A mini Trundle from Lisbon to Porto – Coimbra

The cultural city of Coimbra couldn’t be a better stopover or short break destination. It’s famed for its unique Fado renditions and its gracious university, which is the oldest in Portugal, originally established in the 12th century. There are more steep hills to climb in Coimbra’s magnificent medieval centre but it’s worth scaling them to reach the university and visit … Read More

A Mini-Trundle from Lisbon to Porto – Step One

The Hills are Alive in Lisbon > Portugal is easy to explore by public transport and April is a wonderful time to visit this gentle country. Prices are still low and the fresh Spring sunshine is as yellow as the Pastel de Nata. These little pastry cases filled with a sticky eggy custard are in every bakery and the first … Read More

Swimming Through London

Cool Spots for a Hot Day In London London in the heat is a mixture of heaven and hell. The heady combination of sun, traffic fumes and crowds bring an intensity which makes me want to run for the Welsh mountains. It’s also an intoxicating place to be in a heatwave. Tourists stupefied by the unexpected warmth mingle with Londoners … Read More

A Mini Trundle in Naples and along the Amalfi Coast

Skipping the Pizza on a hop through Naples See Naples and die, the saying goes. You can minimize the risk of this by avoiding Pizza. Firstly turning your back on the famous Neapolitan dish mean you’re saying ‘no’ to a big wedge of mostly nutrition-free carbohydrates. Secondly because avoiding Pizza in this glorious city takes some effort and a lot … Read More

Seven Days In Cefalu

Seven days felt the right amount of time to spend in this lovely seaside town with its two appealing sandy beaches and fairly unspoiled historic centre. It’s medium in size and not too challenging on any level. In fact sometimes it felt a bit too easy for the English tourist. They were many of us, ambling around in those awful … Read More

Migrants Making Magic in Marsala

My friend David Swift is a kind of magician. He can conjure up amazing images in a few captivating words, painting mental pictures which then become reality. Forty years ago, when I first met him, he convinced me to learn a mime routine, dress up as a clown and set off on a busking tour of Britain. Together with another … Read More

El Cabanyal – new bars, new stars

Through my work as a travel writer, I attend World Travel Market, the world’s biggest travel trade fair. In 2014, I headed to the Valencia stand and spread the map of the city out on the table, behind which stood an important tourist board representative. I jabbed my finger at the El Cabanyal area, a district built by fishermen, which … Read More