All posts by Helen Ochyra

GibbRiverRoad

18 trips for 2018: Western Australia

It’s the last day of 2017 and that can mean only one thing – it’s time to round up the best places to go in 2018!

One of my all-time favourite destinations is Western Australia and so I was thrilled that the Sunday Times selected it for this list. That new direct flight from London may have had something to do with it!

Read my top tips on visiting WA in 2018 in the Sunday Times today.

Indian Pacific

Australia’s best train journey: piece for the Times

I love a train journey. For me, there is nothing better than sitting in a bar car, drink in hand, watching the world slide past the window, and on my most recent trip to Australia I finally got to travel on the Indian Pacific.

This luxury train crosses Australia from Sydney to Perth (and vice versa) once a week, a journey of some 2,700 miles. I saw countless kangaroos, travelled on the world’s longest section of straight railway track and hopped off to check out the Barossa Valley, Broken Hill and the ghost town of Cook. The journey takes three nights but didn’t last a moment too long – especially with those included Aussie wines!

Read my article about the journey in today’s Times.

 

ForthBridge

The 20 best places to stay in Scotland: piece for the Times

My favourite country to visit in the whole world is Scotland and am currently writing a book about my 2017 journey around the country.

On my travels I stayed in some truly exceptional places, from cosy inns to full-on luxurious five-stars, and I was delighted to share some of these with Times readers today, in my 20 best places to stay in Scotland feature.

Look out for my book soon!

Alicante

Weekend in Alicante: so much more than Benidorm

Think of a Spanish city break. Does Alicante come to mind?

Probably not, right? Most people flying in to Alicante are actually en route to Benidorm, the high rise resort a few miles up the coast. But rushing straight off means missing out on one of Spain’s most enjoyable weekend break destinations.

The airport is close to the city, the beach is in the centre of town and there are dozens of tapas bars a short stroll back from the seafront, including one of Spain’s best, La Taberna del Gourmet.

Read my feature on a weekend break in this sunny Spanish city in the Times.

Weekend in Corralejo

My favourite Canary Islands resort: Weekend in Corralejo

Ever since family holidays to the Canaries in the 1990s I have loved these islands in the sun. I visit at least once a year and have spent plenty of time on all seven main islands as well as several of the smaller islands.

But there is one resort that keeps pulling me back, Corralejo in the far north of Fuerteventura. I love Corralejo because it is not just a tourist resort, it is a real town where visitors mix with locals. The main street along the seafront turns to sand here, so few walks into town don’t involve getting my toes in the sand, and the local community keeps restaurant standards high.

Find out more about this fantastic Canarian resort in my piece for the Times on a Weekend in Corralejo.

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Highland Fling: Scotland’s North Coast 500 for Fabulous

The UK has never had a rival to America’s Route 66 or to Australia’s Great Ocean Road – until now, that is.

The North Coast 500 loops around the far north coast of Scotland, starting and ending in Inverness. It runs for around 500 miles, through epic Highland scenery and past fantastic seafood restaurants, pubs and distilleries. It’s even home to the world’s best hot chocolate.

I’ve driven the North Coast 500 a few times now and it is one of my favourite road trips anywhere in the world. I was delighted to write about it for the Sun’s Fabulous magazine recently. You can read my piece here.

Indian Pacific

The alternative guide to Australia: for Sunday Times

Australia is one of the world’s most popular holiday destinations – so it can get pretty crowded, especially in the hotspots such as Bondi Beach, Uluru and the Great Barrier Reef.

Fortunately there are plenty of places you can head to that are far less busy, and just as wonderful. I was delighted to share some of my favourite alternative Aussie destinations with Sunday Times readers this weekend.

Read my Alternative Guide to Australia to find out which places made the list.