Tag Archives: travel

IMG_7892

Cyprus: Times supplement

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.

TimesSponCyprus

Greenock's Custom House Quay

Glasgow 2014 flotilla: in pictures

I’ve arrived in Glasgow many times but never before to waving, cheering crowds. The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games have brought people out in their thousands to watch events both ticketed and free – and to launch it all, on Saturday July 26th 250 boats sailed up the Clyde from Greenock to the Glasgow Science Centre.

I was lucky enough to be one of the guests onboard CalMac‘s MV Lochinvar, which led this flotilla – the largest ever seen on the Clyde – up the water from Greenock. The MV Lochinvar is CalMac’s newest vessel and was built at Ferguson’s Shipyard in Port Glasgow – which we would sail past on our voyage. It is also one of the ferry company’s two hybrid ferries, which use innovative technology, including battery banks that supply a minimum of 20% of the energy consumed on board.

We set out from Gourock to join the flotilla, departing from this scenic town at the mouth of the Clyde and making our way up the river that was once the heart of Scotland’s shipbuilding industry. I was expecting heavy industry but instead saw geological anomalies, such as Dumbarton Rock, a fortress that has a longer recorded history than any other in Britain, the grand neoclassical Custom House at Greenock quayside, and thousands of flag-waving locals lining the river’s banks.

Here are just some of the many pictures I took along the way.

 

The MV Lochinvar at Gourock
The MV Lochinvar at Gourock
Leaving Gourock
Leaving Gourock
Arriving at Greenock to join the flotilla
Arriving at Greenock to join the flotilla
Greenock's Custom House Quay
Greenock’s Custom House Quay
An empty car deck aboard MV Lochinvar
An empty car deck aboard MV Lochinvar
Keeping watch from the bridge of MV Lochinvar
Keeping watch from the bridge of MV Lochinvar
Dumbarton Rock
Dumbarton Rock
The MV Lochinvar passes Dumbarton Rock
The MV Lochinvar passes Dumbarton Rock flo
Leading the flotilla up the Clyde to Glasgow
Leading the flotilla up the Clyde to Glasgow
Passing Erskine Bridge
Passing Erskine Bridge
The flotilla passes underneath Erskine Bridge
The flotilla passes underneath Erskine Bridge
A plane flies overhead as we near Glasgow airport
A plane flies overhead as we near Glasgow airport
The flotilla nears Glasgow
The flotilla nears Glasgow
The BAE shipyard, where the nation's new aircraft carriers were recently built
The BAE shipyard, where the nation’s new aircraft carriers were recently built

IMG_2907

Greeting the crowds as we enter Glasgow
Greeting the crowds as we enter Glasgow
Hundreds of spectators lined the waterfront at the Glasgow Science Centre
Hundreds of spectators lined the waterfront at the Glasgow Science Centre
Greeting the crowds at our final destination, the Glasgow Science Centre
Greeting the crowds at our final destination, the Glasgow Science Centre
The yachts finish their journey at Pacific Quay
The yachts finish their journey at Pacific Quay

St Kilda

St Kilda: the islands on the edge of the world

I have just returned from my most epic trip of the year so far – sailing out to the UK’s most isolated islands, the St Kilda archipelago with Hebrides Cruises.

Just reaching these abandoned islands is a feat in itself. Read all about my journey through three days of Atlantic waters and Hebridean islands to reach land on Hirta here.

I was also lucky enough to spend a full day walking on Hirta. Read my article on this here.

Google

Cape Greco Cyprus

Alternative Ayia Napa: my piece for the Guardian

Ayia Napa doesn’t exactly spring to mind when you think of relaxing beach breaks but this resort on the eastern end of Cyprus is popular for a reason – it has some cracking beaches. I headed out to Cape Greco, just outside the town, to explore this rarely visited rugged cape on the edge of Europe.

You can read my article on discovering Cape Greco on the Guardian website here.

 

Google