October half-term is one of the best times to get away for a fun-filled family holiday. Local attractions are usually quieter, rentals are often cheaper and the autumnal weather means you can still get out and about without having to don several layers. The UK is packed with fantastic attractions and things to do, some of which can be booked on TripAdvisor! We’ve rounded up some of our favourite spots for an awesome autumnal getaway.
Read reviews, buy entrance tickets, book a holiday rental and get your October half-term holiday sorted – it’s as easy as pumpkin pie!
#1 Bideford, Devon
Situated on the west bank of the River Torridge, this delightful town was once Britain’s third largest port. Bideford is just as lively today, and you’ll find antique shops, cafes and pastel-coloured houses along the narrow streets leading up from the quay.
The town is perfect if you’re looking for a family half-term holiday in the UK, as there is plenty to do. Take a boat trip to Lundy Island or follow the Tarka Trail to the stunning Exmoor National Park where you’ll find a range of organised tours and activities. And for a fun-packed day out, head to the nearby BIG Sheep theme park; with its indoor playground, animal barn and gin distillery, it’ll keep the whole family entertained for hours!
#2 Tattershall, Lincolnshire
In the heart of rural Lincolnshire, the unspoilt village of Tattershall is fast becoming a firm October-half term holiday favourite. Take a stroll around the marketplace and admire the 15th-century octagonal Buttercross before stopping at a traditional pub for lunch. For more history, spend the day discovering Tattershall Castle where you’ll find grand fireplaces, Flemish tapestries and a magnificent red brick tower. If you want to get the adrenaline pumping, have a go at jet-skiing or wakeboarding at the stunning Tattershall Lakes.
#3 Scarborough, Yorkshire
For the quintessential British seaside holiday, book a holiday rental in Scarborough this October half-term. Visit the atmospheric castle to learn more about the town’s history, or listen to the calming sound of the waves while reading a book on the beach. Enjoy fish and chips on the promenade, watch a traditional Punch and Judy show or maybe take the kids for a donkey ride. Add to that the Sealife Centre, miniature railway, surf lessons and kayak hire, and you’ve got all the makings of a perfect half-term family holiday.
#4 Sandown, lsle of Wight
Positioned on the sunny southern coast of the Isle of Wight, Sandown’s long stretches of sandy beaches, pretty cafes and traditional pubs make it ideal for a family-friendly October half-term break. If watersports are your thing, windsurfing, kayaking and bodyboarding are popular pastimes here. Want to know your diplodocus from your lexovisaurus? Head to the Dinosaur Isle museum where you can learn more about the Isle of Wight’s dinosaur history.
Sandown is a great base from which to explore the area, and famous attractions such as Shanklin Chine, Osborne House and Carisbrooke Castle are all a short drive away. So if you’re looking for cheap half-term breaks that won’t cost the earth but your family will love, make Sandown one of your top half-term holiday destinations.
#5 County Tyrone, Northern Ireland
With its lavish landscapes, ancient monuments and breathtaking scenery, County Tyrone is perfect for an October half-term holiday. The Sperrin Mountains are a good place to start so pack a picnic and let your adventurous side free. When you’re not exploring the landscape, head to Omagh Main Street with its lively mix of bars and restaurants. It even has its own open staged area for live music and there are regular events throughout the year to keep everyone entertained.
Take a quiet walk through Gortin Glen Forest Park where the only sounds are babbling brooks and birdsong. The luscious forest here will make you feel at one with nature and you’ll feel a sense of awe when staring up at the leafy trees. So, if you’re looking for cheap half-term holidays, County Tyrone will make you feel like you’re in holiday heaven, without the hefty price tag!
#6 Northumberland National Park, Northumberland
If you like nothing more than staring up at a starry sky on a clear night, the Northumberland National Park is the place to be. The park was awarded gold tier designation by the International Dark Sky Association due to its clear skies and ideal stargazing conditions. Don’t feel like venturing out on a chilly night? Why not make a mug of something warm and view the sparkling canopy from the comfort of the garden at your holiday rental.
Walkers will be in their element in the Northumberland National Park and taking a tour of the historic Hadrian’s Wall, a UNESCO World Heritage site, will have you coming back to this enchanting area time and time again. If you’re a Harry Potter fan, Alnwick Castle (used as Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the film) is not to be missed!
#7 Lowestoft, Suffolk
With its sandy beaches, seaside walks and plethora of attractions, Lowestoft is ideal for family half-term holidays. There’s so much for kids to discover here. Visit the East Anglia Transport Museum where they can take a ride on vintage trams, trolley buses and trains. The Lowestoft and East Sussex Maritime Museum will keep children captivated and have them puzzling over how the tiny ship got inside the bottle!
Lowestoft is full of surprises – there’s even a safari park, Africa Alive!, where you can see cheetahs, lions, giraffes and more. And to top it all off, there are several nature reserves in the area where you can escape the bustle of everyday life and appreciate some quiet time with your loved ones.
#8 Tenby, Wales
Pastel coloured houses, cobbled streets, boats bobbing in the harbour… there are not many seaside towns as picturesque as Tenby. But it’s not just about looks; there are so many things to do in Tenby you’ll want to come back every year for your autumn escape!
The beautiful beach with its cliff views is a must, as is the Tenby Lifeboat Station – kids will love getting up close to the magnificent, life-saving vessels. Or if you want to enjoy a thrilling ride on a sailboat, this tour might be for you. Step back in time at the Tudor Merchant’s House where you can try on some Tudor clothes and discover more about the life of a middle-class merchant. If you’ve an appreciation for art, Tenby has plenty of galleries selling works by local artists. Treat yourself to a special souvenir as a reminder of your holiday in Tenby.
#9 Aviemore, Scotland
With its breathtaking mountain scenery, abundance of wildlife and spectacular lochs, this picturesque town in the Cairngorms National Park is one of the best autumn holidays for anyone who loves the great outdoors. Sports, such as skiing, mountain biking and horse riding, are popular pastimes here. And in the quieter autumn months, you’ll often feel like you’ve got that mountain you’re hiking up all to yourself!
It’s not all walking boots and compasses in Aviemore, though. If beer is your tipple of choice, visit the Cairngorm Brewery where you can sample some locally brewed beers. Head to Landmark Forest Adventure Park where the whole family can ride roller coasters, explore the labyrinth and admire insects in the butterfly house.
#10 Filey, Yorkshire
Sitting pretty on the North Sea Coast between Scarborough and Bridlington, this traditional seaside town makes the perfect autumn holiday destination. The long, sandy beach is unspoilt and the nearby facilities—such as cafes, arcades and restaurants—make it perfect for families. The nearby Glen Gardens, with its park and wood carvings, make a great spot for a picnic en route to the beach.
If you’re partial to a good single malt whisky, the Spirit of Yorkshire Distillery will be just your cup of tea. For a great night out, head to the Evron Centre to see some live music before stopping for a nightcap in one of the many traditional pubs. Filey has something for everyone, so why not make this pretty seaside town the place for your next autumn holiday?
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