Weekend Break: Brighton, UK

Brighton Paddle round the Pier   Brighton? Isn’t it full of spivs with ‘Kiss Me Quick’ hats tipped at a jaunty angle? Old habits die hard, as do old impressions handed down through a legacy of grainy, clichéd black’n’white movies and postcards, a world of working class civilians taking in the bracing sea air for a saucy weekend of single malts and double entendres.

City Break: Santiago De Compostela

Cathedral Santiago de Compostela, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1984 and Galicia’s greenest city, is a place of pilgrimage for many people – the discovery of the body of the Apostle James transformed this city into the most important focus of religious worship in Europe during the Middle Ages.

Travel/Adventure: Turkey

Istanbul  Think Turkey and you automatically think of  the summer tourism resorts of Bodrum, Antalya, Marmaris, Fethiye and Alanya – just several of the hot spots that pepper the Aegean shores. It was far from these resorts I experienced when I arrived in Turkey some years back as part of an international delegation of journalists which was invited to see not the typical tourist traps, but the rarely visited North Eastern part.

City Break: London (Chelsea)

Kings Road

Kings Road

It hardly seems like almost 30 years ago when your friend and mine, a certain skinny punk rocker by the false name of Elvis Costello, issued forth a spittle-flecked diatribe on the shallowness of the fame and fashion industry in a song called (I Don’t Want To Go To) Chelsea.

Paris: Vintage Shopping

Marche aux Puces de Montreuil

If you’re looking for a ‘certain something’ that doesn’t cost anything more than what you’d pay in the High Street (and in some cases, considerably less), then a wander through the Marais district in Paris might just be what the money doctor ordered.

Scottish Highlands

Scottish Highlands

The taxi driver on the journey from Inverness train station to our hotel just outside the Scottish town was obviously a measured and reflective type. Instead of an AA roadmap, a well-thumbed copy of the collected works of Shakespeare lay in his open glove compartment.

(Music) City Break: Berlin

Brandenburg Gate

“The city is crazy, the people are crazy – Berlin makes its own rules.” These words are spoken by Gabrielle, my guide for a night crawl around a selection of some of Berlin’s hipper bars and clubs. Of course, she explained in perfect English, there’s no way you could see everything in one weekend, let alone one month, so the night guide was simply going to be a taster of what makes Berlin tick.

Renting A Villa – Loves & Hates

Nice villa, eh?

For the next two or more weeks, the place is yours. No handing in keys at reception (or mistaking your flexi key for your Visa card), no fake ‘good morning’ smiles, no queues checking in or out, no fire alarms going off at inopportune times, no maids knocking on your door just as you’re stepping out of or into the shower.