. We like Leesholme Loft, an apartment in the centre of Whitby with snug surroundings.

Lake District

Last year, Kate Middleton revealed that she takes the kids to the stunning Lake District on their holidays and we couldn’t agree with her more that this breathtaking location is fit for a family staycation. Autumn is a wonderful time to enjoy fell walking, just like the royals, when you can see the fiery hues of Buttermere, Loughrigg Fell and Tarn Hows.

a large waterfall over a body of water: Autumn Colours, Ashness Bridge, Keswick, Lake District, Cumbria, England

© joe daniel price – Getty Images
Autumn Colours, Ashness Bridge, Keswick, Lake District, Cumbria, England

The Lake District Wildlife Park, Ullswater Steamers and the World of Beatrix Potter are some of the must-dos for families in the Lake District.

Where to stay

Holidaycottages.co.uk has beautiful rentals that are perfect for October half term holidays in the UK, with cottages in Windermere, Hawkshead and Coniston. Try cosy Beehive Barn that’s close to shops, a local pub and tea rooms.

Newquay, Cornwall

From Halloween events to learning to surf, Newquay is a brilliant spot for an October half term holiday in the UK. Spend a day at the nearby Eden Project where you can explore the tropical biomes, visit the famous beaches of Watergate Bay, Great Western Beach and Fistral Beach, and walk around historic Newquay Harbour.

a man and a woman riding a wave on a surfboard in the water: Learning to surf with dad

© s0ulsurfing – Jason Swain – Getty Images
Learning to surf with dad

As one of the sunniest counties in the UK, Cornwall is a good bet for catching some October sunshine, too.

Where to stay

Check out the Cornwall hotel deals from Secret Escapes and take a look at Booking.com for family-friendly hotels in Newquay including Sands Resort Hotel, Esplanade Hotel and Bedruthan Hotel and Spa.

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