It's December. The air temperature is 6°C and the water is about 10°C. I'm swimming in the sea under a clear blue sky, enjoying the warmth of the sun on my face. Although the cold water stings my legs and arms, being in the sea is bliss. It's invigorating and...
The benefits and risks of cold water swimming (and why I love the Bluetit Chill Swimmers)
Earlier this year I started swimming with a local group of cold water swimmers known as the Bluetits. I’m hooked! But what are the benefits (and risks) of cold water swimming?
Summer in Alpbach, the prettiest village in Austria
As I pass one picturesque wooden chalet after another, each one overflowing with red geraniums, I feel as if I’ve been transported into the pages of a fairy-tale picture book. Alpbach is said to be the prettiest village in Austria but, as I discovered on a recent trip...
Top 20 plus things to do in the Algarve
Dramatic coastal walks, never-ending sandy beaches, fabulous food and wine, friendly locals, historic towns and villages, not to mention reasonable prices, it's small wonder that Portugal, and in particular the Algarve, is a favourite holiday destination with us...
Ispica, getting off the beaten track in Sicily
Exploring Ispica, Sicily, one of the stunning late Baroque towns in the Val di Noto and home to the beautiful frescos of the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore.
Top 10 things to do in London at Christmas
Famous department stores decorated in festive bling, twinkling lights draped above the streets as bright red double-decker buses pass by and sparkling Christmas trees of every size are plentiful. Wine is mulling, chestnuts are roasting and a rosy-cheeked, white-bearded Santa seems to be everywhere at once — how does he do that? — there really is no place like London at Christmas.
Top 12 things to do in The Gambia on a budget
This wonderful West African country is a fascinating place to explore with golden sandy beaches, year-round hot weather, colourful culture and friendly English speaking locals. Here’s my guide of the best things to do, plus my tips for how to get around, what to pack and more.
24 hours in the New Forest and a stay at the historic Bell Inn
As a small herd of donkeys cross the road in front of us we stop the car. I wind down my window and as the group wanders by, one sticks it head in to say hello. We’re nose-to-nose. He’s completely unfazed by our giggling and cooing but soon moves on when he realises...
40 top tips for first-time visitors to Japan
From translating Japanese menus to using public transport, never blowing your nose in public to navigating your way around a high-tech toilet, here are 37 top tips that I’m sure will be invaluable to anyone travelling to Japan for the first time.
Where and what to eat in Italy
From artisan gelato to fresh homemade pasta, Italian cuisine is renowned the world over, but beyond the pizza, pasta, and ice cream, there’s a never-ending gastronomic journey to discover including superb cheeses, succulent roasts and legendary desserts. Here’s my top ten favourite things to eat in Italy.
Join a Cotswolds Mystery Tour and discover quintessential England
Travel from grey London to the villages of the quintessentially English countryside on The Cotswolds Mystery Tour, and prepare to be enchanted.
Chocolates, gin and seaweed on a fabulous Belfast Food Tour
Seaweed, green tea and treacle bread; chocolate, cider and gin – what more could you want? I tasted all of these and more on a glorious Belfast Food Tour.
Where and What to Eat and Drink in Aruba
The food in Aruba caught me a little by surprise. It wasn't simply good, it was superb, with a wide range of cultural influences. I was lucky enough to be there in October when the island celebrates 'Eat Local Aruba Restaurant Month' and many places had additional...
Top 15 things to see, do and eat in Eastbourne
From its stunning Victorian pier and art deco bandstand to the cosmopolitan marina complex, an award winning contemporary art gallery or fabulous cliff top walks, there’s no end of things to see and do in Eastbourne.
The Best Things to See and Do, Eat and Drink in Belfast
From the magnificent Titanic Experience to fabulous traditional live music and some seriously good food, beer, whiskey and of course Guinness, there are plenty of reasons to visit Belfast, one of my favourite European cities.
The Magic of Paris at Christmas
Christmas markets a plenty, department stores dripping in festive bling and avenues of trees sparkling with fairy lights – these images and more swam in my head as I boarded the Eurostar train at St Pancras Station in London. A little more than two hours later I was in Paris. Why? To photograph the City of Lights at Christmas.
Top 15 Things to See, Do and Eat on Santorini
For many years I had dreamed of going to Santorini, from what I had seen it seemed like the most photogenic island in the world. I too wanted to capture iconic 'picture postcard' images of Santorini, the kind that would look at home in a travel magazine or the glossy...
Photographing the Red Squirrels of Brownsea Island
Sitting on a log in the dappled sunshine I catch a glimpse of rust dashing passed out the corner of my eye. The next moment he’s right there beside me, just a foot or so away. It’s such a joy to finally see one of the many red squirrels that Brownsea Island is famous for.
A memorable night glamping by Lake Bled
Glamping by Lake Bled at the foot of the Julian Alps, in cosy wooden huts, each with their own hot tub. The perfect setting for a romantic break for two and my favourite place to stay in Slovenia.
Where and what to eat in Victoria, British Columbia
Giant waffles, served with bacon, berries and lashings of maple syrup. Just the thought of it now has me nearly dribbling over my laptop (sorry). Sadly I had food envy as my eggs faded in comparison to the delight on a plate that my fellow blogger was devouring. A week of eating like this though would really flummox my fight against the pounds. The food in Canada, however, was so very good throughout that the battle was lost before it had begun. And I indulged… a lot.