Half Term - Now the fun starts!
Published: Tuesday 10th Oct 2017
Written by: Francisco Rosas
There’s no better excuse to get the whole family together than when the kids have time away from the classroom. With a full week of freedom ahead of you, pack your bags and set off on your next adventure together. Go and do something different, visit a new place or try out an activity you’ve never considered before.
Time away, together
Making memories starts with choosing a destination. We have hundreds of beautiful cottages across the British Isles offering an adventure suited for everyone. So there’s even more reason to look forward to that final ring of the bell that says ‘school’s out’. Whether your children are young - looking to blow off some steam and expend that extra energy - or they are a little older, needing to rest their minds and relax, our truly local knowledge can help you make the most of your time together this autumn. All you need to do is decide where to go. Here are just a few ideas to help write your story this half term.
Hitting the spot: Archery in Windermere
If you’re thinking of heading to the Lake District with the kids, then you may have just hit the bullseye. Located right by England’s largest lake, Windermere, this archery course runs from 21 October - 5 November. With professionals there to show you the ropes, get the whole family involved in this bowtastic day out.*
Right in the heart of the stunning National Park - with amazing views of some of the country’s finest, most dramatic landscapes - hitting the target won’t be the only highlight of this exclusive course.
*Families with children aged over seven only.
Cornish tropics: The Eden Project
Cornwall is the UK’s very own sub-tropical climate, boasting azure blue skies and shimmering seas. Unfortunately, even this beautiful county can’t escape the changing of the seasons, but with plenty still to explore, it’s worth coasting your way down to the southwest. The air is cooling and the leaves are falling, yet the Eden project still offers t-shirt and shorts conditions, running their rainforest biome at warming 35°C. For children and grown-ups alike, there’s a Roald Dahl Halloweden event where you will encounter infamous villains from five of his best-selling books.
Fancy yourself a little more extreme? You’re in luck, as the Hangloose adventure team have worked with the Eden project to provide plenty of thrills. From flying at 60 mph across a 660m zipwire, to plummeting off a cliff on a swing, it’s sure to have your heart racing.
Spooky strolls: Whitby Abbey
Halloween, likely one of children’s favorite holidays - just behind santa’s visit in a couple months - falls the week after the half term break. So what better way to prepare than with some scary stories and frightening fun! Across the country you’ll find lots of places with halloween-themed walks, including Whitby Abbey, inspirational birthplace of the novel Dracula. With plenty of scares and some heritage and history thrown in for good measure, this creepy coastal break is sure to have your kids smiling.
Haunted ruins: Fountains Abbey, Yorkshire
These near-millennia old ruins are widely rumoured to be haunted. Join the York Astronomical Society for a family night out of stargazing and ghosthunting (if you dare). It’s not all made to scare, though. If you don’t fancy getting spooked, go for a quiet, autumnal stroll through the colourful gardens that surround the Abbey on a guided tour.
For the bigger kids and adults, we recently covered the county of Yorkshire in our truly local blogs. You can find out more about the mesmerising northlands here.
Glowing lantern parade: Norfolk
Spend your day exploring the already enchanting Bewilderwood forest in Hoveton, Norfolk. With spooky Halloween decorations dangling from the canopy or peeking out from beneath the bushes, who knows what you’ll find next. And be sure to stay until dusk if you’re feeling brave. Armed only with your lantern, head out into the night hunting for ghouls in the murky marshes.
Dive right in: Abereiddy, Pembrokeshire
Industry and adventure come together in one of south-western Wales’ favourite thrill-seeking spots. Now famous for hosting extreme water sports events - mainly coasteering, where you gear up, scale the rocky clifftops and take a leap of faith into the waters below - the beautiful blue lagoon at Abereiddy is lesser-known for its industrial past.
Pembrokeshire was once one of the largest producers of slate during the late 18th century and the lagoon itself is the result of thousands of man hours quarrying. Abandoned and left to flood in 1910, ruined quarry buildings and workmen’s cottages can still be seen along the clifftops on what’s now known as ‘The Row’.
Take the plunge, or - if you don’t fancy facing the cold - just enjoy the fascinating tour of the wild stretches of coastline that have paved the way for thrill-seekers over the centuries.
Woodland walks and forest trails: Devon
Down in Devon this half term? The autumn months are some of the best for exploring the region's vast and beautiful countryside. Wooded valleys and forgotten pathways come alive with colour and offer exceptional views for chilly days spent wandering forest trails.
Wrap up warm and take part in some of the many activities on offer throughout the season: including nature trails in Brownsham, getting up to speed on woodland skills like archery and wildlife spotting in Watersmeet. Or even a family day out volunteering in Mortehoe, helping the rangers cut and burn gorse bushes. And, after a hard-day's graft, they might even treat you to some toasted marshmallows to say thank you.
Get your skates on
Finally, if you’re ready to embrace the cold and let the seasonal joys take over, you can start your winter the right way, by ice skating. Suitable for toddlers and up, why not pop on your skates and take a relaxing glide around one of the many ice rinks around the UK — or just try to stay on your feet.
From haunted holidays to cosy cottages, our truly local knowledge can help you make every second count this half term. Now the fun starts!