Isle of Lewis, Scotland

Isle of Lewis, Scotland

The Hebridean Islands are well-known because of their incredible scenery, wild seas and astonishing wildlife.  The islands are largely unspoiled and the Isle of Lewis is no exception.  And if you want to baffle a friend with a trivia question, who do these three...
Tianducheng: Paris in China

Tianducheng: Paris in China

Paris is a beautiful city. Few people would argue with me there. But what exactly is the deal with reproducing wonderful places? Tianducheng is a suburb of Hangzhou in China and Paris has been reproduced – not very well – in a development that was built in...
Kunsthofpassage, Dresden, Germany

Kunsthofpassage, Dresden, Germany

Kunsthofpassage is a series of alleyways in the student district of Dresden. The area contains quirky bookshops and cafés – and unusually decorated buildings. One of the most famous is the one you see above. A series of drainpipes are displayed not only in an...
Visiting Paris: Musée Édith Piaf

Visiting Paris: Musée Édith Piaf

Even though French iconic singer Edith Piaf died as long ago as 1963, most people would recognise her voice today. Even those who aren’t old enough to remember her will probably know this: And there is a private museum dedicated to her in Paris. It can be...
Bunce Island, Sierra Leone

Bunce Island, Sierra Leone

Bunce Island has a fascinating and rather chilling history. Today the island is deserted but in 1670 a castle was built there by a British slave trading company which became a hub for the slave trade. People from the west coast of Africa were kidnapped and shipped as...
Visiting the UK: The Cats of York

Visiting the UK: The Cats of York

York is a truly amazing place. It’s packed with history, ancient architecture, museums, parks … there are fabulous places to eat, the local scenery is unbeatable and it’s even a great place to shop. Bizarrely, you can also – free of charge...
Gnomesville, Western Australia

Gnomesville, Western Australia

There is a state in Western Australia called Dardanup and within that area is Ferguson Valley. There’s not much there, really. A timber mill was there back in Victorian times but it closed in 1929. In 1950 the town there was mostly destroyed by fire. Yet...
Lombard Street, San Francisco

Lombard Street, San Francisco

Lombard Street in San Francisco is one of those strange American sights that are so beloved of tourists. And it’s hardly surprising as it’s known as ‘the most crooked street in the world’. You can see in the photographs and videos below just...
Rab: Royal Rumpy Pumpy

Rab: Royal Rumpy Pumpy

Royal scandals tend to be a thing of the past these days but in the UK in the 1930s there was plenty of royal scandal to keep everyone entertained. The British papers tried hard to rise above these matters but the foreign press had a field day with the new king,...
Joe Cocker Meadow, Dresden, Germany

Joe Cocker Meadow, Dresden, Germany

It seems unbelievable to us today. It was June 2, 1988. Joe Cocker gave a concert in Dresden, Germany. That doesn’t sound too unusual, does it? A musician playing a public concert? But it was unusual when you realise that at that time, Germany was still a year...
The Ghost Town of Goussainville-Vieux Pays

The Ghost Town of Goussainville-Vieux Pays

If you’re flying to Paris and are just about to land at the airport, the chances are that you’ll be flying over the ghost village of Goussainville-Vieux Pays . When you’re read the story that led to this village being abandoned, you’ll be sure...
Brighton, UK: The Royal Pavillion

Brighton, UK: The Royal Pavillion

England abounds with eccentrics – people and buildings. And the Royal Pavillion at Brighton is so much a part of English culture that it’s only when I take a step back, and see it as a foreigner would, that I realise just how bizarre it is. Let’s...
Icelandic Phallological Museum

Icelandic Phallological Museum

So you happen to be in Iceland, in Reykjavik. And you see that there’s a museum ahead – it’s the Icelandic Phallological Museum. Do you go in? Actually, I suspect that the real question here is who thought about having a willy collection in the first...
Treetops Lodge, Kenya

Treetops Lodge, Kenya

Even if it didn’t have important historic associations, Treetops would still be a fascinating place to stay because of its location – – 100 miles from Nairobi in the Aberdare National Park. The hotel is the ideal place to view Africa’s...
Pont-en-Royans, France

Pont-en-Royans, France

There are many incredibly picturesque villages in France and Pont-en-Royans is an excellent example. You can see from the photographs how the brightly-coloured houses cling to the craggy cliff sides with the river running peacefully below. As you can see from the map...
The Reichenbach Falls

The Reichenbach Falls

Probably the most well-known waterfall in the world, Reichenbach Falls has a fictional hero to thank for its fame. For it is here that Conan Doyle’s detective, Sherlock Holmes, had his ‘fatal’ battle with his arch enemy, Professor Moriarty. It was...
The Fake House at Leinster Gardens, London

The Fake House at Leinster Gardens, London

Baywater is a lovely area of London with elegant terraces featuring delightful architecture. But next time you’re in London, it’s worth visiting Leinster Gardens because two of the houses there are not what they first appear to be. Numbers 23 and 24 are...
Hashima Island

Hashima Island

Seriously spooky, Hashima Island is also known as Gunkanjima or Battleship Island. At one time it was densely populated and busy – today it’s a ghost town. It used to be a mining community that first started in 1900 thanks to the Mitsubishi Corporation...
Bo-Kaap, Cape Town

Bo-Kaap, Cape Town

My dad was the most travelled person that I’ve ever met and he always maintained that Cape Town was the finest place he had ever visited. Bo Kaap is a fabulous area to explore. With Table Mountain forming its backdrop, the area has brightly coloured houses on...
Visiting the UK: The Mouseman of Kilburn

Visiting the UK: The Mouseman of Kilburn

I was still at school when I found out about the Mouseman. The school, which was quite posh, needed new furniture for the teachers’ use during assembly. I recall that the headmistress was very proud because he had purchased the furniture from the Mouseman....
Carrick-a-Rede Bridge, Ireland

Carrick-a-Rede Bridge, Ireland

Imagine it … about a hundred feet below you, heavy waves are crashing onto jagged rocks. Seabirds swoop at you. The wind is high. The only way forward is to walk across a fragile rope bridge swaying in front of you. The walk won’t be a long one, less than...
Balestrino Ghost Village

Balestrino Ghost Village

The movie Inkheart tells a fantasy story that features an abandoned village that was revitalised. Here’s the trailer. The village actually exists and it is abandoned. The film gives us some idea of what the village would have been like before it was abandoned,...
Movie Locations: Joliet Prison

Movie Locations: Joliet Prison

If you’re anything like me, you hear or read ‘Joliet’ and it means only one thing – The Blues Brothers! At the beginning of this super-cool, classic, cult film, Elwood Blues is collecting his brother Jake who is just being released from jail...
London: The Fryscraper of Fenchurch Street

London: The Fryscraper of Fenchurch Street

It’s not only me who finds this building (above, left)  perfectly awful. In 2015, the building won the Carbuncle Cup – which is awarded annually to the ugliest building in the UK. And it’s not just ugly, it also has a serious solar glare problem....
St Thomas, USVI

St Thomas, USVI

Although it’s an excellent idea to research the places you’re going to when you’re travelling, I also find that reading historical books about an area can be just as interesting, if not more so, than researching the best restaurants and where to find...
Trollstigen, Norway

Trollstigen, Norway

What does Trollstigen mean? In Norwegian, it means ‘Trolls’ Road’ and this twisty and narrow road runs perilously on the side of a mountain. It’s appropriately named as in Scandinavian mythology trolls are rather evil little goblin-like...
Linby Village: England

Linby Village: England

If you’re in the UK and travelling on the north-to-south M1 motorway, then it’s worth a small detour to visit the tiny village of Linby. I’m afraid that I don’t know exactly when the village was initially founded but the church dates from the...
The Vine Bridges of the Iya Valley, Japan

The Vine Bridges of the Iya Valley, Japan

Well, would you? Would you cross the Iya Valley on this vine bridge? History doesn’t reveal who built these bridges – or why – but it certainly was an ingenious solution. Wisteria vines were woven together along with planking to produce a footbridge...
Olympic Village: Germany 1936

Olympic Village: Germany 1936

Most of us know a little about the 1936 Summer Olympics that were held in the outskirts of Berlin. And even for those of us who know very little, the combination of Germany, 1936 and Hitler indicates very creepy undertones. As we can imagine, Hitler saw the games as...
Sagrada Família: Barcelona

Sagrada Família: Barcelona

One of the most famous buildings in Spain had its construction started in 1882. And it’s still not completed. It’s estimated that Gaudi’s Sagrada Família in Barcelona will finally be fully completed in 2026. Gaudi himself died exactly one hundred...
Visiting the UK: National Memorial Arboretum

Visiting the UK: National Memorial Arboretum

An astonishing place, the National Memorial Arboretum in the UK exists especially as the nation’s tribute to the men and women who have been killed, injured or afflicted by war and in the service of their country. It was conceived in 1988 and designed to be a...
Icaria, Greece

Icaria, Greece

You’ll remember Icarus from Greek mythology, right? To refresh your memory, he was the bloke who had wings made of wax and despite being warned not to do so, he flew too close to the sun. The result, naturally, was that his wax wings melted and he fell into the...
Need a Beach Vacation?

Need a Beach Vacation?

If so, then you’ll find that Fort Lauderdale is hard to beat. And there’s so much more than the sea, sand and sun. Fort Lauderdale’s events calendar is always busy – from festivals to theatre, from art exhibitions to sporting events – and...
The Dwarves of Wrocław

The Dwarves of Wrocław

Wroclaw in Poland has a lot to commend it to the traveller. It has been the European Capital of Culture, the World Book Capital, it has hosted the European Film Awards and has several theatres, festivals, museums, sports facilities and plenty more. The...
What Are Stolpersteine?

What Are Stolpersteine?

There are over 60,000 stolpersteine in various places throughout the world. If you’ve been to Germany, Austria, Belgium, Italy … most of Europe … then the chances are that you’ve seen at least one. If your trip is in the future, watch out...
Fangfoss-with-Spittle: Truly…

Fangfoss-with-Spittle: Truly…

I have just added this place to my bucket list and originally, it was simply because of the name. (Although the fact that it’s in the wonderful county of Yorkshire helps, of course. It’s in a great location – about ten miles away from York itself and...
Technical Museum, Peenemünde

Technical Museum, Peenemünde

Definitely falling into the category of dark tourism, Peenemünde is decidedly spooky. It is located on the island of Usedom in the Baltic and since the nineteenth century was a vacation venue for Prussian royalty and German nobility. But, in common with several other...
Alheira: Portugal’s Lifesaving Sausage

Alheira: Portugal’s Lifesaving Sausage

This is true but I can’t blame you for wondering how sausages could possibly save lives. Well, admittedly I’m going back a few hundred years here but the fact is that yes, a humble sausage saved hundreds if not thousands of lives. I’ll explain…...
Trending Destination: Bournemouth

Trending Destination: Bournemouth

At the end of 2017, Airbnb published a list of destinations that were (and had been) trending. I was surprised to see the second on the list was the good old English seaside resort of Bournemouth. I lived near Bournemouth for several years – and worked there...
Temple Works, Leeds: And Sheep…

Temple Works, Leeds: And Sheep…

Often, when people write about Yorkshire, their articles are illustrated by photographs of sheep. There are lots of sheep in Yorkshire and the county was, at one time, at the forefront of the woollen industry. But this is a bit of a strange one… Many years ago,...
Destinations: Burano, Italy

Destinations: Burano, Italy

Visitors to Venice, or at least those who are in the know, often take a trip – even if just for a day – to the colourful island of Burano. It’s only a few kilometres from Venice itself and the water bus trip takes only about half an hour from St...
Paris: City of Lights – and Free Water

Paris: City of Lights – and Free Water

It’s one of those debates that crops up from time to time – which do you prefer to drink, still water or fizzy water? Whichever you prefer, the fact remains that the bottled water industry is enormous (and regarded by some as something of a con.) I...
Visiting Rome: Goffredo Mameli Monument

Visiting Rome: Goffredo Mameli Monument

The idea of visiting monuments and cemeteries when you’re on vacation is a popular one today – from the historic graveyards of New Orleans to the grave of Victor Noir in Paris. Previous generations of travellers wanted to see how people in days gone by...
The Cafe in the Crypt: London

The Cafe in the Crypt: London

So, there you are exploring London and it’s time for lunch. (Or breakfast or dinner or a light snack). Of course, there are so many places you can go. But how about something a little different this time? Enjoy coffee in a crypt! In Central London, you’ll...
See Mae West’s 1931 Housecar

See Mae West’s 1931 Housecar

For the very few readers who don’t know, Mae West was a raunchy actress, writer and comedian who was born in Brooklyn in 1893. To try to explain a little about her, the first play she wrote and acted in  – in 1926 – was entitled Sex. She continued to...
Trending Now : The Loos of Okinawa, Japan