Escape to Barbados' Winter Sun

With the night's getting longer and the weather becoming colder, now is the time to start thinking about escaping to a winter paradise in the sun. Barbados is a great antidote to the cold winter weather, with a combination of breathtakingly beautiful sandy beaches, lush, wild tropical vegetation, tantalising food and drink almost- guaranteed, year-round sunshine.

Warm azure waters lap white and pink sandy shores, fringed with gently swaying palm trees, and life has a pace. Villages still have small cricket pitches hosting matches at the weekends, while green monkeys hunt out tasty guavas and travellers sip rum cocktails under rainbow coloured shades on the beach.

This is a welcoming island that caters for all, and has attracted holidaymakers with its charms for more than fifty years, but hasn't lost its rich and vibrant West Indian identity and hospitality, whether it is on the glitzy west coast or the more rugged east. Packed into its awe-inspiring coastline is everything from dazzling top-end hotels to boutique accommodation, beach shacks offering local street food too fine dining restaurants in stunning settings.

But while Barbados is well known for its idyllic beaches, which rank among the best in the world, and long days of sun, there are myriad things to do. This is an island of contrasts, sleek ad modern on one hand and yet bound by its own identity, customs and traditions on the other, all mixed with influences of England.

A buzzing, historic Bridgetown and its garrison is a UNESCO World Heritage Site steeped  in major port for centuries and is just as colourful today. With bustling streets and glorious old colonial buildings painted in colours only matched in vibrancy by the fruit and vegetables on sale in markets and street stalls. The smell of fried fish and stewed meat and vegetables fills the air as world-class restaurants and local food stalls vie for your attention.

Barbados is also quickly establishing itself as one of the world's culinary hotspots. Width an eating culture that often runs through the night - culinary tourism is definitely one of the island's fastest growing niches. Whether it is flying fish sandwiches or romantic fine dining, there is something for everyone. It's no surprise therefore, that 2018 has been declared the year of culinary experiences.

Striking beautiful gourmet restaurants perched on cliff tops above the sea have become a Barbados trademark. These include The Cliff, Cin Cin by the Sea and The Animal Flower Cave Restaurant. Traditional beachfront entries where the dress code is swimsuits and bare feet include Bombas, Bo's Place and Juju's.

Outside of the first-class bars, restaurants and hotels. Barbados offers unlimited ways to have fun. Enjoy adventure water sports such as jet-skiing at the ever-lively Mullins Beach, boogie boarding and paddle boarding at Pebbles Beach, kite surfing at Silver Sands, or the spectacular tropical flowers at Andromeda Gardens and the Flower Forest. Then of course you could just laze on the beach, picnic under shady trees at Bath or swim with turtles.