They say it’s always summer somewhere, but the same’s true of other seasons too. So while northerners are sunning themselves in July and August, it’s the depth of winter across the Indian Ocean and downtime in the Caribbean. Not that you’d know it. With temperatures rising from 30˚ and sun most of the time, the only hints of seasonal shifts in these fortunate spots are fewer crowds and lower prices. Just a couple of reasons family holiday specialists, Abercrombie & Kent, highly recommend long-haul for UK school summer breaks. So if you’re after some winter sun in July and August here are a few of their top choices to book right now.
Almost as far south as you can go in the long-chain Caribbean archipelago, Barbados takes good weather for granted all year round; temperatures sit at a constant 27˚, skies are blue and even the sea’s a warm 25˚ most of the time. But, despite the wonderful climate, low season in Barbados coincides neatly with UK school summer holidays when direct flights from the UK take less than nine hours and both crowds and prices are quite a bit lower than in winter.
Barefoot and beachy are Barbados’ signatures and they’re written all over The Sandpiper, one of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World and a very relaxed long-term resident on the island’s beautiful west coast. Kids love it here: there are free sailing and swimming lessons all summer long; the beach is water sport heaven and two hours of fun Caribbean childcare every day keeps under 12s happy and lets parents off-duty for a bit too.
The Sandpiper’s just on the edge of Holetown, Barbados’ original settlement and one of its most authentic towns. Head for Chattel Village where traditional 18th century ‘mobile’ homes have been turned into cute stores. The sun-soaked boardwalk has amazing views of the island’s historic harbour. Limegrove Lifestyle is where to get serious about shopping. And colourful, spicy home-cooking on First Street is a local legend not to be missed under any circumstances.