February half-term fun, whatever the weather

Beaches, Days out, Family, February Half Term, Educational

Posted by Kate A on 7th February 2020

February half term holidays

School holidays are the perfect opportunity to get the whole family together, explore somewhere new and make special memories that the kids will be talking about for years to come. February half term is just around the corner, offering a great excuse to leave the winter blues behind and head off on an adventure.

Spring is on its way, the countryside is thawing, and beaches are at their quietest, so don’t miss the chance to bundle up the tribe and enjoy the best coast and countryside that the UK has to offer. We have chosen five of our most popular family holiday spots which all offer plenty of February half-term activities and attractions to keep the kids entertained, whatever the weather.

If you need somewhere to stay, start a new year of holidays in style and take a look at our collection of family-friendly cottages for February half term by clicking the button below.

Feb half-term cottages

Cornwall

When the sun is shining, head to the beach

Beaches in Cornwall

When it comes to February half-term holiday ideas and the weather is on your side, then nothing beats a sunny day at the beach in Cornwall. Holiday memories are made on the sand, and Cornwall boasts tons of it! Gwithian Towans Beach in Hayle is one of the best beaches in Cornwall to bring your bucket and spade – low tide reveals miles of soft, golden sand, perfect for building sandcastles, digging holes and creating gigantic water tunnels.

Other family-friendly beaches:

  • Gyllyngvase Beach, Falmouth – families can enjoy beach volleyball, a bouncy castle and the paddleboarding school, before warming up with a hot chocolate in the café.
  • Summerleaze Beach, Bude – a seawater swimming pool is perfect for tiny tots to enjoy a good splash about (don’t forget a wetsuit), and the beach is so big that it’s rarely crowded.
  • Polzeath Beach, near Wadebridge – an award-winning stretch of sand where kids might be lucky enough to spot some dolphins in the clear waters!

If the sun is hiding, discover exciting indoor attractions

Eden Project in Cornwall

There’s no need to worry if the heavens open during your holiday as there are an abundance of indoor attractions in Cornwall to escape the rain. The Eden Project is one of the most popular with its two famous giant biomes. Step into a tropical rainforest and traverse the Canopy Walkway among the treetops and experience a Mediterranean oasis, home to brightly-coloured flowers, gnarled olive trunks and scented herbs. During the school holidays, you’ll find a host of special events, storytelling sessions and soft play for the littlest visitors.

Other family-friendly attractions:

  • Pirate’s Quest, Newquay – a swashbuckling adventure exploring Cornwall’s pirating past. Treasure maps, activities for kids and booty to win, all make this attraction perfect for any age.
  • Bodmin and Wenford Railway, Bodmin – experience the sights, sounds and smells of a bygone age on an enchanting 13-mile journey aboard a steam train.
  • Geevor Tin Mine, near Penzance – go on an underground adventure into a real 18th-century tin mine. February half-term activities include miners’ talks, panning for gems, and puppets. 

Family-friendly places to stay:

Cornwall half-term cottages

Devon

When the sun is shining, have fun at a theme park

Theme park in Devon

We all know that kids love nothing more than whizzing around a good theme park and Devon is blessed with several that offer lots of things to do in February half term. Crealy Theme Park and Resort in Exeter offers an abundance of fun and excitement with over 60 jaw-dropping rides and attractions, including the adrenaline-pumping rollercoasters Twister and Maximus, the drench-inducing Tidal Wave, and the thrilling Crealy Grand Prix. During half term in February, there is a Super Slam Wrestling event, where youngsters can cheer on amazing pro wrestlers from the USA as they battle it out in the ring!

Other family-friendly theme parks:

  • The Milky Way Adventure Park, Bideford – hold on tight on the exhilarating Cosmic Typhoon rollercoaster, bump around on the dodgems and fly down the huge doughnut slide.
  • The Big Sheep, Bideford – as well as a host of rides and live shows, February half term is the best time to meet the first lambs of the season and have a go at bottle feeding.
  • Woodlands Family Theme Park, Totnes – kids over 92cm who dress up as a superhero or princess during the February school holidays receive a free return ticket!

If the sun is hiding, visit an aquarium

Aquarium in Devon

When you need to shelter from the rain, a visit to one of Devon’s aquariums is both entertaining and educational. The National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth is one of the largest aquariums in the UK, with all manner of marine life from the local waters of Plymouth Sound to the vibrant and colourful Great Barrier Reef. Kids will feel like underwater explorers as they meet a variety of weird and wonderful inhabitants including Friday the green turtle, Neptune the giant Pacific octopus and Howie the enormous sand tiger shark. Plus, there are daily scuba dive shows, talks and even soft play.

Other family-friendly aquariums:

  • Living Coasts, Torquay – at Britain’s only coastal zoo, you’ll find an artificial tidal estuary, a penguin beach, a tropical mangrove swamp, and fascinating underwater viewing areas.
  • The Ilfracombe Aquarium, Ilfracombe – free children’s quizzes, feeding demonstrations and interactive opportunities make this a brilliant day out for families (due to re-open mid-Feb/Easter following exciting new developments – check their website before you visit).

Family-friendly places to stay:

Devon half-term cottages

Lake District

When the sun is shining, get on the water

Kayaking in the Lake District

If you’re thinking about where to go in February half term and have excitable water babies in your family, then the Lake District should be a top destination choice. Home to 16 sparkling lakes, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy some water-based fun during the school holidays. Why not hop aboard a Ullswater Steamer and enjoy a thrilling 25-minute cruise from Glenridding to Aira Force and marvel at the 65ft roaring waterfall? A National Trust tearoom offers a welcome spot for a warm drink and slice of cake and, if you’re lucky, you might see Wordsworth’s daffodils beginning to bloom.

Other family-friendly water activities:

  • Brockhole Lake District Visitor Centre – hire a boat or book your family onto an action-packed kayak tour across Lake Windermere.
  • Coniston Boating Centre – take the helm of a traditional wooden rowing boat or electric motorboat and glide across Coniston Water.
  • Windermere Lake Cruises – combine cruises of 45 minutes to 3 hours with a range of family-friendly attractions found around Lake Windermere, such as the World of Beatrix Potter.

If the sun is hiding, uncover historic sites

Wray Castle in the Lake District
Wray Castle - copyright: Cumbria Tourism

 

Even if the rain is lashing down outside, there are a plethora of historic sites in the Lake District with lots going on indoors for the kids during half term. Cared for by the National Trust, Wray Castle near Ambleside is a toddler’s paradise with a variety of different children’s activities in each room. Play a game of table tennis, dress up as kings and queens, search for hidden treasure, enjoy arts and crafts, and take part in the Peter Rabbit Adventure. During February half term, there will be a fun drawing challenge for kids, inspired by Beatrix Potter who stayed here as a child. Children can pick up a pencil and let their creative juices flow and, after they have completed their masterpieces, they will earn a certificate!

Other family-friendly historic sites:

  • Allan Bank, Grasmere – play games, spot a squirrel and get crafty, creating art inspired by the wildlife and impressive views which surround the former home of William Wordsworth.
  • Hill Top, Near Sawrey – visit Beatrix Potter’s 17th-century farmhouse during half term to join the Tom Kitten children’s trail and take a tour of her beautiful home.
  • Honister Slate Mine, Keswick – delve underground and enjoy a mine tour or an adrenaline-filled adventure on the ‘Climb the Mine’ experience, the only one of its kind in England.

Family-friendly places to stay:

Lake District half-term cottages

Cotswolds

When the sun is shining, see some wildlife

Wildlife park in the Cotswolds

Nestled within the glorious countryside of the Cotswolds is a myriad of wildlife parks that should definitely be on your list if you’re thinking of February half-term-break ideas. The Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens near Burford is home to over 260 different species of animals in over 120 acres of beautiful parkland. Kids of all ages can get eye-to-eye with giraffes, walk with free-roaming lemurs, and watch the playful penguins being fed. And on sunny days, little ones will love monkeying around in the adventure playground. There’s even the chance to get involved behind the scenes and be a keeper for a day.

Other family-friendly wildlife parks:

  • Longleat Safari Park, Warminster – enjoy a wild safari tour from the comfort of your car amongst wolves, lions, zebras and monkeys.
  • Cotswold Farm Park, Guiting Power – meet all the newborn animals during half term with bottle-feeding experiences, rabbit and chick holding, and farm safari rides.
  • Birdland Park and Gardens, Bourton-on-the-Water – during half term, there will be a special celebration of exotic birds with feeding displays, and an encounter area to get even closer.

If the sun is hiding, explore a museum

Museum in the Cotswolds

Take advantage of a rainy spell and immerse your family in the incredible history of the Cotswolds at one of the many local museums. Leave the 21st century behind you at the Corinium Museum in Cirencester, which was Roman Britain's second-largest city, and explore one of the finest collections of Roman antiquities in the UK. During February half term, there is lots of fun to be had with mosaic making workshops and a Revolting Romans event where kids can discover some of the smelly, sticky and revolting things the Romans brought to Britain.

Other family-friendly museums:

  • Cotswold Motoring Museum, Bourton-on-the-Water – mini petrolheads will love exploring this intriguing array of motoring curiosities. It’s even home to BBC TV’s Brum!
  • National Waterways Museum, Gloucester – full of interactive and fun exhibits, kids can get their hands wet and discover how canals work and how to build a boat.
  • Fashion Museum, Bath – little fashionistas will adore a visit to this iconic fashion museum, with plenty of dressing up opportunities.

Family-friendly places to stay:

Cotswolds half-term cottages

Wales

When the sun is shining, climb a castle

Pembroke Castle in Wales

Home to around 600 mighty fortresses, Wales is undeniably Britain’s king of castles. So, when the skies are clear, a February half-term break is the perfect time to start exploring. Pembroke Castle in South Wales was the birthplace of Henry VII, the first Tudor king, and is the perfect setting for little ones to transform into brave knights and beautiful princesses. During February half term, there will be special children’s tours of the castle, captivating stories of dungeons and dragons, and a Knight School where youngsters will be put through their paces learning sword skills.

Other family-friendly castles:

  • Raglan Castle, South Wales – ascend the spiral staircases in search of fearsome dragons, dive into the spooky cellars, and climb the Great Tower to watch out for invaders.
  • Powis Castle, North Wales – during half term, little kings and queens have puzzles to solve, codes to crack, games to play and craft activities to get creative with.
  • Conwy Castle, North Wales – this is the ultimate castle for older climbers, with eight enormous towers, several turrets and a thrilling wall walk to conquer.

If the sun is hiding, delve into a cave

Cave in Wales

Not only is Wales famous for its castles above ground, but it is also renowned for its caves below. When it starts to drizzle, delve into the National Showcaves Centre for Wales in Powys, which is home to three magnificent caves with glistening limestone formations, which are sure to capture the imagination of young minds. Discover the dazzling formations in Dan-yr-Ogof Cave, be enchanted by the cascading waterfalls in Cathedral Cave, and learn how 42 human skeletons were found in Bone Cave. Back in the light, there is also a huge park with one of the world's largest collections of life-sized dinosaur models, an Iron Age village, a Shire Horse Centre and a museum.

Other family-friendly caves:

  • Big Pit National Coal Museum, Pontypool - go 300ft underground with a real miner and see what life was like for the thousands of men who worked at the coal face.
  • Llechwedd Slate Caverns, Gwynedd - head below ground on Britain’s steepest cable railway and explore cathedral-sized caverns and tunnel systems.
  • Go Below, Betws-y-Coed – a mammoth subterranean sporting experience featuring a series of challenges including abseiling, zip-lining, scrambling, traversing, boating and climbing.

Family-friendly places to stay:

Wales half-term cottages

Family holidays in February half term

Family-friendly holiday cottages

Have any of these ideas for February half term caught your eye? If so, have a browse of our family-friendly holiday cottages in the UK which feature everything you’ll need to relax, have fun and create special memories with those you love the most. For mini movie buffs, we have cottages with home cinemas, while for the competitive members of the tribe (big and small), we also have holiday homes with games rooms. We even have retreats with indoor swimming pools! Click the button below to browse our full collection of February half-term cottages.

Half-term cottages

 

For more February half-term holiday ideas, have a read of our guide to the best free things to do across the UK.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.