Travel

Going coastal: 15 best sea views in England

From brooding cliffs to storybook villages, we bring you a curated list of the best sea views in England For a long time, Peter and I were ambivalent about the British staycation. For us, getting on a flight marked the start of a proper getaway. But then, a series of local trips began to change our minds. There was Clovelly, a picturesque fishing village on the north coast of Devon; Langley Castle in Northumberland; walking with my sister in the Chiltern Hills; and, for Peter, hiking the coast to coast and the South West Coast Path. These trips turned out to be some of our most memorable. Over time, we learnt to love the staycation, not least because they’re better for the environment, more affordable and usually less challenging in terms of logistics (language, customs and so on). Thankfu...

Useful travel gadgets: what we’re using in 2022

From practical solutions for everyday problems to highbrow electronics for luxury on the road, here are our favoured useful travel gadgets of 2022 The modern traveller rarely leaves home without a range of gadgets and accessories. Despite years of travel and streamlining my gear, I still pack a healthy number of gadgets. Unless I’m going completely off-grid, there are certain (usually electronic) luxuries I don’t want to be without. I want to take thousands of photographs, listen to music, watch a movie, stay in touch with my family and most importantly of all, keep track of England’s latest batting collapse (a form of self-harm I’m sure). Therefore, the following useful travel gadgets are a mix of what I won’t travel without and what’s on my wish list for 2020. 1. World travel adapter kit...

8 essentials for safe travel

From avoiding stomach bugs to securing valuables, these essentials for safe travel will stop long trips playing havoc with your health Having five sisters as I do is wonderful. On your travels, you get lots of messages checking on your whereabouts and well-being. And then you get some more messages. And then you get some more. Soon, this turns into real-time updates of potential hazards in a 6,000-mile radius. “You’re camping on a beach in Fiji? Did you hear about the couple who got hurt on a beach in Thailand?” “Didn’t you just leave Vanuatu? There’s an earthquake there now.” “You’re in Chile? What about that huge volcano?” Of course, it’s natural to worry about loved ones when they’re away. Occasionally, that worry is warranted.  To help set minds at ea...

How to claim compensation for flight delays

Recent travel chaos has left many out of pocket, but you might be entitled to compensation for flight delays It was 8pm Jordanian time in October 2013 when we were told that our flight was being delayed by another two and a half hours. The tiny dinner box with a dry cheese sandwich and limp croissant was little compensation for the fact that we were going to miss the last train out of London Heathrow, meaning we’d have to spend £50 on a cab. Just great. We grumbled and we groaned and resigned ourselves to the extra expense. It was only a few months later when talking to a friend that we discovered we were entitled to compensation – a whole £420 between us. Kollawat Somsri/Shutterstock Recent travel chaos has left many passengers out of pocket Fast-forward nearly 10 years and we’re en ...

10 tips for buying annual travel insurance

A comprehensive guide to buying annual travel insurance including what to look out for, the pitfalls to avoid and the questions to ask Back in 2014, British adrenaline junkie Ben Cornick jumped out of a plane in Fiji at 12,000 feet. There was no way to know at the moment he leapt out of the aircraft that his parachute wouldn’t work properly and that he would plummet to Earth, breaking his leg in three places and shattering his elbow. It gets worse: Ben hadn’t bought travel insurance and had to pay £20,000 upfront for treatment to save his leg. His parents pulled together their life savings and readied to sell their house. ViktorKozlov/Shutterstock Skydiving is risky But then there was an unlikely twist: following media coverage of Ben’s predicament, complete strangers donated money to pay ...

Kraków Old Town: a DIY walking tour

Kraków Old Town is best explored on a DIY walking tour. Here we share our tried-and-tested route for exploring Poland’s glorious former capital Kraków was Poland’s only major city to escape World War II virtually undamaged. Since then, the assembly of monuments and architecture that makes up its Old Town was quite rightly celebrated by UNESCO as one of the 12 original World Heritage sites first listed in 1978. The Old Town effortlessly fuses European architectural styles – including Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, baroque and art nouveau – with a jumble of narrow cobbled streets, elaborate churches and palaces, and grand medieval sights. Add in delicious food, heavenly gelato and endless cocktails in Europe’s largest medieval town square and the result is simply exquisite. We spent three ...

Visiting Auschwitz from Kraków: a sobering journey

Kia reflects on a visit to Auschwitz from Kraków and defends what some dismiss as problematic tourism The famous gates of Auschwitz are startling, not because they’re sinister or imposing but the very opposite. Usually depicted in black and white, these gates have featured in myriad Holocaust films and documentaries. Today, however, they’re not in menacing monochrome or veiled in evocative fog. Rather, they’re bathed in sunlight with a blazing blue sky behind. Inside, there is a symmetry of pretty trees. By the time I arrive at the neat brick buildings, I am thoroughly disoriented. This is not the picture I expected. Instead of squat grey concrete, this could pass for a retirement home – a fact I note uneasily.  Atlas & Boots Trees flank the red brick buildings of Auschwitz The te...

11 things to do in Gauja National Park, Latvia

From hiking along precipitous escarpments to exploring ancient caves, we share the best things to do in Gauja National Park, Latvia Over half of Latvia is covered in forest with northern Latvia and particularly the Gauja Valley home to some of the country’s most stunning arboreal scenes. I spent a few days exploring Gauja National Park, the country’s oldest protected area, and found an adventure playground ideal for outdoor enthusiasts. Established in 1973 with the purpose of protecting the nation’s most cherished natural landscape, Gauja National Park encompasses swathes of pristine forested wilderness disturbed only by the lethargic flow of the Gauja River and the ancient sandstone cliffs lining its banks. As well as picturesque scenery, the park offers a range of engaging activities thr...

Bogshoeing in Latvia: silly but outrageously good fun

Bogshoeing in Latvia? Nope, we hadn’t heard of it either. But the wetlands of Ķemeri National Park are more than a bog-standard destination It’s a cliché I know, but travel never ceases to surprise me. I’ve hiked all over the world – from high-altitude treks in Nepal and Pakistan to remote expeditions in Greenland and Norway – so when I was invited to the tiny Baltic nation of Latvia with its highest point just 312m (1,024ft) above sea level, I wasn’t expecting to find much in the way of expansive wilderness. But, despite its size, Latvia devotes a substantial amount of space to nature and outdoor pursuits. My itinerary included a morning in the swamps of Ķemeri National Park located around 40km (25mi) from the capital, Riga. Throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, Ķemeri, known for ...

Gorilla trekking tips: what to know before you go

These essential gorilla trekking tips will help you get the most out of this extraordinary wildlife experience Found nowhere else in the wild on Earth and once on the verge of extinction, the mountain gorilla – a subspecies of the eastern gorilla – has seen a spectacular revival. A series of conservation measures involving local communities has led to one of Africa’s greatest conservation success stories. Though still classified as endangered, today there are more than 1,000 mountain gorillas roaming the jungles of Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo, up from around 480 in 2010. Just over half reside in the Virunga Mountains, the range of eight extinct volcanoes spanning the borders of southern Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo. The rest can be found in Uganda’s epically named Bwindi...

10 most visited countries in the world

We profile some usual suspects plus one or two surprises in the top 10 most visited countries in the world Have you dreamed of a romantic kiss atop the Eiffel Tower? Perhaps you’ve thrown a wish into the Trevi Fountain or stopped and stared at the Sistine Chapel. If so, you’re certainly not alone. According to the last available pre-pandemic figures, France and Italy are two of the most visited countries in the world. Together with the rest of the top 10, they make up a whopping 41% of global tourist arrivals (i.e. overnight visitors). Here’s the complete list of the most visited countries in the world. 10 most visited countries in the world The below figures come from the 2020 edition of the UNWTO’s International Tourism Highlights report. 1. France      &nbs...

Back to Baros: what happened when we returned to our island paradise

Should you try to recreate a perfect trip or is it better left alone as a memory? When my editor at Asian Woman Magazine sent me on a trip to the Maldives, I couldn’t quite believe it. A week at the luxury private island of Baros with flights, accommodation and all excursions paid for seemed thoroughly fantastical. What’s more, I was told to bring my boyfriend on this would-be honeymoon. This was back in 2012 and while Peter and I had been to Italy, Iceland and Cambodia together, there was nowhere quite so idyllic. With sky-high expectations, we flew out to Malé, the capital of the Maldives, and caught a private speedboat to the island of Baros. PR image The idyllic island of Baros Maldives The trip was predictably perfect. We dined on a private sandbank, sailed with dolphins, guzzled cham...