All the latest inspiration and guidance for help you plan your next family hoilday

The autumn term can sometimes feel like hard work as you all get into the swing of the school routine again after the summer holidays. So, October half term is the ideal time to spend some quality time as a family on a getaway to recharge.

And, after an exhausting 18 months, a break this October half term may be more needed than ever – for parents and children. To help you decide where to go if you’ve not booked yet, here are some of the best family destinations, whether you’d like to crunch through autumn leaves in the UK or build sandcastles on a balmy beach.



Lanzarote, Canary Islands

Boys surfing in Lanzarote

In October, the average temperature in Lanzarote is around 23C, with nine hours of sunshine a day – perfect conditions to enjoy days on Lanzarote’s fantastic beaches.

Sandcastles aside, there’s plenty to do on this fascinating island, from a trip to Timanfaya National Park to see its volcanic lunar-like landscape, and spotting albino crabs at Jameos del Agua to a visit to the Green Lagoon (Charco de los Clicos) next to the village of El Golfo. Ask the kids for their theories on what’s created its colour and then reveal that it’s caused by algae at the bottom.

Spain and the Canary Islands are currently on England’s amber list for travel meaning that, if you’re fully-vaccinated, you won’t need to self-isolate on return but you’ll have to follow rules around testing and documentation. Spain also has entry rules for travellers from the UK, so make sure you know what they are before booking and travelling, and keep up to date with them on the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office’s (FCDO) site here.


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London, England

Outside of the Houses of Parliament

Children of all ages will be excited by a trip to England’s capital, London. There are world-class museums to expand their minds in, famous attractions such as Madame Tussauds and even the transport there can be exciting, whether you use the Emirates Air Line cable car, pretend they are driving a driverless DLR train or sail along the Thames on a boat.

There are lots of family-friendly events on in London over half term too, including a Gruffalo’s Child trial at Kew Gardens, a spooky mystery at the Tower of London and the opening of the ice rink at the Natural History Museum.


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Crete, Greece

Knossos Palace in Crete

The average temperature in Crete in October is a not-too-shabby 20C – perfect if your kids don’t like intense heat. And you’ll all have plenty to do on Greece’s largest island whether you’re after a laid-back beach-based holiday (just be prepared for unpredictable weather in October) or one packed with history. One must-see on the island is Knossos Palace, an archaeological site that was the centre of Minoan civilisation and the capital of Minoan Crete. Before you visit, tell older children about the legend of the Minotaur.

Greece is currently on England’s amber list for travel meaning that, if you’re fully-vaccinated, you won’t need to self-isolate on return but you’ll have to follow rules around testing and documentation. Greece also has entry rules for travellers from the UK, so make sure you know what they are before booking and travelling, and keep up-to-date ahead of your trip on the FCDO’s site here.


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Edinburgh, Scotland

At the top of Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh

Many of the schools in Edinburgh start back on 25 October, meaning that if you are travelling to Scotland from England or Wales, you may find family attractions are quieter than elsewhere in the UK. Harry Potter fans will love staying in JK Rowling’s home city and can visit spots associated with the much-loved wizard. Plus, there’s also a castle to explore and an ancient volcano, Arthur’s Seat, to climb.

There are some great family events on in Edinburgh this October, including a “Spooktacular” illuminated trail at Edinburgh Zoo and Beauty and the Beast, the musical, on at Edinburgh Playhouse.


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Barcelona, Spain

Tibidabo Amusement Park, Barcelona

While the weather in Barcelona over half term won’t be as toasty as in summer, temperatures are likely to be in the late teens, making it a lovely time to explore the city. Kids will have a blast burning off energy in Park Guell and spotting the colourful Gaudi works, and you can all learn more about the artist in G Experiència (https://www.gaudiexperiencia.com/en/). You can also explore the biggest science museum in Europe, CosmoCaixa.

You could also spend some time on one of the city’s beaches, try new tapas dishes and watch all of the street performers on La Rambla.

Spain is currently on England’s amber list for travel meaning that, if you’re fully-vaccinated, you won’t need to self-isolate on return but you’ll have to follow rules around testing and documentation. Spain also has entry rules for travellers from the UK, so make sure you know what they are before booking and travelling, and keep up to date with them on the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office’s (FCDO) site here.


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Please note: All details were correct at the time of writing and are subject to change. Keep up-to-date with the latest traffic light list requirement here.