I’d love to take my family somewhere for the October half-term holiday. Do you have any good suggestions for a good half-term break?
October half-term is a great time to get away as a family. And you don’t have to go far to find adventure, and even sunshine.
Starting at home, have you considered that the perfect family break could be right on your doorstep? If you’re lucky you’ll catch some wonderful autumnal weather – crisp air and warm sunshine, coupled with delicious seasonal food and cosy fire-side evenings.
The New Forest offers all of this – you could spend your days walking or cycling around the huge National Park, and if the weather doesn’t oblige, there’s plenty to do under cover. Beaulieu has a fun motor museum, and fascinating house and abbey, as well as a host of events, including spooky Halloween-themed happenings during half-term.
If you want to go further afield for half-tem, I’d consider Malta – much maligned and stereotyped as a “grey” destination (for older travellers), it’s actually a perfect place for families.
One hotel I read about recently is the four-star Seashells resort overlooking the Bay of Qawra. Your kids can’t possibly get bored – there’s a large swimming pool, two children’s pools, water slides, table tennis, wellness centre, video games, squash and watersports including surfing and jet-skiing. You can get a week there, half-board, with flights from £559 per person in a family room for four.
Otherwise, what about Turkey? It’s outside the Eurozone so immune from currency fluctuations between the pound and the euro. There is so much to choose from in Turkey, and if your kids are a bit older, they might enjoy a couple of days in Istanbul before heading to the coast. The Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia will bring their history lessons alive, then there’s the fun of bargaining in the souk, crossing the Bosphorous by ferry and tasting a real Turkish kebab.
I’d recommend The Arena Hotel in Istanbul’s old town, Sultanahmet, is a five-minute walk from the Blue Mosque, and 10 minute’s walk from the Grand Bazaar. The family-run hotel costs from 80 euros per night for a double room.
If you want the quiet life, and an alternative to the bucket-and-spade resorts of the coast, consider Cappadocia, the central Turkish region famous for its extraordinary rock formations. The Hotel Gamirasu is a restored troglodyte cave house – a striking series of buildings that look like they have been carved from the rocky landscape around them. It’s in a quiet farming village six miles from Urgup, and is stunning.
There’s a pool, baby-sitting services and home-cooked food prepared using vegetables grown in the hotel’s garden. You can do walking, horse-riding, yoga, cooking lessons, spa treatments, and even join the local harvest. Rates start from 115 euros per night B&B, but there are packages available if you want to book a longer stay. You can fly from Istanbul to Kayseri airport, which is an hour and a quarter from the hotel, and the hotel will pick you up in one of its group shuttle buses for free.
Answer by Ginny Light – TimesOnline travel editor
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