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Autumn 2017 School Holidays

Virginia
Level Contributor
696 posts
37 reviews
Autumn 2017 School Holidays

We are contemplating a week long visit to Wiltshire & the surrounding area in Oct 2017. We plan to base ourselves in Salisbury & visit Stonehenge, Old Sarum, Portsmouth Naval Museum & HMS Mary Rose, Winchester Cathedral, of course Salisbury and anyplace else which might strike our fancy. We would likely check into our lodging on Tuesday, October 10.

I checked the 2017 school holiday calendar & it says the holiday week is Oct 16-23 but in many areas it is Oct 23 -27. I have 2 questions. How do I know which holiday week will be in effect in the areas we plan to travel? How much of an impact will school vacations have on the places we plan to visit? Will we see huge crowds? Since our current plan is to check in on Oct 10 we would arrive before the holiday period starts and overlap only some days.

Thanks so much for your help.

Plymouth
Level Contributor
2,782 posts
45 reviews
1. Re: Autumn 2017 School Holidays

Google the local authority for the area and you will find a list of term dates. For Salisbury it's Wiltshire, for Portsmouth, Hampshire. I would expect halfterm to be the last full week in October.

Wiltshire, United...
Destination Expert
for Wiltshire
Level Contributor
11,698 posts
449 reviews
2. Re: Autumn 2017 School Holidays

Wiltshire School holidays in Autumn 2017 are 19-29 October- although legally not every school is required to use those exact dates....

Virginia
Level Contributor
696 posts
37 reviews
3. Re: Autumn 2017 School Holidays

Thanks for the additional info. The bigger question is will every place we plan to visit be jammed with families & kids, more so than usual?

Wiltshire, United...
Destination Expert
for Wiltshire
Level Contributor
11,698 posts
449 reviews
4. Re: Autumn 2017 School Holidays

October is unlikely to be peak time not least as the weather can be variable. Avoid the weekends when families are all together otherwise the big concern for them is likely to be childcare rather than taking trips out.

Edited: 09 November 2016, 19:53
Basingstoke, United...
Level Contributor
3,158 posts
225 reviews
5. Re: Autumn 2017 School Holidays

I often take holidays during half term breaks, and even at the end of October it wouldn't really be a problem in the places you mention. If you are renting a house or flat you should be able to pick up a bargain.

Salisbury, United...
Level Contributor
7 posts
38 reviews
6. Re: Autumn 2017 School Holidays

All holidays dates for Hampshire and Wiltshire are available on the internet and like others here would suggest you take a look. May I strongly recommend you visit Avebury Stones and the local area then onto Marlborough for a look around a bite to eat. Mind you the Red Lion at Avebury used to be very good as is the Waggon and Horses, Beckhampton (It is Wadsworth Brewery pub based in Devizes, see Trip Ad for details and reviews). Avebury is a National Trust place and their web site will give you all the details. Not many people know that there is a Wood Henge too (not joking) just outside Amesbury. I doubt whether you will see huge crowds at Avebury but at Stonehenge you probably will, especially at holiday time. I would recommend the former for a more comfortable place, less stressful outing at little cost to you all. Hope you all have a great time.

Salisbury, United...
Level Contributor
2,941 posts
61 reviews
7. Re: Autumn 2017 School Holidays

you don't tend to see large crowds around Wiltshire in October most come on the school trips around july august Stonehenge tends to be cold and wet in October avebury is good you can still touch the stones

wood henge at durrington walls is ok but you would need to read up on it first unless you know what you are looking at you will not see very much but it is nice from woodhenge if you look across to durrington you will see the Stonehenge inn they do food

old sarum is also nice view over the city but can be cold and wet you tend to olny get large crowds at old sarum when they have a avent on tend not to be in October just across the road from old sarum you have the a harvester pub ok for hot food after you come down off that cold hill the cathedral should not have large crowds in October again july august time is when the main trips come in also near the cathedral you have the wiltshires museum ( army regiment of Wiltshire ) the colours of the Wiltshire regiment hang in the cathedral also look at Salisbury museum one good thing about school holidays in October is less cars on the roads

Virginia
Level Contributor
696 posts
37 reviews
8. Re: Autumn 2017 School Holidays

Thanks everyone for your replies. We aren't too concerned about the weather. We've been traveling to GB since 1992 so we've seen all kinds of weather. Our favorite time to visit is late Sept/early Oct but in 2017 we plan to go just a week later mostly to accommodate our London schedule. That's how we ran into the school vacation thing. We just spent a week in Kent, the first week on Oct & had fantastic weather and the year before we were in the Cotswolds at the same time, again fantastic weather. But we can also handle the cold & damp weather.

We're very much looking forward to returning to Wiltshire. We haven't visited since well before the new Stonehenge visitor center was built & the road relocated. We hope to stay in the Pear Tree Apartments in Salisbury for 7 nights; reviews look very good & we like being centrally located so we can walk to shops & pubs etc. Hopefully that's a good choice.

I really appreciate the pubs noted in the above posts. We're always looking for good local spots to try. I hope we can check out the Wood Henge in Amesbury. We've been to Avebury & nearby Silbury Hill but Amesbury will be new for us. We really enjoy visiting the ancient sites.

Thanks again & any other suggestions you may have are certainly welcome.

England, United...
Level Contributor
1 post
90 reviews
9. Re: Autumn 2017 School Holidays

Don't worry too much about the crowds, I doubt any of the places you mention will be too busy in October. And add the New Forest to your list of places if you're here at that time of year. Only 20-30 mins drive and well worth a visit!

Wales, United...
Destination Expert
for Bargain Travel, Cruises, Swansea, Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, Neath, Port Talbot
Level Contributor
74,155 posts
478 reviews
10. Re: Autumn 2017 School Holidays

We always go away during October half term. Crowds have never been a problem in any place we've been in the UK. The only possible exception was the Sea Life Aquarium in London, where there were a lot of children on the day we visited. Not really a problem as such, but it did mean it was a bit slower getting around the different areas.