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Brother and sister making sand castle on a tropical beach

Compare the best October half term holidays

The summer has come to an end. Christmas is getting closer and the shops are packed with festive goods, and the heating is already on at home. Taking a break at October half term is the last chance many will have for a holiday in 2014. Where will you be going?

Where to go away in October half term 2014

Getting it right in October can be tricky, but we've rounded up the sure-fire winners for a successful break.... Read more.

Let's face it, this time of year is a great time to recharge those batteries ahead of the long winter months. So whether you crave the sunshine or want to feed your mind and soul, this is a great time to get away on a holiday or last-minute deal.

Many people will opt for some early winter sun at this time of year, so trips to the Canary Islands, the Caribbean, Florida and the Red Sea in Egypt are all firm favourites. For those looking to keep costs down, the Spanish Costas, including the Costa del Sol and the Costa Blanca with perennial favourite Benidorm, are hugely popular and won't break the bank either. Majorca is also a good bet, along with more exotic options such as Tunisia and Morocco. Cyprus is still warm, as are some of the Turkish resorts and Crete in the Greek islands.

Malta is also a good option at this time of year and, of course, the Algarve in the south of Portugal will also give you a holiday without busting your wallet. Just check the temperatures for each of these as they can vary.

Another great idea is to take a city break. Europe's capital cities offer a fantastic short break option for families, as well as those travelling without children. Think Paris, Berlin and Rome as just a few.

Alternatively, head to one of the UK's big cities such as London, Manchester or Edinburgh for sightseeing, shopping and entertainment, book a country cottage, or find a UK holiday park for some well-deserved family fun.

When is October half term 2014?

The dates of the October half term break can vary between schools. We've rounded up the dates in major cities here... Read more.

Below, we've highlighted the main shutdown periods for schools in major cities. However, do check with your own school or local education authority for exact dates for your own children's schools. 

They can vary dramatically, even within the same education authority area.

• The South East - London schools break up on October 24 and return on November 3.
• West Country - Bristol schools break up on October 24 and return on November 3.
• The Midlands - Birmingham schools break up on October 24 and return on November 3.
• The North - Manchester schools break up on October 24 and return on November 3.
• The North East - Newcastle schools break up on October 24 and return on November 3.
• Scotland - Glasgow schools break up on October 10 and return on October 20.
• Northern Ireland - Belfast schools are not closed for half term, although most are closed on October 30 and 31.
• Wales - Cardiff schools break up on October 24 and return on November 3.