Firstly, the UK is in Europe, so it's a slightly misleading thread. Secondly, i have a lot of sympathy with your issues with the weather. But a major move of this kind takes loads of planning, especially if you have kids. We moved with my job 2.5 years ago and I know this job comes to an end in under 1.5 years and, at this point, we're not sure what happens next. My employer gives a lot of support for overseas jobs, which is great, but there are obviously big readjustment issues, wherever you go. I think success is driven a lot by your mindset from the beginning.
Things to think about: - Do you speak/will you learn the language? I'd definitely say you should learn some before you go and persevere when you get there, not sticking only to expat cliques. - Are you employable in the target country? You will be more so if you speak the language, but do your research and don't try to move somewhere where they're cutting 000s of teaching posts if you're a teacher. - How prepared are you to make a go of it? If you say to yourself it's just a year and you might go back, then you're less likely to invest time in integrating. If you go into it saying at least 5 years, you will need to do more and think longer-term. - How old are your kids? How adaptable are they? What kind of education system is there, eg how flexible, are SEN catered for in a meaningful way, will it be imperative for them to speak the language from day 1 - in rural France some of these answers will be different from Tenerife or Lisbon. - How important is it to be physically near your family/friends? You need to be really honest with yourself about this as some people realise they just can't do without regular face-time with their nearest and dearest. Skype makes a big difference, but do think about this, as well as how your family will deal with your absence. - Do your homework. Research lots of places and every aspect of life their, including the full cost of living. If you're going to a country where you have to pay medical insurance yourself and you have kids, you need to factor in paying for doctor's visits and treatment which you're used to getting for free in the UK.
Excellent advice from jkk. We lived in Switzerland and Antwerp. Both very different places and probably not much use to you weather wise. Italy, Spain and Portugal would most likely have the weather you are looking for, but job issues, money and education would be problematic I think.