More families than ever are making the autumn school break an opportunity to travel, even if it’s only a short break and close to home.
A staycation can help kids expend some of the energy they’ve been hoarding over term time, and parents have a chance to see a familiar place through new eyes, without taking too much of a toll on the family budget.
With this in mind, we looked up the most popular destinations for British families during half-term week and compiled a list of the family-friendly activities on offer.
Beat the rain in Blackpool
Blackpool tower, famously inspired by the Eiffel Tower
As the most-visited UK destination during half-term, Blackpool’s appeal lies in its variety of weather-proof family-friendly activities. When the sun is shining, the fairgrounds, beaches and the 104-hectare Stanley Park are enough to keep kids of all ages entertained. And when it’s raining, families can choose between the Tower Dungeon or Madame Tussauds, or cultural exhibits like the Grundy Art Gallery and Blackpool’s ongoing Star Trek Exhibition.
The best-rated Blackpool hotel for families is The Danescourt.
Learn something new in London
The Thames in the early morning light
London’s Southbank is an urban, cultural playground for children and teenagers, with many of the riverside Galleries and museums running special half-term programs. The beloved skate park and Tate Britain art classes will keep the whole family entertained, or you can head over to Trafalgar Square and join one of the National Gallery’s weekly storytelling sessions for younger kids.
The best-rated London hotel for families is Hilton London Bankside.
Explore history in Edinburgh
Edinburgh, Scotland's fabled first city
Scotland’s fabled first city is full of recent and ancient history that will fire up your kids’ imaginations. Sights like Edinburgh Castle, the Museum of the Mound, and the Museum of Childhood run events throughout half-term for visiting families. Or, for more recent history, take young Harry Potter fans on a tour of all the city’s locations that are said to have inspired JK Rowling.
The best-rated Edinburgh hotel for families is Edinburgh Pearl Apartments.
Get active in Manchester
Take a tour of Manchester's MediaCityUK
Football fans young and not-that-old will love the Manchester Museum of Football, and although the city’s big clubs are well represented, this really is a history of football throughout the UK. Afterwards, take the family for a kickabout at Platt Fields Park, or a quick jaunt on the boating lake, for those family members who aren’t quite as fanatical about football.
The best-rated Manchester hotel for families is CitySuites.
Become art lovers in Liverpool
Tate Liverpool runs a variety of workshops and activities for children
Tate Liverpool, the city’s famous gallery and the crown jewel in its winning bid for City of Culture, caters to families of all ages. Just like its London counterpart, Tate Liverpool runs a variety of workshops and activities for children and, while the kids are occupied, parents can check out one of the city’s many Beatles history and culture tours.
The best-rated Liverpool hotel for families is BridgeStreet at Liverpool ONE.