Half term doesn’t have to be about tumultuous tantrums and squabbling siblings. It’s a chance to get out of the house this October and explore some of Britain’s most popular places.
We’ve uncovered the top 15 half term destinations based on last years’ bookings on Holiday Lettings – the UK’s leading holiday rental website.
So, grab your rucksack, make a packed-lunch and let half term begin…
Once at the forefront of the industrial revolution, Manchester is now one of the world’s great emerging cities. Out of the smog and dilapidated canals that once consumed the city, shiny skyscrapers and hipster eateries have emerged. Brilliant for shopping (the ginormous Trafford Centre is a mecca for shopaholics) and full of educational institutions, you won’t ever be short of anything to do in Manchester.
Autumn might be in full swing by October, but don’t let that rule out a seaside jaunt. Make the most of Scarborough’s bracing sea air and beautiful beaches before the bitter nip of winter sets in. Love your pop culture trinkets? Check out Scarborough’s Vintage Fair at The Spa during the week. There will be live jazz, so don’t forget to take your dancing shoes.
One of the country’s favourite market towns, Bakewell sits in the middle of the Peak District National Park, only a few miles from Sheffield. The town came to prominence because of local warm springs (Bakewell’s name in the Doomsday Book is Badequella meaning Bath-well). Visitors travel from far and wide to experience this stunning location and sample the world famous Bakewell Pudding – a local delicacy that developed into the widely-loved Bakewell Tart.
If you visit Devon, you should stop off at Plymouth, because it’s a real hidden gem. Take a stroll along the Barbican and retrace the footsteps of America’s Pilgrim Fathers at the Mayflower Steps or learn about the city’s aquatic connections in the National Marine Aquarium.
Depending on who you’re with, you could partake in some family fun by climbing the iconic Smeaton’s Tower Lighthouse. Or if you’re child-free discover why Plymouth Gin was one of the world’s most exported liquors at Black Friars Distillery. It’s your choice.
Not far from the Jurassic Coast, the cosmopolitan seaside town of Bournemouth is fast becoming a favourite with sightseers. Boasting miles of pristine sandy beaches, it’s a real tourist trap during the summer months.
However, there’s year-round fun to be had. The area surrounding the beach offers over 2, 000 acres of glorious garden goodness. If the weather’s nice you really should go and enjoy Bournemouth’s Lower Gardens, which are less than a five minute walk from the bustling shopping quarter.
With almost a quarter of the city linked to the academic fraternity, it’s difficult to leave Cambridge without feeling just a little smarter than when you first arrived. Be inspired by the many local museums, marvel at the classic architecture or slip down the historic passageways that snake through the city’s scenic centre.
While you’re in town, try to catch a student production at the Arts Theatre; you might be watching the next Sir Ian McKellen or Hugh Lawrie first tread the boards.
Fancy keeping the kids busy with a spot of bodyboarding or paddlesurfing during the half term break? Dubbed as the surfing capital of the country, due to its amazing beaches and wonderful waves, Newquay entices water sports enthusiasts to its shores all year round.
Back on dry land you could broaden their horizons with a trip to Newquay Zoo or completely tire them out with a day at Cornwall’s Crealy Great Adventure Park.
A little too hectic for your liking? Explore the pretty harbour and breathtaking headland for truly memorable vistas across the Atlantic.
The coastal town of Hastings has come a long way since William the Conqueror and his men set foot on its long beach. Infact, on the cliffs you can see the remains of the first castle he built in England. Hastings also has a bustling promenade and active shoreline (which is home to the largest beach-launched fishing fleet in Europe).
Love art? The Jerwood Gallery houses key pieces of British art, many of which are making a public debut.
With the largest collection of museums and art galleries outside of London; Liverpool is a cultural hub. It’s a city that will be forever associated with Pop music; “Come Together” and spend “A Day in the Life” at the world-famous Cavern Club (where The Beatles first played).
When you’re feeling peckish, don’t pass up the opportunity to eat at one of the bistros at Liverpool’s swish Albert Dock – an area synonymous with the city’s seafaring history.
Fabulous Falmouth, on Cornwall’s popular south coast, has been enticing tourists to its grand natural harbour for years. Do you have a passion for coastal walking? The cliffs and rural tracks around this Cornish delight are the ideal stomping ground for regular ramblers and amateur adventurers alike.
If you’d prefer to relax, make sure you unwind in a seafood restaurant. Falmouth is widely regarded as one of the UK’s best coastal spots for fish. The Wheel House, The Shack and Fire Kitchen all come highly recommended by TripAadvisor reviewers!