Notes on…

A sniff of the ancient world: Fez’s tanneries

A walk through Fez is the closest thing to visiting ancient Rome

14 February 2015 9:00 am

Fez is one of the seven medieval wonders of the world. An intact Islamic city defined by its circuit of…

Calm and colourful: Burano

How to walk along canals in Venice without feeling like a tourist

7 February 2015 9:00 am

I arrived in Venice believing it would reek of sewage. It didn’t. The walk into the centre went through cobbled…

Decades in the making: Glasgow School of Art

The long ordeal of Mackintosh’s Glasgow School of Art

31 January 2015 9:00 am

I was working on the final edit of my book — a fictionalised account of the year Charles Rennie Mackintosh…

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

On the Yeats trail in Galway

24 January 2015 9:00 am

The Go Galway bus from Dublin sounds an unlikely pleasure, but it is both comfortable and punctual. There is free…

Beauty and exhilaration: hunting in Norfolk

The sheer joy of hunting

17 January 2015 9:00 am

This time three years ago, I hadn’t jumped a single thing for almost ten years. This season, I am happily…

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 9:00 am

Every day the Isle of Wight becomes England’s smallest county: when-ever the tide comes in, the island steals the crown…

The parks are empty and the landscapes are yours

If you want a real safari, head to Botswana

3 January 2015 9:00 am

As a boy camping with my father on safaris deep in the African bush, there were no tents involved; we…

The aurora: you really have to see it for yourself

The Northern Lights

13 December 2014 9:00 am

Getting here took a long time. First a flight to Seattle, then a connection to Fairbanks, followed by a coach…

‘The plan was to pour the apple juice into an oak hogshead, freshly emptied of its whisky’

The birth of a barrel of cider

6 December 2014 9:00 am

The fabulous October weather is now just a memory but it made for a golden, old-fashioned apple day down in…

Grande dame: the Grand Hotel Stockholm as seen from the Palace

A cure for Christmas stress in Sweden

29 November 2014 9:00 am

We’ve all been there, I’m sure. You work your pan off to get everything done in time. You count down…

Three glamorous guests, 1921

A miracle: French hotels actually like dogs

22 November 2014 9:00 am

The first time I checked in to a French hotel with a golden retriever — his name was Gregory, predecessor…

A port and a fort: Valletta

Malta's military marvels

15 November 2014 9:00 am

Fate occasionally leads travellers to places they had never planned to visit. Into this category, for me, fell Malta. I…

Ski helmets: everyone’s doing it now

The Schumacher effect: ski helmets and the grim power of celebrity

8 November 2014 9:00 am

For a melancholy example of the power of celebrity, head to the Alps. Since Michael Schumacher’s accident last December in…

Rock of ages: three centuries of British occupation

Why Gibraltar needs its hunt back

1 November 2014 9:00 am

The British overseas territory of Gibraltar, or, as some would have it, the wart on the bottom of the Iberian…

‘A home for fallen buildings’: Portmeirion

Why I'll never want to escape Portmeirion

25 October 2014 9:00 am

My husband and I stay for a week most summers in Portmeirion, the strangest and loveliest ‘village’ in the world.…

Quiet, quaint and understated: Cobblers Cove

Chasing the shadows of slavery in Barbados

18 October 2014 9:00 am

Driving up the west coast, from Bridge-town to Speightstown, you soon see why people around here call this the Platinum…

Knockout lemon sorbet: Gelateria Bonaparte

Napoleon's birthplace feels more Italian than French

11 October 2014 9:00 am

Napoleon’s birthplace, Casa Buona-parte, in Ajaccio, Corsica’s capital, is pretty grand. It has high ceilings, generous, silk-lined rooms and a…

A police horse guards Buckingham Palace, 1937

The lost horses of London

4 October 2014 9:00 am

The days when horses and humans lived cheek by jowl in the capital are unarguably over. Brewers’ drays have disappeared,…

Barbara Hepworth’s St Ives garden

Artists’ houses

27 September 2014 8:00 am

I’m not sure what took me to Salvador Dalí’s house in Port Lligat, but it sure as hell wasn’t admiration.…

Deal: a zoo of domestic architectural styles

Drunkenness, theft, fighting and smuggling: the indiscreet charm of Deal

20 September 2014 9:00 am

However the sand got into Sandwich, it did Deal a big favour. As the Cinque Port’s harbour silted up from…

A perfectionist at work, 1937

The perfectionist builder I always wanted

13 September 2014 9:00 am

I have a friend who is perhaps best described by that old-fashioned phrase ‘ladies’ man’. He’s not a cad or…

Sicily’s answer to the Cotswolds: Ragusa

Sicily – notes from a large island

6 September 2014 9:00 am

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that Sicily is anything like the Isle of Wight: it’s 70 times the size,…

It was unlike any whisky any of them had tasted…

The quest for the perfect malt

30 August 2014 9:00 am

It was poker night. Five yuppies crammed round a table in a room at the back of a south London…

The Plaza de España at dusk

Seville: a city to get lost in

23 August 2014 9:00 am

On our second night in Seville we got lost. We’d been to a flamenco concert, my first, a little way…

Activity break: Nira Alpina also offers kite-surfing

Nira Alpina, St Moritz: A cool Alpine hotel that's perfect for the under-tens

16 August 2014 9:00 am

It’s a terrible moment, the realisation that you’ve spawned a monster. Parenthood, it becomes clear, has wiped stylish holidays off…