Rideau Canal, Ottawa, Canada
I’ve been to Canada numerous times but I’ve yet to explore much of its inland waterways. Lakes and oceans tend to define this country’s watery travel experience, but there are countless rivers and canals that Canadians take to for their holidays. After a couple of days in Toronto I’ll take the train four hours east to Smiths Falls where I’m picking up a modern houseboat to explore the Rideau Canal for a week. The oldest continuously operated canal system in North America, this 125-mile stretch of rivers, lakes and connecting locks and canals runs between Lake Ontario and the Ottawa River. There are also vineyards, beaches and smart boathouses so… it should be a very civilised slice of Canadian canal life.
Next trip: Madrid, Spain to visit a Madrileno friend.
Dream trip: Japan, to eat my way around the sushi-focused southern archipelago.
The Faroe Islands
I’m heading to the Faroe Islands, the far-flung archipelago marooned in the North Atlantic between Scotland, Iceland and Norway, for a long weekend. Home to the most remote of Michelin starred restaurants, plenty of puffins and awe-inspiring landscapes; I’m most looking forward to hiking the verdant routes under the midnight sun (there are up to 19 hours of sunlight during the summer months). To really indulge in those extra hours of sunlight, I’m planning long drives, lakeside camping and abseiling. Fun fact: apparently the Faroese have the most trampolines per capita. I’m prepared to leave with even more surprising facts from this intriguing destination.
Next trip: Getting lost in the Ardèche, France.
Dream trip: Driving the Pamir Highway through Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.
I’m off to the coast of North Wales to explore this pretty looking town. I’ve never been before but I’ve always fancied it – it’s got a pier and a cable car, what’s not to love? I’m always a bit ashamed of how little of Wales I’ve seen — I’ve been to Cardiff several times and each time had great fun, and a lovely sunny week on the west coast of Wales while pregnant with my daughter is a very happy memory. If the weather is good I’m hoping to hike to Conwy Castle along 18 miles of the Wales Coast Path and enjoy the local scenery.
Next trip: Newcastle, England to explore its cultural offerings for children.
Dream trip: My daughter is obsessed with animals and has a plethora of facts at her fingertips, so I’d love to take her on safari, ideally a land then sea safari in South Africa.
When I land in Brisbane this summer, I’ll be driving, diving, kayaking and flying along the coast of the southern Great Barrier Reef, stopping off at a few islands, too. Queensland is investing a lot to protect its coral, so there’ll be some stops at research centres along the way. As well as learning what the people are doing there, I’ll have plenty of chances to see the kaleidoscope of coral life, as well as spotting humpback whales in Hervey Bay, loggerhead turtles at Heron Island and dolphins at Pumpkin Island.
Next trip: Driving through Andalucia in Spain. I’ll be climbing, hiking, caving and canyoning along the way, but mostly, I’ll be eating seafood and drinking wine.
Dream trip: Travelling along the Pacific Coast from Denali National Park in Alaska to Chile’s Alberto de Agostini National Park.
This summer, I’ll be melting in torrid heat as I embark on the biennial mother-daughter visit to our motherland – Azerbaijan. Our first stop is Baku; where we’ll chomp on endless shishlik kebabs, haggle (unsuccessfully) for antique rugs and while away evenings strolling on the boulevard. We’ll then make the six-hour car journey to the west to visit more family, making pit stops to visit towns and national parks and buy snacks from a makeshift shop in the boot of a rusty Lada. I’m most excited to spend a week doing what Azerbaijanis do best; drinking tea, gossiping, and forgetting what day it is.
Next trip: France. Two days in Paris. Two days in Bordeaux. Parfait.
Dream trip: Dancing in the streets of Havana until sunrise.
The Dolomites, Italy
My summer is kicking off with the North Face Mountain Festival in the Dolomites for trekking and climbing by day and parties at night. After a quick interlude back at the office, we’re heading off for some family time in Israel. We’ve been before and love how easy it is to move from beaches to mountains and then into the spiritual hub of Jerusalem. I’ll get some time to read on the beach whilst the kids are on surf camp. We are planning to discover some new hikes in the north of Israel, including the Nakik HaShachor (Black Canyon) with waterfalls to abseil.
Next trip: Peak District.
Dream trip: New Zealand road trip.
Not so much a trip but a relocation this summer – I’m moving with my family to live here. It’s a place close to our hearts – my wife is originally from the area, and it’s a place we never fail to enjoy good times in. From the beautiful city of York right up to the dramatically bleak North Yorkshire moors and the stunning countryside in between, this is the true outdoors. A myriad of walking, hiking and cycling routes join up the picture perfect towns and villages, and I’m looking forward to acquainting myself with many a Yorkshire ale through the sunny weekends ahead.
Next trip: Hopefully Croatia, it’s been on the bucket list for a few years now!
Dream trip: Tackling the theme parks of Florida has always been a dream of mine, and with two young boys I’m hoping to do this in the coming years.