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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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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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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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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So you want to be a travel writer?

The thing with the job of travel-writing is the number of people who want to do it. I am the expert, it seems – by virtue of being an actual travel writer – and therefore must be in possession of knowledge which can help others become actual travel writers.

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Travel writers – born or made?

On the birth certificate of Stan Laurel – long before he ever met Hardy – his father’s occupation was listed as ‘comedian’. Actress and singer Liza Minnelli’s mum? Actress and singer Judy Garland. And so on. My father travelled the world as a teacher and educator, and though I’m British I was born in West Africa. Oh, and I turned out to be a travel writer. What are you going to do?

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Travel guidebooks and how to use them

Travel guidebooks are useful, insightful, helpful and informative – but they can also be infuriating, misleading, out of date and sometimes just plain wrong. I should know, I write them. So here’s an insider’s view on how to get the most out of your travel guide.

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How to sell more books than Bill Bryson

You have to jump through all sorts of hoops to publish a book with Kindle Direct Publishing, but in the end it’s fairly straightforward and there are lots of tools to help you promote your book and keep track of its progress. But with a brand new book, there’s not a whole lot they can tell you straight away.

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How to come up with a travel book title

For most of my travel-writing career, coming up with a book title wasn’t an issue. Here’s how it usually went.

Me: I’ve finished that book you sent me to write, on Sicily.

Rough Guide Editor: Great, thanks, we’ll call it The Rough Guide to Sicily.

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