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Half term city ideas

With half-term swiftly approaching we take a look at five cities in the UK that might be worth a visit for your family and all boasting excellent universities too.


Famed for it's university spires, it really is a great city to visit, although perhaps these days it is most famous for being seen in so many of the Harry Potter films. Visit the Bodleian Library which was the scene for Divinity School and Duke Humfrey's Library and make a trip to Christ Church College where the famous entrances scene took place between Professor McGonagall and Harry, Ron and Hermione. If Harry Potter isn't for you there is still lots to do in Oxford, from punting to visiting the oldest public museum - Ashmolean or indeed the prison!

This half term Oxford is also hosting the Oxford Science and Ideas Festival. Lots of activities for children including a free show inside Oxford's inflatable planetarium! For more ideas on what to do in Oxford visit Experience Oxfordshire.


York is steeped in history and has a lot to offer - from visiting the chocolate museum to going on your own archaeological dig there is plenty to do - it's also surprisingly accessible from the South - taking less than 2 hrs on the train from London. This half-term there is also the York Ghost Merchants Hunt. 100 numbered little ghosts will be hidden around the city centre - a great way to liven up a walk around the city for children. Search York Ghost Merchants on Facebook. Keeping on the ghost theme, there is a family-friendly ghost tour that runs every night from 7 pm at the Roman Column in York during the school holidays.


Bristol has lots going on for families all year around, with some great events over the half term. The Bristol Zoo Gardens is hosting "Skeloween" with skeletons hidden around the zoo. There is also a family fun day on at the Helicopter Museum (24th Oct) and Aerospace Bristol are hosting a Family Space Day with Helen Sharman, aged at children 10 + on the 25th October. Have a look here for more ideas of things to do around Bristol - definitely worth a visit!


Birmingham has 35 miles of canals, which is said to be more than Venice. There are also many buildings worth visiting, a list can be found here. If you want to turn a walk around the city into more of an adventure you can also download the Tramble app which enable you do to some puzzle solving on the Birmingham Codebreaking Walk. Worth a visit is nearby Bournville Village and Cadbury World - a must for anyone with a love of chocolate and a fun and education day out.


Newcastle is probably most famous for the Gateshead Millenium Bridge and St James Park Football stadium. You might be surprised to know that there are plenty of museums in Newcastle, several of them free, including the Great North Museum. This has a wide range of artefacts including a full size T Rex to and on the 27th October they are hosting a "fix it" cafe where you can bring along broken items and try to mend them with the help of museum staff. A little like starring in your own episode of "Repair Shop"! Other places to visit in Newcastle can be found here, and if you are travelling by car from the South don't forget to pause at the spectacular "Angel of the North" Anthony Gormley's sculpture built in 1998 and the largest in Britain.

Hopefully we have chosen a geographical spread to give you the chance to find something to suit your family and location - and as mentioned earlier all these cities boast leading universities - it is well worth having a look at the university if you have teenage children so they have a head start as to what locations are like ahead of choosing.

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