Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Where I've been and where I'm going

Since my last round-up, back in May 2012, I haven't been anywhere as far-flung as Antarctica. Instead I've been exploring the UK in greater detail and appreciating the fantastic travel opportunities right on my doorstep.

Where I've been:

July 2012
Scilly Isles: Taking the train from Paddington to Penzance, I hopped on the Scilly Isles' ferry and journeyed to England's southern extremity to spend two weeks exploring this addictive archipelago. Read all about my trip at The Online Travel Journal: Staying on the Smallest Scilly Isle or see a copy of my article for The Argus Newspaper: Islands of Adventure.

August 2012
My annual pilgrimage to Menorca was better than ever. I kayaked around the coast, explored the hidden beaches and spent plenty of time on the Cami de Cavals, seeing how it had developed wince my 2011 article for The Independent.

September 2012
I spent a lovely long weekend with my family in a relatively unvisited pocket of Northamptonshire: The Nene Valley. Discover more by reading my article for The Argus Newspaper: Life in the Slow Lane.

October 2012
Autumn saw me heading up to North Wales to the mountain-biking mecca of Betws y Coed. Read all about my weekend away in TNT Magazine: Bike to Basics.

November 2012
Windermere's a long way from my home in Brighton but, on commission for The Argus Newspaper, I discovered that nipping up there for a weekend was easier than I'd anticipated. Find out why in my article for The Brighton Argus: Windermere Weekend.

December 2012
The Channel Islands have always been close to my heart. I've been visiting Jersey since my best friend moved there when I was 15 and, since then, I've made it a habit of hopping across the Channel at least once a year. December gave me an opportunity to share this passion; my article for The Brighton Argus explores the winter appeal of the isles. Real my article, Escape to the Coast.

February 2013
In Feb, I skied down my first Scottish ski slope in Glencoe. Working with Visit Scotland, I spent a long weekend at the Ballachulish Hotel (a former hunting lodge right by a loch) and enjoyed fresh powder and blue skies at Glencoe Mountain Resort. Read all about my weekend away and find out more about skiing in Scotland by reading my blogs for Exploco and Adventure Sports Travel. You can also look out for my Glencoe article in The Brighton Argus.

- The Five Best Ski Area in Scotland
- Scottish Ski Holidays: Ten Tips for your Trip

Next on the list was County Durham. On commission with The Independent and working with This is Durham, I whizzed back up north with my mountain-bike to spend a weekend on the trails and single-tracks in Hamsterley Forest. My bed for the night was Headlam Hall -- the sort of place that can be relied on to do everything that little bit better; from the umbrellas by the doorways and the heavenly spa rooms, to the locally sourced sausages at breakfast and the outstanding views. I'll be back.

Read about my weekend in County Durham in my article for The Independent: Blazing Trails in the Dales.

March 2013
For me, no winter is truly complete without a trip to the Alps. This year I spend ten days in Les Contamines - a beautiful little resort, not far from Chamonix. Superb ski-touring, outstanding powder, uber-friendly locals and a lack of British seasonaires made this one of my best ski trips to date. Watch this space for upcoming articles and blogs, or contact me for content.

And where I'm going:

This weekend, I'm off to Centre Parcs for the first time in 15 years. I've got a twilight spa already booked and am planning a healthy weekend of woodland walks, plunge-pool action and racket sports. I'll be back to blog and let you know how I hold out!

April 2013
The first week of April will see me jetting off to South Africa for 11 days in the Western Cape. Cage diving with sharks, abseiling off Table Mountain, mountain-biking in the winelands and touring the vineyards are all on the agenda so far. I'm accepting commissions for this trip at the moment, so feel free to get in touch.

August 2013
It'll be back to Menorca for my umpteenth summer in August. This year's trip will be wildlife and bird-watching themed. I'll be taking my collapsible kayak along too, as well as my walking boots, fishing rod and running shoes. If you'd like a Menorca expert to write for your publication or website, drop me an email or give me a call to chat more.