Whether it’s far afield or closer to home, there are plenty of opportunities for holidays this half-term.Here are some picks to suit a range of budgets and tastes ...
Family four-star stay – Venice from £2,975 for a family of four with Kirker
Take the family on a memorable trip to Venice this October, where you can enjoy the architecture, history and artwork, but with fewer crowds. Stay in the heart of the city at the four-star Hotel Splendid, conveniently located between St Mark’s Square and the Rialto Bridge. A four-night stay during October half term costs from £2,975 for a family of four in two adjacent rooms, including flights (Heathrow), private ‘James Bond’ water taxi to and from the hotel, accommodation with breakfast, Kirker Concierge Service and entrance to the Doge’s Palace. Call AITO member Kirker on 020 7593 2283, www.kirkerholidays.com.
Beach and bunk fun in Rye, Sussex for £180 pp with holidaycottages.co.uk
Looking for a mid-term blast of coastal invigoration? Cliffe Cottage Apartment (sleeps four) is a beautifully decorated, retro-meets-modern property in Rye. Enjoy freshly-caught seafood and independent shopping in town, and miles of golden sand at nearby Camber. Children love the fun coastal features in every room, including boat-themed bedding on their bunks. The small courtyard garden, which benefits from the late afternoon sun, is the perfect spot for parents’ aperitif time. A seven-night stay arriving Friday October 23 costs £180 pp (£717 total). Call holidaycottages.co.uk on 01237 459888 (www.holidaycottages.co.uk).
Huskies and horses on a holiday like no other – Sweden from £7,016 for a family of four with Sunvil
Families can switch off from screen time on this six-night adventure, beginning in Sweden’s vibrant capital, Stockholm, where world-class museums and attractions await. Heading north, guests will then find themselves in the natural wilderness of Swedish Lapland, where Camp Ripan offers a backdrop of forests and rivers.Activities include an unmissable tour of the Abisko National Park, one of the best places in the world to witness the Aurora Borealis. The cost is from £7,016 for a family of four, including flights (Heathrow), six nights’ B&B accommodation, transfers, Aurora Tour and dinner, a visit to a husky dog training kennel and an Icelandic Horse mountain tour. Call AITO member Sunvil on 020 8758 4722 (www.sunvil.co.uk).
Helmsley’s The Secret
Garden – from £200 per adult/ £35 per child with Pride of Britain Hotels
The pretty market town of Helmsley, North Yorkshire, is the setting for the new film The Secret Garden, with Colin Firth and Julie Walters (release date October 23). Helmsley Walled Garden and Duncombe Park - a stately home set in 450 acres of gardens - both feature prominently in the film. Stay nearby at the Feversham Arms Hotel & Verbena Spa, which has an outdoor heated pool open year-round. An overnight stay during October half term is priced £470 total (two adults/two children sharing) including breakfast. Call Pride of Britain Hotels on 0800 089 3929 (www.prideofbritainhotels.com).
Shakespeare, Butterflies & Art in Stratford-upon-Avon – from £70 per adult/£35 per child at TheArden Hotel
Enjoy a half-term break in historic Stratford-Upon-Avon, the Warwickshire town famous for Shakespeare’s birth and where the great playwright was laid to rest. Visit Stratford Butterfly Farm (the UK’s largest tropical butterfly paradise) and The MAD Museum, which celebrates mechanical art and moving sculptures (think Scrapheap Challenge). The Arden Hotel’s October half-term break is inviting one child to stay for free when sharing with two adults or half-price rooms to children when booking two Superior rooms (£140 adult room price/£70 child room price (two sharing). Valid 17 - 30 October; flexible cancellation up to 48 hours beforehand. Call The Arden Hotel on 01789 298 682 (www.theardenhotelstratford.com).
A Lake District exploration – from £895 pp with Activities Abroad
The wild beauty of the Borrowdale Valley and Derwentwater provides the perfect setting for an active family holiday. This flexible self-drive itinerary allows families to choose which activities best suit them, be it hiking the towering fells, climbing, abseiling, ghyll scrambling, canoeing, dinghy sailing or wild swimming. This six-night trip, is priced at £895 per adult (aged 14+) / £675 per child (aged 8-13) (based on two adults sharing with one child) and includes four of the activities listed above, activity transfers, six nights’ B&B, four lunches, two dinners and expert guides. Departs 17 October. Call AITO* member Activities Abroad on 01670 789 991 (www.activitiesabroad.com).
List compiled by Travel PR