Kate Simon: The beauty of Britain isn't just for the flag-wavers

Travel View

Staycation, traincation, daycation? These corny pigeonholes for our holiday choices were surpassed last week by a new term, "patriotourism".

The guide book publisher Rough Guides uses this new word to sum up the result of its recent survey that found 35 per cent of participants plan a holiday in Britain because they're inspired by their love for their country.

I'm a big fan of the domestic holiday and have spent the past month journeying no further afield than Jersey and the New Forest. Both were a delight, bathed in unseasonal sunshine and with the extra pleasures of a new crop of Jersey Royal potatoes and ponies grazing on Hampshire heathland. But, surely, you don't have to label yourself a patriot to know that Britain is one of the most beautiful places in the world.

***

Travelling beyond Britain's borders isn't a requirement of either of our two current travel-related contests, the IoS/Bradt Travel Writing Competition and the IoS/Insight Guides Travel Photography Competition. You can seek inspiration for your entries at home or abroad.

This year's Travel Writing Competition – deadline Friday 20 May 2011 – has a top prize of a holiday for two to eastern Turkey, an area too little written about. Our winner will not only have the article that won the competition printed in these pages, but they will also be commissioned by me to write a piece on their prize trip. Also, we have a special prize again for unpublished writers – a place on a foreign-based travel-writing course with Traveller's Tales.

The theme for 2011 is "Up the Creek", a prompt you can take literally or metaphorically. We ask that you compose a piece that is no fewer than 600 words and no more than 800 and meet our deadline – after all, writing to a brief is half the lesson of becoming a professional travel writer. Your hard work will be thoroughly studied, first by our long-list judge and then by the good folk of Bradt Travel Guides and myself. We whittle it down to the final 10 or so and pass on the honour of choosing a winner to the eminent writer and broadcaster Matthew Parris.

For those of you who are more visually creative, the travel photography competition has a top prize of a commission worth £3,000 to take photographs for one of the forthcoming Insight Guides. This year's winner will also receive an Olympus PEN E-PL2 camera, and there are more Olympus cameras for the second, third and under-18s prizes. The deadline for this competition is 16 September 2011.

To find out more about both competitions, go to independent.co.uk/travel. Good luck!

***

It was great to see the Caribbean island of Montserrat feature, albeit briefly, on last Monday's profile of Sir George Martin on BBC2's Arena. The record producer, most famous for his work with The Beatles, opened an outpost of Air Studios on the island in 1979 but was forced to close it after Hurricane Hugo hit Montserrat in 1989. The Soufrière Hills volcano eruption in 1995 meant there was little chance Sir George would open the studios again. Still, he hasn't broken his links with this special place; he keeps a home there and has raised funds to help rebuild the island, including establishing a cultural centre. I'll hold up my hand: my in-laws are from Montserrat, so I have an interest. But anyone who has ever visited, before or after the eruption, would recommend a trip to this beautiful little island if you're in the region.

Do you have a travel issue? Email sundaytravel@independent.co.uk

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel Assistant Manager

    £18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This hotel in Chadderton is a p...

    Ashdown Group: Technical IT Manager - North London - Growing business

    £40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A growing business that has been ope...

    Recruitment Genius: Content Assistant / Copywriter

    £15310 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has arisen for a...

    Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

    £24000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Situated in the heart of Bradfo...

    Day In a Page

    Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

    Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

    How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
    Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

    Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

    Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
    Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

    Aviation history is littered with grand failures

    But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
    Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

    Fortress Europe?

    Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
    Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

    Never mind what you're wearing

    It's what you're reclining on that matters
    General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

    Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

    The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
    Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

    Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

    Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
    Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

    Marginal Streets project documents voters

    Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
    Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

    The real-life kingdom of Westeros

    Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
    How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

    How to survive a Twitter mauling

    Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
    Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

    At dawn, the young remember the young

    A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

    Follow the money as never before

    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

    Samuel West interview

    The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
    General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence