Great Holiday Destinations for October Half Term

Amy Mugglestone
1st September 2022

With the summer holidays drawing to a close, most parents may be heaving a sigh of relief, but many of us will also be looking back fondly at the memories made over the past few weeks. If you’re simultaneously dreading and looking forward to your next family adventure, check out our guide to the perfect family-friendly holiday destinations for October half term.

The Isle of Wight

Located off the south coast of England, the Isle of Wight enjoys warmer temperatures than the rest of the country, and while it’s unlikely to be sunbathing weather in October, it’s still a great place to go for a walk along the beach and soak up some late sunshine. There are plenty of indoor and outdoor activities for all the family to enjoy, so even if it does rain, it won’t ruin your holiday.

The Isle of Wight has been nicknamed ‘Dinosaur Island’ thanks to the many dinosaur bones and other fossils discovered in the area. Take the kids on a fossil hunt at Compton Bay, where they can see giant dinosaur footprints in the sand and look for pieces of dinosaur bone. Dinosaur Isle, in Sandown, provides yet more dinosaur fun, with the opportunity to watch volunteers preparing the latest finds, and a robot dinosaur that visitors can control.

Thrill-seekers can enjoy roller coasters, water slides and other rides at the UK’s oldest theme park, Blackgang Chine. Kids will love the park’s Lands of Imagination, where they can dress up and take part in the action, from sea battles at Pirate Cove to meeting animatronic dinosaurs in Restricted Area 5. And if that isn’t enough, you can head over to Robin Hill, where you will find more adrenaline-inducing rides, a toboggan run and a giant trampoline suspended among the treetops.

The Isle of Wight has more than its share of beauty spots just waiting to be explored. Take a bike ride along the 70-mile Isle of Wight Coastal Path, go red squirrel spotting in Pankhurst Forest, or visit Shanklin Chine, a magical, tree-lined gorge with a stunning waterfall that is lit up by brightly coloured illuminations after dark. And of course, no visit to the Isle of Wight would be complete without taking a trip to The Needles, and riding the iconic Needles Chairlift down to Alum Bay. 

For the perfect Isle of Wight holiday, book a stay at The Cliff Hall B&B. A favourite with former guests, this top-rated guesthouse is located on the Cliffs above Shanklin Chine and enjoys spectacular views of Shanklin Beach and the sea beyond.

Whitby

Whitby, Yorkshire 

The home of all things Dracula, Whitby is the perfect place for a spook-tacular Halloween, with many spooky goings on taking part throughout October, as well as regular fixtures like ghost walks and The Dracula Experience. Things will get pretty busy during Whitby Goth Weekend, however, so book early to avoid disappointment, or plan your break for a different part of the week if you prefer things a bit quieter.

Dracula fans will enjoy following in the footsteps of the novel’s iconic characters on the 4.5 mile Dracula Walk, which includes locations such as the spot where Mina first saw Lucy sleepwalking under Dracula’s spell, and views over the harbour where the doomed ship Demeter came to its final rest. There’s also plenty of campy fun to be had at The Dracula Experience, where the story is brought to life using animatronics. 

Each year, the ruins of Whitby Abbey are illuminated at night over the Halloween period, making a ghostly spectacle that can be seen all over the town. If you pay a visit, there are different Halloween activities every year, with plenty of silly, spooky fun for all the family. Kids will also enjoy the annual pumpkin festival at Piglets Adventure Farm, where you can pick and carve your own pumpkin and search for ghosts in the Mysterious Maze.

If you want to take a break from the spooky side of life, there are also plenty of traditional seaside activities to keep you entertained. You can go crabbing off the harbour, visit the amusement arcades, or try fending off the cheeky seagulls as you enjoy some of Whitby’s famous fish and chips.

Situated on Whitby’s popular West Cliff, you’ll find a warm welcome at the family-run Riviera Guest House. With beautifully furnished rooms, breathtaking sea views, and a home-cooked breakfast each morning, the Riviera offers traditional guesthouse accommodation with a touch of class.

The New Forest

The New Forest, Hampshire and Wiltshire

October is a great time to visit the New Forest. The trees are ablaze with glorious autumn colours, and kids will love kicking through the fallen leaves. Look out for local pigs, who are released into the forest during the autumn to feast on the bounty of fallen acorns, and check out some of the local food festivals that are held around this time of year.

As well as being a walker’s paradise, the New Forest has plenty of other activities on offer, with several places where you can hire bikes, canoes or kayaks. New Forest Activities, in Beaulieu, offers these and more with archery, laser tag and a high rope assault course among the treetops also on offer. 

A thriving natural habitat, the New Forest is a rewarding location for animal lovers, and you may be lucky enough to spot various different species of deer, badgers, rabbits, and even lizards, as well as the local livestock allowed to roam the forest. Pigs will be most prevalent at this time of year, as the fallen acorns are poisonous to many other domestic animals, but you may also see donkeys, cattle and the famous New Forest Ponies closer to the local villages. For a more close-up encounter, visit New Forest Wildlife Park, where you can see indigenous animals in their natural habitats, or check out the New Forest Reptile Centre for a glimpse of the elusive snakes and lizards that live in the forest.

For a comfortable stay with tons of character, try The Pembroke Arms, an 18th century inn located just outside the New Forest. Rooms are comfortably furnished, and the pub menu is excellent, so you don’t have to worry about finding somewhere to eat. Specialities include shortcrust pies and hand stretched sourdough pizza.

Antalya

Antalya, Turkey

If you want to spend a week in the sun, the Turkish resort city of Antalya boasts an average temperature of 20°C in October, with an impressive 9 hours of sunshine per day. Antalya is located on Turkey’s ‘Turquoise Coast’, so-named for its beautiful blue sea, and has several idyllic sandy beaches where you can relax, soak up the rays and splash about in the waves.

If you fancy exploring, there’s also plenty to see and do in and around the bustling city centre. Formerly a major Roman port, Antalya has several Roman and Byzantine remains, including Hadrian’s Gate and Hidirlik Tower, and an excellent museum featuring archeological finds from the Palaeolithic to days of the Ottoman Empire, with a hall of statues found at the nearby Roman site at Penge among the highlights.

For a fun family day out, the unique sand sculpture exhibition at Sandland is well worth a visit. Over 10,000 tons of sand are used to create a new exhibit each year, with exciting themes like The Seven Wonders of the World, Sea Legends and A Space Adventure. You can also visit the world’s largest tunnel aquarium, where you will come face to face with sharks, stingrays and more.

Spend your holiday in style at the magnificent Royal Atlantis Beach, a beachfront hotel with everything you need for the perfect family break. There are several restaurants and bars within the hotel complex, as well as swimming pools, water slides and evening entertainment. There’s plenty to keep the children entertained, too, with a kids’ club, playground, and two children’s pools.

Kyrenia

Kyrenia, Cyprus

Another great location for enjoying a week of autumn sun, the historic town of Kyrenia, in Northern Cyprus, enjoys average October temperatures of 20°C, with several gorgeous beaches where you can enjoy the balmy weather. There are plenty of sights to see in the old town, including the impressive harbourside castle, which has been occupied by Byzantines, Crusaders, Venetians, Ottomans, and British over the years. Take a stroll around the harbour and enjoy some freshly-caught seafood at one of its many excellent restaurants, book a boat trip, or seek out traditional Turkish and Turkish-Cypriot wares from the market inside the Venetian Tower.

Just outside the town, the Acapulco Resort Hotel offers 5-star luxury accommodation with a dazzling array of amenities, including a spa, casino and aqua park, as well as adult and child pools, various sporting activities, and a wide choice of restaurants and bars.

Whether you’re planning a staycation or an escape to the sun, your perfect half-term holiday is waiting for you. When you find it, don’t forget to save money by booking your accommodation with hoo!


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