Harriet O'Brien

Harriet O’Brien is a travel writer and award-winning author. Her first book Forgotten Land, a rediscovery of Burma was published just before she joined The Independent, her second Queen Emma and Vikings, a few years after she left. She was on staff at The Independent during the 1990s and subsequently worked in Canada and then as managing editor at Conde Nast Traveller before going freelance in order to travel more. She mainly covers the UK, Europe and Asia, where she grew up.

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Cool off: Mazzaro Bay

Sicily and the Aeolian islands: Island-hopping in the land of fire and water

Dominated by volcanic peaks, some of them still active, Sicily and the Aeolian islands offer stunning coasts, fertile interiors and dramatic, rumbling cones
Statuesque: the old town’s Cathedral Square

Faro travel tips: Where to go and what to see in 48 hours

More than just a gateway to the beaches of the Algarve, this compact city is also about to enter festival season. Harriet O'Brien gets in the spirit
Poetry in motion: hiking the Laurie Lee Wildlife Way

Laurie Lee: A literary landscape in the Cotswolds

Harriet O'Brien walks out one midsummer morning in the valley that inspired the writer, as a new trail marks the 100th anniversary of his birth
Resting on the road from Alvados to Batalha

Bespoke emotion on an e-bike exploration in Portugal

In the mood for a gently active break, Harriet O'Brien sets off from an intriguingly named hotel to explore Estremadura's monasteries, orchards and surf spots
Revamp: Mellow colours bring calm to the rooms

Room Service: Merchants Manor, Falmouth

Sample added fizz at the old Screw Top
Golden opportunity: one of Albufeira's popular beaches

Traveller's Guide: The Algarve

This southern sliver of Portugal draws crowds to its beaches and golf courses, but there's plenty more to see, says Harriet O'Brien
Rum coves: the harbour quay at Fowey

Cornwall: Smugglers' country

As the TV adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's 'Jamaica Inn' hits our screens, Harriet O'Brien visits the places which inspired the classic tale

Elegant streets in Gozo

Malta: Season's greetings - why now is the perfect time to visit the marvel of the Med

Did Malta invent the rock loud speaker? Blue skies, wildflowers, ancient temples and a world first for acoustic archaeology ... Harriet O’Brien discovers it all goes with the territory on these islands

A green and pleasant land: India

Sikkim: Welcome to India's 'hidden paradise'

The Himalayan state is a pocket of lush hills, waterfalls and peaks, but its serenity is under threat. Harriet O'Brien meets a local hero who's trying to save it

Glove story: The Woodstock suite

B&B and Beyond: The Glove House, Woodstock

A 19th-century glove workshop has been given a sleek makeover by a local and her husband, says Harriet O'Brien

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Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
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The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

Florence Knight's perfect picnic

Polpetto's head chef shares her favourite recipes from Iced Earl Grey tea to baked peaches, mascarpone & brown sugar meringues...
Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
Mark Hix recipes: Try our chef's summery soups for a real seasonal refresher

Mark Hix's summery soups

Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

Tim Sherwood column

I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition