My favourite country to visit? That’s easy – it has to be Scotland.
But ask me which of Scotland’s islands is my favourite and that’s much trickier to answer. I’ve visited and written about around 40 of the islands off the west and north coasts of Scotland but there are two that tend to stand out, not least because they’re easy to get to.
Arran and Skye both offer wild scenery, copious wildlife and superb hyperlocal seafood. More people (at least in England) know about Skye , and the island is attached to the mainland by a handy bridge, but Arran is quick and simple to reach from Glasgow and has both Highland and Lowland scenery.
I wouldn’t like to side with either of these Hebrides, but I did pit them against each other in a recent article for Fabulous magazine. Check it out here.
I love Mallorca. Ever since my first visit to the island I’ve been bewitched – by its molten turquoise waters, its hidden coves and its delicious cuisine.
One of the best things about Mallorca though is that there are so many fantastic hotels. There’s no need to settle for ropey three-stars or disappointing Airbnbs here, this is an island that seems to be constantly working on somewhere new – and fabulous – to stay.
I recently rounded up the 20 best hotels in Mallorca (and Minorca) for the Times. Check out what made the cut here.
On my first trip to Australia I almost didn’t visit Western Australia. I had all of the usual hot spots on my checklist, from the Sydney Opera House to the Great Barrier Reef, but nothing out west appealed. It seemed that it was a part I could skip. And lots of visitors agree.
Fortunately, though, my husband didn’t, so we did head west, and I promptly fell head over sandy heels for the place. Now I rarely visit Australia without some time in WA, as the locals call it, and some of my favourite memories are of its beaches and dirt roads.
To find out where my very favourite spots are, check out my feature in today’s Times.
My favourite country in the world is Scotland. I love it so much that I have made it the subject of my first book, which I am currently writing.
As part of my research I have travelled the length and breadth of the country and along the way have discovered dozens of new favourite weekend break destinations.
So I was delighted to write about one of them, the fabulous East Neuk of Fife for the Times. My article was in the newspaper today and can be read online here: Weekend in the East Neuk of Fife.
The first country I ever visited was Spain, on a school trip in the 1990s. Little did I know then that this was the beginning of a love affair, with the country as well as with telling people about my very favourite secret spots there.
I travel to Spain multiple times each year and always find something new. I am still discovering new quiet corners and new stories to tell, so I was delighted to be asked to compile my top 50 holidays to Spain for 2018 for the Times.
Find out what made the cut here, and feel free to get in touch with any of your favourites – I’m always on the lookout for new angles on my favourite European country.
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.
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.