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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Arbor master: a treelined street in the French Concession

Shanghai's colonial quarter: Making concessions

Look beyond the skyscrapers to the city's historic former French territory, writes Harriet O'Brien

Rocking out: the granite outcrop of Haytor

Dartmoor: granite tors, cream teas and a prison

From magnificent views to the grounds of HM Prison Dartmoor, Harriet O'Brien experienced the lot

Sea view: Blue Lagoon

Malta: Traveller's Guide

This Mediterranean nation celebrates 50 years of independence this weekend. Go now to enjoy beachy days and a rich historical landscape, says Harriet O'Brien
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

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'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
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How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
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