My blog

Summer reads – great book deals for July!

I’ve got two great deals if you’re stocking up your Kindle for your summer reads – and between them, you’ll be able to read every word I’ve ever written at a huge discount! Not Cool – a Kindle Monthly Deal I’m thrilled that Amazon selected Not Cool: Europe by Train in a Heatwave as a…

Watch Out for Pirates

It’s Publication Day for my new brand new travel memoir! Watch Out for Pirates: Tales From a Travel Writer’s Life is the third book in my ‘Born to Travel’ series and it’s the wildest ride yet. Read about my epic drive across Australia battling giant lizards, the time I was Santa in a Portuguese village…

Permission to land in Luxor

My new travel adventure memoir, Watch Out for Pirates, is available for pre-order now (and publishes on 24 May). Want to win an advance copy? Just nip over to my Facebook page and comment on the pinned tweet – I’m giving away 10 FREE eBook copies on 6 May. In the meantime, here’s a sample…

The world’s best rail journeys

I’ve always been a fan of rail travel – ever since I took my first InterRail trip back in – *checks notes* – the 1880s. I’m sure I remember the steam engines and bonnets. Anyway, I was delighted to be asked to write about my favourite books about rail journeys for Shepherd, the new online…

Born to Travel

It’s launch day for my new book series, Born to Travel – why not join the journey? 1 travel writer, 2 books, 5 continents, 24 countries, 53 great travel stories

Don’t eat the puffin – and other travel advice

If I only had one piece of advice for you, after all these years of travel, it would simply be this – don’t eat the oily seabird, however drunk you are. They’ll tell you it’s just like pigeon. They’ll say it’s a speciality that you simply must try. They are wrong, so very wrong, on…

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…

Boiling in Berlin

It’s hot in a face-searing, bone-sapping, migraine-inducing way that they definitely don’t warn you about before they open the plane door – “Welcome to Berlin where the local temperature is WHAAAAAT the…”.

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.

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.

How I escaped a murderer at the Grand Canyon

It’s all in the intonation. “May God help you!” – the rising word ‘God’ stretched out across several syllables and the ‘help you’ a dismissive, downbeat ‘help ya’, as the officer waved us through.

Huddersfield – the Naples of the North

I was born in Ghana in West Africa but I come, if anywhere, from Huddersfield, an old mill town set amid brooding Pennine hills in West Yorkshire.

Giving away your ebook for free

Over at my Trust-Me Travel website and blog, I’ve been explaining why writers – including me! – might give their work away for free.

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.

A great European journey – Bar to Belgrade by train

Montenegro only has two train lines – to be fair, it’s a small and wildly mountainous country – which makes it all the more remarkable that one of them turns out to be a candidate for Europe’s most thrilling train ride.

The soundtrack to a travel-writing life

I had dinner with Lisa Stansfield once, as it turns out, in London. I saw Oasis play in Adelaide, and Blur in Washington DC. In Las Vegas I once had a front-row table for Engelbert Humperdinck, and THAT is a story my friends, I can tell you.

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…

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.

Among the ruins in the Lost City of Stari Bar, Montenegro

The Montenegrin Pompeii, some call it – crumbling houses facing streets that go nowhere; sketchy foundations that refuse to give up their mystery; wild flowers spreading through heaped stones; and empty windows framing isolated walls and distant views.

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…

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!…

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…

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…

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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