I’ve been around the globe many times, but the islands of Britain and Ireland remain my favourite place – bar none.
Epic castles, sweeping beaches, eccentric villages and pubs packed with character (and characters) – what more could you ask for?
Check out my guides to the best of the UK and Ireland for Skyscanner to get the best out of your next trip around these endlessly fascinating isles:
Top 10 UK villages
Top 10 UK castles
Top 10 Irish beaches
Top 10 UK walking routes
London’s best restaurants with a view
More to follow…
Want to stay somewhere with a bit of character? England is full of accommodation options that are so much more than mere hotel. Here glamping (glamorous camping) has become an art form, with sites offering everything from luxury tents to hot tubs under the stars, and hotels have had to up their game to compete, building ever more bizarre buildings in their grounds and dialing up the quirky factor on everything from room design to dress code.
But some miss the mark. Some are eccentric for the sake of being eccentric. Others fall down too much on the side of camping, holding back too much on the glam, while others simply don’t try hard enough to be different.
Be sure of a truly eccentric English experience by heading southwest, to holiday favourites Hampshire, Devon and Cornwall, and checking in to one of my top picks, reviewed for About.com here.
I love the UK. Despite travelling to dozens of countries every year I always enjoy travelling around our islands the most. There is no place like home, after all – especially when that home is full of beautiful, unspoiled secrets.
Yes, much of the UK has been well and truly discovered, but there are still plenty of hidden corners and unsung isles. I unveiled some of my favourites for Rough Guides recently. Read my feature on the best 8 unknown UK islands to discover a few more of the British Isles’ secrets.
I grew up in a small town in Wiltshire called Devizes, a little-visited place that has far more to offer than it might first appear. There’s a brewery for a start. And a canal with one of the world’s longest lock flights. Plus an ancient market square and a museum that is a world leader in Bronze Age exhibits.
I have been lucky enough to write about my hometown several times now and most recently had a feature published in the Guardian to coincide with the town’s very first boutique hotel, The Peppermill, opening.
Read this feature on the Guardian website.
Many thanks to Visit Wiltshire for assisting with this trip.
I love travelling in Britain – and I especially love a road trip. So I was delighted to be asked to offer some of my best itineraries and tips to the Guardian, for their Open Road project, in associated with Enterprise.
I gave my thoughts on everything from the best picnic spots and the quirkiest places to stay to the ideal road trips for golfers and the best way to explore the Scottish Highlands.
Read my recommendations at the links below:
Top ten picnic spots
Top ten scenic drives
Top ten quirky places to stay
Britain’s best beaches
The best itineraries:
For bargain hunters
Driving the Pennine Way
Driving the Causeway coastal route
Along the way:
Best road trip playlists
Best boredom busters
Best child-friendly pit stops
I grew up in Wiltshire and school trips were always to Avebury. I thought that everyone knew about this large but unassuming stone circle amid the rolling plains and corn fields of my home county, but when I left for London it turned out I was wrong.
Because most people ignore this prehistoric site in favour of its far more famous sibling, just up the road. Yes, I blame Stonehenge, with its glitzy new visitor centre and unmissable location next to the A303.
I love Stonehenge but allow me to sell Avebury to you as well. Check out my blog for Cool Places on the stone circle and the other amazing prehistoric sites that lie nearby.
I have recently starting working with Active Traveller, writing pieces for both their print magazine and the website.
Read my article on climbing Mount Teide or on via ferrata in Yorkshire and look out for more soon.