Whether you’re after some winter sun in Europe or some autumn charm in Britain, there are so many wonderful places to holiday with the whole family in October time. Taking a vacation outside of the summer holiday season not only helps you cut back on travel costs but you also have the benefit of fewer crowds, moderate temperatures and lots of peace and quiet for the perfect family retreat. Here are 17 of the best places to go on holiday in October for families travelling with babies and young children.
1. The Cotswold Lakes
The colours of the Cotswolds really come to life in the autumn time so October is a truly romantic time to visit. Whether you decide to leave the little monkeys behind or bring them with you, a lakeside view is exactly what you need for that much-deserved family time or one on one time with your partner. This wonderful New England style lakeside retreat, Caterina Lodge sits right on the edge of South Lake in the Cotswold Waterpark – and this corner of the world really is a must-visit if you love to wake up to amazing views. Visit regularly and you could even save money on parking, shopping, food and drink by joining the Cotswold Waterpark Trust. Other places to stay in Cotswolds here.
2. Ambleside and the Lake District
Another lakeside location we just can’t get enough of is the Lake District region, one of the most popular and spectacular tourist destinations in the UK. The Cumbrian lake town of Ambleside looks just as beautiful in the autumn as it does in the summer, offering crisp morning air, manageable hiking weather and excellent views when you catch a clear day in the autumn season. And if October brings chilly weather or a little bit of drizzle, the town has some great pubs for a cosy afternoon in the shelter. If it’s mind-blowing lake views you want though, be sure to have lunch at the Wateredge Inn or stick around for an after dinner sunset over Windermere. Stay at the multi-award winning Pudding Cottage nearby and you’ll have the perfect October getaway.
3. The Algarve in Portugal
For winter sun, it doesn’t get any better than the Algarve in Portugal. This is one of the most popular winter sun destinations in Europe because it promises guaranteed sunshine, warm weather and long daylight hours. If you’ve been avoiding the out of school term summer holiday period, travel in October instead and enjoy average temperatures of 23°C and above, with the coolest temperature rarely dipping below 17°C. For luxury baby friendly accommodation, book into one of the stylish 4-star townhouses of Martinhal Quinta, all furnished beautifully with a private pool and with access to a Kids Club plus a Baby Concierge service.
4. Gozo Island in Malta
The weather in Malta during the month of October is a balmy 24°C, the ideal temperature for families travelling with children as there isn’t a chance of over-heating or any risks of heat stroke and heat exhaustion. The weather makes Malta the perfect destination for swimming, sunbathing, snorkelling and diving without the risks of burning in the sun and there’s so much to do for kids of all ages. Stay on the quieter and lesser known island of Gozo (we recommend the Razzett Pepprina farmhouse) for a quiet, relaxing getaway that is off the beaten track of the mainstream travel world.
5. St Andrews in Scotland
If you prefer rugged seaside to glamorous beach resorts, you and your family will fall in love with the charm of St Andrews, a small parish on the east coast of Fife. Better known perhaps for its shining golfing reputation or being home to the oldest university in the country, St Andrews is a fantastic destination for everyone – and if you don’t mind the chilly, windy weather in October or the odd drizzle, you’ll have the time of your life here. Build sand castles on the beach, go sightseeing in the historic town, take the little ones to Craigtoun Country Park, or catch the last round of golf for the season. For family friendly places to stay, try Scribbles Apartments or North Star Apartments.
6. Marrakech or the Atlas Mountains
This Northern African gem is as exotic as it gets and whilst it can be unbearably hot in the peak of summer (highs of 40°C and over), autumn offers a much milder climate with temperature averages of around 21°C. October is definitely the most comfortable and beautiful month to travel to Morocco and the city of Marrakech really comes to life during this time. Excursions and trips such as touring the Atlas Mountains are available all year round so you will be able to indulge the whole family in an exciting cultural experience like no other. Stay in this sophisticated Fawakay Villa which is nestled at the foot of the Atlas mountain range, located just 25 minutes from the famous square and bustling markets.
7. The Canary Islands
A Spanish destination like no other, the Canary Islands promise fantastic weather and beautiful beaches in autumn time. You’ll have missed the main peak travel season so you won’t be bothered by all the summer sun crowds, yet you will still benefit from the balmy spring weather that seems to be all year round. Temperatures will fluctuate around the twenties zone throughout the day; an ideal atmosphere for kids and low risk of over-heating or getting sunburn. The waters are still warm enough to swim in and sunbathing will be ideal. Some of our favourite family-friendly islands include Lanzarote (stay at Casa El Morro for peace and quiet) and Tenerife (check out the fantastic Baobab Suites), both of which offer endless attractions for all ages. For other places to stay click here.
8. Paphos in Cyprus
The UNESCO-listed Paphos in Cyprus is a lot of different things to a lot of different travellers; it’s a party destination for the young, a historical gem for the culture vultures, and a family friendly resort filled with amenities for the little ones. If you want stylish hotels which offer convenient services to families such as Baby Concierge, a crèche and dedicated Kids Club, a nightly warm milk and biscuit service, plus a baby travel service, make sure you check into one of our recommended hotels such as Hotel Almyra or Hotel Anassa.
9. Limassol in Cyprus
Another incredible destination in Cyprus is the beautiful town of Limassol. Although it’s not a UNESCO listed area, it boasts just as many historical sites and archaeological gems for those who are in search of a bit of family culture and sightseeing. The weather is balmy and just like Paphos, average temperatures are a pleasing 22°C. Limassol is also a great choice for families because there are plenty of amenities, shops, restaurants and bars in one compact area, and some of the sights not to miss include Lemesos Medieval Castle or Kourion Ancient City.
10. The Dodecanese Islands
The Dodecanese are the most southerly of the Greek Islands so even in late October, they still boast a lovely warm climate for sun seekers. One of the best holiday islands for families is the largest of the islands, Rhodes. The town of Lindos offers a feeling of peace and quiet and a location which is slightly off the beaten track, beautiful beach areas which are safe to swim in and a handful of tasteful, baby friendly accommodation (such as Lindian Village). You will also be situated close to other popular Rhodes destinations such as Archangelos, Kalathos, Kiotari and Charaki.
Cornwall is undoubtedly a summer destination. But visit with the family in October and you could benefit from the smaller crowds, unobstructed views of the area’s wild beauty, and a huge choice of events in and around the local area. You may not be in the mood for ice cream with the October weather but with activities such as kite flying and beach horse riding to the numerous food festivals in autumn, there’s just so much to do. And of course, there’s no better way to discover the Cornish countryside than on foot.
12. Bury St Edmunds
You may be wondering what makes Bury St Edmunds such a special place in October. Well if your little monkeys love to celebrate Halloween, then this quaint little market town in Suffolk is a must-visit place for a weekend break during the school half term. Visit the exciting Undley Pumpkin Patch and spend some quality time with the kids picking your own pumpkins or getting lost in the fun maze. There are also other activities for children including face painting, balloon artistry and plenty of refreshments to go around. Stay and relax in the gorgeous Ickworth Hotel and don’t forget to explore the town centre plus its many antique shops and tearooms.
October is a great time to travel to popular European cities like Rome because the tourist crowds are reduced and the weather is much more manageable – especially for little ones! In Rome, the most popular tourist attractions such as The Vatican, the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill will have shorter queues around this time of year plus you won’t find it impossible to get a table at your chosen restaurant. Other regions other than Rome and Lazio that are worth visiting in October include Tuscany and Umbria, Le Marche, Puglia, Sicily and the island of Sardinia.
14. Orlando and Florida
If your kids love theme parks, Orlando in Florida should be their dream city. And October is one of the best times to visit due to the weather being gloriously warm yet not too humid. Average daytime temperatures are around 29°C which is much more comfortable than the summer months and it rarely drops below 18°C at night so you can enjoy al fresco dining or evening walks. Stay in this incredible Davenport villa which is located close to the city of Orlando and make sure you have enough time to take the kids to Universal Orlando Resort, Aquatica Waterpark, Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Seaworld Orlando, Universal Orlando Resort, Epcot Park and Walt Disney World Resort. The choice of theme parks, entertainment and attractions is truly endless!
15. Whitby Beach
It doesn’t matter what time of year it is – the seaside is always fun no matter the weather. And even if you have to wrap up warm with hats, gloves and scarves, fish and chips on the beachfront followed by a serving of ice cream is still appealing to children. So treat the whole family to a weekend break in beautiful Whitby and stay in the stunning Sneaton Hall which offers mind-blowing views of the Yorkshire coastline. Don’t miss Whitby Abbey, Whitby Lighthouse, Whitby Museum and Captain Cook Memorial Museum.
16. Snowdonia National Park
For families who love hiking, cycling and other outdoor activities, autumn is such a beautiful time to visit the area of Snowdonia. The sunsets are incredible, the views are fantastic, and the cold weather will inspire a lot of wrapping up warm and getting cosy in local pubs where they serve the best gastro grub. Stay in the magical village of Portmeirion (stay overnight at Hafod Cae Maen) to experience the Italian style architecture or head over to Gwledd Conwy set along the northern edges of the national park to experience the famous Gwledd Conwy Feast, a food festival which takes place every October and is held in the shadow of the iconic and picturesque Conwy Castle. Other places to stay: Ynys Pandy
17. Caribbean Islands
The Caribbean Islands offer complete 5-star luxury for those families in search of convenience. Not only do the pristine white sand beaches and the swaying palms of Jamaica or Barbados make the Caribbean Islands a coveted travel destination for sun worshippers and beach lovers alike, but it’s a haven of exclusive resorts with staff to take care of your every whim. This includes child-friendly hotels which come complete with children’s activities clubs and crèches, babysitting services, 24-hour reception and concierge and family sized rooms with sea views. June to November is considered hurricane season in the Caribbean so prices will be reduced but the chances of heavy rainfall in October is actually very slim. The southernmost islands lie beyond the reach of the hurricanes and daily temperatures can be as high as 31°C.