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Big Weekend in Dubrovnik: article for the Sunday Times

Dubrovnik has long been one of my favourite cities, its beauty unsurpassed by almost any other coastal city I can think of. It is hot though, and sometimes unbearably crowded.

You could go in the off season of course, but then you might find things closed. And what is Dubrovnik without a cold Karlovacko sipped at one of its infamous Buza bars post Adriatic dip? No, this is a city that remains at its best in the sultry summer. Here’s my guide to the perfect Big Weekend here, as published in the Sunday Times.

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The Spanish costa you’ve never heard of: Times article

One of the countries I specialise in (and write part of the Rough Guide to) is Spain, and so I try to keep my finger on the pulse when it comes to new developments.

One of the most exciting for this year is the opening of Castellon-Costa Azahar airport, with direct flights from the UK starting up with Ryanair in September. These new flights will make Castellon, as well as the largely unknown (outside Spain) Costa del Azahar, more easily accessible to British visitors. So I went to see what the area had to offer, for the Times.

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Canary Islands articles for Skyscanner

I’ve been visiting the Canary Islands since my very first forays abroad on family holidays but every time I visit I find something new to explore. These subtropical islands in the Atlantic have it all: volcanoes to climb, whales to spot, surf to ride and, of course, beaches to sunbathe on.

There is so much more to the Canary Islands than fly and flop – which is why this archipelago is one of the destinations I specialise in. I’ll be back there in November for the Times but meanwhile check out my recent guides to the isles for Skyscanner:

Introduction to the Canary Islands 

Top beaches in the Canary Islands

Top things to do in Lanzarote

Top family hotels in the Canaries

Top restaurants in Lanzarote

Top restaurants in Tenerife

 

 

 

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Quirky stays in southwest England: piece for About.com

Want to stay somewhere with a bit of character? England is full of accommodation options that are so much more than mere hotel. Here glamping (glamorous camping) has become an art form, with sites offering everything from luxury tents to hot tubs under the stars, and hotels have had to up their game to compete, building ever more bizarre buildings in their grounds and dialing up the quirky factor on everything from room design to dress code.

But some miss the mark. Some are eccentric for the sake of being eccentric. Others fall down too much on the side of camping, holding back too much on the glam, while others simply don’t try hard enough to be different.

Be sure of a truly eccentric English experience by heading southwest, to holiday favourites Hampshire, Devon and Cornwall, and checking in to one of my top picks, reviewed for About.com here.

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Rough Guides: 8 unknown UK islands

I love the UK. Despite travelling to dozens of countries every year I always enjoy travelling around our islands the most. There is no place like home, after all – especially when that home is full of beautiful, unspoiled secrets.

Yes, much of the UK has been well and truly discovered, but there are still plenty of hidden corners and unsung isles. I unveiled some of my favourites for Rough Guides recently. Read my feature on the best 8 unknown UK islands to discover a few more of the British Isles’ secrets.

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Sunday Times Big Weekend in Tallinn

Few cities in Europe are as beautiful, as welcoming, as fascinating as Tallinn. But few people know about it and when I told friends I was heading there for the weekend I encountered plenty of blank faces and more than a handful of questions regarding its whereabouts.

So I was delighted to put together a guide to the Estonian capital for the Sunday Times recently. Read my feature on how to get the best out of your Big Weekend in Tallinn.

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Times Melbourne and beyond supplement

Although I write the Rough Guide chapter on Western Australia I have to admit that I have a soft spot for the state’s much smaller sibling in the west, Victoria. And not just because Melbourne is a fantastic city, with a vibrant culture and great food scene, but also because the landscapes and wildlife there are so beguiling.

I’ve spent plenty of time travelling around Victoria and never fail to be captivated by the towering rock stacks of the Twelve Apostles, or the dripping rainforests of the Otways. I still delight in spotting a koala up a gum tree or watching my husband trying to fend off crimson rosellas as he chucks another steak on the barbie. And I never grow tired of the Grampians, an epic landscape of granite mountains where you can even sit in the Jaws of Death.

The Times recently published a whole supplement on this wonderful state and I was able to share my experiences in two separate articles, one on the state’s great outdoors, the other on taking a chilled out tour around Melbourne and its surroundings. The whole supplement is available outside the Times’ pay wall here.

 

Travel writer, editor and broadcaster