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PLACES
Top 5 UK half-term stays

We’ve partnered up with the villa holiday experts at Oliver’s Travels to give you some tips and advice on where’s best to visit with the kids at half-term.

Staycations are perfect for this time of year – you eliminate the trauma of navigating the airport, the flights, and the inevitable familiar thud of someone else’s kid kicking the back of your chair… at least in the car it’ll be your own.

Pack your scarves, wellies and sense of adventure – because these are our top 5 places to stay with the kids this half-term.

Scotland Highlands

The Scottish Highlands are perfect for active families who like to get out and about when they’re on their holidays. Beautiful walks across mind-blowing landscapes and through magical woodlands – it’s a great place to fuel the kids’ imaginations. With castles to explore, sea monsters to find and even the Hogwarts Express to ride (the Jacobite) no one will have the chance to get bored in this land of adventure.

Where to stay:

Hilltop Manor is a historical mansion nestled into the gateway of the Highlands – where kids can roam freely, play make-believe and get back to nature. With white-water rafting, highland safaris and trekking all within close proximity, the whole family can get up to mischief before retreating to the house to snuggle up in the cosy cinema room for the evening.

Lake District

As England’s largest national park, the Lake District is filled with exciting things to do (that will satisfy even the sulkiest teenager!) From thrilling treetop courses and incredible cycling routes, to kayaking and paddle boarding across the mystical lakes – it’s a playground for outdoorsy families. Dotted with historical sites, castles, and quaint countryside villages… everyone is catered for at the Lake District, from grandparents to little ones.

Where to stay:

Coniston Manor House is a spacious Georgian beauty with panoramic vistas of the countryside. With sophisticated interiors, great entertaining spaces and an enchanting garden loved by Beatrix Potter – and perfect for playing – you can spend your time soaking up the ambience of this country escape or you can go out and explore the many cycling and walking routes.

Cotswolds

One of our absolute favourites – especially for a cosy autumn getaway – the Cotswolds is all about those quaint countryside vibes. From villages that look like they belong on a postcard to the rolling hills of the countryside, it’s a place that was made to explore. A maze of cycling and walking routes wind their way through pretty towns, villages and bustling cities which are filled with snug pubs, traditional tearooms, and some of the UK’s greatest castles and gardens.

Where to stay:

This beautifully renovated cottage – that still retains its original character and charm – is a super-stylish escape for families. White Cottage is ideally situated for days of exploring, but equally great when you want to stay in. With a secluded garden that overlooks the meadows, plenty of space so you’re not falling over each other, and lots to keep the kids entertained (WiFi, board games, books, and DVDs), it’s idyllic. Step outside of the cottage, and you’ve got the town of Burford and the Cotswold Wildlife Park within a 5-minute drive, plus plenty of cycling and walking routes nearby.

Somerset

Rolling countryside dotted with National Trust sites, British seaside vibes along the coastline, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and underground caverns… Somerset is the ideal family-friendly destination. Spend your days with animals, whether that’s at a sanctuary, safari, farm or dinosaur park; go on an adventure into the network of underground caves beneath Mendip Hills; learn and discover the array of museums on offer; or head to the theatre… cloudy cider (and cheddar cheese?) in hand.

Where to stay:

Somerset’s landscape is the perfect destination for cutesy cottage living, and we’ve got just the one. Wisteria Cottage is a Grade II listed property nestled into the Somerset countryside, surrounded by a labyrinth of cycling and walking routes. The peace and quiet of the countryside is great for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life, but there’s also plenty to visit nearby –National Trust sites, Barrington House and Dillington House, local cider orchards, lovely little pubs and the Jurassic coastline. A total retreat for the whole family.

Devon

So beautiful, Steven Spielberg fell in love with it. With beguiling coastlines, two national parks and five Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it’s clear to see that Devon was blessed by Mother Nature. Outdoorsy types will fall in love with its landscapes; foodies will be in their element with traditional tea rooms serving Devonshire cream tea; kids will love the adventure parks and seaside; and water babies will love the amount of water-sports on offer, from paddle boarding to surfing.

Where to stay:

A great spot for families who don’t want to be far removed from nearby activities, Beach Bay Cottage is a pretty spot in the heart of Croyde, a village in the North of Devon. Perfectly located near some award-winning beaches and a picture-perfect coastline, spend your days surfing, cycling, walking or kayaking before going out to dinner in one of the cosy village pubs and heading back to the cottage for an evening of board games. This is a family holiday done right.

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