Here’s our top three Half Term options for a fun filled Half Term this October…
A brand new attraction will be available at top Somerset tourist destination Wookey Hole Caves this Halloween, as visitors are invited to learn how to ride a broomstick!
Home of the infamous Witch of Wookey Hole, the caves provide the perfect location for October Half Term fun, and the new broomstick training course is just one of over 20 activities for visiting families to enjoy from 21 October until 5 November.
The Witch of Wookey along with the resident wizarding professors will put trainee flyers through their paces as they learn to mount, dismount, manoeuvre and accelerate on their broomsticks, making for some great photo opportunities.
Visitors will also be impressed with the brand new Witch’s Grotto which is buried deep beneath the Mendip Hills, within the historic Wookey Hole Caves, where every child will get a free treat. The high-energy performances during the daily Halloween Circus Shows are also sure to delight.
The Witch of Wookey said: “We are so excited to be introducing our new broomstick flying classes this Halloween! I’m always managing to fly into things and fall off my broomstick so I’m hoping the lessons help me as much as anything else!
“This along with the other attractions on offer including our world-famous caves, 4D cinema experience, Adventure Golf, Circus Show and Dinosaur Valley makes for a really good-value day out for families across the UK who can also enjoy the beautiful surrounding region of Somerset.
“We have also recently invested in high-quality accommodation options on site and nearby for those who want more than a day trip. Wookey Hole is renowned as the home of Halloween and offers the full Halloween Holiday experience. We were made for this holiday and we guarantee visitors will have a spooktacular time with us!”
Holiday packages at Wookey Hole Caves start from just £129 with accommodation available at the hotel or the luxury lodges both onsite.
Packages also include breakfast with the Witch of Wookey, tickets to Wookey Hole Caves, a round of crazy golf, Halloween fun packs and entry to the Mill and children’s play areas in the evening when eating in the restaurant.
A creepy guided tour of the spectacular Wookey Hole Caves is one of the highlights to expect from a day out at Wookey. Featuring brand new caverns, tunnels and subterranean lakes only recently opened to the public, the cave tour promises history, mystery and cave-aged cheese.
Other spooky themed fun on offer this October half term include the special Halloween Circus Show which takes place daily from 21 October until 29 October and on 4 and 5 November. Circus Workshops will take place from 30 October until 3 November and the 4D cinema will be terrifying and delighting audiences with the exhilarating Dracula ride, housed in the haunted Witch’s Laboratory. Also included in the ticket price is the Magical Mirror Maze, Haunted Fairy Garden, Wizard’s Magical Play Barns and Valley of the Dinosaurs.
For more information or to book please visit www.wookey.co.uk. Get 20% off by booking Halloween tickets online.
Cure post-summer blues by booking a family October half-term adventure. Make the most of this October half-term (21 – 29 October) by whisking the children away on an active family adventure and enjoy authentic experiences and quality family time in Europe and beyond. The family activity holiday specialist, Activities Abroad, offers a wide range of enticing holiday options that ensure that families savour special experiences together, whilst having lots of fun and making lasting memories along the way. Trip ideas include:
Action-packed island fun on Gozo, from £1,455 per adult, £1,345 per child
Both inspirational and educational, the Gozo Island Adventure provides thrilling activities with the chance to learn about Gozitan culture and to visit artisan producers in the historic town of Xaghra, close to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the pre-historic Ġgantija Temples. Activities include sea kayaking, climbing, abseiling, a guided boat tour, a visit to beautiful Ramla Bay Beach and to the tiny island of Comino, which has a mesmerising, azure lagoon. Price based on two adults and one child sharing is from £1,455 per adult/£1,345 per child (6-12 years). This seven-night trip includes flights (London), transfers, seven nights’ B&B, four lunches, four dinners, activities listed and expert guides. Minimum age 6*. Departs 21 October.
Snorkel with dolphins on magical Madeira, from £1,315 per adult, £955 per child
Based in Madeira’s bustling capital, Funchal, this active adventure week combines a myriad of activities that include whale and dolphin watching, a trip to the volcanic caves of Sao Vicente, swimming in Porto Moniz’s lava-formed saltwater pools, a coastal boat trip to Machico and a Baia d’Abra nature reserve visit. The Madeira – whales, dolphins and volcanic landscapes trip also features opportunities to snorkel with dolphins, sea kayak, take a scenic island tour by Jeep and to trek through the emerald forests of Pico das Pedras. Priced from £1,315 per adult/£955 per child (8-11 years) (based on two adults and one child sharing), the seven-night trip includes direct flights (London), transfers, seven nights’ B&B, five lunches, two dinners, activities listed and expert guides. Minimum age 8*. Departs 21 October.
Become a Moroccan Sand and Souk Explorer, from £1,195 per adult, £1,065 per child
Discover Morocco’s ancient wonders in an active family adventure which includes glamping and boutique hotels. Explore the vast desert on a camel trek, search for key ingredients in Essaouira’s buzzing souks ahead of a traditional cooking lesson, experience the thrills of quad biking on the nearby dunes or learn how to surf on exotic beaches. Visit a Berber village to learn about their indigenous heritage, marvel at the markets of Marrakech, and spend a day exploring the awe-inspiring Atlas Mountains. The seven-night Essaouira and Marrakech: Sand and Souk Explorers trip is priced from £1,195 per adult/£1,065 per child aged 6-12 years (based on two adults and two children sharing), including direct flights (Luton), transfers, five nights’ B&B at 18-bedroom boutique hotel Rebali Riads, two nights’ B&B in Les Jardins d’Issil Caïdal Tents, four lunches, one dinner, activities listed and expert guides. Minimum age six*. Departs 21 October.
Walk in Darwin’s footsteps in the Galapagos, from £2,795 per person
With a rich history of pirates, explorers, travellers and, of course, Charles Darwin, who formulated his theory of evolution here, the Galapagos Islands make a compelling destination, ripe for exploration. The Galapagos in the footsteps of Darwin itinerary includes sea kayaking and snorkelling around beautiful bays and islands, hiking up an active volcano and mountain biking. Visit the amazing giant tortoises, plus visit Santa Cruz and the famous Charles Darwin Research Station. The six-night trip is priced from £2,795 pp (based on two sharing), including six nights’ full-board accommodation in boutique hotels, internal transfers including ferry and flight, activities listed and expert guides. International flights extra. Minimum age eight*. Departs 21 October. Additional departures in December and February.
Experience an exotic twist on Europe in the Azores, from £1,365 per adult, £935 per child
This getaway combines nature, activities and culture in a varied, fun-filled itinerary based in the city of Ponta Delgada on the beautiful Azorean island of São Miguel – a European island like no other. Take an adventure tour to the Sete Cidades Lake, kayak around its crater lake and mountain bike nearby, experience a whale-watching tour over Atlantic waters, snorkel with dolphins in their ocean habitat, discover Terra Nostra Botanical Garden and bathe in a geothermally-heated pool, plus taste a traditional cozido stew, cooked in a volcanic fumarole. Activities also include canyoning in Ribeira dos Caldeirões Natural Park, walking over the black sands of Santa Bárbara Beach, swimming at the Caldeira Velha waterfall, and a look around the mysterious Gruta do Carvão, the longest of the island’s lava tunnels. The seven-night The Azores – Lava lands and swimming with dolphins trip is priced from £1,365 pp for adults, from £1,225 pp for children aged 13-18 and from £935 pp for children aged 8-12 (based on a family of four sharing), including direct flights (London Stansted), transfers, seven nights’ B&B, five lunches, two dinners, activities listed and expert guides. Minimum age eight*. Departs 21 October.
An adventurous staycation in the Lake District, from £540 per adult, £315 per child
The Lake District makes the perfect setting for an active family adventure, with its beautiful lakes and fells providing a truly natural playground for all the family. Based around the picturesque Borrowdale Valley and Derwentwater, known as ‘The Queen of the English Lakes’, this flexible itinerary provides the chance to choose activities which best suit the family. Options include a mountain exploration hike, canoeing, ghyll scrambling, archery, climbing and abseiling, all with expert local guides. The six-night Active Lake District trip is priced from £540 per adult/£315 per child aged 8-13 years (based on two adults and one child sharing), including six nights’ B&B, four lunches (with activities), two dinners and activity transfers. Guided activities extra. Minimum age eight*. Departs 21 October.
For those planning ahead, there are also dates for these trips available in spring and summer 2018.
To speak to an expert for more information, or to book an authentic family holiday, contact www.activitiesabroad.com.
*Younger children can travel but may not be able to participate in all activities due to age restrictions.
This October half-term National Trust are offering family fun both indoors and out, with activities for a wide range of ages, from toddlers up.
Autumn’s beautiful backdrop provides the perfect excuse to get kids outside and in touch with nature. Search for shiny conkers and juicy blackberries, run through crunchy carpets of richly coloured leaves or try some of our ‘50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾’ challenges – just pick up a booklet when you arrive.
Places in Hampshire have new autumn-themed activities on offer. Inspired by the garden’s rich leaf colours Mottisfont’s patchwork trail has loads of creative ‘make and do’ challenges. Design a story on Hinton Ampner’s myths and legends tree trail or come indoors to Winchester City Mill’s apple harvest to munch on heritage fruits and taste the results of apple-themed baking days.
Hallowe’en planning is in full swing too, with plenty of ghoulish and ghastly activities for the whole family to enjoy, from spooky story-telling and witch’s broom-making in the New Forest to Uppark’s ‘think like a bat’ adventure trail.
Every visit you make helps keep your local National Trust place alive, whether it’s growing apples for crumbles or
Here are their Hampshire October half-term highlights:
The Crafty Patchwork Trail, 21 – 29 October, no additional charge, normal admission only
Mottisfont is renowned for its outdoor family trails and this October half-term they’ve got another activity-based adventure to stretch young imaginations, inspired by the kaleidoscope of colours in our Kaffe Fassett textiles exhibition and the beautiful autumn foliage in the gardens. Create your own ‘patchwork’ with drawings and natural materials as you follow this crafty trail, completing lots of ‘make and do’ challenges along the way.
Winchester City Mill
Apple harvest weekend, 21 & 22 October, no additional charge, normal admission only
Bring your apples to be identified by apple experts from nearby Sparsholt Agricultural College. You’ll learn all about regional apple varieties and on 21 October our volunteer bakers will be running a day of apple baking demonstrations. Visitors can taste the results and take away seasonal recipe cards, to try out at home.
No additional cost, normal admission charge only
Winchester City Mill
Hallowe’en pumpkin trail and carving working, storytelling sessions, and spooky baking, 21 – 29 October, no additional charge, normal admission only
A whole week of Hallowe-en themed activities in this atmospheric little Mill. Set out on our new pumpkin trail in return for a prize (21-29 Oct). Bring your own pumpkin to the Mill and let our pumpkin carvers help you create your own jack-o’-lantern (24 & 26 Oct), or listen to tales of witches and beasties with storyteller extraordinaire Chris Bennett (27 Oct). The creative volunteer bakers are inviting little ones to decorate spooky treats at our Halloween baking demonstration (29 Oct). Find out how to make red velvet cupcakes and then decorate with iced ghosts or spiders. You can take this away as a recipe card too, to try out at home.
Rooftop walkway and Tudor animals trail
Kids will love the new 360 degree rooftop walkway at The Vyne from where they can try out the fun money drop chute (listen out for the funny noise) and hunt for tiny Lego figures. Make your own mark on a clay tile destined for the roof, or hunt for Tudor animals on our summer trail. For adventures further afield take on The Vyne’s geocaching challenge and hunt for 16th-century-themed ‘treasures’.
Foxbury, New Forest
Spooky storytelling and witch’s broom-making workshop, 27 October, 10.30am – 12.30pm, cost child £6, adult £3, book on 01794 344020
Join the rangers at Foxbury’s cosy basecamp in the heart of the New Forest, to hear spooky stories around the camp fire. You can also learn how to make your very own witch’s broom, out of natural material cut from Foxbury.
Foxbury, New Forest
Forest School, 7, 14, 21, 28 September & 5, 12, 19 October
The Forest School sessions in the New Forest introduce little ones and parents to the natural world from a safe and cosy basecamp. Set in a woodland and heathland landscape, learn about wildlife and how it is managed in a way that helps children with low self-esteem or challenging behaviour.
Half-term trail, 21 – 29 October, 10am – 5pm, normal admission plus £1 suggested donation
Uppark is home to all sorts of little bats, which swoop over the lawns and meadow at dusk on the hunt for insects. As Hallowe’en draws near, challenge little ones to ‘think like a bat’ in order to complete the challenges on the new bat-themed activity trail through the grounds.
Half-term tree trail, 21 – 29 October, 10am – 5pm, normal admission plus £1 suggested donation
The new family tree trail delves into the myths and legends of Hinton Ampner’s ancient and gnarled trees. Kids will be completing all sorts of creative tasks on this adventure through the gardens and parkland, designing their very own story as they go.
Get Creative this autumn, until 5 November, normal admission charge only, 11am – 4.30pm
Mompesson’s new drawing activity, inspired by its current exhibition on 1970s interiors, will appeal to budding young architects. Children can create their own designs to re-decorate and furnish Mompesson in a 1970s style. Suitable for all ages, 1 September – 5 November.
For the latest events near you visit: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/Hampshire.