Top 10 Family Winter Sun Holidays for 2014-15

How else to get through the long cold winter, with its gloomy dark evenings, than by day dreaming about a holiday? The summer might be a long way away but why wait months for some well earned rest and relaxation? Get some winter sun to lift your soul - here are ten fantastic hot spots to consider.

In the middle of December 2014 the temperature in Barbados was a sizzling 29 degrees so heading there in the English winter is a smart move - in fact, the best time to travel is between now and April. Luxury family holiday providers provide private villas and hotels: Sandy Lane resort is particularly exclusive, offering swimming with turtles among its activities for guests.

The Canary Islands
Always a popular choice, the Canary Islands - which comprises Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura, as well as three smaller islands - is a relatively short flight from the UK (at around four hours). Whale watching, camel rides, submarine excursions, zoos, water parks and aquariums are all on hand for family trips.

Dubai isn't short of luxury - there's a feeling of opulence just about wherever you turn. Widely recommended as the premier resort is The Atlantis, the Palm: guests staying here have complimentary access to Aquaventure Waterpark, which is the No.1 water park in the Middle East and Europe, and the Lost Chambers Aquarium.

Sri Lanka
There's a flight time of around 12 hours from the UK to Sri Lanka but the long journey is worth it to reach what has been described as a jewel of an island. With beaches as well as untamed forests, wildlife reserves, ruined cities and palaces, Sri Lanka is a luxury holiday with a touch of adventure.

An idyllic location, the Maldives is a tropical haven of white beaches, turquoise waters and clear blue skies. For a truly special experience, head to the award-winning Conrad Maldives Rangali Island resort which rests on two islands, linked by a bridge, and features an all-glass undersea restaurant.

The Mayan Riviera, which is located in the Yucatan Peninsula, has been developed into a fantastic destination for holidaymakers - including the world's largest aquarium (Xel-Ha), the coastal archaelogical site of Tulum and Chichen Itza, the most popular tourist destination in Mexico. Naturally, there are endless opportunities for scuba diving, snorkelling and other water sports.

Exotic and romantic, Morocco is just three and a half hours away from the UK by plane and is an excellent destination all year round. Cities such as Casablanca and Marrakech are bustling and colourful and a more serene atmosphere is available close by - the Four Seasons in Marrakech is nestled among olive and palm trees and within balcony view of the Atlas Mountains.

Thailand is a haven for the student backpacker and while the country can be enjoyed on a budget it also has a luxurious side, too. Koh Samui and Phuket have endless beaches and crystal coastlines, and children will be enthralled by its feel of jungle adventure.

The Turks & Caicos
Perhaps not the most well known of destinations, this group of islands is surrounded by one of the world's longest reefs and is located off the south-east coast of Miami. The best time to visit is between now and April, particularly if you want to indulge in a spot of whale watching. For the ultimate retreat, look up Parrot Clay which has three miles of private sandy beach.

A vast country, of course, with multiple destinations suitable for the most wonderful and memorable family holiday. Florida, encompassing a trip to the theme parks of Disney, is an obvious nomination so why not try something a little different? The Hamptons has everything for a family holiday - read this review by Conde Nast Traveller.