If pushed to choose my favourite Canary Island (and I mean really pushed) I might just say Lanzarote. Its brooding dark lavascapes, its eye-poppingly white modernist architecture, its effortless barefoot style and – of course – its flinty, volcanic white wines, so rarely seen outside Macronesia.
Lanzarote is a truly fabulous island, with so much more to offer than its outmoded “Lanzagrotty” moniker might suggest. Discover some of my favourite corners in this month’s Sunday Times Travel magazine, which includes my Instant Escapes Lanzarote.
Southeast Asia was the first place I travelled truly independently so it will always have a special place in my heart. Despite thousands of backpackers now flocking to Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam et al there are plenty of places that remain off the beaten track.
Check out my top picks of these undiscovered destinations in my article for Rough Guides.
Everybody loves Dublin. The live music, the Guinness, the craic… Few cities have quite the presence of the Irish capital, quite the good spirits.
I’ve been a regular visitor to Dublin for years and have lost count of the number of lovely days and, erm, lively nights I’ve had in the city. So I was delighted to be able to share to share some of my Dublin favourites with readers of the Sunday Times Travel magazine recently.
Check out my Instant Escapes guide to a weekend in Dublin.
I called in to Skye briefly earlier this year on the Hebridean Princess. Despite the rain and the leaden skies I fell instantly in love.
I returned in September, this time to explore properly. I discovered that this breathtaking Scottish island has so much to offer, from challenging hiking to bountiful foraging, boat trips to remote lochs and seaplane flights above an otherworldly landscape.
Find out more about the isle of Skye in my piece for the Times, published in October 2015.
The Canaries are known for their large-scale resorts, all multiple swimming pools and vast buffets.
But the Canaries are also home to an increasingly eclectic range of boutique accommodation, from stylish haciendas with sea views to rustic inns surrounded by mountain peaks.
I was recently asked to compile a list of the best for the Times. Read my article on where to stay in the Canary Islands on Times Travel.
Since my first visit as a teenager I’ve never been able to understand why the Canary Islands get such a bad press. Why are they so often dismissed as just fly and flop when they are home to smouldering volcanoes, dripping rainforests, vast black sand beaches and some of the best seafood I’ve tasted anywhere?
Here’s hoping that the Sunday Times Travel magazine’s very first Total Guide to the Canaries will get more people onto planes and out to these fabulous islands.
Check out the guide, which I contributed to, in the current issue of the magazine or read a small taster online.