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Where to find the best sun during the UK winter months

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The air is getting colder and crisper, the evenings dark by 7pm. Autumn is rolling in, lawns are gradually getting a covering of fallen leaves and conkers. By the end of October, the clock in the UK will be turned back an hour and it won't be long before winter sweeps in. The draw of getting away from it all for a few days or longer is an appealing one - here are some suggestions of where to go to find the best sun during the British winter.


 Cyprus


 The tourist season in Cyprus runs until October so visiting towards the back end of the year means holidaymakers will miss the bulk of the crowds yet still enjoy decent temperatures. In the peak of summer it's almost too hot, but in winter it's pleasant and mild. The sea has been described as feeling like a 'warm bath' - sounds perfect.


Dubai


Once this might have not made it into such a shortlist but Dubai has experienced a surge in popularity in recent years and is relatively accessible with flight times from the UK at seven hours - not exactly long haul. This article in the Telegraph included Dubai in its selection of winter destinations with guaranteed sunshine. What visitors to Dubai get is a winter which lasts less than a couple of months, world-class hotels, luxury in abundance and grain-perfect beaches.


Portugal


The temperature is certainly milder in the winter months - though still perfectly pleasant - but what Portugal offers makes it a popular choice for a late holiday. Flights are widely available from a number of UK airports and short, at three hours. Portugal excels as a provider of fantastic golf courses and countryside hikes, and is perfect as a long weekend destination. It's little wonder that many guests consider setting up permanent home there - property in Portugal is decent value.


The Maldives


With a flight time from London at around ten hours, you'll need to go further afield to get to the Maldives but a holiday on these islands in the Indian Ocean is like landing in paradise. And a five-star paradise, at that. Dry season in the Maldives runs from December to March so winter is the best time of year to visit - May to November is monsoon season so the tropical climate becomes unpredictable. If it's acres of beach, watersports, marine life and indulgent cocktails you want, the Maldives offers the perfect escape from the UK frosts.


Marrakech


Morocco is hot - literally and figuratively. But while temperatures can reach 40 degrees in the peak of summer, becoming stiflingly hot for tourists, the milder winter climate (averaging half that) is more enjoyable. Marrakech is the chic capital of the country; a city of palaces, mansions, ruins, boutiques, pavement cafes and street entertainment - musicians, dancers, acrobats and comedians. An unforgettable experience for visitors.