Reviewed: Douglas’s Barn, Peak District

Douglas's Barn in the Peak District

November might not be the most obvious time for an English country break, but I love the combination of autumn leaves, misty mornings and evenings by the fire. Despite over 30 years living in the UK there are still big chunks of the country I haven’t gotten around to visiting yet, and the Peak District is one. So it was time to put that right, and we couldn’t have chosen a better spot than Douglas’s Barn – one of two holiday cottages attached to a Derbyshire village farm. Originally an 18th century cowshed, owners John and Marion converted it from a decrepit wreck to a luxurious holiday cottage 15 years ago. … 

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Giant lemons in Sorrento

The siren call of Sorrento

In Greek mythology, Sorrento was home to the sirens, who lured passing sailors onto the rocks with their beautiful songs. And it still pulls in the visitors today – though today it’s the panoramic views across the Bay of Naples, sunny weather, fantastic food and laid-back atmosphere that do the luring. I first visited Sorrento… 

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Herculaneum ruins near Naples, Italy

The ghost city of Herculaneum

Below an unassuming town south of Naples lies a buried Roman city – but not the one you’re probably thinking of. Herculaneum was covered by the same eruption that destroyed its more famous neighbour Pompeii in 79 AD. But where Pompeii was quickly buried by a cloud of ash, Herculaneum escaped the first part of the… 

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Praiano on the Amalfi Coast, Italy

Peaceful in Praiano: Off-season on the Amalfi Coast

In a country packed with beautiful landscapes, it says something that the Amalfi Coast is ranked as one of Italy’s most scenic stretches of coastline. This string of pastel-coloured villages are cut into a steep hillside, with jagged mountains behind them and the deep blue Mediterranean Sea in front. Their famous names – Amalfi, Positano,… 

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Poppies at the Tower of London

In pictures: Poppies at the Tower of London

As you approach the Tower of London, the moat is a sea of red, with tightly packed flowers as far as the eye can see. It’s an awe-inspiring sight, and even more so when you realise that every single bloom equates to a life lost in the First World War. It’s all part of an… 

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October On the Luce

Take 12 Trips… October on the Luce

I’m on a mission to ‘Take 12 Trips’ in 2014, with at least one trip each month, whether that’s a local day out or international trip. So far this year has involved foodie trips to Morocco and Sicily, scenic train journeys in Norway and across Europe, my first cruise, and travels across the UK from Northumberland… 

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Taste of travel menu dessert

My ultimate taste of travel menu

What are the most memorable dishes you’ve eaten on your travels? The smell and taste of food has an amazing ability to transport you to another place. The waft of spices from a Thai green curry always takes me back to a Bangkok street market, or the creamy taste of an Italian gelato to a… 

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AirBnB tips and recommendations

AirBnB tips and favourite summer stays

I’m a big fan of apartment rentals when I travel – I love having my own space to relax in and getting to know a new neighbourhood, exploring its cafes, shops, bars and hidden corners. It can also save you money too, especially if you’re happy to self-cater some of the time or travelling with a… 

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Lindisfarne Priory ruins in Northumberland

In pictures: The ruins of Lindisfarne Priory

Northumberland’s Lindisfarne Island has such religious significance they even named it Holy Island – and its holiest site is its priory. The region’s earliest Christian monastery was founded here by Irish monk St Aidan in 635 AD. Despite its remote location it was close enough to Bamburgh’s castle for protection, making it the perfect base… 

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Lindisfarne or Holy Island

Marooned on Lindisfarne Island

On Lindisfarne, or Holy Island, the islanders live their lives based on the rhythm of the tides. Linked to the Northumbrian mainland by a narrow causeway, twice each day the island is completely cut off by the tide. You can only travel between Lindisfarne and mainland during twice-daily six-hour periods, which change every day. So Lindisfarne’s… 

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Travel book recommendations

Reads on the road 2: My travel book recommendations

After sharing my first Reads on the Road recommendations earlier this year, I’m back with the another installment featuring inspiring and interesting travel-related books I’ve discovered in the last six months. And I’ve certainly put in plenty of research. One benefit of the long train and plane journeys I’ve done this spring and summer is… 

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