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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A Burmese lady not for turning; AUNG SAN SUU KYI

The Saturday Profile

Travel: Isle of pilgrims and martyrs

St Ninian began it all. For centuries pilgrims made their way to the Isle of Whithorn in south-west Scotland. Now the area is hoping to attract a new type of visitor.

Two wings and a prayer

Harriet O'Brien joined some white-knuckled passengers facing phobia on a Virgin Atlantic non-flight

Britain: 48 hours in Brighton

You need a break - and a short-cut - to the soul of a city. Each week, `The Independent' provides a prescription for the perfect weekend break. This week, Brighton, where Harriet O'Brien spends 48 hours

In the land of orchids

A day trip to a tropical rainforest? It's easy if you go to Kew, as Harriet O'Brien found out when she talked to the Palmer family

Travel '98: February Morocco

Once Ramadan is over, head into old Marrakesh for a steam bath and a cool walk through an Art-Deco garden owned by Yves Saint Laurent, says Harriet O'Brien

New Year's day of the dead

A strange, haunting culture; a boldly beautiful island - but, writes Harriet O'Brien, these were not the only ingredients that made New Year in Sulawesi so striking.

Red channel

The wise traveller will heed the advice of those who have gone before, particularly those who write guidebooks to unfamiliar destinations. But in some cases the danger is that you will be deterred from enjoying a country to the full if the risks are overstated. This, I found, was the case with the section on women travellers in the current edition of Lonely Planet's guide to Morocco.

High society

The Berber tribes of Morocco's Atlas Mountains have conjured verdant valleys out of a stark and spectacular landscape. So when you find such oases of greenery, you may think you're in a close approximation to paradise. But, says Harriet O'Brien, watch out for the company you are with.

`Maps, don't you just love them?'

Conde Nast could scarcely have found a more enthusiastic editor than Sarah Miller to launch its new glossy travel mag. But, Harriet O'Brien asks, do we really want it?
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Day In a Page

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape