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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Cornwall's industrial heritage near St Agnes

Poldark's Cornwall: A land that holds a mine of information

Nature has snatched this romantic coast from industry, and swept Harriet O'Brien off her feet

High life: some luxury tours include bubbly on the Great Wall

China in style: From Yangtze cruises to golden beaches and buzzing cities

With a growing number of upmarket hotels and exclusive experiences on offer, there has never been a better time to indulge in a trip to this vast nation, says Harriet O'Brien

Temple Church, a stop on the celebratory London walk

Magna Carta: where to visit the four surviving originals

In the 800th anniversary year of Magna Carta, Harriet O'Brien samples the celebrations in store

Ship shape: 'Sanctuary Ananda'

Burma cruise: a maiden voyage that reveals how the nation is changing

Harriet O'Brien returns to Burma on board a stylish vessel modelled like a 1930s steamer

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
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Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine