Travelrss

Old mill boards and sea-green slates: Yeats’s tower

On the Yeats trail in Galway

24 January 2015

The Go Galway bus from Dublin sounds an unlikely pleasure, but it is both comfortable and punctual. There is free Wi-Fi if you want it, but it would be criminal… Read more

24 January 2015

Q. A neighbour is hosting a party for his daughter’s 21st birthday. Adequate provision has been made for anyone who wants to sleep over but I won’t be taking up… Read more

100095635

Good news! The eurozone is now strong enough to split

10 January 2015

Ever since European Central Bank president Mario Draghi declared himself ready, in July 2012, ‘to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro’, the likely disintegration of the single currency… Read more

Winter Hits Germany

The charming little airport that ruins thousands of holidays

10 January 2015

Horror films occasionally use the device of the deceptive idyll. An apparently restful place — a clearing in the woods, a pretty cottage — is the site of a fiendish… Read more

Incredible shrinking county: the tides at Freshwater Bay

A museum of dirty postcards and Britain’s coolest bulldog: visit the strange side of the Isle of Wight

10 January 2015

Every day the Isle of Wight becomes England’s smallest county: when-ever the tide comes in, the island steals the crown from Rutland, if only for a few hours. Taking the… Read more

p41-new-pic

Onsen: dive into another side of Japan

3 January 2015

I’m hovering starkers beside a hot spring, or onsen, in a faded resort in southern Japan, while the Japanese grandmother standing naked next to me explains the form for the… Read more

p42-horse-picture

The beautiful Balkans on horseback

3 January 2015

My husband and I decide we are up for a horse-riding adventure. We’ve done a few and have realised it’s the only way to travel: the truest way to experience… Read more

maldives

My perfect island – and the posher one next door

3 January 2015

The Republic of Maldives is the lowest country in the world and has the highest divorce rate. Is there correlation between altitude and fidelity, I wonder? Male, the capital, is… Read more

Dallas’s art deco Fair Park

Dallas, city of culture

3 January 2015

When George W. Bush was outed as an artist, after a computer hacker uncovered his nude self-portraits, jaws dropped around the world. Could Cowboy George, a man whom even Kim… Read more

Johannesburg: a city trying hard to revamp its image

Low life’s Limpopo legend

3 January 2015

‘You’ve got a lot to live up to,’ said the ranger. ‘The last Spectator journalist who stayed here was Jeremy Clarke. He made quite the impression.’ Like some sort of… Read more

The parks are empty and the landscapes are yours

If you want a real safari, head to Botswana

3 January 2015

As a boy camping with my father on safaris deep in the African bush, there were no tents involved; we just slept by the fire like cowboys in the open… Read more

Photo: David Benett/Getty

Joan Collins

13 December 2014

Every year Christmas comes earlier and earlier in America. Cards, baubles and imitation trees were being sold in the big department stores in August, and the street decorations have been… Read more

Bridge on the 3,798-metre-high Baroghil Pass, leading from Badakhshan in Afghanistan to northern Pakistan

The powerful steppe empires of Central Asia were bound together by silken thread

13 December 2014
The History of Central Asia, Volume II: The Age of the Silk Roads Christoph Baumer

I.B. Tauris, pp.398, £25, ISBN: 9781780768328

It is difficult to fault this remarkable volume. The publishers have created a book of quality with stunning illustrations and lucid maps. It will, I believe, become a standard reference… Read more

northstar

Fortune tellers, pound shops and Orville: why I love Blackpool

13 December 2014

‘Jesus is the light of the world,’ reads the sign outside Blackpool’s Central Methodist Church, but all along the promenade the lights are going out. I’d returned to my favourite… Read more

The Old Coastguard

The hotels trying to turn Cornwall into Kensington

29 November 2014

Mousehole is a charming name; it is almost a charming place. It is a fishing village on Mount’s Bay, Cornwall, beyond the railway line, which stops at Penzance, in an… Read more

Three glamorous guests, 1921

A miracle: French hotels actually like dogs

22 November 2014

The first time I checked in to a French hotel with a golden retriever — his name was Gregory, predecessor of the incumbent Douglas — I left him, clearly unhappy,… Read more

A Man Reads A Newspaper

What you’re missing now that you don’t read this in print

15 November 2014

The internet is a frighteningly efficient place for hunter-gathering – but the pleasures of undirected browsing are harder to find online

Mummy Exhibition Opens At The Art Science Museum

A buffet in an Egyptian tomb

15 November 2014

Atlantico is a vast buffet inside the Lopesan Costa Meloneras Resort Spa and Casino in Gran Canaria. The Lopesan Costa Melonoras Resort Spa and Casino — or, as I will… Read more

negroni

The one economic indicator that never stops rising: meet the Negroni Index

25 October 2014

This dispatch comes to you from Venice — where I arrived at sunset on the Orient Express. More of that journey on another occasion, I hope. Suffice to say that… Read more

Laos

Discover the blissful peace of Laos

25 October 2014

There’s a company I came across the other day called Value Added Travel. And despite the horrible name, it seems to be doing good business — which got me thinking.… Read more

Beauty in ruins: the Temple of Isis on Delos

Visiting the Greek islands in a reverse Tardis

25 October 2014

In Huddersfield, where I grew up, a town-centre department store boasted a ‘cruise wear’ section. In the window display the gentleman dummies wore deck shoes, starched white shorts and flannel… Read more

Jumbo-sized: the first of the Big Five makes an appearance

It takes an elephant to get my teenage son up early

25 October 2014

Having just turned 13, my boy Ferdy doesn’t really do early mornings. Indeed, during the summer hols we rarely glimpsed him before noon and then only fleetingly whenever he chose… Read more

Sea change: the old fishing town of Warnemünde has been transformed into an affluent resort

A voyage along my grandfather’s coastline

25 October 2014

My grandfather was born in a huge white house on the Baltic coast of eastern Germany, and ever since I was a child I’ve been fascinated by this enigmatic tideless… Read more

Riverside artwork: Jean-Luc Courcoult’s ‘La Maison dans la Loire’

Eight of the best river cruises

25 October 2014

While ocean liners are hardly butterflies, they have a habit of flitting carelessly between countries, often visiting several within a week. A river cruise, however, takes its (relatively few) passengers… Read more

newyork

Saratoga Springs: the opposite of a one-horse town

25 October 2014

In the sweltering heat of Manhattan, even the prairie plantings on the High Line looked dusty and tired. I usually steer clear of the city in summer, but this year… Read more