Timanfaya volcanic area on Lanzarote in the Canary Islands

Sunday Times Travel magazine: Lanzarote Instant Escapes

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.


Sunday Times Travel magazine Instant Escapes: Dublin

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.


Sunday Times: Ask the team

As a regular contributor to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Travel magazine, I am sometimes asked to share my travel tips and answer readers’ questions.

Here are some of the questions I’ve recently answered. Click on the links to reveal the answers.

We are travelling independently to Croatia in October, and want to organise a trip to the Plitvice Lakes National Park. Can you help?

We plan to travel from Nashville to New Orleans via Memphis in 2016. We want to finish at the beach, but we have no knowledge of the area. Can you help?

My husband and I are spending six weeks travelling in Australia next year. It will be my birthday while we’re there, and we’ve got a bit of cash to splurge on a special experience to celebrate the occasion. What would you recommend?



Hiking and foraging on the isle of Skye: piece for the Times

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.


Cool Canaries: the 20 best boutique hotels

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.


Total Guide to the Canaries: for Sunday Times Travel magazine

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.

Travel writer, editor and broadcaster