Iain Sinclair, the London novelist and poet, is always on the move.
When Julia Blackburn and her Dutch husband Herman move into an old village house perched on a cliff high above the Italian Ligurian Riviera they become part of a dwindling community in a landscape of forests and deserted villages with roofless ruins almost swallowed up by the riotous undergrowth.
‘Choose your companions’, says an early Arab proverb, ‘thereafter your road.’ In the 1970s, Hugh Leach’s companion on his travels to Northern Yemen was Freya Stark, and she has become his companion again, in this affectionate hommage of photographs and short, scholarly texts.
Hundreds of thousands of hardy souls are preparing for a few nights under canvas this summer, often facing sunburn or trench foot while giddily jumping up and down in a muddy field as bands maul their better-known hits.
When I compiled a list of the top dozen travel writers of the past century for an American magazine the other day, it required some effort not to come up with an entirely British cast.
Many moons ago when I went to Sissinghurst to ask Nigel Nicolson (late of this parish) if I could write about his mother, Vita Sackville-West, he raised his hands, and eyebrows, in horror, ‘Oh! Not another book about my mother!’ These two titles on Italian gardens may provoke a similar reaction, for there has been a recent run of revisiting via Charles Latham’s vintage Country Life photographs, Edith Wharton’s Edwardian musings and Georgina Masson’s 1961 classic, now revived.
Christopher Howse describes Spain as ‘the strangest place with which Westerners can easily identify’.
If you drive West out of Carmarthen on the A40, you pass through a landscape of dimpled hills and lonely chapels and little rivers full of salmon trout.
For Peter Ackroyd, the subterranean world holds a potent allure.
It’s nice to know that the trees lining the roads in Paris have microchips embedded in their trunks, that the city council is controlling the pigeon population by shaking the eggs to make them infertile and that the Café Voisin served elephant consommé during the 1870 siege.
This is a book which is sometimes so private that reading it seems very nearly like an act of invasiveness.
There are among us a churlish few who consider the term ‘sports personality’ to be an oxymoron.
For centuries, the history of the far North was a tapestry of controversies and mis- understandings, misspellings, dubious arrivals and equally dubious departures.
With its vast areas of barely explored wilderness, and its heady mix of the sublime, the bizarre and the lushly seductive, South America would appear to have all the ingredients to attract the travel writer.
In the late 1960s I grew up in the London borough of Greenwich, which in those days had a shabby, post-industrial edge.
The unification of Italy 150 years ago was a terrible mistake, according to David Gilmour, imposing a national state on a diverse collection of people with little sense of patria. But Barry Unsworth thinks it’s too early to cry failure
Charles Allen is impressed by an arduous journey that is both a pilgrimage and a way of mourning lost relatives
The Ottoman Empire inspired great travel books as well as great architects. Travellers like George Sandys, Richard Pococke or the Chevalier d’Arvieux in the 17th and 18th centuries were curious, erudite and less arrogant than their 19th-century successors.
David Gilmour enjoys an idiosyncratic journey around this vast country of sometimes unbearable contrasts
The Oxus, that vast central Asian river that rises somewhere in the Afghan Pamirs, has fascinated explorers for centuries. Its…
Harry Mount looks across the Dardanelles and sees yesterday’s weather today
Apart from knowing your onions, you should be widely travelled, and preferably artistic, to cut the mustard these days, Fay Maschler suspects
Some travel writers, in an attempt to simulate the hardship of Victorian journeys, like to impose artificial difficulties on themselves.
Before tourism came travel; and before travel, exploration.
A few minutes’ walk from Paddington Station is a drinking den and restaurant called the Frontline Club, a members’ club for foreign correspondents.