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The wonders of the Muslim world that my children will never get to see

1 August 2015

I celebrated Eid in a sandy bay in Sri Lanka, watching from the warm, shallow sea as gaggles of local Muslims in holiday mood sauntered past to congregate at the… Read more

Look homeward, angel: Glasgow Necropolis

The graveyard where old Glasgow lives on

1 August 2015

A wet walk in a Glaswegian graveyard might not be your idea of fun, but then you might not have spent the past two hours in the Glasgow Science Centre.… Read more

Please don’t faint: Florence at sunset

The first things you should do in Florence

25 July 2015

The British have always been in love with Florence. First visits cannot disappoint. One friend recalls being herded around as a schoolgirl, unexpectedly coming face to face with the replica… Read more

Colorful houses on the Burano, Venice

Venetian restaurants know I’m English from the back

25 July 2015

The Gatto Nero — or ‘Black Cat’ — is in Burano, a tiny island in the Venetian lagoon. It is close to ‘haunted’ Torcello, with its ancient campanile and its… Read more

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Susan Hill’s French notebook: My struggle to avoid local cuisine

11 July 2015

An overnight stop on the Ile de Ré taken between the St Malo ferry and the Quercy, where we always spend June, reminds one how closely French history lives entangled… Read more

Tides of wealth: Polzeath beach

Would Betjeman recognise anything about today’s north Cornwall?

11 July 2015

In a documentary filmed at the end of his life, Sir John Betjeman, who lived in the village of Trebetherick on the Camel estuary in north Cornwall, famously regretted not… Read more

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Let's fight terror - by holidaying in gorgeous, welcoming Tunisia

4 July 2015

Just as a pilgrimage to Mecca is a holy obligation for all Muslims, it should now be a patriotic duty for as many Brits as possible to holiday in Tunisia.… Read more

Brugge: best not to call it Bruges

Woe betide you if you try to speak French in Flanders

27 June 2015

Usually, one of the first indications that you’ve entered a bilingual country is that the road signs are in two languages. At least this is the case in Ireland or… Read more

‘Jeddah from the sea’— sketch by Thomas Machell in one of his journals

A Victorian sailor is the new love of my life

27 June 2015
Deeper than Indigo: Tracing Thomas Machell, Forgotten Explorer Jenny Balfour Paul

Medina Publishing, pp.322, 22.95, ISBN: 9781909339538

Jenny Balfour Paul is an indigo dye expert. She has written two books on the subject, and lectures around the world. A librarian alerted her to the mention of the… Read more

How very English: picnics at Glyndebourne

Country house picnics (with some ace opera attached)

20 June 2015

I stole a blanket last night. Rather a nice one, in fact. I feel bad about it, of course, but guilt is less inconvenient than pneumonia; and after trying to… Read more

A saltwater pool at Jake’s Hotel

Jamaica's literary side

13 June 2015

If you want a taste of Jamaica, log on to the website of the Gleaner and scroll through the headlines. Ian Fleming, who wrote the Bond books at his house… Read more

30 May 2015

Steam privatisation Cunard celebrated its 175th birthday by sailing three liners down the Mersey. The formation of the Cunard Line was an early triumph of privatisation. — The Post Office… Read more

Alpine joys in summer

You don’t have to be super-rich to enjoy St Moritz in summer

30 May 2015

Here’s a tip: when travelling to St Moritz, it’s best not to mention the name of your final destination to the airport porters, drivers or waiters that you encounter on… Read more

Kiev's  St. Sophia Cathedral

Calling all British tourists — Ukraine needs you!

23 May 2015

 Kiev ‘What the hell’s going to happen to your poor country?’ I ask the man in the flea market not far from St Sophia cathedral (Delingpole tourist rating: total must-see).… Read more

Guild houses in the Grote Markt, Antwerp

Antwerp: the compact, charming capital of a country that doesn’t quite exist yet

23 May 2015

Napoleon didn’t think much of Antwerp. ‘Scarcely a European city at all,’ he scoffed. If only he could see it today. Ten years ago, Antwerp felt provincial. Now it feels… Read more

A beautiful maze: Marseille’s Old Town

The pleasures of getting lost in Marseille

2 May 2015

If you haven’t been lost in Marseille then you can’t have been there. As Alexandre Dumas wrote, this is a place that is ‘always getting younger as it grows older’.… Read more

Møns Klint as painted by Claudia Massie

‘Was the baby naughty?’: Gory frescoes, spectacular cliffs and herring with a toddler in Denmark

18 April 2015

The sky over the island of Møn, which is at the bottom right of Denmark, was cobalt and the whitewashed walls of the Elmelunde church dazzled in the bright sunshine… Read more

Preparations are already under way

Introducing the first Spectator readers’ cruise

11 April 2015

It’s a complete recipe for disaster of course. By which I mean being trapped at sea with The Spectator’s ‘Low life’ correspondent for an entire week. That’s seven whole days.… Read more

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Why plane crashes are getting weirder – and if we’re lucky, other problems will too

11 April 2015

In the late 1980s, the parks service in the United States were concerned about the deterioration of the stonework on the Lincoln Memorial. So they asked the maintenance staff why… Read more

(Photo: Getty)

Airport wars: why I'm betting on Gatwick

4 April 2015

Easter is a good time to talk about airports — or perhaps a bad time, if you bought your Spectator in the shopping labyrinth that impedes your path to the… Read more

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Letter from Cuba: The tourists are coming – but don’t expect Walmart just yet

4 April 2015

Sloppy Joe’s — which starred in the film of Graham Greene’s Our Man in Havana — was always likely to wither on the post-revolution vine. As the decadent hangout of… Read more

The writing on the wall: some of the well-preserved hieroglyphs at Karnak

Tourists are trickling back to Egypt – to beat the crowds, go now

4 April 2015

Egypt’s revolution of 2011 didn’t just get rid of President Mubarak: it did a pretty good job of clearing out the tourists, too. The political uncertainty since then has made… Read more

Let there be light: Saint Peter’s at dawn

Rise early to see the Vatican at its best

28 March 2015

The sun has only just risen in Rome and we are standing bleary-eyed in a short queue outside the Vatican. Our guide, Tonia, takes us through security, and within minutes… Read more

The Ceremonial Funeral Of Former British Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher

Jeffrey Archer

14 March 2015

This last week, in India, I visited six cities in seven days: Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Calcutta and New Delhi. This is my 11th trip to India and from the… Read more

Manet would recognise it: the Jardin des Tuileries

Seeing Paris through Impressionist eyes

14 March 2015

The spectre of the Charlie Hebdo killings still hangs over Paris. Outside the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, opposite the Louvre, there’s a big poster of Cabu, one of the… Read more