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Mark Frary

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    Family holidays in September

    By Mark Frary, Editor of 101 Family Holidays

    If you you can take your family holiday in September, it makes a lot of sense. The heat and crowds of the summer holidays are behind you, there’s a sudden glut of availability and still plenty of good weather to be found. Best of all, holiday prices can be 30-50% cheaper than in August.

    Of course, it’s not an option for all families, but the government’s guidelines on school absence was thrown into confusion in May 2016 when a High Court ruling effectively gave the green light to families to book holidays during term time.

    If your children are pre-school, or home educated, this clearly isn’t an issue. But until the government establishes clearer guidance, or creates a new law, many parents will take advantage by booking a family holiday in September. Here are some of the best.

    Gorgeous beachesDiscover pretty little beachesOrchard Cottage

    Family holidays in September with young children

    If you don’t want to fly with young children, pray for an Indian summer and stay put in the UK. Sea temperatures hold up nicely into September: in Cornwall for example, you’ll barely notice the difference (from an average of 17ºC in August to 16ºC in September).

    Cottage rental prices take a tumble in September, so you can stretch your budget to include more days out – just be aware that some attractions might start to have earlier closing times, or shut completely for the season, towards the end of the month.

    Cornwall is a sure bet – these baby-friendly properties provide some of the essentials for little ones, so you can head to the Southwest with a lighter load.

    South Devon has a bit of a micro-climate and September can be glorious in the South Hams. Helpful Holidays has the best selection of cottages in Devon.

    I also recommend these family cottages on the Jurassic Coast of Dorset.

    There’s also a great choice of cottages in the Lake District, which can be particularly beautiful in September when the fells get their first flush of autumn colour. Should the weather turn against you, there’s no shortage of indoor attractions, including pre-school favourites including the Beatrix Potter Attraction.

    If you want to bring the family pet, check out this selection of more than 200 dog-friendly cottages across the country.

    Family-friendly hotels in the UK have some great post-summer deals. Find out about special offers at Sands Resort and Gwel an Mor on the North Cornwall coast. I also recommend Jersey’s Merton Hotel with its excellent family accommodation and Aquadome complete with pools, slides and fountains.

    Travelling abroad, you can snap up great value villa holidays in the Mediterranean during September when the sea is still warm but air temperatures are less ferocious. Take a look at this selection of villas in Mallorca. In France, the Dordogne is always a hit with families. Check out these family villas.

    Croatia has some good-value villas with private pool and a sensational coastline which you can explore by renting a crewed boat. Local experts Sail Dalmatia have boats to suit all budgets – see their latest offers.

    There’s more pampering on offer at these luxury staffed villas in Mallorca and the South of France.

    For resorts with excellent childcare facilities and plenty of watersports and other activities, you are also spoilt for choice. In Greece, I like the stylish Sani Resort on the Halkidiki peninsula and the contemporary Daios Cove on Crete.

    Also check out post-summer offers at the Princesa Yaiza Suite Hotel Resort in Lanzarote and The Ritz-Carlton, Abama on the unspoilt western coast of Tenerife – both are top-end family properties and you might just snap up a great deal in September.

    Similarly, Forte Village on the southern tip of Sardinia and Mark Warner’s new Phokaia Beach Resort in Turkey are both highly recommended.

    Exciting watersportsThe Blue LagoonNiagara FallsMeet the locals

    Family holidays in September with older children

    If your children aren’t tied to regular school term times, September not only offers a great opportunity to beats the crowds, heat and price hikes of the summer holidays, but also plenty of scope for planning an educational holiday.

    You can’t beat Iceland for bringing geography to life – it’s easily explored on a family fly drive holiday, touring the country’s ring road, stopping to marvel at waterfalls, glaciers, geysers and other natural wonders in the Land of Ice and Fire.

    If you want to laze on a beach – and perhaps visit some ancient Roman sites – head to the Aegean coast of Turkey which has a great selection of boutique hotels and luxury villas.

    Or how about Sardinia, which is stunning in September but uncrowded. Head to the Chia Laguna Resort which has a choice of four good-value hotels.

    September heralds spring in South Africa where self-drive family holidays with Rainbow Tours can be tailor-made to include Cape Town, the Garden Route and a big five safari in a malaria-free game reserve.

    It’s also a good time for family holidays in Kenya. The wildebeest migration is usually in full flow through the Masai Mara during September and this Family Kenya Migration Safari gives you a grandstand view. If you fancy combining East Africa with the Indian Ocean take a look at these family hotels in Mauritius. September is also a prime month for a lemur tracking safari in Madagascar.

    Much of South East Asia tends to be hot and wet during September, so if Asia is on your radar it’s best to focus on destinations like Sri Lanka to discover the island’s culture, history and wildlife in chauffeur-driven comfort, staying in high-quality hotels.

    Peru’s dry season runs from May to October, which makes September an ideal month to hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, visit Lake Titicaca and watch condors flying above the Colca Canyon. Check out these family adventures in Peru.

    The ultimate family wildlife adventure? How about the Galapagos Islands which inspired Charles Darwin to the Theory of Evolution. This incredible 8-day tour includes chances to get up (very) close to giant iguanas, sea lions, turtles, dolphins and penguins.

    Need more inspiration? Read more about where’s hot in September.

    Last updated: 2 May 2019

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