5 city breaks for half term

Need inspiration for a city break this half term? We’ve got the ultimate guide on what to do at destinations across the country.


Richmond Park is hard to beat for a family day-out. Take the kids and enjoy a picnic near Thomson’s Pond. Or take advantage of the 2 playgrounds situated at Kingsham Gate and Petersham Gate.

London also offers many free things to do with the kids including various fun and interesting museums. The Science Museum, Natural History Museum and the V&A museum are all within a short walking distance from each other and are easy to get to from South Kensington and Gloucester Road tube station.

Wow the kids at the Wonderlab, a spectacular interactive gallery at the Science Museum or take them on a journey through the timeline of the World’s natural wonders at The Natural History Museum. The V&A museum is great for the older children and adults showcasing the best exhibits from the world of art and design.

Unleash your little ones’ creativity and role playing skills at KidsZania, an indoor City that is run by kids. KidZania combines play and learning in a setting where they can discover everything about the world they live in in a safe way. Whether they choose to be a fireman, paramedic or a supermarket worker, they are sure to have loads of fun and of course, come away with some valuable life skills.

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Liverpool is packed with family-friendly activities, from the National Museum explaining the city’s history to the Merseyside Maritime Museum. For a little greenery try Sefton Park or nearby Chester Zoo, reputed to be one of the country’s best.

Take the kids to the Victorian Croxteth Hall off Muirhead Avenue East with its jaw-dropping decor and cute home farm, or for a heritage tour that’s more central, just visit the Albert Dock and hop on a ferry.

There’s shopping, mini golf and movies at the Liverpool One Centre and brilliant kids’ afternoon teas at Dobbies Garden Centre, where your offspring can munch on a mouth-watering selection of delicious sweet and savoury treats.

Music fans can visit and discover the journey of one of Britain’s most iconic bands at the Beatles Story Museum, while footie fans should visit the Anfield – the home of Liverpool FC – for a tour and a look around the Museum. Want to be spooked? Shiverpool offer award winning ghost tours, perfect for discovering the City’s most ghoulish secrets…

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Best known as the city of dreaming spires, Oxford boasts one of the most breathtaking skylines around just as its name suggests. Oxford is also packed with fascinating museums, from the Ashmolean with all manner of ancient artefacts to the Museum of Natural History, home to dodos, dinosaurs and the strange shrunken heads!

Families should also visit Oxford Castle to explore its 1,000 year history with a guided tour. After your insightful wander, why not climb to the top of the Saxon St George’s Tower to get spectacular panoramic views across the surrounding area?

Oxford is best navigated on foot, giving you the ideal opportunity to take things slowly and discover what really makes it tick. The historic Covered Market is the ideal location for independent outlets and local produce, while the new Westgate Shopping Centre offers a wealth of designer and high street shops and enticing eateries.

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With a diverse mix of interesting, educational and awe-inspiring activities, Bristol is one of the best places to be this half term. Home of renowned artist Banksy, graffiti enthusiasts can take their families on a walking tour where they will see the artist’s intriguing early works dotted around the city. The Bristol Museum offers the chance to learn all about Egyptian mummies, wondrous wildlife and a dinosaur discovered in the city itself, while We The Curious have some stunning sensory exhibits.

You’ll find a whole host of furry friends at the Windmill Hill City Farm and the Avon Valley Adventure and Wildlife Park where the kids can let off some steam with a charge around the award-winning PlayBarn.

The truly iconic sight of Bristol is the 150-year-old Clifton Suspension Bridge which sits high above the Avon Gorge and offers unparalleled views – the perfect spot for a family photo.

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On a visit to Edinburgh there are a few musts: the 16th century Edinburgh Castle, home to Scotland’s crown jewels and the Stone of Destiny, as well as the Royal Yacht Britannia, now retired in Leith.

For a great picnic spot, why not amble along to Arthur’s Seat, the hill overlooking the city in Holyrood Park? Or, head to the Meadows near Edinburgh University, where you’ll also find tennis courts, playgrounds and even a putting green.

For an extra thrill, join Cadies and Witchery Tours for one of the many ghost tours taking place around the Capital where you can learn all about Edinburgh’s grizzly and gruesome past. The terrifying totter around includes the story of Burke and Hare, the 19th Century murderers who sold bodies to medical science for money. The pair were eventually caught and executed and an artefact made from Burke’s skin back in 1829 can still be seen today at the guide’s shop in the city centre.

Instead of driving around the city, how about taking the tram? The Edinburgh Trams network provides speedy and efficient routes all around, making sight-seeing hassle-free and with their new fleet of fully wheelchair accessible vehicles, it’s even easier to explore the Scottish city at your leisure.

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Manchester really has something for everyone. Wannabe archaeologists will love the Manchester Museum, while the National Football Museum will enthral those who follow the beautiful game.

After something really ‘cool’ to do with the kids? Why not head to Chill Factor-e, a fantastic indoor snow and ski park. The centre offers many fun activities to do in the white stuff including classes at snow school, where the little ones can learn some skills no matter what their ability level.  After a splash of marine exploration? Check out the Blue Planet Aquarium which features Europe’s largest collection of sharks and an array of different species. Those who are feeling really brave can even go diving with the amazing collection of creatures.

Salford’s Clifton Park is the ideal place to stretch your legs, with 48 hectares of nature reserve awaits. For something slightly more fancy, take a tour of the National Trust gardens at Dunham Massey with an impressive 18th century house, orangery, pump house and fantastic plants including giant Chinese lilies and Himalayan blue poppies.

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