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.
One of the countries I specialise in (and write part of the Rough Guide to) is Spain, and so I try to keep my finger on the pulse when it comes to new developments.
One of the most exciting for this year is the opening of Castellon-Costa Azahar airport, with direct flights from the UK starting up with Ryanair in September. These new flights will make Castellon, as well as the largely unknown (outside Spain) Costa del Azahar, more easily accessible to British visitors. So I went to see what the area had to offer, for the Times.
Tenerife is one of my favourite islands, but it is a destination that is greatly misunderstood. Yes, you can just fly here and flop, or party hard in the clubs of Playa de las Americas, but that it not the island I know and love.
Mine is one of verdant rainforest and lunar landscapes, of black sand beaches, volcanic rock pools and gorgeous ancient towns. And now thanks to a new direct flight into the north of the island from Heathrow you could even see all this on a weekend break.
Read my piece on Tenerife’s northern side for the Times to find out how.
I’ve been to Cyprus many times, but every time I return I continue to be surprised by how much this beautiful Mediterranean island has to offer.
And it’s not all about the beach, either. There’s some excellent hiking in the Troodos Mountains and the Akamas Peninsula, plenty of great food and wine, a fascinating culture that is a unique blend of east and west and a shy retiring creature called a mouflon that once seen is never forgotten.
You can find out more about Cyprus’ beautiful interior in my piece for the Times.
I recently travelled to Spain to update the The Rough Guide to Spain (Rough Guide to…).
One area I visited was Aragon, the region home to Zaragoza and the Spanish Pyrenees. I wrote an article on this area for the Times, which you can read here.
As part of a trip around Croatia and Slovenia this summer, I was introduced by fellow travel journalist Robin McKelvie and tourist office supremo Petra Stusek to the lovely city of Ljubljana.
I fell in love with the place immediately. Chocolate box architecture, gourmet food, pedestrianised streets – it seemed like the perfect city break destination.
And so I wrote about it for the Times. Read my article on a weekend in Ljubljana here.