Katy Holland: Get off the sofa and try these half-term bargain breaks
Are We There Yet? Half-term holidays on the cheap
Sunday 10 October 2010
Is it possible to do the half-term holiday on the cheap? The October break is usually spent on the sofa chez Holland, but some of the discounts blowing in on the end-of-season winds are making me rethink.
All of these breaks come in at well under £100 per person and offer plenty of good old-fashioned family fun.
If you've never spent a few nights in a wooden wigwam, then now's the moment. Book in at Pot-a-Doodle-Do Village with Northumbrian Wigwams (01298 307107; northumbrianwigwams .com) to keep the bank manager onside: prices for half-term start at just £20 per night per adult and £10 for kids. Facilities at this quirky hideaway include an on-site restaurant, quad biking and an interactive art centre. And, before anyone starts moaning that it's too cold to go glamping, these little abodes are fully insulated with heating, hot water and proper beds.
October is also a good time to try a bit of off-season hostelling, French-style. I love the Affordable France site (see ukfranceguide.com/special), which has lots of cheap and cheerful suggestions for families. Take the kids to Ethic Etapes, Lathus-Saint-Rémy, for example, for less than £15 per person per night, and you'll be staying on a working farm, complete with its own equestrian centre. There's kayaking and sailing, too – for the ultra-keen, there are even workshops on green living. Families can stay in rooms that sleep two, four or six.
But the thing my kids are really keen to do is to take a road trip in a camper van. Wicked Campers (020-7193 3647; wickedcampers.co.uk) is offering a £200 discount on a week's vehicle hire. That means prices start at £324 for a round trip in a multi-seater van, including insurance and breakdown cover with 24-hour roadside assistance. It's available for pick-up and drop-off in a choice of UK depots, and you can even nip across to the continent.
All of which is making our sofa seem a positively uninspired place from which to wave goodbye to summer.
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