Active Traveller

My life in active travel: Simon King

'Holidays are often peppered with work'

Simon King is a television presenter and film maker

First holiday memory?
Travelling through France in a VW caravanette with my family, table football, Pez sweets in their plastic dispensers, ordering a Coke in French – all set the scene for a life of travel.

Best holiday?
Holidays are often peppered with work for me. When we stay in a country on a filming project, we will sometimes bolt on a few days at the end to chill. Top spots have included the Kenyan coast in Lamu and Argentina's mountains.

Favourite place in the British Isles?
Shetland. It is a land apart, with the warmest welcome I have ever experienced; a true sense of wilderness.

What have you learnt from your travels?
Tolerance; to remain nonjudgemental; to listen more than talk; and to be open to new experiences at all times.

Ideal travelling companion?
My wife, my children, good friends. Sharing the journey is such an enriching element to travel. And, selfishly perhaps, from time to time being alone is important too.

Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?
All of the above. Chilling on a beach, jumping up and kitesurfing (badly) and then heading for a museum. All a completely fulfilling and necessary part of a break from the norm. That said, my life is rarely "norm"!

Greatest travel luxury?
A hip flask with my favourite malt whisky.

Holiday reading?
Everything and anything. Books on business management, light novels, weighty tomes. Reading is such a delicious indulgence for me, I so rarely get the chance when working.

Where has seduced you?
Kenya always, Shetland forever, the Scottish Western Isles, the Massif Central in France. Tuscany in any season, Vancouver, Cape Town... so many places!

Better to travel or to arrive?
Both are precious. We lead an itinerant lifestyle, and sometimes the logistics of travel can weigh heavy – but a well-planned journey is fulfilling in so many ways. Long-haul flights, especially if seated comfortably, are one of the few times I get to completely relax and disengage.

Worst travel experience?
The airport at Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt. Brutal, rude, unpleasant and disrespectful.

Worst holiday?
I don't do resorts very well. Squeezed alongside people roasting by the pool in Turkey or Spain is not my idea of fun.

Worst hotel?
The Kensington Hilton. With a name like that, it should be fabulous, but the rooms have a complete lack of charm.

Best hotel?
So many wonderful places around the world. Fundu Lagoon on Pemba Island, Matemwe Bungalows in Zanzibar, Gidleigh Park in Dartmoor.

Favourite walk/swim/ ride/drive?
Driving in the Masai Mara searching for cheetahs, riding in the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy reserve in Laikipia, Kenya alongside reticulated giraffe, walking the coast of Shetland, looking for killer whales and otters.

First thing you do when you arrive somewhere new?
Buy a guide book, a phrase book and a bird book.

Dream trip?
Three months' travelling through a country with my family overland, with nowhere to go. Perhaps the US, Russia or Australia.

Best meal abroad?

Under the stars of an Australian desert sky, grilling rabbit fillets over an open fire.

Favourite city?
Difficult one. Paris and Florence for culture and beauty, Cape Town and Vancouver for fun and positive thinkers.

Where next?
I'm currently based in the Masai Mara in Kenya, then back to the UK for projects in Britain including Springwatch. Perhaps a trip to the Caribbean, if life allows.

Simon King will be signing copies of his new book, "Shetland Diaries", at this year's Outdoors Show, 26-28 March at the NEC, Birmingham. For more information, visit outdoorsshowextra.co.uk

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Arts and Entertainment
Frank Turner performing at 93 Feet East
musicReview: 93 Feet East, London
News
Toronto tops the charts across a range of indexes
news

World cities ranked in terms of safety, food security and 'liveability'

Extras
indybest
Voices
A mother and her child
voices
Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
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
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: Car Sales Executive - Franchised Main Dealer

    £30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...

    Recruitment Genius: Group Sales Manager - Field Based

    £21000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Located on the stunning Sandban...

    Guru Careers: Email Marketing Specialist

    £26 - 35k (DOE): Guru Careers: An Email Marketing Specialist is needed to join...

    Recruitment Genius: Tour Drivers - UK & European

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity to join a is a...

    Day In a Page

    Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

    Isis hostage crisis

    The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
    Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

    The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

    Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
    Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

    Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

    This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
    Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

    Cabbage is king again

    Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
    11 best winter skin treats

    Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

    Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
    Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

    Paul Scholes column

    The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
    Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

    Frank Warren's Ringside

    No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
    Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

    Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
    Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
    Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

    Comedians share stories of depression

    The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
    Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

    Has The Archers lost the plot?

    A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
    English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

    14 office buildings added to protected lists

    Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee