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.
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.
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.
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.