The days are getting colder and the nights are becoming longer, but that doesn’t mean you have to go into hibernation. As the school half-term kicks in, why not take the opportunity to fill your free time with activities everyone can enjoy?
Whether you’re entertaining the kids (or grandkids), planning a romantic outing for two or seeking solitude, we’ve found a mixture of our favourite activities suitable for any age, and any budget, this half-term (some of them won’t even cost you a penny)!
From cosy afternoons spent indoors to exciting days out, we’ve pulled together 12 great things to keep you entertained over the school holidays.
There is nothing more picturesque than an autumnal walk through beautiful countryside and, better yet, it’s free for everyone to enjoy. Escape the mayhem of suburbia, and take the family to enjoy some of the UK’s most breath-taking scenery. You can check out some of our favourite countryside walks with pubs here.
Nothing immerses you more in history than a trip to a local castle or some atmospheric ruins. Visit a historic site for a fun and educational day – some venues even run themed events over the holiday, so it’s worth looking for something a bit different this half-term. Check out Sudeley Castle and Gardens in the Cotswolds and its ‘Halloweek’ which offers plenty of ghostly activities for all ages. After all those ‘tricks’, why not ‘treat’ yourself to a delicious meal at the Wheatstone Inn near Winchcombe
Everyone loves a theme park, and come rain or shine, they make a great day out. Whilst it might not be the cheapest option, with Halloween just around the corner, you can bet there’ll be plenty of spooky events planned around the country to keep the whole family entertained. Check out Scarefest at Alton Towers for plenty of ‘Spooktacular Thrills’. After a day filled with excitement, you can relax and enjoy a freshly cooked meal at the Dog & Partridge pub – just a short drive away from Alton Towers resort.
When it gets cold outside, there’s often nothing more appealing than staying wrapped up in the warmth of your home. But, rather than wasting the day being a couch potato, why not spend it getting creative? Whether it’s painting, modelling, or making cards, arts and crafts can be a great way of passing the time.
Sometimes you just can’t beat a spot of good old British heritage. For a cultural day out, why not visit the National Trust website and find a country park or historic property near you? With over 500 historic houses, castles, parks and nature reserves all around the country, there is bound to be one on your doorstep! If you’re visiting The Vyne Tudor palace and gardens in Basingstoke, stop by the Hatch pub and treat yourself to a hearty meal next to a warm fire.
Whilst it might not be picnic weather any more, there is no reason not to head outdoors this autumn half-term. Why not grab the bikes from the shed and go for a cycle through the British countryside? Get a healthy dose of fresh air and some exercise to boot! After a hard day cycling around the New Forest, tuck in to a traditional British roast at the White Rabbit in the picturesque village of Lyndhurst.
This half-term, why not take the opportunity to try a new experience? Whether it’s horse-riding, go-karting, archery or rock-climbing, there are hundreds of fun activities available for you to get involved in. Head to Go Ape in Cannock Chase for the tree-top adventure, then pop in to the Nags Head afterwards for a well-deserved drink.
Another sporty activity to get everyone out of the house this half-term is swimming – and you can do it even when the weather isn’t on your side. Head down to your local swimming centre or water park and make a splash. If you’re heading to Splashdown in Poole this half-term, why not make a pit stop at the Fox & Hounds pub. It’s less than 10 miles away from the popular water park.
The zoo is a fantastic day out for all, and a great opportunity to learn about different animals and wildlife. There are a number of great zoos, safari parks and wildlife centres throughout the country, so you certainly won’t be short on choice. Visit West Midlands Safari Park in Worcestershire for the ultimate safari experience. You can pop in to the Running Horse Inn for a pint on the way home.
There is nothing better than live theatre, and there are plenty of shows to enjoy to this autumn. Whether it’s Matilda on at the West End, a local production of Dickens, something musically Wicked or a pantomime, you can be sure it’ll be a great experience for the whole family.
Another great indoor activity is cooking or baking. Whether it’s a roast dinner with all the trimmings on a Sunday, or baking cakes with the family, it’s a great way to spend a few hours and, better yet, you get something delicious to enjoy at the end of it.
After a busy day, there’s nothing more rewarding than a relaxing meal with your loved ones at your local. Share great times in great company, and indulge in mouth-watering winter warmers, such as chicken and stuffing pie or a deliciously sweet sticky toffee pudding!