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Top Five Autumn Sunshine Destinations

A guide to five places where Britons can escape the chilly weather for cheap holidays in the sun.

As the cold weather begins to bite Britain in earnest, UK families are turning wistfully to thoughts of cheap holidays in sunshine destinations to take away the chill – and with half term next week, there is certainly the opportunity for a last-minute getaway.

This week, Skyscanner published its top five list of cheap holidays in the sun which are just a short or medium-haul flight away:

First place went to Gibraltar, the last British possession in the Mediterranean. This destination is like a home from home, apart from the hot sunny weather! Even in the winter temperatures average some 20 degrees centigrade, and it offers beaches, diving and outdoor dining, plus a trip up the famous Rock to see the view – and the Barbary Apes.

Second came another popular choice for Britons – the Canary Island of Tenerife. With its position just off the coast of North Africa and its population of Spanish and UK expats, cheap holidays in Tenerife guarantee sunshine throughout the year and gorgeous beaches and landscapes, plus great nightlife and top-class family resorts.

It might seem as if the recommendations are all islands, with Madeira placed third. This Portuguese island boasts a sub-tropical climate and is famed for its choice of water sports, family beaches, beautiful blooms and delicious seafood. For people who want something more lively, there are clubs aplenty, such as the converted warehouse Vespas, Skyscanner points out.

Cheap holidays in Egypt are synonymous with the Red Sea resort of Sharm el Sheikh, with its “silky soft sands” and winter temperatures of up to 25 degrees centigrade. Spend the more active parts of the day either diving among the exotic fish and corals or trawling the designer shopping outlets before heading to a swanky bar or restaurant in the evening.

Perhaps the most surprising choice on the list was the west African isle of Cape Verde, which is only now emerging as a tourism destination. But it is precisely its unspoilt nature which is so appealing, with its deep blue waters, “china-white beaches and swaying palms.” There are none of the crowds – yet – seen at more established resorts, and the African and Portuguese colonial heritage means there’s plenty of fascinating local culture to be found.