My piece on Cuba features on Travel Mail website

Article from a great trip to Cuba with Journeys of Distinction is featured on the Daily Mail’s Travel Mail website. Cuba is a real eye-opener with fascinating cities – particularly the capital Havana – and small towns, stunning beaches and great food and drink. But now is a perfect time to visit as it feels like a country on the cusp of change.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-2358982/First-time-guide-Cuba-Havana-Old-cars-classic-cocktails-throwing-chains-Communism.html

Excellent trip to Cuba

Just spent eight days in Cuba. Havana is a fascinating city of flaking architecture and old American cars – Buicks, Chevrolets and Plymouths from the late 1950s cruise the streets. IMG_0331 (2)But it is a city trapped in an economic and social time warp, though one that is also on the cusp of change. Away from the capital, the pace of life is laid back and truly timeless in Trinidad, a colonial town that still reflects the Spanish architectural influence with pastel buildings lining cobbled streets where the only traffic in the old part of the town are cycle rickshaws or horse-drawn carts. For refreshment, Cristal beer is really good, or go for a Mojito cocktail with Havana Club rum. Cuba also has some great coastline and white sandy beaches – enjoy resorts such as Varadero. I travelled to Cuba with Journeys of Distinction on assignment for Travel Mail.

Sunday Telegraph Life: Edmund Hillary’s secret hideaway

After conquering the summit of Mount Everest in 1953, climber Sir Edmund Hillary sought peace, quiet and seclusion to relax and recover from the epic adventure. He found in a quiet suburban garden in Norwich. Find out where with this feature I wrote for Sunday Telegraph Life magazine

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/periodproperty/9978545/The-house-where-Sir-Edmund-Hillary-recovered-from-Everest.html

My ‘return to Koh Samui’ trip featured on TravelMail website

From a great trip to the Baan Taling Ngam Intercontinental Resort on the Thai island of Koh Samui earlier in the year, my feature is now published on the TravelMail website. It was a great opportunity to re-visit the island after a 15-year gap and compare and contrast the luxury resort with my last visit…as a backpacker staying in a beach hut and clutching a copy of Alex Garland’s book The Beach under my arm!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-2297105/Luxury-Thailand-Turning-hands-time-memories-backpacking-Koh-Samui.html

New journalism textbook features war reporting chapter

A new journalism textbook entitled Specialist Journalism looks at how to be a correspondent and a specialist reporter. It brings together chapters from reporters and correspondents across the spectrum and covers specialisms such as sport, business, politics, crime, environment, fashion, food, music, health, travel and war/defence reporting.

My chapter focuses on being a war/defence correspondent and looks at the challenges of reporting from the frontline drawing on my experiences in the Iraq War of 2003 and assignments in Kabul and the Helmand province of Afghanistan in recent years. It also discusses the issue of embedded war correspondents.

Published by Routledge (£21.99 paperback), the 220-page book is edited by Barry Turner and Richard Orange and combines practical ‘how to’ skills with reflection on the place of each specialism in the industry.

The guide features the skills needed to cover specialist areas, including writing match reports for sport, reviewing the arts, and dealing with complex information for science, and also discusses how specialist journalists have contributed to the mainstream news agenda, as well as analysing how different issues have been covered in each specialism.

Winner: British Travel Press Awards

Winner in the travel trade feature category of the British Travel Press Awards in London on November 21. Great to pick up an award for the feature Time Travel, based on quirky time zones across the world, and published in the HRG On Business magazine.

British Travel Press Awards

Big night in the travel writing calendar tonight with the 2012 British Travel Press Awards in London. Should be an excellent evening and it’s great to be involved having been shortlisted for a feature on Time Zones in the Travel Trade Feature of the Year section.

Gujarat bird watching article on Travel Mail website

Delighted to see my article on bird watching in Gujarat has been published on the Travel Mail website. India is my favourite destination, and I’ve been travelling there for 20 years but there’s always something new to discover. Gujarat, on the country’s west coast, is fast emerging as a tourist destination in India and has attractions to appeal to many tastes; whether that is culture, those interested in Mahatma Gandhi and places associated with him, or the diverse wildlife and natural landscape.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-2228739/Birdwatching-Gujarat-The-winged-wonders-Gandhis-lands.html

Hoste Arms Trafalgar Dinner

Excellent evening at the Hoste, Burnham Market, on Sunday evening with a Trafalgar Dinner to honour Lord Nelson on the 207th anniversary of the 1805 battle and also mark the hotel’s own maritime connections with a nod in the direction of Sir William Hoste. I’m told next year’s event is already lined up for October 21, 2013!