Along with hundreds of other disgruntled families, we've just spent a wet week in Britain huddled under an umbrella, dreaming of sunnier climes. The kids are pale and damp with moods to match – but just when we thought there was no hope of staving off the onset of rickets, a sparkling new array of tropical family holidays has been launched in time to lure us southwards for the October half-term.

First there's the five-star Grand Mauritian Resort and Spa (01707 371000;, which opened its doors last month: a haven for families with its supervised kids' clubs, babysitting services, and unspoilt beaches. Check out their special October offers.

First Choice (0871 664 9014; is also offering some good October getaways at the brand new Iru Fushi Beach and Spa Resort in the Maldives. Think private swimming pools, miles of unspoilt beaches, kids' clubs, tennis courts and a Padi-approved scuba diving school.

And if that's not enough to inspire your fantasy holiday, check out the Almond Casuarina in Barbados (0870 907 9600;, which promises to keep the kids busy all day long with everything from snorkelling to kayaking. A beachside location, three family pools and acres of tropical gardens will make this just what the doctor ordered for pasty Brits suffering from the summer blues.