The best rainy day activities for half term in the UK

Half term is finally here for many families across the country and with it the perennial problem of what to do with the children if the weather turns bad. On the positive side, the beach is rarely a realistic option at this time of year anyway – except if a blowy walk is what you’re after. 

So it’s worth checking out some of the best indoor attractions around the country. From discovering the tricks of the trade in the magical world of Harry Potter films to the UK’s only underground bouncy net experience in a disused Victorian slate mine in Snowdonia, there’s plenty to keep ­everyone entertained – and away from their tablets – without getting wet.

Enjoy a Naval exploration


Alongside Nelson’s HMS Victory and the wreck of the Mary Rose, Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard is a must for the kids this half-term. Activities include tours of Boathouse 4 spotting scars from Second World War shrapnel, learning about traditional boatbuilding skills, and watching volunteers restore historic military vessels. There will also be a Tudor Treasure Hunt, tile-making aboard the Mary Rose, and Under the Cover of Darkness torchlight tours of both the Museum of Naval Firepower and the Submarine Museum. There is also a dedicated play space in the newly-revamped Victory Gallery.

How to do it: Tickets from £19 (children) and £24 (adult), or a free Historic Quarter Pass to enter the grounds and Boathouse 4. Portsmouth Historic Dockyard (023 9283 9766, Double rooms at Florence House Hotel ( cost from £69pn.

Go on a magical mischief tour


New for 2022, the Warner Bros Studio reveals some of the film-making ­trickery behind the magic and stunts of the Harry Potter films (Jan 22-May 1). ­Visitors will be able to witness some of their favourite scenes brought to life, including the disappearing effect of the invisibility cloak, the ­infamous fireplace letter scene, and how Mrs ­Weasley delivered an origami howler to her son in The Chamber of Secrets. 

How to do it: Tickets to Warner Bros Studio London ( cost from £49.95 adult; £39.95 child; under-fours free; must be booked in advance. Double rooms at the Holiday Inn, Watford ( cost from £103pn. 

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