Sea lochs and sunsets: a Scottish photoblog

I’ve visited the west coast of Scotland many times in the past ten years, and I never tire of the dramatic scenery. Loch Lomond is a great area to stay, but there are also many lovely villages along the sea lochs. Thanks to the Gulf stream there are hundreds of rhodedendrons blooming in May. The…

World Cycling Championships in Tuscany

Sometimes luck and good timing combine to offer you unexpected opportunities. When we planned a few days in Tuscany, we knew the World Cycling Championship road race would be in Florence the following weekend. As a cycling fan I was a little bit disappointed to be missing it by only a couple of days. As…

Last days of summer in Lucca

When summer had already disappeared from the southern shores of the UK, in Tuscany it held on well into September. It’s no secret that I love the parts of Europe that touch the Mediterranean sea: terracotta roofs, the constant chirp of cicadas and most of all the warmth that allows you to sit out well…

Autumn escapes and future travel plans

September is a great time to travel in Europe. I love the autumn colours and the crowds have thinned out enough to make wandering through a new city enjoyable again. This month I’m off to Tuscany for four days to celebrate my birthday with delicious ice-cream, a stay in a spa town and visits to…

Brighton, Traverse and a dip into the archives

This is something I originally wrote back in 2004. I’m reposting it here so it doesn’t disappear into the ether next time the servers crash. It’s maybe not the style I’d write in today (in fact the temptation to edit some of the more flowery parts is very strong), but the sentiments remain the same,…

When travel surprises you – Santa Cruz De Tenerife

Tenerife conjured up many images in my head before I visited. A beautifully landscaped botanical garden, swarming with penguins and sheep was not one of them. As Europe’s biggest carnival (that I’d never heard of) approached, the Parque García Sanabria was full of local primary school children dressed up in animal costumes to celebrate outside….

A taste of Madrid at Mercado San Miguel

I love just wandering around a city and chancing across things. Places that aren’t in the guide book or one off events that I happen to be in the right place at the right time to see. With only a morning to see a little bit of Madrid on the way home, we headed for…

Chasing the sun

Winter in northern Europe is a struggle sometimes. We don’t often get snow where I am (this week has been an exception), and often January is wall-to-wall grey skies. So I’ve made it a goal to always try and get away for a few days in February. Doesn’t have to be hot, sun and blue…

Tous fous du Tour

Sorry for the radio silence, I’ve been in Brazil, of which more soon! But first I want to write about one of my favourite sporting events of the year. No, not the Olympics, although that will soon be upon us. It’s almost time for the Tour de France! As a Tour obsessive this is my…