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October half term ideas by train

(23 Posts)
franksidebottom Sun 21-Aug-16 12:52:19

Looking for inspiration on where to go with my 3 dds for a couple of nights at half term. We will be going by train. Any ideas? No more than 2 hours by train as my youngest dd will only be 17 months, I have summer holiday brain block

EasternDailyStress Sun 21-Aug-16 14:39:18

Where are you starting from?

franksidebottom Mon 22-Aug-16 11:29:13

Oh yes forgot about thatblush starting from any london station

BlueChampagne Mon 22-Aug-16 14:25:23

Cambridge?, plus museums; parks or botanic gardens for a good run around.

confuugled1 Mon 22-Aug-16 17:08:19

Milton Keynes?

OK so I know it's not the most obvious place to head for but in October you're not going to be wanting things like beaches and sunshine stuff...

It has:
Gulliver's World - Theme park that's aimed at younger kids (not sure how old your eldest is), also includes a Dinosaur Park, a petting farm, a splash zone, a nerf gun battle zone and more.
Sporty stuff - indoor ski slope, indoor sky diving, Go Ape, Zip Wire over the lake, Pirate themed crazy golf, ice skating
Couple of big soft play centres
Cinemas - big cinemas including UK/Europe's first interactive 4d one and first Kids screen (has soft play stuff up at the front for the kids while you get to sit on your seat in comfort...)
One of the best theatres outside London
Woburn Safari Park (albeit half of it is a walk around zoo and half is a drive around one so you'd want to be in a car - unless you can run fast enough to outrun the lions grin
Some lovely parks and woods with visitor centres/tea rooms etc and if half term many of them will be running free half day play sessions with free bouncy castle, craft stuff, play leaders organising games/etc thanks to MK Play
History - from Bletchley Park to the Museum of National Computing (the latter usually runs holiday afternoon sessions, the ones recently have been for all ages as there's always loads of lego out, more advanced lego mindstorms, computer games from through the ages and different themes from things like K9 visiting and his maker to talk about special effects in Doctor Who, computer music, etc. There's Roman remains (yes, I know everybody thinks it's a new town! But the original MK village has been here for a very long time and there were settlements around for a long time before that). Stowe is nearby, a big National Trust property with lovely grounds.
MK Museum - award winning museum that's really hands on and great for kids - an old victorian farm house where you can play parlour games, make your own toast on the range, sit in a victorian school room, see historic toys, a street of olde worlde shops and workshops you can wander through, similar but for farming tools and stuff, a phone museum section (sounds boring but is actually lots of fun and difficult to get kids out of), a transport museum section with lots of old vehicles that you can get into, and more. And a nice tea room and shop.
The concrete cows grin
Emberton Country Park (not so good if it's wet or cold - but otherwise a big fantastic park you could spend a day at)
Thrift Farm - small petting farm with nice cafe, aimed at youngsters (There are other visiting farms nearby that are bigger but probably also would need a car to get to).
MK Gallery - great art gallery that always runs lots of kids' art sessions during the holidays
Plenty of restaurants and shops and normal city things too!

best of all - if you get a fast train - it's only half an hour from Euston.

franksidebottom Mon 22-Aug-16 19:54:00

Not sure what I'm looking for really. Confuugled 1 - I go to mk quite a lot have family nearby, I love it but we spent a week there last week so looking for somewhere else but thankyou

franksidebottom Mon 22-Aug-16 19:56:02

Shall look at Cambridge thankyou blue champagne. Any other ideas I can't think

PikachuSayBoo Mon 22-Aug-16 19:59:19

York? They often have Viking events at half term.

ExcellentWorkThereMary Mon 22-Aug-16 20:02:57

Hastings! I love Hastings.

HarrietVane99 Mon 22-Aug-16 20:03:59

I was going to say York, too.

Or, if you're not already in Kent, what about Canterbury? The city itself, and if you get good weather, as it can be at October half term, you're near enough to the seaside to get a bus or train there for a few hours.

Becles Mon 22-Aug-16 20:07:20


allthebestplease Mon 22-Aug-16 20:08:00

Confug - great post, I'm.actually going to look into going to mk in Oct half term. I'll drive so sounds like lots of places to visit, can you recommend a place to stay?

I would suggest Bath, it has a great park, museums, shops, spa, lovely buildings. I'd go back with little ones.

BusStopBetty Mon 22-Aug-16 20:08:40

How old are the other two?

confuugled1 Mon 22-Aug-16 22:47:28

Ah. Well I guess I was a bit too close to home with MK but glad you've enjoyed it in the past!

Not sure how easy it would be to do without driving but Leicestershire have a tourist promotion that's called something like Go Leicestershire or Play Stay Explore Leicestershire (comes up easily if you google).

It's an offer that's something like £139 for bed and breakfast for a hotel room for 4 plus family tickets to a choice of 3 out of 6 or 7 attractions including the National Space Centre, Twycross Zoo, Richard III centre and more.

They also have breaks with different names, similar prices, but different activities to choose from- a gourmet break, a historical break etc etc.

The hotels are all 4 star and reasonably nice. And by the time you tot up the tickets it works out as very reasonable value. We added an extra night's b&b for about £80.

We used it when mum had a big birthday and wanted to take me, dsis and families away to celebrate and it worked really well and the tickets if you don't use them all are valid until the end of the year.

franksidebottom Mon 22-Aug-16 23:14:06

Thanks for all suggestions, please keep them coming as can use them another time. I think you need to drive for Leicestershire play stay explore, it is a really good offer though. I was thinking of York and also Harrogate but wondered if it was too far. My eldest two children will be 15 and 9 by then. They like zoos, museums, anything really. I don't like Hastings but that might be down to an appalling haven holiday we had there once. Don't mind autumnal beach walks either

confuugled1 Mon 22-Aug-16 23:22:47

Allthebest glad to have inspired you grin

Haven't stayed at any hotels locally but there's quite a nice Premier Inn (as they go!) overlooking Furzton Lake or there's a Jury's Inn and a Travelodge between the train station and the centre so walking distance from both. There are others but I don't know what they're like.

The other place I didn't mention that is one of my dc's favourite places... MK Scrapstore. It's a craft shop run by the MKPlay charity that has a scrapstore attached. They sell stuff left over from companies that would be thrown out otherwise but that is useful for other people. My favourite things as an example are the wooden off cuts (the holes cut out when manufacturing Marshall amps!) that are 5 for a pound and the end of rolls of paper from a book printers that are a couple of pounds and usually have 20-30 meters and more of nice white paper on and would probably cost at least £10 and more if you bought in a normal shop. And 20 sheets of gold or silver A1? A0? Card for a pound - a single sheet would cost a couple of pounds in a shop.

If you want to buy the 'scrap' then it's a tenner to join for the year and it also gives a discount on the craft store but if you have craft loving kids then once you've bought a roll of paper and some discs you'd be quids in so it would be worth it even if you're not likely to go back.

It's a funny place - not fancy, stock always changing- but an Aladdin 's cave none the less!

frazzled74 Tue 23-Aug-16 15:50:59

Birmingham, museums, sea life centre, cadburys world, cheap hotels etc.

PikachuSayBoo Tue 23-Aug-16 16:44:36

When does Hull start their city of culture? Might not be till 2017? But if soon there might be good stuff on.

Chester? Great zoo and Roman walls, etc. Not sure how long on a train from London.

franksidebottom Wed 24-Aug-16 14:07:27

Thanks again everyone, going to birmingham overnight before Xmas frazzled74 to do the Xmas market there. Shall do the chocolate factory as well. I have a friends and family railcard so determined to make the most if it!

frazzled74 Fri 26-Aug-16 23:03:00

I really liked cadburys world, only took an afternoon , the village history was really interesting, and the free chocolate! The dc's liked writing their name in chocolate.

BlanketSky Sun 28-Aug-16 19:58:11

Norwich? There's plenty in the city itself and the coast and broads are easily accessible by train too.

2014newme Mon 29-Aug-16 12:21:48

Oxford or Stratford on Avon.
Tonnes to do at both

2014newme Mon 29-Aug-16 12:22:05

Or bristol or bath

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