Publication day – Not Cool: Europe by Train in a Heatwave

Out today! My latest travel memoir is a hot and steamy adventure (no, not that kind) by rail across Europe, taking in Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Bratislava, Ljubljana, Zagreb, Liechtenstein, Zurich and Milan. 9 cities, 9 countries, 9 days1 ridiculously hot summerWhat could possibly go wrong? Buy here! books2read.com/notcool Ebook £2.99/€3.99/$3.99 Paperback £7.99/€9.99/$9.99 ‘A very funny […]

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Living the sweet life in Galicia

In 2007 Lisa Wright left a promising career as a UK ecologist catching protected reptiles and amphibians, and kissing frogs, to move to beautiful green Galicia in northwestern Spain. Her new memoir Plum, Courgette & Green Bean Tart is an engaging mix of anecdotes, letters, recipes and stories from the stunningly beautiful area she now […]

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How far can you travel for 99p / 99c?

All this week on Amazon – how about a trip to Iceland, New Zealand, Scotland, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Australia, Arizona, Portland, Montenegro, Rome, Belgrade, Ghana, Spain, Portugal, Tehran, Boston, Hawaii, China, Budapest, Sicily and the Giant’s Causeway? Oh, and Huddersfield, obviously. Join travel writer Jules Brown in the journey of a lifetime – his lifetime. […]

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Boiling in Berlin

Berlin, I am led to believe by numerous books and websites, has a temperate climate “characterised by moderately warm summers”. Hell, Hades, blazes, a monkey’s bum, an oven, a Carolina Reaper chilli and a dingo’s sphincter, on the other hand, are all generally considered to be extremely hot, and it has honestly never occurred to […]

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A cruise among the waterlilies on Lake Skadar

The boat chugs out of Virpazar harbour along a reed-fringed channel backed by stands of willow. Dense thickets line each side, blocking any view. The water is dark, cloudy, murky. Lake Skadar, we’re told, is the largest lake in the Balkans, but as yet there is no actual lake to see. Ripples from the boat […]

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In Finn’s footsteps on the Giant’s Causeway

Stick a geologist in front of the Giant’s Causeway and this is what they’ll say. Sixty million years ago, give or take a week or two, molten lava erupted through the chalk beds of the Irish Channel and formed a huge, bubbling lava field, hundreds of thousands of square kilometres in size.

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InterRail – a journey into the past

What were you doing forty years ago this summer? (I will accept the answer ‘not being born yet grandad’). As it happens, I know exactly what I was doing on 11 August 1980 – waiting at Mürren station in the Swiss Alps for the mountain railway and funicular ride down to Interlaken. Memories of that […]

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Huddersfield – the Naples of the North

Once, on a research trip for the Rough Guide to Italy, I went to a remote hill-town with sensational views from the main square over a summer-parched patchwork of wheat fields below. There was a church, its doors locked, a few dusty side streets, and an old man sitting outside a nearby bar on a […]

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Your name in print – be part of the story

I’m delighted that the new edition of my full travel memoir ‘Takoradi to the Stars (via Huddersfield)’ will be published on 23 May. It recounts my life in travel in selected tales of adventure, inspiration, family and fiasco, from Takoradi in Ghana (where I was born), via the middle of nowhere (Huddersfield in northern England) […]

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Giving away your ebook for free

Originally posted on Trust-Me Travel:
You’ve written a new ebook. Congrats! That’s weeks or months of work, and then days of preparation as you format the manuscript and submit it for publication. It may be your first book, or your hundredth, but it’s still your baby, your life, your pride and joy. So why would…

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Trust me, I’m a travel writer

Let’s say you were going to write some new travel books, and design and launch a new travel publishing website to promote them. Would you A) take the current temperature of the world in turmoil and decide not to do any of that or B) . . .?

I’ve gone with B.

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Titanic Belfast – where the story began

Titanic. It’s a famous story, but the bare facts lose their power over time. The last survivors – babies on the voyage – succumbed to old age and not an icy sea, and the Titanic story has largely become one of myth and legend. Fiction intrudes upon memory, so that Leonardo and Kate speak to us – “I’ll never let go, Jack” – in a way the actual passengers never could.

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Uluru – why I never climbed

For decades, visitors – who wouldn’t dream of stripping off to cool down in the chilled waters of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, or lie on the High Altar of St Paul’s Cathedral for a better camera angle – thought little of desecrating an ancient site in the heart of the Australian desert.

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The Bernina Express – Europe’s greatest train ride

NEW VIDEO! To see Europe’s greatest train ride in under 4 minutes, check out my new video – filmed on the Bernina Express on 30 July 2019. The greatest train ride in Europe starts under the cavernous vaults of Zürich’s main railway station, where the 7.07am to Chur is about to depart. Grab a breakfast […]

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Over & out – Milan, via the Bernina Pass

Stazione Centrale, Milan – 1,558 miles, and the end of the trip Day 8 of my big summer train trip around Europe finishes in Milan, after a thrilling ride on the Bernina Express train from Zürich that travels right across the roof of the Alps. All I can say is – wow, what a finish! […]

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In & out – Liechtenstein & Zürich

Sargans Bahnhof – 1,374 miles into the trip Day 7 of my big European summer train trip means I spent Night 6 on the train. On the face of it, taking the night train from Zagreb to Zürich seems both like an incredibly odd yet romantically adventurous thing to do – pick two random European […]

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In & out – Zagreb

Zagreb Glavni Kolodvor – 840 miles into the trip Day 6 of my round-Europe train trip – 9 countries in total, from Germany to Switzerland via a very roundabout route – puts me in Zagreb, capital of Croatia. It’s a lazy two-and-a-half hour trundle along the river from Ljubljana, but I saw precious little of […]

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In & out – Ljubljana

Ljubljana – 754 miles into the trip Day 5 of the summer train trip = Slovenia, which is a new country for me, which means my ‘been’ app has jumped me up to 57% of Europe visited, though obviously I am still smarting over the break-up of Yugoslavia which has basically required me to visit […]

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In & out – Bratislava

Bratislava-Petrzalka – 520 miles into the trip Day 4 – and, frankly, it’s too hot to blog – too hot to breathe – let alone travel to Bratislava, but needs must when you have promised to cover every station en route from Berlin to Milan. And this blog won’t write itself, so here goes. Mind […]

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In & out – Vienna

Vienna Hauptbahnhof – 424 miles into the trip Day 3 of my round-Europe trip by train puts me slap-bang in the middle of Vienna, also in the middle of something else – a record-breaking heatwave. Still, I am staying in a hotel obligingly called AllYouNeedVienna, which only costs €49 a night but, given its name, […]

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In & out – Prague

Praha Hvalni Nadrazi – 217 miles into the trip Day 2 of my round-Europe summer train trip and it’s Prague, capital of the Czech Republic – half of what used to be Czechoslovakia if you’re reading this in black and white and smoking Soviet-era roll-ups, also Stag Party capital of Europe and purveyor of devilishly […]

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In & out – Berlin

Berlin Hauptbahnhof – 0 miles into the trip Day 1 of In & Out Europe – my Big Summer Train Trip around 9 countries in 9 days – finds me in Berlin and I cannot tell a lie. Believe me, I’d like to. I could distract and dissemble; I could embellish and embroider; I could […]

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In praise of The Man in Seat 61

The Man in Seat 61 makes it easy to arrange train trips, and shows you how it’s done, step by step, but what he really does is package dreams. Here’s the world, he says. You don’t have to fly. Take the train. It’s romantic.

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How to get your new book noticed and reviewed

It’s easier than it’s ever been to write a book and get it published. First, you write a book. And then second, you publish it on Amazon or another platform of your choice, with a minimal amount of formatting work and couple of clicks. It’s that easy. Even I did it, with Takoradi to the stars (via Huddersfield).

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Travel writers – scourge of the planet?

On Friday 24 May, a record number of flights took to the skies over the UK – more than 9,000 planes in the air in 24 hours (the same day, incidentally, that schoolchildren around the world staged their latest climate strike). That won’t be the last record broken. But it might be the one that forces you to have a serious conversation with yourself as a traveller or, like me, a travel writer.

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Hiking for beginners

Time has passed and the expensive counselling has obviously helped. But, says the therapist – usually with a weary sigh – I am never again to take hiking advice from a man wearing khaki gaiters.

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When in Rome – desperately seeking Caesar

I go by the name of Jules and, before that – named for the day of the week on which I was born in Ghana – Yaw. But most fundamentally of all I am Julian, the name chosen for me by my mother who took a trip to Rome when pregnant and, in turn, was mightily taken with the name Julius.

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6 rules for finding a great local restaurant

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? All you want on your travels is a decent restaurant, where the food’s good, authentic and inexpensive – the kind of place the locals would eat. However, it’s not always so straightforward, and I should know – I’ve spent many years seeking out the best places to eat for my readers, […]

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