Places to Visit During Half-Term

Looking for an exciting family day trip outside of London? With the most extensive collection of Grade-listed buildings, museums and galleries outside of the capital, there are plenty of things to do with kids in Liverpool.

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Written by our web team

10 min read | 03 May 2024

Half-term holidays are a wonderful time to connect with family. But with so many days to fill it helps to have a plan of action, especially if you have several children to entertain.

Luckily, the UK is full of interactive exhibits, fun activities, and exciting destinations. This makes it perfect for school holiday merriment. 

From action-packed days in London to family fun in the Cotswolds, read on for family activity inspiration and things to do in half-terms.

When are the UK half-term holidays?

Half-term dates across the UK vary from year to year. They also differ from country to country, and can even differ from one council region to another.

Normally, the February half-term is in mid-February. Likewise, the October half-term is usually in mid to late October. They last one week, so five school days. Including weekends, your children will be out of school for nine days. Schools or councils sometimes also add inset days on either side of half-term. 

Visiting different countries for half-term is a great way to get the most out of your budget. For example, if half-term in England is a week before half-term in Wales, you might be able to visit popular Welsh attractions when they’re quieter. And you won’t have school holiday prices. The same goes for accommodation too.

When it comes to fun things to do in half-term, there are plenty of options for both February and October. However, as seasons and weather conditions can impact the type of activities available, we’ll explore them separately.

Best things to do in February half-term

February weather can be cold and rainy. Although we sometimes get lucky with sunny weather, the days are short and it gets dark early.

So, while you might be able to do a fantastic winter walk at some point, it’s also a wise idea to have a few indoor family activities up your sleeve.

Piles of vintage, wizarding luggage against a brick wall.

Visit Harry Potter World

Harry Potter World is a fun-filled day out, best suited for children aged seven and up. You will need to book tickets in advance but, with the majority of the tour indoors, it’s a safe bet and one of the top things to do in February half-term.

The average tour takes around three and a half hours but there is no time limit on your visit. If you take the train to Harry Potter World, you can make it a fun and exciting full-day activity. 

Information about visiting Harry Potter World

  • Address: Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, Studio Tour Drive, Leavesden, WD25 7LR

  • Opening times: Monday-Friday hours are 9:20am to 8pm, Saturday-Sunday hours are 8:15am to 10pm

  • Public transport options: The nearest train station is Watford Junction, with shuttle buses running from here to Harry Potter World from 9am daily

  • Age requirements: Children of all ages are welcome, and those under four get ticketed entry for free; adults aged 16 or over must accompany all children

Head to Walby Farm Park

Walby Farm Park is an award-winning Cumbrian attraction that’s open year-round. With indoor and outdoor options available, it’s one of the best things to do with kids in half-term. It's easy to make a full day of this family attraction. You can also combine it with another Lake District day trip for an action-packed family getaway.

From pony grooming and animal feeding to zooming around on pedal go-karts, there’s plenty to keep the whole family entertained all day. And, with lambing season occurring in February, you could be in for a rare and exciting treat.

Information about visiting Walby Farm Park

  • Address: Walby, Crosby-on-Eden, Carlisle, Cumbria, CA6 4QL

  • Opening times: 10am to 5:30pm daily, except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day

  • Public transport options: The nearest train station is Carlisle, which is four miles away

  • Age requirements: Walby Farm Park is suitable for all children aged one and above

Fun places to visit in February half-term

Between the varying weather conditions and kids’ changing moods, it’s sometimes useful to pick a town or city with multiple activity options. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some top UK destinations for family holidays and activities.

A doubledecker bus passing through the intersection of Oxford Street and Regent Street in London’s West End.


If you’re looking for things to do in half-term for teenagers, a London day trip is a great option. The city has plenty of activities for young children, teenagers, and adults alike. 

You can visit the London Eye, London Dungeons, the Tower of London, and Tower Bridge. You can also explore the Tate Modern and Natural History Museum for interactive experiences.

London is also home to the West End theatre district. This makes half-term a great time to catch a matinee of a musical or play with the family.

In peak times, it’s good to book shows ahead. You can sometimes catch a last-minute bargain at the discounted ticket booths. But, make sure it’s a legitimate vendor before you buy anything.

Visiting London by train

As a capital city, there are many convenient and regular train routes to London. accessible from a wide range of UK destinations.

From Euston Station and Waterloo to Paddington and Victoria, there are plenty of stations that connect London to the rest of the country.


Birmingham is another city that is accessible from several UK towns and regions. It also has plenty of things to do in half-term for teenagers and young children. 

From shopping at the Birmingham Bull Ring to exploring the canals and local eateries, you can spend a full day in the city alone.

There are also several family-friendly attractions in Birmingham. From Sea Life Centre and Cadbury World to Thinktank Science Museum, you’ll find plenty of indoor attractions to keep the kids occupied. Or, for fun things to do in half-term sunshine, try the Birmingham Donkey Sanctuary or Cannon Hill Park.

Visiting Birmingham by train

There are many readily accessible train routes to Birmingham from all across the country. From London to Edinburgh and Crewe to Coventry, arriving in Birmingham is easy.

The city also features several rail hubs, including Birmingham New Street, Moor Street, and Snow Hill. This will allow you to pick the station closest to your chosen family activities.

Best things to do in October half-term

The weather in October can be milder than in February. But, like any other season in the UK, the weather can still be unpredictable. So, as always, keeping a mixture of indoor and outdoor activities in mind can be useful.

One significant difference with this particular half-term is the seasonal activities. Thanks to the ever-growing popularity of Halloween, there are many fun and novelty things to do in the October half-term.

A young family picking pumpkins in a pumpkin patch.

Ghost tours and pumpkin picking in Edinburgh

The inspiration for Harry Potter, Edinburgh is a spectacular and beautiful city. It also has a haunted past with plenty of gruesome tales to ignite the imagination.

There are many different Halloween and ghost tours to choose from in Edinburgh. Some of these will be paid tours, others you can simply follow by yourself. 

For younger families, Craigies in South Queensferry is a popular place for pumpkin picking. It’s also great for picking your own fruit and veg throughout the year.

They also have a Little Farmers adventure park which is perfect for families. This kids’ attraction runs all sorts of seasonal events, including Halloween and Christmas.

Information about visiting Little Farmers at Craigies

It’s important to note that Craigies Little Farmers is in Queensferry, about 25 minutes outside of Edinburgh.

  • Address: West Craigie Farm, South Queensferry, Edinburgh, EH30 9AR

  • Opening times: Monday to Sunday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm with last entry no later than 4:00 pm

  • Public transport options: The nearest train station is Dalmeny, with a five-minute trip on the 43 bus to Barnbougle Gate Lodge and a 15-minute walk bringing you to Craigies

LEGOLAND Windsor Resort

LEGOLAND Windsor is far more than a collection of impressive Lego models, although they are always a treat to see. With rides, adventure golf, and immersive arts and crafts, you could fill a whole weekend here. 

If their last Brick or Treat event is anything to go by, you can expect plenty of Halloween-themed fun too.

Information about visiting LEGOLAND Windsor

There’s a lot to see at LEGOLAND Windsor Resort, so planning your trip is essential. There are over 55 attractions on offer. We therefore recommend that you download the LEGOLAND app to plan ahead.

  • Address: Winkfield Road, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 4AY

  • Opening times: The most common opening times are 10 am to 5 pm, but check the website beforehand as these can vary by season

  • Public transport options: The closest train stations are Windsor & Eton Central and Riverside, which are a five-minute car journey from LEGOLAND or 10 to 15 minutes by shuttle bus

  • Age requirements: Legoland is generally suitable for children and adults of all ages, but check the Legoland app beforehand to check any age and height restrictions

If you do choose to go to Legoland, be sure to take advantage of our 2-for-1 Tickets when you book with us.

Fun places to visit in the October half-term

From Halloween to exploring autumnal colours, the October half-term is full of opportunities. Depending on the year in question, you might also get lucky and enjoy some mild and sunny October weather.

You’ll want to head to destinations that provide both indoor and outdoor activities as a safe bet for a day of family fun.

North Wales

North Wales is brimming with magnificent mountains, coastal views and historic castles. This makes it a fantastic destination for young kids and teenagers alike. 

Adventure lovers should check out the world’s fastest zip wire. Flying above Penrhyn Quarry and the beautiful Eryri mountains and lakes, it’s a great activity for thrill seekers. This area also has a wide range of cave tours and mountain tracks to explore. 

For a relaxing yet equally beautiful experience, try some coastal walks. You can also pair these with a visit to the historic Caernarfon Castle, as this piece of World Heritage history sits along the coast.

Visiting North Wales by train

North Wales has all sorts of family-friendly things to do in half-term. It’s also easy to explore by train. Populated by a series of rail connections that includes Colwyn Bay, Holyhead, Bangor and Llandudno, travelling into and across North Wales is effortless.

A landscape view of the Cotswold countryside at sunset. 

The Cotswolds

From national trust sites to historic villages, the Cotswolds is a versatile holiday destination. Catch the Friendly Line Steam Train from Cheltenham to Broadway or explore Roman architecture in Bath. You can even visit Shakespeare’s birthplace in Stratford upon Avon.

For Halloween-inspired family fun, head to Blenheim Palace for a spectacular and spooky night-time trail. You can also enjoy the Spooky Cellars at Woodchester Mansion. Or, for a break from all things Halloween, find animals from all over the world at the Cotswold Wildlife Park & Gardens.

Visiting the Cotswolds by train

The Cotswolds spans a wide range of towns and areas. It’s impossible to explore the whole district in one day, so picking certain areas and planning your Cotswolds day trip ahead of time is key.

As quite a large, rural area of south central England, there are many different rail stations that you can arrive at to enjoy your Cotswolds trip. Bath and Gloucester will be your choices as major railway hubs, but you can also consider taking a train to Cheltenham and Banbury.

Travelling by train over half-term

Whether you go for one day or a short weekend getaway, the UK is full of exciting things to do in half-terms. To get the most out of your time and budget, it’s best to research and plan ahead. 

You can save money on train tickets by booking in advance. With Avanti, you can book a cheaper Advance Ticket up to 12 weeks before your journey for a cheaper fare. You can also sign up for priority ticket alerts to be the first in line for our cheapest tickets.

You’ll also want to consider a Family and Friends Railcard as another fantastic way to get discounts for you and your family. This can get you 30% off adult fares and up to 60% off kids tickets, too.

You can also download the Avanti App for an easier way to book cheap and convenient tickets. Or, you can start organising your half-term trip today with the Avanti Journey Planner.

Buy train tickets for your next journey

Buying through our website or app saves you money because we never charge booking fees.

To take a look at more ways to save including using a Railcard, booking in advance, and booking as a group, visit our ways to save page.

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