Granted, the Maldives may boast significantly balmier waters, but you don’t have to go all that way to swim with whale sharks when the world’s second largest fish can be found so close to home. Basking sharks pass through British waters between April and October, and they can be spotted off the coasts of Cornwall, Dorset, Cardigan Bay, the Isle of Man and the Scottish Hebrides. These five-tonne goliaths like sunny weather and calm winds, which is handy for us land-based softies. Day trips can be arranged with Charles Hood Photography and Shark Adventures.
Stay at: Chapel House in Penzance, with views over the harbour and Mounts Bay beyond.