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It's drawing close to the time of year in the UK when our weather is taken a decided turn for the worse, and many of us yearn to escape to the sun.

You will need to select your destination carefully to ensure you get the climate you want. The following destinations have great winter weather, perfect for a balmy Christmas or New Year getaway.

St Kitts

St Kitts is a diminutive Caribbean island, and offers everything you could dream of for a winter break - including impressive plantation houses, lush rainforest trials, characterful rum shacks, endless beaches and delightfully warm swimming. The climate here is akin to that on Barbados, albeit with slightly cooler daytime highs - generally around the 80F mark.

Dubai

Dubai is really making its mark as a winter holiday destination, with top

end hotels aplenty and a luxury vibe. If anything this desert city can be

too hot for some tastes and temperatures will be well above 80F around the

Christmas period, so just perfect for committed sun worshippers.

Cape Town

Boasting truly one of the most impressive settings of any port on earth,

Cape Town is an ideal location for a city sunshine break. It has the most

glorious white sandy beaches, wonderful safari countryside and the natural

marvel which is the mighty Table Mountain, plus a top notch dining and

shopping scene. Cape Town has an extended, sunny autumn and winter with

around ten hours of sunshine per day.

Tenerife

The largest and most diverse of the Canary Islands, and just four and a

half hours flight time from the UK, Tenerife is a fabulous location that

offers the full spectrum of winter sun breaks - from the touristy

beachside resorts to glamorous boutique hotels, characterful ports and

verdant green mountains. At Christmas temperatures reach a high of around

71F - ideal for beach and poolside relaxation.

Marrakesh

Marrakesh is another ideal location, with a relatively short travelling

time from the UK. It has some wonderful five star hotels and is a uniquely

historic desert city, packed full of character. The setting is picture

perfect, and as you laze by the pool or explore the fascinating souks, you

will still see snow on the far distant Atlas Mountains. The temperature

during winter in this city very rarely drop below a peak of around 65F,

and start to rise further from the beginning of February

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