Lilla Torg – medieval Malmö’s little square, in pictures

  ‘If you’re short on time, you’ve got to visit Lilla Torg first’, my fellow hotel guest advised, without hesitation, ‘it’s a beautiful little medieval square less than 15 minutes from here’. And I was indeed short on time. I had just a few hours – a tiny window during a hectic weekend celebrating my best friend’s son’s wedding, where I could explore Malmö, Sweden’s gateway city from across the Øresund Bridge, which connects the country...

7 reasons to feel the love on Valentine’s Day

Love is in the air… Well… for some, perhaps – certainly there’s some love from the retail sector, as cash registers go ker-ching across the western world. This is because we’re all rushing out to buy the perfect (i.e. not too gushing/rude/cutesy) Valentine card, frantically trying to book a half-decent restaurant (because, quite frankly, you’ve left it too late), or choosing the least-cheap-looking bunch of flowers we can afford (seriously, how much can a dozen...

How to Enjoy Discovering Wine on a Wine Tasting Discovery Day

I’ve never won anything in my life. Unless you count the work Christmas raffle, where everybody gets something, but that ‘something’ is usually the last of those awful soap samples gifted by a client 7 months previously. So, when a friend tagged me on a Facebook wine-tasting course competition, I nonchalantly followed the liking/sharing instructions and entered my name. Obviously, I won – otherwise this wouldn’t be much of a post. Not only was I...

Tea Gardens & Tolstoy, at Tuckton in Dorset

Along the river Stour estuary in Dorset, it’s not unusual to see a flurry of activity at any given time. It could be a synchronicity of oars from Christchurch Rowing Club on a Saturday morning, or a chorus of quacks and cackles from a medley of local wildfowl at Stanpit Marsh at sundown. Or perhaps ramblers taking in the views from the Stour Valley Way, the long-distance footpath that runs along almost all the river’s...

Back to the future: 10 places I have to revisit…and why!

As is customary for most people at this time of year, including travel writers, thoughts turn to the year to come and travel wish lists are drawn up. 12 months ago saw me being oh-so-ambitious about my travel plans, only to have most of them scuppered for one reason or another. This got me thinking about travel wishes in a different light. Rather than always hankering after new destinations for the coming year, my thoughts...

Top winter solstice celebrations in the northern hemisphere

Since ancient times, humankind has observed seasonal changes in the sky and paid homage, if not in the grandiose form of an actual temple or other solid structure, then in the form of a celebration of some kind. The December solstice, often misleadingly called just the ‘winter’ solstice, is a phenomenon which marks the point of midwinter in the northern hemisphere (and conversely, midsummer in the southern hemisphere). It occurs around the 21st December (it...

Memorable Moments from a Round-the-World Trip Bid

The one time I attempted a round-the-world trip, a few years back, I spectacularly failed to complete it. When I say ‘spectacularly failed’, I mean circumstances outside my control forced me to reluctantly head home after just 4 months. And yet, almost every time I talk about that particular trip, I seem to skim past the months of adventure leading up to the moment when it all went wrong, focussing instead on the tale of...