SPICED APPLE TEA

Ingredients

  • 2 cups unsweetened apple juice
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick (3 inches)
  • 3 cups water
  • 5 tea bags
  • Additional cinnamon sticks (3 inches), optional

Directions

  • In a small saucepan, combine the apple juice, cloves and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, bring water to a boil. Remove from the heat; add tea bags. Cover and steep for 5 minutes. Discard tea bags. Strain juice mixture, discarding cloves and cinnamon. Stir into tea. Serve warm, with additional cinnamon sticks if desired.
Nutrition Facts

1 cup: 47 calories, 0 fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 3mg sodium, 12g carbohydrate (11g sugars, 0 fiber), 0 protein.

WINTER WONDERLAND

Located in the heart of London in Hyde Park, get ready to fully immerse yourself in all things festive from 21st November 2019 to 5th January 2020. Open at 4pm on Thursday 21st November, Winter Wonderland is then open every day from 10am to 10pm. Offering an array of attractions, activities and entertainment for visitors of all ages – there really is something for everyone!

Winter Wonderland is FREE to enterand this year we’ve got loads in store with exciting new attractions including the world’s tallest transportable Observation Wheel, a new theme ‘A Christmas Carol’ at the Magical Ice Kingdom, a Season Ride Pass, Paddington™ on Ice, Mr. Men & Little Miss and a fantastic new programme of comics at the Winter Wonderland Comedy Club. Let’s not forget our returning favourites including the UK’s largest open-air ice rink, funky new après ski vibes at Bar Ice and jaw dropping acts in the Circus MegaDome!

Mornings are great for families where you can enjoy Winter Wonderland at a leisurely pace. At night, Hyde Park is transformed by thousands of sparkling lights, so enjoy a mulled wine or Bavarian beer and join in the festive atmosphere.

With over 100 spectacular rides and attractions, thrilling shows, London’s biggest Christmas Market, Santa Land, which is a whole area dedicated to little ones, restaurants, cafes and themed bars, this Christmas extravaganza will keep you topped up with festive cheer!

Don’t just take our word for it, take a look for yourself at our Pre-bookable Attractions!

At Winter Wonderland we have a number of pre-bookable attractions that will give you the full festive experience.

Skate on the UK’s largest outdoor Ice Rink
Take a journey into The Magical Ice Kingdom
Join Paddington on his big adventurePaddington™ on Ice
Watch jaw-dropping acts in the Circus MegaDome: Zippos & Cirque Berserk
Experience even taller spectacular views from the Giant Observation Wheel
Join the family fun with Mr. Men and Little Miss – The Show
Drink festive cocktails at Bar Ice
Get the ultimate karaoke experience atBar Hütte
Watch the finest comedy talents at Winter Wonderland Comedy Club
Bring out your inner artist at the Ice Sculpting Workshops
Enjoy speedy access to all the rides with the new Season Ride Pass
A brand new pre-bookable restaurant Cedar & Spruce Bar + Kitchen

Leave your everyday life behind and enter a world of winter magic!

Winter Wonderland is located in the heart of London in Hyde Park. As one of the capital’s 8 Royal Parks, Hyde Park is visited by millions of Londoners and tourists every year. Covering 350 acres, it’s home to a number of famous landmarks including the Serpentine Lake, Speakers’ Corner and Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain.

For over 10 years, Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland has been spreading the Christmas spirit throughout London. The winter festival has become a landmark event for Londoners and tourists alike. With humble beginnings as an open-air Christmas market in Hyde Park, Winter Wonderland has since grown into an extravaganza with ice skating, shows, roller coaster rides, street food stalls, festive bars and live music. It is still free to enter the Winter Wonderland grounds and take in the joyous atmosphere. With over 100 spectacular rides and attractions, it is no wonder why thousands of visitors return to Winter Wonderland each year to celebrate the Christmas season.

WINTER COCKTAIL: ESPRESSO GINGERBREAD MARTINI

This velvety smooth, espresso and gingerbread cocktail is the perfect warmer for chilly days – or as a cheeky, alcoholic alternative to pudding. Sit back and let the bartender do the work at Brighton’s award-winning Pintxo People (pintxopeople.co.uk), and Pinchito Tapas in east London (pinchito.co.uk), or mix one up in a matter of minutes at home

Ingredients:

  • Ketel One vodka 50ml
  • espresso coffee 25ml, chilled
  • gingerbread syrup 15ml, available from drinkon.com
  • coffee beans 3

Method:

  • STEP 1

  • Rim a chilled martini glass with cinnamon and sugar.

  • Shake all the liquid ingredients together with some ice and strain into the glass. add the coffee beans and serve.

WINTER BEACH BODY

With Christmas dinner looming on the horizon, and the threat of endless festive parties ready to eat and drink your carefully-honed summer beach body away, it’s more important than ever to keep on top of your fitness. To ensure that, by the time summer 2018 rolls around, you’re still looking trim, we turned to Toby Huntington-Whiteley, Max Lowery and Matt Roberts – masters in their field of personal fitness – for the best exercises, tips and techniques to keep you ticking over this winter.

Dumbbell Clean to Press – “This exercise is perfect if you are short of time and still want to work your whole body. It works multiple muscles and is great for both your power and strength. In addition, this exercise is an excellent fat burner by increasing heart and metabolic rate.”

1. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and stand with your feet shoulder width apart.

2. Bend your knees slightly pushing your hips back whilst keeping a neutral spine and lowering the dumbbells just below your knees.

3. In one smooth movement drive your hips explosively forward, engaging your glutes and legs. By shrugging your shoulders and bending your elbows you can bring the weights to your shoulders. 

4. Once you are stood up with the dumbbells on your shoulders, slightly dip your hips back and then drive up to standing. Using this momentum press your arms straight above your head.   

5. Slowly lower the dumbbells back to your shoulders and then to your hips. Then repeat the sequence.

Push-up to Renegade Row – “I love this exercise it hits your shoulder, chest, back and core. I put this at the end of my upperbody workouts as a finisher, alongside a cardio exercise like mountain climbers or burpees. Putting a finisher at the end of your workout is a great way to maximise the calories you burn and increase your metabolic rate.”

1. With two dumbbells come into a push up position with your hands gripping the dumbbells on the floor. 

2. With your core engaged lower yourself to the ground and push back up.

3. At the top of the push up, keeping your core tight, pull one dumbbell to your waist and slowly lower it back down and then repeat on the other side. Then repeat the sequence.

The Classic Burpee – “One of the most effective exercises you can do for full body muscle activation and cardiovascular intensity. I like to do 5 rounds of 20 Burpees with a 1:1 work to rest ratio. So, if it takes me 30 seconds to do 20 burpees, I will get a 30 second break!”

1.  in a standing position, then jump into the air.

2. As you land on your feet, move your hands towards the floor and hurl your legs back so you are in a press- up/plank position, making sure your back isn’t sagging towards the floor.

3. Jump straight out of that position by bringing your feet back under your hips and then extending your legs and your torso upward, leaping into the air in one movement. Repeat this movement as fast as possible. 

The Hollow Hold – “This is my go to exercise to build functional abdominal strength. The hollow body position is fundamental to a gymnasts training, and gymnasts have THE strongest cores of any sport. As with all exercises, quality is key. Once you can do 5 sets of 60s with your legs as low as possible you can start to add weight in your hands and between your feet.”

1.Start at on your back, placing your hands behind your head and bringing your knees in towards your chest.

2. Lift your chest off the floor using your abdominal muscles, and extend your legs straight up towards the ceiling or sky. Lock your knees and point your toes.

3. Keeping your chest lifted off the floor using your abs, lower your straight legs down towards the floor, making sure your lower back does not arch. (The lower your legs go the harder your abdominals have

to work; if your abs aren’t strong enough, your back will want to take the strain.)

4. Find the angle in which you can hold this pose without your lower back arching, all the time lifting your chest off the floor to create the hollow body position.

WINTER SUN

Just because the bells are ring-ting tingle-ing for the festive season, that doesn’t mean that we have to put up with the snow and cold. But where’s hot in December? There’s still plenty of sun, sand, and sea available overseas with daily averages of 27°C in Goa, 24°C in Cancun, or 19°C in Lanzarote (for those who prefer to stay close to home).

Already got plans in December? Check out where’s hot in January!

Dubai 

With an average of 26°C over the festive period, Dubai is a great alternative to the usual Christmas celebrations. With a range of luxury hotels and plenty to see and do, Dubai holidays are a great shout for a December getaway. 

Want to find out more? Check out these fantastic hotels in Dubai!

Cancun

If all you want for Christmas is a bit of sun, then look no further than Cancun! With a sizzling daily average of 24°C throughout the month of December, the white sands and blue seas of Mexico’s Caribbean coastline have never looked so appealing.

Tempted? Check out our full range of Cancun holidays!

Lanzarote 

Enjoying a lovely year-round climate and stunning volcanic landscapes, there’s never a bad time to visit the Canary Island of Lanzarote. And while the weather here may be frightful, in Lanzarote it’s certainly delightful! Hitting a daily average of 19°C, this island is a great choice for those looking to enjoy a winter getaway without the sunburn. 

MAN SCARF

Scarf Knot Style: The City Slicker

A simple, no-nonsense knot that keeps your scarf neat and fuss-free.

how to tie a scarf - The City Slicker scarf knot

  • Fold the scarf in half lengthwise and wrap it around your neck
  • Pull the loose ends through the loop of the fold.

The City Slicker knot is both functional and easy to adjust while on the move. This classic knot also keeps your scarf on, and in place. This is especially important if you ride a bike, drive a motorcycle, or prefer to ride with the windows down. The City Slicker knot is even perfect for summer scarves. It adds a clean, put-together element to your ensemble.

Scarf Knot Style: The Sophisticate

This knot strikes a splendid balance between thoughtfully put-together and comfortably indifferent.

how to tie a scarf - The Sophisticate scarf knot

  • Drape the scarf around your neck, leaving one end shorter than the other
  • Wrap the longer end loosely around your neck once, twice if you want a chunkier look or need more bundling.
  • Leaving one end slightly longer than the other gives a more natural and spontaneous look, but the length can be adjusted to your preference.

The Sophisticate works well with winter outerwear.

This is perhaps the best way to wear a lightweight linen scarf in the summer: with T-shirt/blazer or T-shirt/cardigan ensemble, your lightweight scarf will add a slight buffer when that onshore breeze whips-up, or that cafe AC is a tad too frosty.

Scarf Knot Style: The Ivy-Leaguer

The first-choice for formalwear and whenever you’d like to add an element of color.

how to tie a scarf - The Ivy Leaguer scarf knot
There are two variations:

  • The scarf may be worn draped over the shoulder (Step 1)
  • Or tucked into a buttoned jacket/blazer (Step 3)

Go with this style when sporting an opera scarf over a tuxedo or dinner jacket. This style is contingent upon the length of the scarf. If the ends of the scarf extend below the bottom of your jacket, think carefully about whether the ensuing look is appropriate. When wearing a topcoat , we do not recommend wearing a scarf under the lapels–a common but unfortunate arrangement. With topcoats and outerwear, either tuck the scarf inside (as in Step 3) or opt for another style of knot.

Scarf Knot Style: The Connoisseur

The Connoisseur knot is reminiscent of the knot used for an ascot .

how to tie a scarf: The Connoisseur

  • Lay the scarf around your neck, such that both ends are parallel in the front
  • Bring one end over and then underthe other end
  • Drape the front end over the back, adjusting the length to your liking.
  • This style may be worn loose and on the outside of your ensemble (Step 4), or slightly snugged-up and tucked into a sports coat or blazer.

If one is wearing it snug-and-inside (Step 5), silk scarves work best. Because this is a secure knot, The Connoisseur is another appropriate choice for those on the saddle of a two-wheeler or in an open-top vehicle. For classic roadsters, go Connoisseur. Hardtop off the Jeep? See below.

Scarf Knot Style: The Jet Setter

This style maximizes the motion impact of your scarf.

How to tie a scarf: The Jet Setter scarf knot

  • There’s no knot here, just a light drape around your neck that leaves one end shorter than the other.
  • Throw the longer end of the scarf across the front of your neck and let it hang over your opposite shoulder.

If the scarf is extra long, loop it around your neck once before placing it behind your shoulder. This is one of the most casual styles, and it successfully communicates activity and mobility.

Scarf Knot Style: The Weekender

A casual scarf knot, most likely to be seen on the streets of Rome, Paris, and Shanghai.

How to tie a scarf: The Weekender scarf knot

  • Start with one end in the front, close to your neck, and wrap the long end around your neck until it is short.
  • Tuck both ends into the wrapped scarf.
  • For volume, fluff-out the knot.

This knot is perfect for windy days and joyrides with the top down.

Wrap It Up

Wearing a scarf is a great way to put your signature on your ensemble. A good-looking high-quality scarf needn’t be a costly purchase, and scarves are one of the few easily-sourced male accessories that can turn a by-the-numbers look into something eye-catching.

QUILTED JACKETS

As the frost begins to spread across the land, it becomes ever harder to leave our tightly tucked quilts. What we need is something equally quilted.

Like a jacket made of a quilt. A quilted jacket, if you will. And even if you’ve never been pheasant shooting in the three counties let us tell you, it’s a gloriously cushy thing.

Giving it these posh-boy connotations isn’t too unfair when you find that the style started life as a quilted vest actually meant for shooting in the mid-1960s. The quilting part refers to garment that stitches at least two layers of cloth – traditional quilted jackets add a third layer of padding to create that distinctive diamond pattern.

The first version was made out of a synthetic polyester to help with the soggy British weather while the quilting element provided a light, natural insulation without the need for the ethically dubious down padding like its less posh cousin the puffer (although some options do contain down).

Later versions brought waxed cotton to the mix for a softer feel, while the early green and navy versions have remained the standard go-to shades, as the style grew in popularity largely thanks to its flexibility of movement and its dressed-up but still casual appearance.

Pair with a smart cotton button-down shirt and chinos for a look that reeks of the countryside, or a crew neck and slim jeans for a contemporary appearance better suited for shooting the breeze at the pub than any wild game.

The Best Brands For Quilted Jackets

Barbour

Barbour has been outfitting outdoorsy types since the 19th century, and although it hasn’t been making quilted jackets for as long as that, the style has still become synonymous with the British heritage brand. Having started life as the Countryman jacket in 1979, Barbour changed the name of its flagship QJ to the Liddesdale in 1994 after the valley of the same name in the north of England (a spot where a warm quilted jacket would certainly not go amiss).

The Liddesdale, which consists of a corduroy collar and a diamond pattern, isn’t the only quilted jacket in the Barbour armoury though, with other popular versions including the Edderton which comes with a shorter, blouson cut and the Chelsea Sportsquilt which is modelled after the ones worn by horse riders.

BUY NOW: £89.95

BARBOUR LIDDESDALE QUILTED JACKET

Jack Wills

In its two decades, Jack Wills has positioned itself as the offspring of Barbour so while papa is galavanting around the estate in his Land Rover and Barbour jacket, the heir to the family jewels can crawl to lectures in their Jack Wills quilted car coat.

And with a flannel lining, corduroy collar and chunky front pockets there ain’t much difference between this version and the Barbour Liddesdale, apart from the branding and being less spenny of course.

BUY NOW: £60.00

WENTWORTH CAR COAT

Burberry

If there’s anything Burberry does well it’s reeling off British classics with a high fashion edge (and adding that oft-repeated, never bettered Burberry check). It’s not all about the style with the luxury fashion house on this one though, with cutting-edge thermoregulation technology to help keep your core body temperature at the ideal 37.5°C to go with the sharp Harrington cut and that check.

BUY NOW: £690.00

Diamond Quilted Thermoregulated Harrington Jacket

Superdry

Shooting a little younger than the other British brands on this list, Superdry aims for the streets rather than the well-beaten country road on its quilted jackets.

And so we get an icy blue side stripe bolting down the sleeve, a protective hood because a flat cap is too sepia-toned for street style and a chevron styled pattern leading into the more traditional diamond up top.

BUY NOW: £99.99

Quilt Fade Fuji Jacket

John Lewis

By definition shopping at a department store can be a mixed bag, but with British chain John Lewis, quality is guaranteed (it’s quite literally ingrained in the brand). Its own brand quilted jackets are a particularly safe option among a hard-to-go-wrong style.

Its classic version is made out of a waxed cotton so you don’t have to worry about getting caught in one of those pesky showers, while a slim fitting mid-length cut flatters those broad shoulders.

BUY NOW: £109.00

John Lewis & Partners Quilted Wax Cotton Jacket

Ted Baker

Don’t forget to add Ted Baker into the mix for star baker in the great British quilt off. The premium high street retailer excels at shaking up design standards like the quilted jacket, and so we get a classic Harrington shape cut to the waist with a square, not a diamond pattern and a jazzy inner lining to flash at passersby.

BUY NOW: £245.00

RELLTT Tall quilted Harrington jacket

Gant

Preppy giant Gant is targeted at a bit more of the older gent than its fellow American rivals, Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren, a demographic where the quilted jacket is fertile territory. Cut like a field jacket with extra length at the hem and more room around the body and waist this QJ is forgiving enough for all gents to sport, and with padding made from recycled material. Wait, did we just say sustainable? Well, that’s one more reason to buy.

BUY NOW: £250.00

GANT The Quilted City Jacket

Joules

The quilted jacket is the jewel in the Joules outerwear crown and that’s quite enough puns so let’s move on swiftly to the brown outer making a welcome change from the standard blue, the longer lengths and the bevvy of pockets.

And outside of Barbour, the British country lifestyle clothing brand has one of the widest collections. So quilt us up, Joules, we’re ready to get snug.

BUY NOW: £99.95

DERWENT LONG LENGTH QUILTED JACKET

Belstaff

Having repositioned itself from solely a heritage brand to a luxury sportswear maker championed by the likes of David Beckham and Brad Pitt earlier this decade, Belstaff has made a habit of taking classic outerwear out of its stuffy cupboard and into a box labelled cool as a leather-clad cucumber.

Case in point is its reinvention of the quilted jacket, which is a lot less country bumpkin and a whole lot more motor racing rogue, clad in super sleek black with reinforced shoulders that mimics the brand’s stylish leather jackets.

BUY NOW: £450.00

Bramley 2.0 Jacket In Black Lightweight Technical Quilt

Emporio Armani

In a list dominated by British brands it’s refreshing to see the Italians rearing up into the QJ dogfight. It’s a mighty fine stallion too – the imperious Emporio Armani – the second brand from Giorgio Armani and one of only two that is designed by the ledge himself.

This quilted bomber jacket is indicative of the range – all-black and as slick as a dollop of hair gel – you’ll probably catch Keanu Reeves slo-mo repping this in the Matrix 4.

BUY NOW: £278.00

Emporio Armani quilted bomber jacket

Adidas

Now we have to admit you won’t catch grime superstar Stormzy in a quilted jacket. Really, what? Shut up? Adidas do a quilted jacket? Maybe you just might then, along with all the other hypebeasts and rappers who worship the sportswear brand, with this glossy jacket that takes after the traditional Adidas track top (you know that one that Stormzy fella wore in that video) with the addition of a striking zig-zag pattern.

BUY NOW: £100.00

ADIDAS Quilted padded shell jacket

WINTER MARKETS

Nothing reflects the festive cheer this time of year quite like a Christmas Market. The cheerful Christmas lights, the iridescent decorations and the smells of cinnamon and gingerbread really are the icing on the proverbial Christmas cake! If you’re looking to get your fill of holiday joy this year, then why not discover the best markets Europe has to offer?

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague is an exquisite city any time of the year but is especially beautiful during the festive season. The Christmas Market in the picturesque Old Town Square is the most popular market in Prague. With regular flights to Prague, there’s no better time to organise your winter getaway. 

Running from 26th November to 6th January, the market is always full of life as people potter around the stalls and the sounds of laughter and live music resonate through the market. The smells of spit roasted hams and mouth-watering freshly baked pastries fill the air. If that’s not enough to tempt you, there is also a wide range of local Czech beers to be found. The market also features an animal stable where children can pet sheep, goats and a donkey. All this with the backdrop of Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance buildings make this the ideal Christmas Market to visit.

Brussels, Belgium

Running from 25th November to 1st January, the Christmas Market in Brussels, known as Winter Wonders, is located in the city’s central square, Grand Place. The market is surrounded on all sides by magnificent gothic style buildings and opulent guildhalls which are all lit up when it gets dark. The market is spread out over more than 2km and includes more than 200 wooden chalets, a giant Ferris wheel and, of course, a colossal Christmas tree decorated with lights and festive baubles. Winter Wonders is hailed as one of Europe’s most original Christmas Markets so it’s well worth booking flights to Brussels to see it.

Vienna, Austria

Christmas lies at the heart of Austrian tradition. Being the home of the Christmas Market, Vienna in winter is something you need to add to your bucket list. Why not book direct flights to Vienna to enjoy an authentic festive experience this year? The Christmas period in Vienna is a truly magical time with a plethora of different markets held throughout the city. 

The Viennese Christmas Market in front of the medieval city hall is definitely the most enchanting and is an absolute must for anyone looking to get into the holiday spirit. This traditional market has been operating for hundreds of years with its origins dating back as far as the 1200’s. This long running tradition has made for the perfect Christmas experience for the whole family. The Viennese Christmas Market runs from 12thNovember to 24th December.

Frankfurt, Germany

Every year the centre of Frankfurt is transformed into a wintery delight for the whole family. This year the market will be running from 23rd November to 22nd December. The charming market is one of the biggest Christmas Markets in Germany. With its origins in the 1390’s, this long running tradition has grown over the years into a celebration of the weeks of Advent. Throughout the Christmas period the 10 churches around the centre can be heard chiming their bells – over 50 of them – to add an extra element of celebration to the markets. 

Why not come and hear the chiming of the bells or the chorus of the Christmas Choir? Fancy some traditional German Christmas cookies? How about sipping a heart-warming cup of mulled wine while you browse through the stalls of traditional, handcrafted wares? Book your flights to Frankfurt to experience this unique market for yourself!

London, England

The city of London is very well known for its excellent Christmas Markets. Of course, Winter Wonderland is well worth a visit but you should also take a day to explore Southbank Centre’s Christmas Market too. Located on the banks of the river Thames, this market is more like a winter festival. Along with all the Christmassy goodies you’d expect to find at a Christmas Market there will also be a range of circus performances, live music acts and a Roller-disco that offers an alternative to the traditional ice-skating rink. The Christmas Market runs from 11th November until 8th January while the dates for the added entertainment vary. It’s definitely worth booking flights to London over the Christmas period to experience Christmas with a difference.

Make your Christmas this year a special one with a short break for you and your loved ones. You’ll never feel as Christmassy as you do when you’re surrounded by the sights and sounds of a Christmas Market, mulled wine in hand and dressed in warm comfy winter clothes.

WINTER COAT BRANDS

BEST WINTER COAT BRANDS

Canada Goose

For more than 60 years Canada Goose has been making Arctic-worthy down jackets and other winter woollies worn by explorers and research scientists. The brand is best known for its distinctive red, white and blue circular logo, which is a reverse image of the North Pole, as well as its technical but fashionable coats, which have been worn by supermodels, rappers and tonnes of well-heeled teens. Canada Goose is involved in several environmental and social initiatives but has come under fire in recent years by animal rights groups, especially for its use of coyote fur on hoods. This is a brand for people who really value being warm, but not so much for veggies and vegans.

Shackleton London

Unsurprisingly, Shackleton London is inspired by polar explorer extraordinaire, Ernest Shackleton. Launched in 2016, the British brand’s speciality is engineering extreme-weather performance apparel that combines advanced technologies with top quality materials. Its parkas and jackets undergo extensive field-testing and have been proven in Antarctica and the Arctic, having been used by record-breaking polar explorers in recent years. Cool.

Moncler

The most ‘fashion’ of serious performance wear brands, you can see Moncler’s latest down coats on catwalks. The Italian sportswear co. was founded in the 1950s and is known for its distinctive logo and tricolour details. In 1954, Moncler quilted jackets were chosen to equip the Italian expedition to K2, which culminated with the conquest of the earth’s second-highest summit, and were worn by French skiers during the Grenoble Winter Olympics in 1968. In more recent times they are the choice of many a model and celeb, but the brand’s fashion credentials are backed up by its technical heritage.

Arc’tryx

Arc’tryx is a Canadian outdoor high-end clothing co with a distinctive logo of a bird fossil. (You know the one.) The brand often divides its products by the activity they’re best suited for, making it easy to buy the right kit to suit your hobbies and it’s stand-out jacket if the Alpha SV. Like many of the other brands on our list Arc’tryx treads that fine and difficult line between being practical and fashionable, making it a great option for outdoorsy and city types.

The North Face

If you want some great quality and fashionable outerwear, The North Face offers one of the widest and most reasonably priced selections out there. The brand’s technical fabrics really stand up to scrutiny and its coats are reliably warm and dry while comparably-priced offerings from the high street might not be. Plus, they are fashionable and even a status symbol in some parts of the world, such as South Korea (apparently). Whether you’re looking for a great waterproof for less than £100 or a reasonably-priced synthetic down coat, The North Face will come up with the goods.

WINTER SUN

When you haven’t seen the sun in months, and the weather looks as though it’s shaping up to bring nothing but endless stretches of grey cloud, cold wind and freezing rain, it’s inevitable you’ll start wishing summer would hurry up and arrive.

While winter sun holidays often mean long haul flights, our list of eight hot spots around the world include some that can be reached in less than five hours and still experience temperatures of 19℃ and above.

THE CANARY ISLANDS

If you’re wondering where to go for winter sun but don’t want a long haul flight, the Canary Islands are your best bet. In fact, the Canaries – which include ever-popular Tenerife, Fuertaventura, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote – some of the most reliable winter sun in Europe, with temperatures averaging just a nip below 20℃.

That’s because their location just off the north-west coast of Africa ensures the beaches remain strewn with sun loungers and towels.

Consider Lanzarote for its spectacular volcanic scenery, Tenerife for its year-round water parks and Gran Canaria for its wide sandy beaches and family-friendly Palmitos Park. Whichever island you choose, you’re guaranteed pleasant temperatures and evenings that are warm enough for a sunset stroll along the beach.

Holidays to the Canary Islands

MEXICO

Despite the fact that the middle of winter is the coldest time in Mexico, temperatures hover just a little below 30℃, with little rainfall and plenty of sunshine along its Caribbean coast.

The tropical resort of Cancun also enjoys its dry season at this time of year, which draws sun seekers from all over the world to its Caribbean-edged coast with white sandy beaches and turquoise seas.

Cancun is a great destination to consider if you fancy the hustle and bustle of a city with lively restaurants, nightclubs and bars, balanced with the awe and wonder of the ancient Mayan sites – the perfect sightseeing spot for culture vultures. Don’t miss the chance to go scuba diving at the underwater museum ‘Museo Subacuático de Arte’ if you head to the east coast.

Holidays to Mexico

FLORIDA

America may not be your first thought if you’re wondering where to go for winter sun, but there’s one destination in particular that’s lovely and warm in winter – Florida.

Temperatures in the Sunshine State rarely drop below 20℃ at this time of year, and the sea stays nice and warm too – meaning you can bank on an afternoon swim if you’ve enjoyed a morning relaxing on the beach.

There’s plenty to do off the beach too, with Universal Studios Orlando and Walt Disney World just two attractions offering entertainment for children and adults alike.

If you’d prefer to head to the Everglades, now’s the perfect time to go because humidity is low, the biting bugs are mercifully nowhere to be seen and the wildlife viewing tends to be at its best.

Holidays to Florida

MOROCCO

For some gentle winter sun and an exotic destination without the long-haul flight, consider Morocco. This North African destination is by no means the warmest place on this list of places to consider, but it’s certainly a lot warmer than the UK – especially if you visit the south or middle of the country away from the North Atlantic coast.

While it’s chilly when night falls, daytime temperatures tend to reach anywhere from 14℃ to 20℃, meaning you can comfortably explore the architecture, cafes and markets of vibrant places such as Marrakech without needing to wrap up.

Pay a visit to the Jemaa el-Fna square for snake charmers, belly dancers and stalls brimming with gifts, or simply watch the world go by from a comfortable seat in a traditional cafe – it’s an unforgettable place and unlike anywhere you’re likely to have seen in Europe.

Holidays to Morocco

DUBAI

If you’re wondering where to go for winter sun but want more than a beach to keep you entertained, Dubai should be top of your list.

This glistening location in the United Arab Emirates is filled with towering skyscrapers, world-class shopping malls and marine-animal parks. To crown it all, you can expect sea and land temperatures of anywhere between 20℃ and 25℃.

For example, you can dine in the Burj Khalifa (the world’s tallest skyscraper), take a boat ride along the Dubai Creek, see the Palm Jumeirah or experience the thrill of the IMG Worlds of Adventure indoor amusement park.

In fact, winter is arguably the best time of year to take a holiday to Dubai considering that this desert destination is often sweltering later in the year.

Holidays to Dubai

THAILAND

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East Asia is certainly somewhere to consider if you’re wondering where to go for winter sun. In fact, Thailand offers some of the most dependable warm weather for sun seekers, with a change of pace and culture that feels exotic, interesting and totally unlike anything back home.

Temperatures in some parts of the country drop as low as 20℃ during the winter months, but maximum temperatures often reach a balmy 28℃, so you’ll certainly be able to bring your holiday wardrobe along with you.

Consider exploring the temples of Chiang Mao, the beaches of Koh Lanta, or the islands of Koh Phi Phi and Krabi, and get ready to embrace the Buddhist influence in Thailand’s culture – perfect for encouraging rest and relaxation.

Holidays to Thailand

CYPRUS

Marina in charming Kyrenia, Northern Cyprus

This island in the eastern Mediterranean is best known for its beachside resorts of Paphos, Larnaca, Limassol and Ayia Napa, which enjoy average winter temperatures of 22-23°C during the day and 12-13°C at night.

This means that in addition to enjoying an average of 340 days of sunshine each year, Cyprus has the warmest winters of all Mediterranean countries due to the island lying just 75 miles west of Syria in the Middle East.

While its beaches and weather are obvious attractions for winter sun seekers, Cyprus is rich in history dating back thousands of years, has lush, verdant pine forests, salt lakes and is noted for its wine and potato production.

Holidays to Cyprus

BARBADOS

Just 13 degrees north of the equator, the Caribbean island of Barbados enjoys a tropical climate and warm temperatures all year round.

The dry season, which started in January, means sun seekers can bask on the silky sand beaches in temperatures that tend to average around 28℃. The sea is the perfect temperature too – 27℃ – with gentle waves on the west coast and wild waves on the east coast (perfect if you want to do a spot of surfing).

Barbados is a foodie’s paradise, with phenomenal seafood and Bajan dishes fusing cuisine from the West Indies, Europe, Africa and the Caribbean plentiful, together with this paradise island’s other delicacy – Mount Gay Rum.

Don’t be fooled into thinking Barbados is somewhere to just simply eat, drink and sunbathe, though. You can swim with turtles, explore botanical gardens, trek through the forests and hang out in bars well into the night.

Holidays to Barbados

These are just eight of our favourite destinations for winter sun. There are plenty more winter sun destinations here for you to consider, so have a look and treat yourself to a holiday. The extra dose of vitamin D and the change of pace is sure to do you good!