It’s half-term now which means it’s time to find ways to keep the kids busy over the next few days! But fear not, there are a variety of ways to keep children entertained without setting them in front of the TV or video games. At this time of year, the weather is still pretty warm and while you may not be in t-shirts and shorts you can definitely still catch stray rays of sun. Being active as a family is also great for your health and general wellbeing.
I’ve put together a list of family-friendly trip ideas for half-term. Some are perfect if you want to get away for few days, others are just day trips. Some of them are pet-friendly too, so everyone can partake in the family fun. We don’t anywhere these days without Yogi, our Hungarian Vizsla!
Your kids might drag their feet when you mention a walk, mine usually do! The trick is to make them feel like they’re going exploring. Walks are also the perfect compromise if you want to escape the house without changing into complicated gear – all you need are some walking shoes and a rainproof coat.
The Northumberland area boasts very scenic walks. The Northumberland Coast Path is perfect if you want something remote. Head north of Bamburgh Castle and past Stag Rock to a wilder coast. With the sea to one side and sand dunes to the other, you’ll quickly feel like you’ve left civilisation behind.
The kids will also love walking along Kielder Water, northern Europe’s largest man made lake. There are a large range of family activities there, along with a pathway along the lake perfect for families with buggies.
Camping with kids
If you have a few days and want the kids to really immerse themselves in nature (and get away from video games!), camping is the way to go. The Bellingham campsite, in the Northumberland National Park, is perfect for campers who want to rest and explore. It is located in the Dark Sky Park, which is considered one of the most tranquil places in the UK and a short walk away from the magical Hareshaw Linn waterfall through ancient woodland. It’s pet-friendly as well, which means you can bring furry family members – Bellingham even has a designated dog walk!
Bellingham is also a great place to keep fit; there are numerous walking and cycling opportunities around the site. There are cycle trials at Kielder Water of varying difficulty – perfect if you want to cycle on your own or bring the kids along! It’s also a great fishing spot for salmon. When you do come back to the campsite for the night, you’ll enjoy exceptionally low light pollution and beautiful night skies.
Want to get your kids outside and spend a few nights in nature, but can’t stand the thought of sleeping in a tent? Then consider glamping this winter. ‘Glamping’, or glamour camping, is the perfect holiday for all ages. It will be particularly popular with younger children, as they can explore nature during the day and get into a warm bed come nightfall. As for the parents, it requires very little preparation – all you need to bring is your own linen, everything else is provided in the pod.
Glamping allows you to enjoy being in nature and letting the little ones explore, whilst going back to a comfortable ‘home away from home’ at the end of the day.
Children will love visiting Northumberland’s many castles. If you want to combine sights with fitness, take the kids for a walk along Hadrian’s Wall and tell them all about the Roman Army! Bamburgh Castle, Lindisfarne and Alnwick Castle, to name a few, are child-friendly and can even set up tours with a guide who will keep the kids interested throughout. We recently enjoyed a short holiday to Northumberland and my two kids loved Lindisfarne Castle on Holy Island.
There are so many opportunities to get the kids outside this winter. All it takes is some planning and warm clothes for your family to have a great winter break in Northumberland.