In Search of the Scary Ghosts of London

Some people travel to England to learn English, to do business, to watch a West End play or a football game. Others travel to Britain to meet a ghost. Don’t laugh: this is big business. Owners of castles try to lure overseas visitors with a promise of a meeting with their dead ancestors, stately homes offer Ghost Hunts, and there is a host of specialized providers who can arrange a trip for you through various

In Search of the Scary Ghosts of London

Roman Walls, Cricket and a Poem – Three for One in Chichester

Chichester: Roman Walls, Cricket’s Babe Ruth and Philip Larkin I normally shy away from dishing out general travel advice, but here is one: rather than picking your destinations according to fashion and the dictates of the travel press, base your choice on expedience and opportunity.

If someone, for example, invites you for a job interview in a town or an area where you have never been, not only accept but also read about

Roman Walls, Cricket and a Poem – Three for One in Chichester

A Sporty Hike on the Hilltop Backcountry of the French Riviera

Once they were giants – Breil and the Roya River From the train, Breil-sur-Roya looks incongruously large and imposing, with its tree lined riverside avenue and two large churches in the centre of town.

Located in that part of the border country between France and Italy that is characterized by perched hilltop villages and their nervous huddles of buildings, Breil comes across not only as much bigger but also as much bolder, saying

A Sporty Hike on the Hilltop Backcountry of the French Riviera

The Surprise Package of the Italian Riviera

Savona All beautiful landscapes and areas have one ugly spot: one place where they concentrate all those warehouses, tyre vendors and utilities that they need – like everybody else – but prefer to keep out of sight.

And so, while the glittering towns and beauty spots get themselves ready for the ball (aka the annual tourist season): freshly painted and bejewelled with ancient sites and historic architecture, Cinderella quietly goes about the business

The Surprise Package of the Italian Riviera

The Funiculaire of San Romolo is No More

Sanremo and San Romolo: Once Conjoined Twins

Once upon a time, the remote hillside village of San Romolo was one of the Italian Riviera’s most popular daytrip destinations.

Mention its name to natives from Sanremo of a certain age only if you are ready to be showered with story after story about happy family outings, sun-drenched Sunday afternoons and long walks in the forest.

The Story of

The Funiculaire of San Romolo is No More

Walk on the Great Wall of Catalonia in Girona

Here is a tip if you face an acute what-to-do-with-the kids emergency in Barcelona If you are visiting the Catalan capital with teenage kids in tow who have become ever so slightly rebellious after three days of art nouveau, hallucinogenic architecture and the musty smell of museum corridors, take them to Girona (it’s a little more than 30 minutes away by high-speed train) and straight to the Great Wall of Catalonia.

Walk on the Great Wall of Catalonia in Girona

Go Hiking Up Castellar in the French Riviera

Castellar is a vaguely picturesque medieval village just to the north of Menton on the French Riviera, and on its own (we might as well be honest about this), it is not worth the trip. Castellar’s 972 inhabitants may hate me for saying this, but such are the risks of boldly speaking truth to power. Still, there are generally quite a few visitors around, even at this time of year. So what attracts all these

Go Hiking Up Castellar in the French Riviera

Five Reasons Why Rivers Make Great Travel Companions

What constitutes a “beautiful landscape”? Opinions on this may vary, but most people will agree that a beautiful landscape must contain some …. 1. Body of water

For the simple reason that we are programmed to find beautiful what is good for us, and water happens to be the number 1 condition for an environment that can sustain human life. If you don’t believe me: check any book on art

Five Reasons Why Rivers Make Great Travel Companions

A Great Escape Around Vibrant Villefranche Harbour

Over the years, this blog has featured many different kinds of walks for different occasions: exhausting hikes as well as gentle strolls, explorations of the wild and urban walks with a cultural theme, walks for summer and walks for winter, walks that you can spread over several days and walks that you can squeeze in between a boozy lunch and your afternoon tea. Today’s walk falls into yet another type of category: an escape walk.

A Great Escape Around Vibrant Villefranche Harbour

The Trail of Famous Writers Right in Nice

Enough about painters and the French Riviera! Entire books have been written about the way in which the great modernists of European painting – from Monet to Picasso – fell in love with the lights and the sights and the colours of southern France. You don’t even have to go to the library to read about this “love story”. You can do so here, here and here.

All this while, there were writers

The Trail of Famous Writers Right in Nice